Steve and Diana (not their real names) are from northern Iran. They were born and raised Shiite Muslims. Diana was forced into an arranged marriage at 11 years old to a 40 year old man. It was, as you can imagine, a traumatic experience. She fled from him when she was 17. Her family would not take her back and forced her into another arranged marriage, but before that happened she got an unexpected phone call from a man named Steve. Steve told her that a taxi driver had given him this number and was told to call. Steve didn’t know why he was calling but thought that God had wanted him to obey and do so. Steve told her that she should not allow anyone, like the taxi driver, to give out her number. It was dangerous. Diana was rude on the phone and told him that she knew what dangerous was and wondered if he knew what danger was. She didn’t know that Steve had come to faith in Jesus a few years earlier after praying for a Bible and praying to be welcomed into a church. For years he would go to a church in his city that was for ethnic Christians and ask to be allowed to come inside. They refused him week after week, year after year.
Finally someone gave him a New Testament. After work on the day he received the New Testament he began to read it. He read it literally all night and finished the New Testament at 6 AM. He gave his life to Jesus who had been wooing him for years. Steve began to tell others about Jesus and started a house church. This is how Steve knew what danger was. The police had told him to stop sharing with Muslims about Jesus but he couldn’t. Steve asked Diana how much money she needed to be set free from her impending arranged marriage; he would bring her whatever he could. She finally said to Steve, “I don’t want your money; I want your God.” Steve shared with Diana the Gospel and she too gave her heart to Jesus. By faith, she refused the arranged marriage. Her family, twice shamed now, was furious. Steve went with her to talk to them and led many of them (her parents and siblings) to Christ and started a house church among them. Steve and Diana married. They continued to lead secret house churches for 8 years inside Iran until finally they had to flee for their safety with their two year old daughter. They arrived in Turkey and lived there as refugees for two and a half years. While there, they continued to minister to other refugees from Iran and Afghanistan. Steve led a well-known Afghani mullah (Muslim preacher) to faith in Christ. This former mullah and now Christ follower is still in Turkey. Steve, Diana and their daughter recently moved to Seattle, WA where they felt God had called them to minister to Iranian Muslim immigrants.