Dan Baumann spent years ministering in Muslim countries. On a two week trip to Iran he was detained at the border. Dan shares his story.
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"Me and a friend felt like we were supposed to go on a two week visit into Iran... and had a great time, and fell in love with the country and fell in love with the people."
"While we were leaving the country - it was crossing the border - we hand in our documents to be stamped out of the country and we didn't get them back. And it was about six hours later that they finally came back to us and said, 'There was a problem with your documents.'"
"And the reality is that that I had dealt with before I went like, 'What if you have a problem? What if there could be complications being an American?' It all came to the surface. And I realized 'Wow! I really could have a problem. This is for real.' In my walk with the Lord, and in many dangerous places, I've always seen God come through. And all of a sudden the thought hit me, 'Well, what if this is different?'"
"They separated me and my friend took me into another room and there they beat me for about six hours, kicking me and hitting me. After those six hours they drag me back down to the lobby where I met my friend again who had been beaten in another room. They put us in prison clothes and they blindfolded us again, and they led us down this basement and they put me into one prison cell and my friend into another one. And there I was imprisoned in Iran. It was out of my hands, there was nothing I could do. Either God would do a miracle or I would stay there."
"There was no sense of feeling God. I felt like God was far away. All I could really trust in was His character, and that His character would be true no matter what I was feeling and no matter what circumstance I was going through."
"They put me in a cell in isolation. It had a light in one corner. And that was on 24 hours a day. It was in the wintertime and there was actually snow outside, but the heater didn't work well. They only let me out of the room to be interrogated, which was once a day or sometimes not at all. And then they would lead me down this hallway and take me into the interrogation room, which was an ugly room; it had bloodstains on the floor, very dark and murky. That was definitely the most terrifying part of the whole experience. The beatings would start and they would be slapping in the face, hitting in the stomach, sometimes kicking."
"I struggled with faith, 'Was God with me? Did He love me? If God is good why would He allow me to go through this situation?' And I remember one day I woke up, and I was done inside. And I remember waking up that day thinking to myself, 'If I'm going to be here the rest of my life, why not check out?' My only thought was not to stay there, and the only way not to stay there was to die.
"I stuck my head in the sink, I filled it up. And tied one end to a bracket put it over my head and then hopefully would tie the other end tight thinking that with my head in the water in a few minutes I'd be gone."