In 2002, Navid, an Afghan in his early twenties arrived in Greece. Orphaned at 12 years old and having grown up under a brutal Taliban regime, he didn’t want anything to do with Islam or God. He describes himself as having had an empty spot in his heart, which was filled with a growing hatred. Upon arriving in Athens in the winter of 2002-2003 Navid stayed in a guesthouse with other Afghans, where one illiterate man was tearing up a book and throwing pages into the fireplace to stay warm. The book happened to be a New Testament. Navid picked up the remaining pages, a scorched gospel of Matthew, and found the book very interesting. He read it through once, then twice, and asked the man where he had found it.
“Helping Hands - a place of infidels who gave out food,” was the reply.
Navid came to Helping Hands, and describes being greeted with respect and love that he had never been shown before in his life. He was given a complete New Testament, which he hid under his pillow and read at night. Soon he was going to Helping Hands for meals three days a week, and an Iranian church on a Sunday. He had many questions, was confused by the Trinity, and still considered Jesus only a prophet. Three months after he began attending church, those who wanted to follow Christ were asked to raise their hand during a service. Navid raised his hand, not fully understanding what it meant, but not wanting to lose that love of a community which no one else had ever given him. He continued going to Bible classes and was baptized a few months later.
In 2005 Navid went to the United States, where he later married and helped establish an Afghan church there. In 2007 he signed up for the US army, and was deployed three times to Afghanistan. He took opportunities to share his faith there, and reports that the Afghan people are thirsty for love.
This unique testimony was shared with our team last month - Praise God for the seeds that were planted and watered through the ministry 20 years ago while Navid was in Athens, and for how God has since guided Navid’s life and used him to share the gospel with his people.