Associate Editor, Books
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
An Iranian Refugee Walks the Road to Emmaus
Annahita Parsan, a pastor in Sweden, begins her riveting CT testimony with an anecdote from her ministry to Muslim refugees in that country.
“When Arif marched up to me in church,” she writes, “it was obvious that he was angry. With his eyes narrowed in hate and his long beard trembling with rage, he was incensed that I, a Christian woman, would be trying to convert Muslims. Within seconds Arif was flat on his back as if God had acted supernaturally to get his attention. (This is not an uncommon experience when I witness to Muslims.) It didn’t take long for Arif to break down and start crying, and once he’d opened up his heart to God like that, it was only a matter of time before he turned his back on Islam and gave his life to Jesus. All I had to do was stand to the side and pray.
“But not everyone meets God this way. For some, the journey to seeing Jesus as Savior is sudden and dramatic like it was on the road to Damascus. But for others, the journey to faith looks more like the road to Emmaus: a gradual realization that Jesus is closer than the air we breathe.”
That was the case for Parsan, who endured an abusive husband, a perilous journey from her native Iran, and a stint in a filthy Turkish prison before reaching freedom in Europe—and coming to faith in Christ. Parsan tells her story in Stranger No More: A Muslim Refugee’s Story of Harrowing Escape, Miraculous Rescue, and the Quiet Call of Jesus.