June 18, 2013
How valuable is God’s word to a Christian in prison? More valuable than gold!
In their book, Captive in Iran, Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh share the miraculous story of how God provided them with access to His word, and how His provision was an incredible testimony and witnessing opportunity to their fellow prisoners. Marziyeh writes:
Not long afterward, as I was cleaning the floor under Mommy’s bed, I discovered a long-forgotten box of what looked like trash. I asked Mrs. Mahjoob if she knew whose it was. Mrs. Mahjoob said that some prisoner who was gone must have forgotten about it and left it, and I should just throw it away. As I carried the box to the trash, I looked through it, just in case. Even trash might have some value in prison. To my surprise, I found a pocket-size Gospel of Luke mixed in with the scraps and castoffs.
I quickly slipped it under the blanket on my bed. I could hardly wait to get to bed that night and start reading. When it was time for lights out, I retrieved the little book and opened the cover. On the flyleaf was an inscription and the signature of Archbishop Ramsey, the former archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the Anglican Church worldwide, who had evidently given it as a gift. What a treasure and miracle it was to find it!
It’s hard to describe the feeling of being able to read Scripture after being away from it for a month. Every page, every word, every letter was a blessing. A banquet for the starving soul. Maryam and I decided to share it with people who might be interested. First we loaned it to Mrs. Mahjoob. After she finished with it, we gave it to Mana. When she saw it, her eyes widened in shock and amazement.
“God has answered your prayers,” I said, handing it over. “Now you can read a portion of the authentic Bible you’ve always wanted.” As word got around, many, many prisoners wanted to read it. Before long, dozens of women had their first look at the true Christian Scriptures, reading the little volume signed by one of the most powerful men in the church, who had died more than twenty years before and whose little pocket Gospel had miraculously turned up under a bed in a women’s prison in the middle of Islamic Iran.
Excerpted from Captive in Iran by Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh. You can purchase a copy of Captive in Iran through VOMBooks.com. You can also choose to support VOM’s efforts to deliver Bibles into the hands of Christians living in hostile and restricted nations.