This is just heartbreaking.
An American pastor Saeed Abedini, who left Iran in 2005, was arrested last year for proselytizing Christianity and building orphanages in his native country just days before he was set to return to his wife and kids in America.
He's serving eight years in a hellhole in Iran. He wrote a letter to his daughter on the occasion of her birthday.
Christian News has the text:
“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,” he wrote to his daughter this month in letter for her September 12th birthday. “It is so hard and so heartbreaking for me to see these pictures and to know that I am not there beside you as you grow.”Please remember that being a Christian is still the most dangerous thing in the world. Please remember this family in your prayers as well as all those who suffer for their faith.
“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,” Abedini continued. “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.”...
“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,” Abedini wrote. “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.”
“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,” he continued. “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. … Love, Daddy.”