Elins' Testimony

I was born in Tabriz, Iran on December 14, 1986. When I was little my family lived in Iran where 
my dad, Rev. Edmon Sarkissian was the pastor of a local Presbyterian church where he led services 
for the Assyrian and Iranian community. He was repeatedly threatened to cease from spreading the 
Word of God to Muslims, however my father refused to stop. Eventually they arrested him and sent 
him to prison. They brutally murdered several of his friends who were also pastors so it was just a 
matter of time that they would do the same to my dad. Then they began to threaten to kill our 
family as well. When the United Nations found out about the grave events that were taking place, 
they got involved and in order to subside political risks Iran was facing, they released my dad from 
prison. During that short time of his release, my parents made the brave decision to run away and 
escape persecution. Since we were blacklisted in the country, it was safest to separate from my 
father. As he escaped alone, my mother, siblings and I took a different route. After an agonizing and 
miraculous journey, we were once again united as a family in Germany. After a year in Germany, we 
were offered asylum in every country we had requested, but decided to move to the United States.

I want to share with you the night I gave my heart to Christ. The day arrived when my family finally 
reached our promised land, America. Although we entered our promised land in one piece, my 
heart was left in pieces. Upon the end of our persecution, I excepted to feel overwhelming joy, but 
instead, I felt broken and alone in a whole new world. A few years later, at the age of 13, I was 
invited to a Christian camp in Estes Park, Colorado. It was at that camp where I gave my heart to 
Christ and for the first time experienced genuine peace and joy- the kind that I was hoping for when 
my family came to America. I came back from camp, a whole new person. However, shortly after I 
lost many of my friends and was bullied in school due to my passion for Christ and daily walk with 
Him. All of this was a spiritual attack that led to severe depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. 
Eventually, because of my sorrow I began to feel as if although Jesus was God, He was a distant God 
and did not know my personal pains and battles. One night, when I could no longer bear the burden 
of my depression, I decided to take my life and end it all. As I was sitting there ready to end my life, I 
began to question God. I asked Him, “Do you see me here in this room? Have you watched over me 
my whole life? Do you know me by name”? In that moment, I noticed my stereo across from me. As I 
gazed at it, a voice inside of me told me to turn it on. So I crawled to the stereo and turned it on. As I 
held on to my last breath of any hope, I heard the words of the song say, 
             “God is watching over you. As always you are loved, whatever you go through, 
              he's right beside you. And if you think He'll ever leave you, you better think 
              again. Painted in the sky a rainbow to remind you, nothing that is broken 
              cannot be made new. He knows when you feel so far away, He's gonna keep 
              the night light on. He's waiting there to receive you. You are loved.” 

After hearing those words, I knew it was Jesus speaking to me answering the questions of my heart. 
For the first time in a long time, I felt like I could breathe. A peace that surpasses all understanding 
came over my spirit and the entire room. I put down the knife and surrendered my life once again 
this time having no doubt that Christ knows me by name and loves me to death. On that night, I 
decided to dedicate my whole life to glorify Jesus and to make His name and love known to all 
people. I believe it was that very night that God called me to serve His people through Christian 
songs. To this day, Jesus and I are the best of friends and together we have accomplished many 
things for the Kingdom of God.