The letter, carried out from Iran's notorious Evin Prison, tells of beatings and interrogations, around-the-clock bright lights and ongoing lies designed to create hope - in order to crush it. The remarkable letter also reveals a depth of faith and compassion that could only be granted by God.
Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. minister, has been imprisoned in Evin Prison in Tehran for his faith since Iranian authorities removed him from a bus in September 2012 while he was visiting his homeland.
Recently, Naghmeh, Abedini's wife, received a letter from her husband through family members who were able to visit him in prison. Naghmeh passed the letter on to AG General Superintendent George O. Wood, with the encouragement to share the letter with everyone.
"Saeed's letter is nothing short of a modern-day Pauline epistle," states AG General Superintendent George O. Wood. "As I read his letter through several times, I could only marvel at how God's faithfulness transcends time as the same Holy Spirit that was with Paul in his times of desperation is fully evident in the words of our brother Saeed."
"I always wanted God to make me a godly man," Saeed writes in his letter. "I did not realize that in order to become a godly man we need to become like steel under pressure. It is a hard process of warm and cold to make steel. The process in my life today is one day I was told I will be freed on bail to see my family and kids on Christmas (they are all lies) and the next day I am told I will hang for my faith in Jesus."
"It's amazing to me how this letter, from an imprisoned pastor, inspires and ministers to me when he - it would seem - is the one who needs our prayers," Wood states. "I encourage believers to allow this letter to inspire them to greater things, to pass it on to friends and to continue to uplift Saeed, Naghmeh and their two young children to God in prayer."