Lost in the tragedy of Pastor Saeed Abedini’s wrongful imprisonment for his faith are his two young children – two precious little ones who miss their father.
Recently, September 12th, was his daughter Rebekka’s seventh birthday. It was the second birthday she has endured without her father.
For this special but painfully lonely day, he was able to send his daughter a letter from his prison cell, expressing his undying love for his children and how difficult it has been to be apart from them.
Below is the complete text of the letter of hope Pastor Saeed wrote his daughter for her birthday.
September 12, 2013
Hello to my beautiful flower Rebekka Grace,
Although this is the second year that I am absent from your birthday, I want you to know that I am with you with all of my heart, mind and soul. I cannot come to you in flesh, but my spirit is there with you on your special day.
My Beautiful Rebekka, you don’t realize how much I rejoice and weep when I see your pictures behind the glass window when my parents visit me every week in prison. I cannot believe how much you have grown and turned into a beautiful and attractive young lady in just a year.
Your hair has grown so long and is such a beautiful black color. I recently saw the picture with you holding a guitar. It is so hard and so heart breaking for me to see these pictures and to know that I am not there beside you as you grow.
I want you to know how painful it is for me that there are great forces that are preventing me, your father, to be near you and Jacob, my beautiful and fragile flowers.
Although the wounds that they inflict on me are so painful, but I can still say that I continue to bless them and ask for forgiveness for them. I would also like to know that you are doing this as well and that you are not allowing anything but Jesus and His love to consume your little hearts.
Rebekka, do you remember that every time that I would leave America and go to the Iran I would tell you that I wanted to help the little kids that did not have a mommy and daddy, or food or shelter and you would give me your old toys and clothes that you no longer wanted? Do you remember that mommy and I would tell you that God wants you to give Him your best and that you should give the toys and clothes that you loved so much? I still remember you running and grabbing your new toys and clothes that you loved so much and would give them to me to take.
Well, I want to tell you that you two are my little heroes. You have grown so much in giving that now you have given up the one person that you love and need so much in your little lives to the little kids that do not have mommies or daddies. You have given them me. And not only one or two days, but hundred and hundreds of days. You don’t even get to see a picture of me or even see me for a few short minutes. I kiss your small and delicate hands for the sacrifice you are giving.
Good job to my little heros! I came here to help the kids that did not have mommies and daddies, but my own kids lost their daddy. This breaks my heart so much. I want you to know that I did not want to put so much pressure on your little shoulders, my precious children. I was trying so hard to protect myself for you little ones. But the Iranian police lied to me that they would not arrest me. Please don’t let your little shoulders bear so much burden.
Although governments fail, I know that Jesus sees the price we are paying for Him and He will gather us together as family one day that I may see you grow up tall to be like your beautiful mommy.
I know that you are also facing hardships and persecution for Jesus in such young and tender age. That your daddy is not next to you. You like to feel his warmth embrace and see his immense love for you in his eyes. The Word of God says that persecution bring three results: 1- because of persecution and chains, there is great opportunity for the Word of God to be preached to the world. 2- Jesus says that because of persecution, we will receive the crown of Glory and it will be recorded for us in heaven. 3- Persecution helps us to grow in our character.
In order to endure these hardships and persecutions, we need to learn to be patient and to stand up for our faith and for what we believe. The Word of God says that patience makes us complete.
In this new year of your life I want you to stand strong as you have stood the previous year and be patient and endure.
With much love to my true little hero…
With kisses and wide expecting eyes...
I am proud of your little, but strong shoulders!
Above and below are some family pictures taken at the last birthdays Pastor Saeed was able to spend with his daughter.