Khosrow from Iran

Even as a small child, Khosrow questioned the “meaning of life.” Everything around him raised questions. Why do flowers have color? What’s beyond the stars? Where do we go when we die? Who are “those people” inside the TV set? Where do they go when the TV is shut off? When no one could answer his many questions satisfactorily, his sensitive nature gave way to a growing depression. One day as a young man, he passed by an Assyrian Christian church and decided to go inside, thinking he might find answers to some of his “questions.” There were only a few elderly women there and an elderly pastor who gave him a box of books. The books were all in Farsi and among them was a copy of the New Testament, which Khosrow read from cover to cover. But the experience of reading alone was not enough to satisfy his search for answers. He threw the book across his room in despair. Just then, the form of a man came to him in a vision. This man extended his hands toward Khosrow and told him: “Take my hands and everything will change forever.” Khosrow took the man’s hands and a wave of what he describes as “electricity” flowed through his body. Kneeling, he began to weep, making such a noise that his parents rushed to the room. They were flabbergasted to see their son crying for the first time in many, many years. Khosrow’s vision was not a figment of his imagination. He returned to the Assyrian pastor who had given him the books and described his experience. Over the following years, Khosrow grew as a disciple of the Lord, eventually becoming a pastor himself. But the persecution of Christians in Iran forced him to flee to Turkey with his wife and two children. There were persecutions and difficulties in Turkey as well, but Khosrow and his family won people over through patience and love. Khosrow planted more churches in Turkey before he and his family were forced to flee again. This time they sought refuge in Austria. They flew from Turkey to Bosnia and made their way from there on foot through treacherous mountain passes at night. While crossing a river, Khosrow’s son, Joseph, lost his footing on a makeshift bridge and fell into the freezing water, dragging his father in as well. The river was fast flowing and deep, and Khosrow flailed about in the dark water, searching in vain for his son. Meanwhile, his wife had also jumped into the river to help, but was in danger of drowning. Suddenly, Khosrow felt as if someone put Joseph into his arms. He also felt as if someone—invisible to his eyes—was helping him stand in the deep water, then helping him carry Joseph to the river’s embankment. All were saved and the family, persevering through yet more ordeals, made their way to Austria and safety. Khosrow compares the invisible hands that saved him and his family that night to the hands he saw and felt in his vision of Jesus. He tells the story of being asked once by a skeptic how he could know the vision wasn’t a product of his own imagination. Khosrow asked the skeptic if he was wearing clothes. The man was taken aback by the question, but the analogy was clear. Khosrow’s vision was as real as that and more.

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