"Mh" is a remarkable young man who until several years ago owned a restaurant and enjoyed a prosperous life in Iran. By 2003 he had become so discouraged by the political and economic situation in his homeland that he and his wife of eleven months set out on the “refugee highway” in search of freedom and a better life.
"Mh" and his bride traveled together to Turkey but were unable to find a smuggler who could take them any further. The young disillusioned Muslim found it necessary to send his wife back to Iran to live with her family until he could find a way to emigrate to Canada. They agreed that as soon as he was settled and able to buy an airplane ticket for his wife, she would join him in the west.
"Mh" eventually crossed the mountainous border between Turkey and Greece on foot during the night. After his arrival in Athens, he intended to hire a smuggler to sneak him into Norway and then on to the “promised land” of Canada. But God had other plans for his life. . . .
After spending three months in a refugee camp, he found his way to the ministry center of Helping Hands where he received a Bible and heard the gospel for the first time in his life. He began coming to the Persian Christian Fellowship where he heard messages about the Son of God who died for his sins and experienced the love of Christ in the lives of believers he met there. After several months of seeking and examining the Good News that he had been taught all his life to reject, "Mh" received Jesus Christ as his Savior.
In the past eighteen months, this young believer has remained amazingly cheerful and solid in his faith in spite of a series of agonizing trials. In the early part of 2004, he underwent surgery to remove a cyst from his tailbone. During the ensuing months, he suffered a number of complications and infections. A year after the surgery, the cyst seems to be growing back, and it is very painful for "Mh" to sit in class or on the bus. Partway through the time-consuming and patience-demanding process of applying for a visa to emigrate to Canada, his wife informed him that she had decided to divorce him and never wanted to see him again because he had become a Christian!
In spite of these and other heartbreaking setbacks, "Mh" completed the six-month Athens Intensive Ministry School and graduated from the Greek Bible Institute in June, 2006. He serves as the founding pastor of the Persian Christian Community, where more than 50 former Muslims have come to faith in Jesus Christ in the past year. This past summer, like the Apostle Paul’s testimony in Philippians 3, "Mh" shared that even after losing everything that he had valued in his life in Iran, he is convinced that when he came to know Jesus Christ he gained something infinitely greater than marriage, home, business and family.
After graduation from AIMS, "Mh" continued his studies at the Greek Bible Institute in addition to classes at the ARC. He has a deep hunger for the word of God a vision to return to Iran in God’s timing to open a Bible school. And the BEE International staff in Greece have the incredible joy of teaching the Scriptures and sharing our lives with a young believer like "Mh", who has truly “counted the cost of discipleship” and whom I believe God is going to continue to use in a mighty way here in Athens and eventually as an ambassador for Christ to his own people back in Iran.
(editor's note: since this story was first recorded some years ago, "Mh" has immigrated to Canada, married a beautiful Canadian "preacher's kid", and returned with his bride to an Islamic country where he is sharing the Good News with others)