Samuel is a thirty something living in Georgia. His dark eyes and strong jawline give him a determined and handsome appearance. He is soft spoken but funny and is a loyal and encouraging friend.  He hasn’t always lived in Georgia. He only came here a couple of years ago. He grew up in the Middle East and was raised in the another faith but when he came to believe in Jesus Christ his family and his country shunned him…and threatened him with punishment.  He misses them a great deal but knows that the path that God has laid before him will be worth the sacrifice.  He no longer introduces himself by his birth name but instead has chosen to be known as Samuel.  He chose this name because he liked it but I feel that it fits so well because the more time you spend with him, the more you realize just how much God speaks to him and how good he has gotten at listening and using God’s words to encourage and instruct others.

Samuel moved to Geogia two years ago. He chose Georgia because there are only a few countries that he can travel to without a visa and he had heard that Georgia has a strong church and is a Christian nation. His desire in leaving the middle east was to find a place to study and explore God’s call on his life so he felt Georgia was the perfect place.  He has since learned that this country is not as welcoming as he had hoped. There have been interrogations by the immigration office that last hours. They have told him he has to leave but will not return his passport despite many trips to the office and a lack of explanation.  The Persian people are often treated with suspicion and anger due to a long history of war and invasion that took place millennia ago. He has worked hard to fit it, has used the trades that he learned in the army and from his father to start a small team of workers that do painting and drywall. He works hard during the day and the rest of the time, studies the Word of God and takes pastoral training classes at our center. During his time in Georgia, he says he has grown a lot. Being on his own has forced him to grow and learn in every situation.  He has learned that that growth must be focused in one area…in his relationship with Jesus. During these years in Georgia, he has really grown deep in that relationship and as a result he has developed a clear call for what God is calling him to do.

Samuel feels God is calling him in to pastoral counseling and training. When he arrived here he could not speak any English. He has worked so hard to study and learn English so he can follow God’s call in becoming a translator.  He has now received an invitation from a college in the US to come and study pastoral counseling. He still has an interview with the U.S. embassy and some other obstacles but is continuing to walk, step by step, into the future God has laid before him.  When asked what he has learned most during this time as a displaced believer his reply came quickly. “Never lose faith in God. You can lose faith in situations, you can lose faith in the things of this world…they will all pass and be replaced by new situations and things but God will always be with you. God will always build you stronger when the world is trying to tear you down.  I can never lose my faith in God…even in the worst circumstances.”



-article written by Jeff Hendrix