BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (9/23/13) – When Afshin Ziafat was in the second grade, his teacher approached him with a small book in her hand. She said, "Afshin, I've been reading you all these books, but I am now giving you the most important book you will ever read in your life." She handed him a small New Testament.
Ziafat tossed the New Testament into the bottom of his closet. He was from a devout Muslim family, originally from Iran, that lived in Houston, Texas and his father was a prominent Muslim leader in the community.
This is the story that Ziafat told in the Downing Student Union auditorium on Thursday night at an event called "The Cost." This event came about when the Warren Association of Baptists decided to partner with the Western Kentucky University Baptist Campus Ministry to bring in a well-known speaker for an outreach event.
"With the rise of cultural diversity in the area, bringing in Afshin to share his story was something that needed to happen," Perry Swack, BCM President, said. "The nations have come to WKU and we want to play a part in connecting with them."
Ziafat lived as a Muslim for the next ten years until he one day used the name of Jesus in vain and a Christian brought it to his attention. He went home and found the New Testament in his closet, which he said he believes God had kept there for all the years. He began to read it and made the decision to become a Christian. This is where "The Cost" of his story began.
For a year and a half Ziafat kept his conversion a secret from his family, but his father eventually figured out something different about him. He sat him down and asked him what had happened. Ziafat then told his father of his conversion.
Ziafat's father gave him a choice. He either had to turn away from his Christian faith or become an outcast. This was difficult for him, because Ziafat said his father was the number one role model of his life.
Out of nowhere, Ziafat said to his father, "If I have to choose between you and my faith, I choose Jesus."
Ziafat's father disowned him on the spot and told him to get out of his face.
Ziafat's story continued on to him becoming a minister and he now serves as a pastor and an evangelist. His story on Thursday night was used as a means to call students in attendance to follow Jesus with their life completely, even if it cost everything.
Photo by Aaron Frasier
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