Living Water in the Desert: True Stories of God at Work in Iran, chapters 11-12

Chapter 11

The Reluctant Soldier (Javid, part one)

“No, I don’t want to fight in this horrible war!” Javid muttered as he held the paper before him. “I just want to study at the university! I don’t want to go kill anybody!”

But the paper he had received told him that if he didn’t go fight in the war against Iraq, he would no longer be able to buy a house or a car, study at a university, or have a job. It was an impossible situation.

The year was 1980, at the beginning of the war between Iran and Iraq, shortly after the Ayatollah had taken over the land of Iran. Every young man had to fight in the army for at least two years, whether he wanted to or not. Many didn’t want to. But they had no choice.

With very little training, Javid and his whole unit were stationed at the very worst fighting. In the heat of the fighting, only three of Javid’s group survived. He was one of the survivors.

“I’ve got to get out of here,” Javid murmured. “I’ve got to get out. I’ve got to go someplace and get some help. I’m desperate.”

       Mashhad. I’ll go to the holy city of Mashhad and pray at the tomb of Imam Reza. Somehow I’ll find some help there.


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Chapter 12

Soodmand the Shadow (Javid, part two)

Javid may have been trying to forget Pastor Soodmand. But Pastor Soodmand hadn’t forgotten him. Since he often came to meetings in Tehran now, he phoned Javid, again and again, to invite him.

“No, I can’t come. I have to study.”

“No, I can’t come. I’m working late.”

“No, I can’t come. My schedule is just too full.”

Even though Javid still held warm memories of his meeting with Pastor Soodmand, somehow now it seemed that he wanted to think of any excuse to avoid him.

One day the pastor called him and said, “Look, Javid, tell me how much you earn at your job in a month?”

Javid was surprised. “Why do you want to know?”

“Because I’ll pay you that amount to get you to come to one of our meetings.”

What kind of a man was this? He just wouldn’t stop! “I’ll come,” Javid finally said. “You don’t have to pay me.”


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