Reza from Afghanistan’s story: ”All my problems began when I was 15 years old. My father died in combat and a clan chieftain tried to kill me, necessitating the sale of our house and land and making arrangements for me to flee to Sweden. Upon arrival, I had to stay in a home for refugee children who arrived alone. To validate my age, which the authorities disputed, an x-ray of my hands was performed. Their interpretation of the results led to the immigration department adding two years to my age, listing me as 17.
A year later, I received a message from a friend of my mother’s, saying that she and my younger siblings had been killed, leaving me as the sole survivor in my family. My whole world collapsed and I tried to kill myself. I am thankful someone found me, called an ambulance and a team of doctors spent the next three days trying to save my life.
When I regained consciousness, I was severely depressed and was referred to the psychiatric ward where I spent a week. Upon returning home, I was regularly overcome by panic attacks which left my mind in chaos and prevented me from being able to sleep at night.
A friend who had just received Jesus in his heart shared with me what he had learned about the nature of Jesus and the Christian church, describing how calm and secure he had felt since he started attending church. He also set up a meeting with his pastor, who told me about God’s love and the path to establishing a relationship with God. As the pastor prayed and laid his hands on me, I felt exhausted but calm. That night, I was finally able to sleep and regain the rest that I had been missing.
I started attending church, and an Alpha course. I received Jesus as my personal Saviour and a few months later I was baptized in water, symbolizing the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
Several of my friends attended and they and the church prayed for me, whereupon I felt a strong power in my heart – which I later learned was the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Since then I have remained calm and secure, sleeping well at night. Things are going well at high school, which I hope to complete in the near future.
The church has become a new family to me, leaving me feeling happy and calm when I spend time reading my Bible and praying. The best part of the Bible for me is John 14:1 which says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.”(NIV)