Saeed on His Freedom: 'Today Was Like the First Day of My Life'
Pastor Saeed Abedini is planning to meet his wife and two children on Monday, after his safe arrival in North Carolina Friday.
Samaritan's Purse snapped some of the first images of him as he stepped off the plane in North Carolina. He was surrounded by his mother, father, and sister, and joined by evangelist Franklin Graham.
Abedini will spend time at Graham's retreat center in Asheville, North Carolina. His wife, Naghmeh, said earlier this week that she and their two children will be joining him there.
Click play to watch Pastor Saeed reunite with Rev. Franklin Graham, his parents, and his sister for the first time.
Saeed was released over the weekend along with four other Americans in exchange for Iranians held in the United States.
His wife Naghmeh gave the latest update on her Facebook page.
"Saeed will be landing on American soil Thursday evening. He will spend a few days with his parents and then the kids and I will join him on Monday," she wrote.
Saeed Abedini with his mother, sister and father. Courtesy Samaritan's Purse.
Naghmeh has been open about marital troubles she and Saeed experienced over the years. Because of those issues, along with his need to recover from years of mental and physical trauma in a harsh Iranian prison, she said they will need much time to heal.
"Please pray for us as we will be spending weeks or possibly months healing as a family and going through counseling. I am thankful for Franklin Graham for coming along side our family through these next steps of the difficult journey ahead," she said.
"I am believing in a miracle for our marriage. We need your prayers more than ever. The enemy wants to bring division and destruction. Please pray that we can heal and move forward united as a family," Naghmeh continued.
Saeed Abedini and his family with Rev. Franklin Graham. Courtesy Samaritan's Purse.
Meanwhile, Saeed is speaking out about what it's like for him to finally be free.
Jay Sekulow, with the American Center for Law and Justice, spoke by phone with Saeed while he was receiving medical treatment at a U.S. military hospital in Germany.
"I'm doing great," Pastor Saeed told him. "Today was like my first day of my life. I felt like I was born again... Like I was born again, again."
The ACLJ has worked on Saeed's behalf to advocate for his freedom since he was thrown in prison by the Iranian regime for charges relating to his Christian faith.
Rev. Franklin Graham with Saeed Abedini. Courtesy Samaritan's Purse.