Only days ago, we received the following email from a viewer inside Iran. What struck me deeply, was her proclamation, “Our God is not a God of depression, but He is the God of joy!” To you and I, this may seem like a sweet, but logical conclusion that any Believer would make. I want you to know that this is nothing short of miraculous coming from a former Muslim… particularly a woman!
Depression and suicide are pandemic in Iran, especially among women who have virtually no value in an Islamic Theocracy where they are treated with disdain and cruelty. For Bahar (name changed to protect her identity) to draw this conclusion and embrace the identity of a valued daughter of the living God is one of the most tangible evidences we see of life transformation.
Here is her email:
Hello Dear ones,
I thank God for all of you at Network 7 for walking with the strength of the Lord. There is one thing that gives me a lot strength and it is that all of you always have smiles on your faces and are joyful.
I have decided to walk with the strength and joy of the Lord this week and receive my strength from Him. I want to claim the truth as to what an incredible God I have and what amazing things He is doing for me. I have come to know that our God is not a God of depression, but He is the God of joy and wants His children to live peace and joy! You prayed a prayer a few weeks ago and said that God cares about our tears and collects them with His hands. This strengthened me and made me realize that God is next to me, which I do not take it for granted. I proclaim that my God is a living God and close to me.
I felt like I should email this to you and tell you that I love you guys so much.
May the joy of the Lord be with you.
Please join me in praying for Bahar to be joined by millions of other Persian women who will encounter the living hope found only in Christ and find their value in the finished work of the cross for them.
Recently, I received a touching email from one of our Church 7 members via our Counseling Center Ministry. God is penetrating the hearts of Iranians unlike any other time in history. Amir is being transformed through hearing God’s Word and applying it’s teachings to his life. Here is what he wrote to me:
Dear Pastor Hormoz,
I would like to share a testimony regarding the topic of the Samaritan woman, which you have been preaching about for the past few weeks.
I always tried to have a good relationship with my family and others, but it had been so difficult for me and I prefer to be alone because these relationships have caused me so much sadness and stress in the past.
When I heard the sermon, Christ met me like He met the Samaritan woman and changed my life. I now love to meet new people, spend time with my family and I even love my enemies. It is so strange, but I do not feel like I did before and I am not upset with anyone anymore.
I have a joy that comes from the inside and I like to transfer this joy to others. I really receive more than I give and I enjoy these relationships with people in ways that I never thought I could. Now I understand what life is really all about.
Thank you for teaching God’s Word to me. I am grateful for you all.
Please join me in continuing to pray that millions of Iranians will be transformed by the Word of God, just like Amir!
Convicted by the challenge to operate in the work environment as salt and light to those around her, without engaging in dishonest practices common in the professional climate, this businesswoman began to share her struggles with the tension of her “Work” persona, and her “Christian” identity.
As we worked through this complex issue, I asked her how she became attracted to Christ in the first place. Her answer, while not uncommon, encouraged and astonished me nonetheless.
Realizing that Islam only instills hopelessness and fear in people, she began a search for something else. She knew that if there was a God, He simply could not be like the distant, uncaring God she knew from Islam.
After trying Zoroastrianism, an ancient Persian religion based on pantheistic beliefs, she decided to look for a Bible. If you know anything about Iran and the government restrictions surrounding any non-Muslim religious activity, you understand that finding a Bible is a difficult and dangerous task.
She decided to try a small bookstore. Cautiously and with much fear, she quietly asked the owner if he happened to know where she might be able to find a small Bible.
Shocked, the owner looked around the store and waited until no one else was around and asked, “What do you want with a Bible?”
She explained that she wanted to find out more about Jesus and didn’t know where else to look. Disappearing to the back of the shop for a few moments, the owner returned and said, “I have one.” He handed her the Bible and within days, she was transformed into a Follower of Christ!
My staff is working to translate the video, which I will post so that you can see firsthand, this amazing testimony.
God is about the business of transforming Iran into a Christian nation in this generation! What a privilege to see it happen before our very eyes.