Stories from the front line
Every day we hear more stories of the powerful ways God is moving in the Persian-speaking world.
The testimonies below - while wonderful - are not unique. Ordinary people are having encounters with our extraordinary God and joyfully sharing them with us.
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Amirhossein: “Evangelism is part of my DNA, thanks to Elam’s three-month training.”
“For me, the most challenging teaching during Elam’s three-month leadership course was on evangelism. If we had just done classes, it would have been fine. But our teachers made us actually do it! I was shy. Telling total strangers about Jesus was not my idea of fun.
I argued with the course leaders. But they were firm: “It’s our job to go and share the Gospel.”
The first time, I had no idea what would happen…read more
Hassan: “I wanted to win Europe for Islam. But then I was invited to a church.”
“I grew up in a devout family and wanted the whole world to become Muslim. So, in 2005 I left Iran with a mission to convert Europeans, taking my wife Shirin with me. In a city close to the Iranian border, we met a man who invited us to an Iranian church. Every week he invited us. Every week we refused. Then I found out the church was full of Muslim converts. I was angry. That week I went to see these people who had left Islam. I was surprised to find the church full of smiling faces.…read more
Keyvan: “the Bible changed my life.”
When I was about 14, I saw my brother reading a book covered with newspaper and then hiding it in his cupboard. Secretly, I went to his cupboard and found the book. It was a little red New Testament. When I opened it, it was to James 3. I began to read and it spoke to me right away because it was in Farsi and I could understand it. I found it so interesting, but I knew if my brother found out that I had gone through his stuff I would be in trouble…read more
Laleh: “God saved our lives through a Christian kids TV show.”
“From a young age, I was sexually abused by my brother. My parents knew, and told me to remain silent for his honor. When I became pregnant at age 16, I was forced to give up my daughter for adoption – again for my brother’s honor. I married to escape my family, unaware my husband was also abusive. Then I had another daughter, Ariyana. When Ariyana was just seven years old, I could bear life no longer.…read more
Maleki: “Guilt robbed me of joy. Then I attended a discipleship conference.”
As a teenager, mosque leaders saw my devotion to Islam and recruited me for Iran’s fanatical Islamic police, the Basij. I rose through the ranks and became a trusted informant and cameraman. When the 2009 Green Movement erupted, I was given a special assignment: photographing protesters on the street from a rooftop. Girls, boys, women, men, old and young – we photographed them all. We would hand in the pictures. In less than 24 hours, they were arrested…read more
Bahar: “For Iranian women, Jesus changes everything.”
It’s great to be a woman. And it’s great to be an Iranian. But, it is really hard to be a woman in Iran. A woman in Iran has little identity and security. As an Iranian woman, you are forced to cover up. You shouldn’t look joyful because people will judge you. You rarely get encouragement. Praise belongs to men…read more
CHILDREN & YOUTH
16-year-old Mojgan: “We are the new generation of Christ-followers, and we want to stand firm.”
My father was a devout Muslim. His plan was to go to Europe to convert Europeans. But, on the way to Europe, my parents were invited to church in a little city on the Iranian border. Through the witness of that church, my parents came to the Lord and were transformed. My father, previously bitter and violent, is now gentle, caring and wise. My mother, previously worn down by anxiety, is very loving and always knows how to make us laugh…read more
BOOKS AND RESOURCES
Rana: “Christian books are precious treasure.”
My father was a drug addict, so our home was not a stable or happy one. Books were my escape. My dream was to study and get a good education. But my family had other plans. When I was 14, my father arranged my marriage. I had no say. It was miserable. After just 17 days, I discovered my husband had begun a ‘temporary marriage’ with another woman...read more
MINISTRY AMONG REFUGEES
Arash: “I was a drug-smuggler. Now I’m an evangelist.”
I was a refugee in Europe, making a living by smuggling drugs and working with organized criminal groups. In spite of great wealth, my life spiraled downwards in misery and violence. Then I found myself convicted of a very serious crime. In a waiting room during my trial, I took a Persian New Testament from a friend who had received it from a street evangelist. Inside the jail, I started reading and Christ revealed the way of salvation to me. I put my trust in Jesus and my life was completely changed…read more
ADVOCACY & RELIEF
Christian prisoner’s letter from prison: “I sense your prayers as a cool breeze on my heart.”
Farshid Fathi was imprisoned in Iran for five years because of his church-planting ministry. He sent this letter to his spiritual father after serving a couple of years of his sentence. His letter shows how the prayers of the global church bless and encourage those in prison…read more