Today was set to be a busy day. Hubby and I had plans to meet a couple we’d never met for breakfast – the husband in said couple was the Associate Pastor many, MANY years ago at the church where hubby is now pastor – and then we were off to a meeting for the American Baptist Churches region.
As we entered the hotel where we were to meet our breakfast companions, I saw a woman in the breakfast area and thought, ‘That shirt looks familiar’. Then I realized the shirt was familiar because I had seen my daughter wearing one. The shirt looked like this –
In a matter of seconds, it dawned on me who the woman was – her name is Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of imprisoned pastor, Saeed Abedini. Saeed’s crime? Being an Iranian American who is also a Christian! He was born and raised in Iran, his wife Naghmeh born in America. Saeed has dual citizenship and has visited his home country many times. Before he moved to America, he had started around 100 house churches in Iran. A change of leadership in the country resulted in a crackdown on house churches and Saeed left the country. He returned for a visit in 2012 and has not come home yet. He has been declared a threat to Iran’s national security and has been sentenced to 8 years in prision.
His wife has spent the last year speaking to any group that will let her share her story and raising their two children alone. I only had a chance to speak to her briefly (she was in town because a 5K was being held to raise funds for and awareness about her husband’s situation) but she exudes a quiet strength and calm that seems impossible in light of her situation! It was a momentary encounter, but I can’t get her or her story out of my head!
I am a pastor’s wife and I cannot imagine knowing that he has been imprisoned and tortured for sharing the gospel.
I am a mother and cannot imagine having to help my children cope with this type of situation.
I am a woman who LOVES her husband and cannot imagine the pain of being separated from him under such violent, dangerous circumstances.
Want to learn more about the story? Hear and read Naghmeh’s own words here. Honestly, just type the name “Saeed” into any search engine and you will find several sources.
The man was in Iran to work on building an orphanage. The Iranian government decided that he was a threat to national security. Now a woman and her two small children wait to see what will happen. And after meeting her this morning I cannot get her out of my head!!
Educate yourself. Pray. Write a letter to your government representative demanding that this American Citizen be brought home. Hold a fundraiser. Whatever you are capable of doing, do something! Let’s reach out and make sure that Naghmeh knows she is not alone!