The wife of imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini sent a letter to her husband on the day of their 11th wedding anniversary, describing the "excruciating pain" she's in without him while he's being held inside an Iranian prison because of his Christian faith.
"For 1,007 days I have remembered you in prayer and felt your pain. For 1,007 days I have been in prison with you as your wife and soul mate. Each night I have struggled with anxiety and a sense of urgency that we need to get you out," Naghmeh's letter reads.
"Each night that I have laid my head on our bed, I have hugged your empty spot and have wept myself to sleep. Each morning I have woken up with an excruciating pain to my new reality without you. I have prayed. Oh how I have prayed."
She adds that she has held prayer vigils every year on their anniversary while the pastor has been held in an Iranian prison, to let him know that he is not forgotten.
"This year we are doing another one on Sept. 26 to mark the three years of your imprisonment" she says of another prayer vigil.
"This year as my gift to you, the focus will not just be praying for you and the persecuted church, but also for something that is dear to your heart — something that you have mentioned in your recent letter and something that you have mentioned in each prison visit — something that you are praying for daily. This year we will also be praying for revival in America."
Tuesday of last week marked the 1,000th day the pastor has spent in prison, with faith groups throughout America observing the occasion by displaying flowers before the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C.
The pastor, an American citizen, is serving an eight-year prison sentence for his Christian faith, but has been supported by a major campaign calling for his release signed by people around the world.
Over 1 million people have signed the American Center for Law and Justice's online petition calling for his freedom, while Naghmeh has spoken before Congress a number of times to urge the U.S. government to do more to free her husband.
The ACLJ, which represents Naghmeh and the couple's two children, has noted the importance of the ongoing nuclear deal negotiations between Iran and a number of Western countries, including the U.S., and said that the opportunity must be used to pressure the Islamic Republic for Abedini's release.
While a deadline for the talks was initially set back in April for June 30, no deal has yet been finalized, and the negotiations are set to continue for an unspecified number of days.
"The extension signifies an extended opportunity for our government to arrange Saeed's release — an opportunity I pray our government will not take lightly or let slip through the cracks," Naghmeh said.