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FROM LONELY TO PART OF GOD’S FAMILY

Leaving his home and a family who rejected him, Ashkan* relocated to Tehran, Iran’s capital city with a population of 8 million. Lost in a sea of people who were strangers to him, Ashkan became ill and lost the will to live, before he met the living God. He telephoned SAT-7 PARS to share his story.

“I lived in Northern Iran for the first 28 years of my life until I left for Tehran, where I led a lonely existence,” says Ashkan. “There was no one to ask after me and many nights I went to bed and told myself that I have no God. I would gaze at the sky and wonder why I had to endure such hardship.”

One morning when he was about to shave, Ashkan noticed a dark patch on his face. It turned out to be a chronic skin disease that spread all over his body, driving him to isolate himself for eight months. He was so distraught by the skin condition that he called his friend, Reza, to ask him to help end his life.

LOOKING FOR ESCAPE
Ashkan explains: “At Reza’s house I explained that I was tired of life and wanted to go. I had no father and no mother and just wanted to leave this world.”

Reza’s answer was surprising: “I can’t help you with ending your life, because God has healed me.”

Reza led him into his courtyard, where others were worshipping God with hands raised and singing. Laying hands on his head Reza prayed that Ashkan would be freed.

“My mind was swirling,” says Ashkan. “As I thought about how I had been taught that to please God we have to weep and be sombre.”

SEEING THINGS FROM GOD’S PERSPECTIVE
“Gradually the Lord worked in me and I came to realise that the life I had led was full of sin. Little by little Christ worked and changed my life. Jesus told me: ‘you are my child and I acted for you.’”

Ashkan’s daily routine became one of praying and Bible reading. Speaking with someone at church about his frustrations, Ashkan was told he should wait on God and ask which parts of his life were a problem and to seek insight into the reasons for his turmoil.

He then came to realise that he had yet to fully commit his life to God. “I went on my knees and repented,” says Ashkan.

AN ENCOURAGEMENT
Ashkan is now confident that God will help whoever calls on Him. “I believe that as the Lord raised me from such a low point and transformed me, He will do the same for you.”

“Ever since I put my faith in Jesus, my life and behaviour have changed. The old things have gone; the Lord has freed me from all these things. I encourage anyone who doesn’t know Jesus to come to Him. He will change you from within and give you a new life. Just give your all to Him; heart, body and soul and you will be transformed.”

*Name and image changed for security reasons