I just finished Imprisoned in Iran, by Dan Baumann.
It’s the autobiographical story of a Christian aid worker and evangelist who was captured, interrogated, imprisoned, and beaten in Iran’s notorious Evin prison in Tehran.
Baumann’s not a hero – he’s an ordinary, everyday guy with fears and worries just like anyone else. And during his imprisonment he became so discouraged and halucinatory he tried to kill himself.
But through the lows of prison, the beatings, the lack of food, and all the mistreatment, he both grew closer to his God, and witnessed first-hand God’s power in protecting him … even to the point of converting at least one of Evin prison’s guards to Christianity.
Love is the first commandment, and that’s what Baumann tried to practice. And that’s what so confused the guards and interrogator. The interesting thing is that Allah is not a merciful or loving God … so the Muslim men had difficulty understanding when Dan told them he had been commanded by God (in the Bible) to “love his enemies.”
It was an attractive message for them – and I hope it continues to be that to as many as read the book.
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I just finished reading this story to my 5th-6th grade class. We were all moved. I especially so when reading about the conversations of the prison guards who had over the years heard the gospel preached to them. I, myself, learned something from the simple relating of that conversation. My students are intrigued by that whole series published by YWAM Publishers.
Next w are moving on to The Heavenly Man and China.
I just heard Dan speak at church this morning and was impacted powerfully by his story. He said a few things that really stuck with me like, “there is no fear so powerful that it can keep us from obeying God.” And he also said that. “the safest place in the world to be is in God’s will.” We serve a good God and I saw that goodness displayed in Dan’s story!