Iran – When Takoosh married pastor Haik Hovsepian, she was thrilled that she would spend her life in the service of God. She knew it would not be easy in a country where 98% are Muslim, are forbidden to go to church and where evangelism among them is strictly prohibited. Although Takoosh was fearful, Haik told her, “We don’t have to be afraid. We must trust in God.” Haik loved people, even his Muslim neighbors who were welcomed in the church, and was willing to go to the utmost for his faith and for the church. But, on that fateful night in 1994 Takoosh knew that something terrible had happened when Haik did not return from an errand. Upon learning that four Iranian pastors had been found murdered because they refused to sign an official declaration that they would not evangelize among Muslims, Takoosh knew that Haik had been killed. “I only had hatred in my heart; hatred for my enemies who had murdered my husband,” recalls Takoosh. “I prayed with my lips, ‘God, give me the strength to forgive,’ but before I prayed, in my mind I saw myself throwing mud at them.” “One day, a miracle happened as God gave me the strength to pray with my heart for those who had murdered my husband. I was no longer praying only with my lips, but from the depths of my heart. God answered this prayer as I learned not only to trust, but to lean on Him as I began to forgive my enemies.” STAND “ONE WITH THEM” Today, as Muslims perform the ritual “washing” before prayer, consider performing a spiritual “washing,” that God will reveal any sin in your life as you ask for forgiveness. Pray for Christians living in Islamic-dominated countries to do the same. PRAY “ONE WITH THEM” Father, may Your Spirit of love and forgiveness rule in the hearts of Christians facing hardships because of their faith in You. “Forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Eph 4:32
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