For many people, the words “quarantine” and “social distancing” conjure up images of working from home, turning your dining table into a makeshift classroom for the kids, or watching a church service through Facebook Live every Sunday.
But these now common words hold a much deeper meaning for Amar. He thinks of the five years he spent in prison.
Amar was one of many Iranian church leaders who were arrested in 2010, which is why we’ve changed his name for security. He was confined to a small, dark cell — only a few feet wide — and left with little food.
Today, it’s the coronavirus keeping Amar and so many others from easy access to food and other essentials they need. But when you give to the coronavirus emergency fund, you’ll help provide aid like nutritious food, clean water, medical care, and other critical relief to people around the world. Plus, your gift will DOUBLE thanks to a matching gift from World Help Board members!
Amar started his first underground church in Iran back in 2005. Every week more and more people attended, curious and ready to learn from God’s Word. Before long, that first congregation grew full, and Amar decided to start another church. And then another.
By 2010, Amar had helped plant 48 churches across Iran!
But his ministry came to a screeching halt when government officials arrested Amar for spreading the Gospel and threw him in prison.
“They kept me five years in prison and one year in solitary confinement in a locked-up room,” Amar said. “My cell was very small. I was only able to walk three and a half steps coming and going.”
Think about your own quarantine space. If you’re social distancing at home right now, you have the comfort of your couch. Your TV. Food in the fridge. A hot shower.
Now, imagine spending these last few weeks inside a concrete cell. Imagine standing still, arms out, and your fingertips brushing against opposite walls.
Imagine being quarantined in a space that small. That claustrophobic.
Amar spent years living like this, cut off from the world. It would’ve been so easy to grow irritated, depressed, or even angry with God. But Amar kept his faith.
“I remember when I was in solitary, I discovered many things about myself, my character, and about [God’s] love,” Amar said. “I realized more than ever before when I was alone with Him that it’s all about Him.”
The life Amar once knew was gone. Instead, he was living day to day, unsure of what would happen to him. Not knowing what tomorrow would bring.
These days of quarantine and social distancing can feel lonely. And while there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel with many states slowly opening back up, no one knows exactly what the rest of the year will hold. These are uncertain times. You may even question why this is happening. Because it just seems to be ruining all your plans.
But perhaps God has a bigger plan. Perhaps He wants you to take this time to help others and make an impact that will last for eternity.
“I wanted to encourage you that maybe God, in these days, is going to shift our eyes from the things we can see to the unseen things,” Amar said. “Because what is unseen is going to be eternal.”
Today, will you give a gift that has eternal value? Whether you provide food for a starving child or medicine for a sick refugee, your generosity will show God’s love to someone who needs it most during this global coronavirus pandemic.
Amar chose to turn his period of isolation into something positive. You can do the same.
Your gift of emergency coronavirus relief will double to have 2X the impact thanks to the matching funds. That means every $8 is now enough to help rescue TWO people!
Not only will you provide lifesaving aid to families around the globe, but your doubled gift will also help erase World Help’s budget shortfall left behind by canceled fundraising events. You’ll help keep our programs running and ensure impoverished people continue to be rescued.
Amar’s years in isolation weren’t easy, but God strengthened his faith inside those four cramped walls. And maybe He wants to do the same with you. Maybe He wants you to take a leap of faith … and provide physical help and spiritual hope to someone in need.
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