There are central things in Danial Andaveh’s life where he would like to see the mighty hand of God displayed, and where it hasn’t happened yet. He is still waiting for permanent residence in Australia. He has lived here for nine years, since the age of fourteen or fifteen, having fled with his family from Iran. He lives with daily uncertainty. So life is not always happy.

“I’ve fought with God, been angry with God, have childish arguments with God. I say, ‘Come on, if you can do it, why not do it now?’ But in the midst of that, deep down, I get this image. It’s David, the king of Israel, trapped in a cave, his enemies attacking him. The mighty hand of God rescues him at the last moment. God helps him as he’s crying out to God. God showed up in the last split moment. I’ve had moments like that: I think I’m going to give up. Every time, at the last split moment, God has shown up.”

Once someone told Danial that God only helps you through other people. But he has experienced miracles without human explanation.

Soon after he became a Christian, when he was driving, a voice told him to slow down. He did. A motor bike shot out from a side road so close he saw the rider’s eyes.

“If I’d not slowed down I’d have killed him.”

He was sure the voice was the word of God.

In his early days as a Christian believer he was far from sorted in his lifestyle. Many of his old habits still stuck to him. Yet he reckoned that God did intervene clearly at times. Once as an eighteen year old he had drunk too much. He was headed for an RBT. What to do? A conviction could land an asylum seeker in deep strife.

“I said to Jesus, ‘Help me. I’ve picked you. Let me get through this. I’ll try better than to do this again.’”

He was not expecting prayer to work.

“All the cops hung around another car. They let me go. So I said, ‘Thanks be to God.’ Next day I totally forgot it.

“Would you believe a month or so later the same thing happened? I said, ‘Jesus, I know I promised last time. This time I promise truly.’

“The cop was choosing which car to stop and he didn’t choose me. I prayed, ‘I’m gonna be a good kid now.’ I didn’t do it again!”

In 2019 he gave a year of his life as a pastor at Sunset Rock, with a heart for young people.

“The help God gives me comes in many different forms. I look at Jesus and at what he went through, his not happy moments. He was killed for my sins. This works as a sort of medicine for me. God went through this. A Middle-Eastern man with a beard (like me), a refugee, slapped, humiliated — I’ve felt like that. He really resonates with me. It calms me down.

“This help comes in many forms. I don’t have equal rights in my situation. Yet if it wasn’t for that I’d not have been a Christian. God used my brokenness. Without my brokenness I’d have walked from Jesus by now. So, really, he’s always helping me.”