Friday, October 07, 2011

Give Jesus One Week

From the time Padina was 4 years old, she followed every rule of Islam in an attempt to grow closer to Allah. But Padina could never reach Allah. "I never felt peace," she said. "I would cry for hours to Allah, saying, 'I am so far from you. I can never go into your presence." She felt depressed and hopeless.

So she made a plan to end her suffering. She and her terminally ill mother would take pills, turn on the gas in the kitchen and enter the presence of Allah as honored Muslims.

As Padina started to turn on the gas, she heard her mother's TV in the living room. The words of a pastor on an illegal Christian satellite program grabbed her attention: "Why do you want to kill yourself tonight? Our God is so powerful that he can change your life. Give Jesus one week!"

Repulsed, Padina came up with a plan. "I will pretend to invite Jesus for one week in my life;' Padina thought. "I can embarrass Jesus and embarrass Christianity for the false religion that it is. In one week, I will call this television program and kill myself live on the program. That will disgrace the God of the infidels."

The next morning, Padina awoke to something she hadn't seen in months. Her formerly disabled mother was up and walking. Padina rushed her to the hospital for testing. The doctor was astonished. "This is a miracle!" he said. "She is cured! Which imam did you pray to?"

Padina paused. Could she say it was Jesus? Could she admit to following the same man she had hated? Was she willing to make a choice that could get her killed?

Today, Padina faces the possibility of imprisonment and death every day. "In Iran, if you accept Christ privately but never witness, you don't have a problem," she said. "But the person who accepts Christ and begins to minister in Iran, their life is being threatened constantly. Many times we have been about to get caught by the government. Many times they have captured my leaders and churches. Our lives have been threatened many times."

But Padina's hardships no longer matter because she knows she will spend eternity with the Jesus to whom she gave just one week.

To learn about Padina's decisions and to see how she became one of the most wanted Christians in Iran, view the Padina International Day of Prayer video included in the 2011 IDOP Church Resource kit from Voice of the Martyrs.

(from Voice of the Martyrs, October 2011 prayer letter)

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