Our move to Lincoln went very smoothly. We are beginning to get settled, as we also begin to count down the days until we leave for Athens. Below is a story from our friends in Athens:
“M”’s Story, as recorded by our teammate Kallie Skaife
He came out in the yard, early in the morning, to clean himself for the first prayers of the day, according to the Muslim observance. The young Afghani man put his hands together to splash his face with water and right then the earth begun to dance under his feet.
2003…Iran …at the city of Bam …six seconds …7.45 Richter scale …40.000 dead…
Half washed he saw the earth splitting in front of him and when the earthquake stopped, a whole city had become rubble. He looked over his shoulder, his home had become rubble and his entire family was buried under it. All the people he ever knew had gone. A sole survivor, a broken heart, the question ‘why’ tormented him. He went to relatives in Afghanistan. ‘Life must go on’, they said to him and paired him off with a wife. But he was not advancing towards life within him and decided to go back to the scene of his despair, the city of Bam, only to discover that all that he has ever known and loved had gone forever.
He decided to come to the west alone, without his wife and little girl and ended up in Athens. Here he found himself strangely moved every time he gazed at the crosses that usually decorate every Orthodox Church. He became interested in Christianity. He came to Helping Hands a couple of times, the Lord appeared to him in a dream, and he took a Bible. He kept reading it for two years with a tiny flash light after his uncles went to sleep, for they forbid him to read it.
Then the Lord appeared again to him in a dream and said to him that he must be born again!
Somehow a small leaflet came to his hand, in Farsi, which presented him with the offer of salvation. On the last page, for those who wished for more information, the H. Hands address was given.
‘Do you believe that Christ is the Son of God?’
‘Do you believe that He died for your sins?’
‘Do you wish to receive more information?
He put a tick next to all the questions and sent the leaflet, a photocopy of an electricity bill of the place he lived at to show us his address, and a photocopy of his police registration document with his picture to show us who he was, and send it to H. Hands! The Lord then brought him to us one day, open and ready to meet with Jesus! And two or three weeks after that the envelope with his request for more information arrived!
This last Sunday, he had set his alarm to wake up at six. He wanted to spend some time alone with God to read and pray. He was not to be woken up by the alarm. A little before six, he leapt out of bed startled. His cousin, had got up before him, boiled some water in a saucepan, and poured it on him while sleeping, scalding his thighs and arm! Just the night before the cousin had found out that M was intending to go through the waters of baptism, declaring his faith, at the Greek fellowship we attend together with the Iranian believers on Sunday mornings! A friend took him to the hospital to treat the serious burns on his arms and thighs. M would not relent, and recieved Christian baptism later that morning.
His scalded arm visible he said, ‘No matter what they do to me I will love Jesus’. After his baptism he told us that he felt like standing in the centre of the city of Athens and shouting to everybody, ‘I belong to Christ!’ His wife, on finding out that he is now a Christian, went back to her father’s home and announced to him that she considers the marriage ended and does not want to know him. He was denied even a picture of his son that was born a little after he left Iran.