Elías entered the world through a traumatic birth with forceps—the first of many traumas he would endure. Raised in a classic Islamic family in the Middle East, Elias was taught to fear his father, who treated him and his mother cruelly. He was sexually abused by a relative, burned with boiling water at 10 years old, suffered a ruptured eardrum, and was forced into summers of hard labor in a metal factory. Yet he still had the best grades in his class. By age 13, he suffered his first out of body trance due to the extreme psychological traumas he endured.
Abandoned to his fate
At age 14, his father forced him and an older relative to travel to Turkey to escape their country’s wartime conditions. For several months, they lived in a squalid underground hideout, sleeping on the floor and eating scraps. Finally, they secured a tourist visa to Spain, where Elías lived with a Spanish family. After his relative moved to another city to study, Elías was left alone, suffering psychotic attacks, and having almost no money and no knowledge of Spanish—abandoned to his fate.
Pursued by God
Yet God was with Elías, preparing a future that would bring hope. Elías gradually learned Spanish and, although his studies were extremely difficult for him, he excelled at them and dreamed of attending university. His search for meaning led him to consider the claims of Christianity.
“I bought a Bible, started reading it, and was relieved, encouraged, and attracted by the abundant amount of all the good that was promised in it. However, my psychological disorder kept haunting me, to such an extent that I had already set out to plan my own suicide so that I could be free from it forever.”
He accepted an invitation to a Protestant church and began studying the Bible more intensely.
“My confidence was growing as I struggled to believe that God had created me, that Jesus Christ loved me and was with me everywhere and every instant, and that He would soon return to take [believers] with him to Heaven. I became a Christian, was baptized, and began attending church regularly.”
Finding a new family
BMM missionaries Kent and Belén Albright met Elías when he was holding a “House of Prayer” in his apartment. The Albrights’ church became his new family. With an IQ of 150, Elías earned an AA in Theology and became proficient in Spanish and English, in addition to his native languages. He published a book on doctrine and many articles on theological subjects. He continues to battle his complex psychological disorders which, sadly, have resulted in a failed marriage and many other lost opportunities.
Sharing Christ by every means
Elías has since moved from the Albrights’ city, but their church still considers him part of their fellowship and men’s group. Despite the abuse he suffered from his father, Elías cared for him as he died of cancer, and he continues to care for his blind, elderly mother. Although she and his brother (who live with him) are scandalized by his evangelism efforts, Elías faithfully seeks every means possible to share Christ with Muslims from his background. He has developed a YouTube (https://youtu.be/xy3ouvSoVOg) and Instagram ministry offering evangelistic Bible studies and music in the Farsi language. The number of viewers is growing exponentially as word spreads.
A light to the nations
God is using Elías to be a light to the nations. Much like Paul to the Galatian churches, Elías can say, “You know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the Gospel to you” (Gal. 4:13). Praise God for Elías’ life, testimony, and ministry—all of which are trophies to God’s grace and His intentional design in the affairs of men!