Naghmeh Abedini said she has learned to “run to Jesus” as she continues to pray and petition leaders worldwide for the release of her husband from an Iranian prison after nearly three years.
“Trials and hard circumstances push us to go to God and live a life of faith in trusting Him despite the circumstances,” said Abedini, whose husband, American pastor Saeed Abedini, was arrested in Tehran for his Christian faith in the summer of 2012 and imprisoned shortly thereafter.
Abedini will share practical lessons she has learned about abiding in Christ in the midst of trying times with attendees at the 2015 N.C. Baptist Women’s Retreat, scheduled for Oct. 23-24 at Caraway Conference Center near Asheboro.
She was a featured speaker at the June 15 Pastors’ Wives session of the Pastors’ Conference at the 2015 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio. Abedini is also scheduled to attend a prayer vigil at the Boise, Idaho, state capital Sep. 26 to mark the three-year anniversary of her husband’s arrest.
Abedini and Teresa Brown are the keynote speakers for this year’s conference. The event’s theme is “Obedience by Faith,” taken from the Old Testament example of Abraham, whose life is also summarized in Hebrews 11:8.
“We sometimes think that faith is something we hope for or wish for,” said Ashley Allen, who leads the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSC) Embrace women’s ministry and serves as the host and organizer of the annual women’s retreat. “However, faith is allowing God to reveal Himself to us in His Word, and then we step out in obedience in response to His revelation.”
In addition to four plenary sessions featuring Abedini and Brown, the conference will include a number of breakout sessions that will examine what the Bible teaches about walking by faith and explore modern-day examples of women living in obedience to the Lord.
“Obedience is the mark of a true believer,” said Brown, who is an author, speaker and Bible teacher. “As children of our heavenly Father, it should be the sincere desire of each of us to follow the example set by Jesus Christ, to take every thought and action captive which does not glorify God.”
BP photo by Bill Bangham
Naghmeh Abedini tells the story of her husband, Saeed, who was arrested in Iran three years ago for his faith. Abedini spoke at the 2015 Pastors' Wives Conference, held June 15 at the Hyatt Hotel Ballroom in Columbus, Ohio. She will be at a North Carolina women's retreat in October.
As a pastor’s wife, mother and grandmother, Brown brings a unique perspective to this year’s retreat. Her husband, Joe Brown, recently came out of retirement to pastor Northside Baptist Church in Charlotte, following a 26-year ministry as senior pastor of Hickory Grove Baptist Church, also in Charlotte.
Brown is also a cancer survivor, so she understands what it means to walk with God through sickness and trials.
“God has taught me that I cannot live dying,” Brown said. “But each new day, whether it brings pain or healing, contains an abundant measure of joy, the opportunity to be a blessing and a reason to rejoice.”
Like Brown, Abedini has found comfort in knowing that God has a greater purpose for the trials she and her family are facing.
In advocating for her husband’s release, Abedini said God has opened doors for her to share the gospel in front of the United Nations; the European, German and Dutch parliaments; the U.S. Congress and in interviews with major media outlets.
“I have had to let go of all my fears and even desire to stay home and cling to my babies during this difficult time, and follow the Lord,” Abedini said.
“He is looking for obedience out of faith to show Himself strong to the world around us.”
Additional information about this year’s women’s retreat, including registration details, is available online at ncbaptist.org/womensretreat15.