Gandom, who is 27, was born paralyzed in both arms and one leg. She grew up in a deeply devout Muslim family, including eight uncles trained in Islamic seminaries.
Because of her disability, Gandom sought to know God at a young age. But the God she sensed comforting her in her loneliness was different than the God her uncles described to her. She questioned why the God of Islam would create her and set His Spirit within her yet send her to hell if one hair fell out of her scarf. And set gates that opened at a certain time and permit her to speak to Him only at specific points of the day.
“That was not the God I found in me,” Gandom says.
For years, she wrestled with these contrasting ideas of who God is. One day she was riding a bus, pondering her questions about God, when a woman sitting in front of her asked why she seemed so preoccupied.
“There are two Gods in me,” she responded in a humorous tone, “and I am thinking about which one to choose.”
The woman smiled, reached into her bag, pulled out a book that told the Gospel story, and handed it to Gandom.
“Read this,” the woman suggested. “It will tell you which one to choose.”
When she reached home, Gandom began reading. She finished the book just before midnight. “My whole body was frozen, and my heart was pounding,” she recalls. “I was surprised that in one evening, I had reached the answers to all my questions.”
Gandom’s search for more about this Gospel message led her to purchase a satellite dish so she and her mother could watch Iran Alive’s broadcasts. Her mother followed her in becoming a Christian.
Twice, one of Gandom’s uncles informed Gandom of a temporary marriage arranged for her.
The first time, she and her mother fled Tehran, moving from city to city to avoid being located. When Gandom was 25, she received word that the planned marriage had been called off. She and her mother returned to Tehran and found a community of believers to meet with.
Then she learned of the second arranged marriage. This time, she escaped alone to a faraway village.
“When I entered this village,” she says, “I cried a lot. I was heartbroken and kept asking the Lord, ‘Why did You send me to this place without my mom, alone and helpless?’”
She soon found her answer.
“I am the light in this village,” she says.
Gandom has led four people in the village to accept Christ as their Savior, and the five have formed a house church.
“We are like a light on the top of a mountain,” she says, “and our light is seen by all people here.”