Marziyeh Amirizadeh - Christian Testimony

Marziyeh Amirizadeh Christian Testimony Marziyeh Amirizadeh - Christian Testimony
Georgia House of Representatives (Republican)
Georgia House District 67

Personal Beliefs Positions

1.  When and how did you become a Christian?

Marziyeh Amirizadeh:  "I found the truth and became a follower of Jesus more than 20 years ago. Ever since childhood, I loved God and wanted to find out more about His truth. I did everything I knew to get closer to Him. My only means of getting to know God was through Muslim religious teachings and things I learned at school. But I always had many questions about God that Islamic theology and Sharia law could not answer. I used to think of God like a kind father who is closer to us than members of our family because I believed that the God who created my body was closer to my heart than my own flesh and blood. I had been taught the beliefs of Islam and debated them with friends and teachers in school; I could not accept the Koran’s teachings, as they did not seem true to me. I did not accept the image of God that many Muslims have as one who harshly rules over the human race and punishes us for the slightest sins. That is a terrifying image of God. I believed that the daily Namaz prayers, bending several times a day in front of a God who was already in my heart, were a waste of time and unnecessary, and I could not accept them.

"I also had many questions about why I had to speak to God in Arabic instead of in Farsi, my native language. Doesn’t this God who taught me my mother tongue know it Himself? Why should I pray to Him as if He’s a great leader or ruler over me? Why can’t I speak with Him in my language? These were the questions that had long occupied my mind. The answers I received at school were not convincing. Despite my reservations, I did my best to fulfill my religious duties. I told myself that I might be wrong and that the truth would show itself to me one day in the future. I prayed Namaz for two years without fail. I used to read the Koran, and I would even wake up in the middle of the night and pray again. But these types of prayers and worship were not making me feel any closer to God. On the contrary, they created a greater distance from Him as they became a routine action that I was forced to do, not something that I wanted to do. Even before I found Christ, I was certain that God spoke to me in dreams. In one dream, I was praying toward the sky when it opened up, and a white horse came down and spoke to me: “Sit on my back,” it said. When I obeyed, the horse took me to a city where worshipers coming out of a mosque were performing the Ashura and Tasua ceremonies (Islamic ceremonies), mournful chanting, and self-beating.

"At first, they couldn’t see the horse or me. But suddenly, they appeared to change into wild animals with savage features, not like people at all. As soon as I saw them, they could also see me and tried to kill me. The horse ran like the wind to save me. As I held fast to its neck, I felt its love pouring into me with a power and purity I had never known. After we eluded our pursuers, the horse came to a fork in the road where one path turned up into the sky. As the tired horse started on the upward path, I awoke. For a week after that, all I could think about was the deep love I had experienced in the dream. I have never since experienced love like that in this world. God, why did you let me wake up? I wanted to be in this dream forever! (That same horse has reappeared to me in a dream, with a message, every few years since then.) After some thought and consideration, I came to the conclusion that the most important part of being a believer is my heart, and I decided to put aside my religion.

"I began to speak to God with my heart, in the manner of a relationship between a child and her father. One day, I heard from a friend of mine who had converted to Christianity that in their religion, Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of humankind who has come to the earth to free people from their sins. I became curious; I had not heard anything like that before about Jesus. I used to think He was just another prophet, as He had been introduced to us in our textbooks at school. I said to myself, “How do I know He is the truth?” I decided to study different religions in search of the truth and began to read the Bible. After a while, I realized I could not possibly spend the many years necessary to study all the religions of the world, and that there might be some faith in the world that I would never be able to know in full. Therefore, I knelt and prayed, asking God to show me the right path to reach the truth. I said, “If Jesus is the truth, then you must guide me in the path that would take me to the truth and save me from being misguided.” The next thing that happened was a real miracle. During this time, I was invited to a church by a friend.

"On that same day, I had a medical appointment scheduled with a specialist. My visit to the church was an incredible experience. People were worshiping with joy and praying freely to God. Suddenly, in my heart, I heard a voice: “Marziyeh, you are healed.” I wanted to ignore this voice, but when I told my friend, she said it was Jesus and that He could heal me. Later, at my medical appointment, the doctor picked up his pen to write me a prescription. Then he stopped. I waited, wondering why he was hesitating. Finally, he said, “I don’t know why, but I cannot write a prescription for you. Come back another time.” At that time, I sensed that God reminded me of His message in the church and told me to trust Him. The symptoms were immediately cleared up. But even after Jesus healed me, I did not fully believe in Him. To me, the healing wasn’t enough proof to convert to Christianity, so I asked God to show me more reasons.

"At the bottom of my heart, I had begun to believe in Jesus, but I still had my doubts. I had read about the Holy Spirit but could not fully understand. I read in the Bible about the supernatural experience that the apostles had when they spoke in other languages, and also heard about it from my friend who had led me to Christ. At the time, I could not understand it, but I was curious. One day, I was praying to God, at that moment, the Holy Spirit came on me, and I started to pray in tongues. Even though I didn’t know the meaning of my words, I could fully understand what I was saying to God. It was the first time I had ever been so close to God that I felt I could touch Him. While I was praying, I could see Jesus in front of me for a few seconds. He was standing next to a large throne that was covered with shining gold. At that moment, I was not on earth. The middle of my forehead was burning with heat as if someone had branded it. Suddenly all my doubts disappeared, and I felt that God had removed a curtain from my eyes: I could now see the truth. I could not control my tongue but just kept worshiping Him.

"I prayed and sang songs of praise in tongues nonstop through the night until the early hours of the morning. My jaw was aching, but I did not want the experience to end. The sense of God’s love was so powerful, and what had happened to me by then was just incredible, and I could not describe it. No one had forced me into anything or hypnotized me. No one had cast a spell on me. The only explanation I could logically derive from that experience was that I had met with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. From that day forward, I dedicated my life to Jesus. I always felt God’s presence with me, and I saw countless miracles and dreams from Him. Jesus is the only person who has been with me every single day of my life. Even when I’ve gone through very difficult times and was profoundly lonely, I have walked with Him next to me, and He has been my guide in life."

2.  How did becoming a Christian change you?

Marziyeh Amirizadeh:  "I experienced the love of God through Jesus Christ more than twenty years ago. God allowed me to taste His amazing love and to understand His unconditional love on the cross. That is why I am deeply in love with His. I have met Him and have seen Him in many of my dreams that I have shared in my second book, A Love Journey with God. I have seen many miracles through Him in my life and during my imprisonment that I shared in my first book, Captive in Iran. I was baptized by the power of the Holy Spirit, and He is in me. I cannot imagine living a second of my life without Him. Having the power of the Holy Spirit helps me to be a better person and let God’s Spirit work in me. The power of the Holy Spirit helps me to be able to deny my own desires, feelings, and even myself and let Him be shown through me. We are human being and without God’s power, we are nothing and only a failure. I will never deny God’s love or the life He has called me to; to do so would be to deny my very existence.

"When I gave my heart to Jesus, I had obtained certifications as a manager and trainer in a cosmetology school in Iran. Working with trainees gave me opportunities every day to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Many women were eager to know more and gladly accepted a Bible from me. Though I was successful and secure in my profession, I was sure that the Lord wanted me to serve Him full time. Nothing compared to telling the world about Jesus. When a pastor's friend suggested I study theology, I quit my job and traded a certain future for the unknown. I had started with nothing in Tehran and, in five years, had achieved worldly success. Now I was starting over again. I planned to study theology in London, but I was unable to get a visa. Instead, I traveled to Turkey to study leadership and theology courses through a Christian ministry."

3.  How would you describe your relationship with Jesus today?

Marziyeh Amirizadeh:  "My relationship with Him is a personal love relationship with a deep intimacy that will never end. I follow Him not because of the fear of going to hell. I follow Him because of the love that I have experienced through Him. My biggest fear is to lose this love and His presence in my life. His love inspires me to obey and satisfy Him with my actions and behaviors.

"Experiencing the love of God is like experiencing an amazing intimacy with Him. You always long for that intimacy and want more and more. You do not want to be separated from Him at all. You do not want to make Him upset or dissatisfied. You feel you are nothing without Him. You feel you want to be in His arms forever. You have no fear to ask any questions because you want to get to know Him more. You have no fear even to lose your life because you know where you will go. You enter an amazing relationship that makes you crazy about Him and His love. He is with you nonstop and you long for Him. Unfortunately, it is difficult for me to put my love relationship with Him into words."

4.  Which church in which city do you attend most often?

Marziyeh Amirizadeh:  "I do not belong to any physical churches in this world. I am only part of the church of God and body of Christ. When I was in prison, I learned that anywhere could be a church, even the most brutal prison like Evin Prison where I was imprisoned for almost 9 months, sentenced to death by hanging only because of my faith in Jesus.

"In the US, I learned there are many churches with different denominations that is still confusing to me, and I am learning. I have attended many of those churches in every location where I lived for a while to learn about their differences. However, because of my job (public speaker) and to keep sharing my story in different events and churches, and not being able to live in a specific location for a long time, I found it very difficult to be a member of a specific church in specific location in the US.

"Also, after publishing my first book, Captive in Iran, I have spoken in hundreds of churches in the US and all around the world (Australia, UK, Germany, South Africa, Namibia, Austria, New Zeeland, etc.). Most of the weekends I have spoken in a church, Bible study group, events, schools, which gave me the opportunity of attending their services too.

"Through my speaking I keep sharing my pains and suffering with many people because I believe God had a purpose allowing me to suffer for my faith. However, because of my story, when I attend a church as a regular member to just receive the word of God, people of the churches still keep asking me questions about my imprisonment. I found it very difficult to keep remembering all the traumas I went through. Therefore, whenever I am not traveling, I usually attend a home church with my family members and a few of my friends, to read the Bible together, have fellowship and pray for each other. That way, I have fellowship with my loved ones and I also do not have to talk nonstop about my traumas."

5.  In the past 12 months, how many church services have you attended?

Marziyeh Amirizadeh:  "As I mentioned above, most of the weekends, I have spoken in a church, Bible study class, groups, home churches and gatherings, or somewhere else, which has given me the opportunity of attending their services too. Also, I attend my home church in the state of Georgia."

6.  In the past 12 months, how much time have you spent in prayer to God daily?

Marziyeh Amirizadeh:  "I talk to God every day. I live with God. I walk with Him, and talking to Him every day is my lifestyle. He is my heavenly father. I call Him daddy. I am not practicing a religion. I have a close and personal relationship with Him. Talking to my heavenly father has no specific time frame for me. This is part of my personal love relationship with Him. I am in love, and I am living with Him every day. However, sometimes I specifically pray for specific things like my family members, friends, enemies, my country, my birth country Iran, Israel, and the leaders, too.

"Sometimes at midnight the Holy Spirit wakes me up and asks me to pray for something specific and some people, which I obey too."

7.  In the past 12 months, how much Bible reading have you averaged daily?

Marziyeh Amirizadeh:  "As I mentioned above, I am not practicing any religion. I am in love with Jesus and when you are in love, all your desire is to learn more about your beloved. I try my best to read Bible every day, even if it is only reading one verse and thinking about it, because it is the word of God and the word of wisdom that helps me learn more about my beloved and be a better person.

"However, sometimes I may miss reading my Bible. I read other Christian books, and devotionals too which teach me about the Bible and help me understand it better. Reading the Bible daily is not a rule for me that if I missed one day, I feel guilty about it. Living with the verses of the Bible, trying to practice the verses of the Bible and applying them in my daily life is the rule for me.

"I had no Bible to read in prison for almost nine months. The Holy Spirit reminded me the verses of the Bible that I had read before and taught me how to live and practice them at the time of persecution and getting insulted because of my faith in Jesus.

"1 John 2: 3-6 says, 'Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.' "

Personal Beliefs Positions