“Who is telling the truth? How can I find the truth?”
At 16, Youhan moved to Tehran from a small town in Khorasan. In a new city, trying to find a job and send money to his family, he was introduced to an Armenian believer. This woman boldly shared her testimony with Youhan and asked if he wanted to know more about the gospel. She told him that God had blessed her and she prayed that God would richly bless him as well.
In his mind, Youhan had often wrestled with questions about truth: “What is truth? Who is telling the truth? How can I find truth?” Only 16 years old, Youhan found it hard to think about such big questions. But encouraged by the Armenian lady, he began studying the gospels and was shocked by what he found.
Youhan read that Jesus was the way, the truth, and the life, that Jesus could cleanse him of his sins. He knelt down, cried out, and told God, “I know the truth now! I know how a man becomes pure!”
Youhan accepted Christ and has become a leader in the church. However, being a Christian in Iran ultimately means facing persecution. Youhan’s father disowned him when he found out he had embraced Christ. Soon after, friends began calling Youhan from different cities, telling him, “They’re looking for you; they’re after you; they’re asking for your name.”
“For about seven years I felt like there was always a pair of eyes looking at me,” Youhan shared.
Eventually he had to leave Iran or face arrest. It was one of the hardest decisions he has ever had to make. He left behind a thriving ministry. Many of his friends and Christian coworkers are now in prison for their faith.
On his faith journey, Youhan has been led by the grace of God. Despite the hurdles the Iranian government has placed before him, he has an incredible hope for Iran.
“I dream that each and every Iranian will meet with the Lord Jesus and that their lives, dreams, and future will be changed just as mine were,” Youhan said.
He now serves in a church outside Iran, discipling new believers and building up the Iranian church. His favorite verse? Psalm 69:29–30.
“But as for me, afflicted and in pain—may your salvation, God, protect me. I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.”
“I had an earthly life, but he gave me a heavenly and spiritual life,” Youhan said. “And, I will serve Jesus Christ until the last day I’m alive.”
Please pray for Youhan and the people of Iran
- Pray for the safety of disciples like Youhan, who face daily persecution from their families and the government.
- Pray for believers who are living out their faith behind bars.
- Pray for the people of Iran, that they would be introduced to strong believers like Youhan, who might lead them to a Christ-filled community.
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