From Stealing Sheep To Finding The Shepherd
Saeed is 28 years old living in Iran and has a dark past. He’s been in and out of prison in recent years, conning people out of money, even stealing at gunpoint.
Saaed would present himself to farmers as a sheep salesman. He would befriend farmers and offer his “brokering” services to help them buy and sell sheep. Often while entertaining farmers he would slip drugs in their drinks then go load some of their sheep and steal them. It eventually led to him boldly stealing livestock at gunpoint.
Recently Saeed was at a restaurant in Iran and overheard the table next to him talking about sheep. He got up and approached them to introduce himself as someone who could help with their business.
They chuckled and said, “We were not talking about real sheep,” and began sharing with Saeed how the Bible refers to people as sheep. They explained more to Saeed, shared the Gospel with him and how Jesus is the head Shepherd.
Saeed, puzzled, told the men he could relate to what they were saying. He shared how when he would steal sheep from shepherds at gunpoint many times the shepherds would go crazy and put their lives in danger for the sheep. His eyes began to fill with tears as this understanding of God’s love for him flooded his heart.
The guys at the restaurant gave Saeed one of our Bibles and eventually led him to Jesus! He is now involved with the restaurant owner’s house church and even has a “real job” in the sheep industry, no longer stealing livestock.
What’s amazing is the restaurant this story took place in is the same place where the owner came to know Jesus last year through one of the Iranian Bible distributors.
The restaurant owner was a former assassin for the Iranian government but now is following Jesus. He was one of the men at the table who helped lead Saeed to Christ!
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At 40 years old, Mustaq had found himself in jail for a comprehensive list of criminal activities.
But ultimately what landed him in jail was taking out life insurance on his wife, hiring someone to kill her and then collecting on her life insurance.
Once the insurance company investigated him and revealed his crime, he was sentenced to 21 years in jail.
But after 7 years the Iranian government came and, knowing his character and demeanor, offered him an opportunity for freedom. They needed an assassin in Syria.
The terms were simple: get paid $50 to kill a member of the opposing militia and get paid $100 for killing an American. Over a two year period, Mustaq made quite a sum of money.
He used the money to open a restaurant in Iran, and anytime he needed more money, he would go back to Syria to kill people.
One time when they invaded and robbed a house of a Christian leader, he saw a picture of Jesus that said, “God is Love, and God loves you.” This caught his attention.
A few months later, back in his restaurant, an employee was arguing with a customer named Emam.
Emam was a Bible distributor, and when he went to pay, he told the employee that ‘God is Love.’ When Mustaq heard what he said, it stopped him right in his tracks.
So he went to the table and spoke with Emam, asking where he had gotten that phrase from because he had heard it before.
Emam told him about the Bible and the things he had learned from it.
He brought a Bible back to the restaurant and gave it to Mustaq.
After 5 days, Mustaq called Emam back and asked him to come to the restaurant and talk.
When Mustaq saw Emam, he began to weep saying he wanted to give his life to Jesus!
Emam prayed with him to receive Christ that day. Mustaq has experienced God’s forgiveness, peace and joy.
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