Anahita’s Story: Every year my mom traveled from our home country in the Middle East to Germany to visit my uncle. One year after my uncle invited her to church, my mom heard about forgiveness and salvation through the death and Resurrection of Jesus, and she believed. She returned home excited about her new life in Jesus and shared the gospel with my sister, who also came to Christ.
At the time, I resisted embracing the gospel because I thought being a follower of Christ would mean I had to give up fun things I liked to do. But one morning after I woke up, Mom told me I was crying out for Jesus in my sleep. After I decided to start attending church, I saw Jesus in a vision at night where He showed me scenes from my life. When I realized He understood everything about me, I kneeled by my bed and asked Him to be my Lord and Savior.
The next day I felt light, free and full of joy. My life began to change. At church I prepared the prayers projected onto the wall and read during the service. Even though the government in my home country strongly encouraged strict Islamic worship, believers were allowed to go to church – though we put ourselves at risk.
Often my church invited guest speakers to take part in the service. A Godly man came from Armenia to speak and prayed over me powerfully. He told me I would be involved in God’s work for the kingdom outside of my country, which I had never considered because I did not want to leave home. His message was the first of three times God used believers to speak to me about my service for His kingdom.
Several years later, I listened at church as my pastor preached about what holy marriage is like. He told us to pray for the person beside us. I sensed God speaking to me about the man seated next to me – that we were meant for each other. After the service I said to him, “Do you want to marry me?”
He had sensed God speaking to him about me also and he replied, “We’ll have to ask God.” Within a year, God confirmed His leading and we married.
The government became more intrusive in our Christian faith and eventually prohibited anyone from attending Christian churches. My mother’s house was searched twice because an informant had told the government she had brought back Bibles and Christian literature from another country. When my mother and I traveled to Germany to shop for items to prepare for the birth of my child, our neighbor called my husband at work to warn him police were searching our apartment. My husband did not ever return to our home. He stayed with a friend for months until he found a way to leave the country.
I never returned from the shopping trip to Germany. After grieving for over a year about leaving my country, I began to believe God was working, especially as other believers encouraged me. I began asking God to use me in His harvest in Germany among other refugees. After I met a Christ-follower who said I would be a door for people to go through to lead them to Jesus, I was even more motivated in my work for the Lord. I received my third commission for ministry during the celebration of Pentecost. People praying for me said I would be like a fire, receiving power from God to pass His message of the gospel to other people.
My family and I moved to a new city in Germany where we met believers Florian and his wife Iris and began serving with them. I continued to be expectant about how God would use me. I always kept in mind the three messages I had received commissioning me to be fruitful. Florian validated God’s hand upon me and my work for the Lord and helped us launch our mission work. Jesus continues to give me a love for people, and as I pray for God to use me to help others know Him better, I often think of myself as if I were walking on water with Jesus.
Because I believe women have a special role in God’s eyes, I am passionate about women’s ministry. God used my mother to bring the gospel to our family, first reaching my father and sister, then me. My mom persevered in prayer for my brother for fifteen years until he came to faith as well. Now we are a joyful family. I smile to think even the flowers in our house thrive because our family is united in Christ! My mom will always serve as an example to me of the impact of women for God’s purposes.
Women from my home country endure much pressure after they marry. Along with their household chores, they oversee the care of every person in their home. I desire for believing women to see themselves as God does: princess daughters of the King. Just as the daughter of a country’s ruler has authority and riches through her father, I advocate for women to remember God is our Father and we have His infinite resources through His Spirit.
Afghan and Iranian refugee women especially suffer much after immigrating. As I reach out to them, I see God do miraculous things. When women come to know Christ and understand who they are in Him, the women become fruitful in their God-given roles as family caretakers.
I believe Jesus is doing something extraordinary through me as I depend upon His Spirit in me. As we continue in our ministry to refugees in Germany, please pray for me and my husband. God will continue to do great things through your powerful prayers.