Living Water in the Desert: True Stories of God at Work in Iran, final installment!

Chapter 17

Living Water in the Desert

In 1979 when the Ayatollah came into power in Iran, there were about four hundred Muslim-background believers (MBBs) in the country.

Later, even the president of Iran himself admitted that about four hundred Muslims were turning to Christ every single month. Some people think it’s far more than this.

More Muslims in Iran have come to Christ in the last thirty or forty years than in the thirteen hundred years that Islam has been in the country.

Persecution is continuing. Pastor Saeed Abedini, who also came to Christ from a Muslim background, through a dream and other great works of God, was arrested in 2012 for evangelizing. His wife, Naghmeh, began to travel the world speaking on his behalf, taking every opportunity she could to tell who Jesus Christ is and what He can do for hungry, thirsty souls. Many more Iranians are listening.

And more and more and more are coming to Christ.

The Living Water has been sprinkling on the land, then pouring, then gushing like a river that cannot be stopped. The thirsty people of Iran are drinking of the Living Water of Jesus Christ.


A Message from the Author

For years I’ve been hearing that a great movement of God was going on in Iran, similar to the movement we had heard about in China decades ago. Finally, when I began to research, I found story after story, with the majority of them published within the last ten years.

As I love to do, I did my best to trace the stories back to the source—where had this person heard the gospel, and then, where had that person heard the gospel? I watched the finger of God tracing a pattern throughout the country—the faithfulness of a few who were called, and took that precious gift to the hands of some, who carried it to the hands of others, who watched it, like the bread Jesus blessed in John 6, multiply more and more and more. Like the river Ezekiel passed over, we have the privilege of watching the trickling stream that flowed from their innermost beings (John 7!) become a mighty flood for the glory of God. And we stand humbled and amazed at His great work.


About the Missionaries and the Iranian Christians

Chapter 1 “A Hard, Dry Land”

Henry Martyn was a missionary to the Near East who succeeded in translating the New Testament into three different languages before was died of a fever at the age of 31 in 1812.

Chapter 2 “Kurds and the Way

Justin Perkins was the first missionary from the United States to Persia (which was later called Iran). His book Missionary Life in Persia provides much insight into the world of the Persians through the eyes of an American.

Saeed’s story is told in The Beloved Physician of Teheran, by Isaac Yonan.

Chapter 3 “Wild Woman in the Desert”

Mary Bird was a missionary in Isfahan, Persia, from 1891 until her death in 1914. Her story is found in several books, including She Went Alone: Mary Bird of Persia, by Constance Savery.

Chapters 4 and 6 “The Only Prophet That’s True” and “Stone the Victorious One”

Rajab’s and Hasan’s stories are found in Ten Muslims Meet Christ, by William Miller. I wasn’t able to discover the identity of the influential missionary in Rajab’s story, but Benjamin Badal in chapter 6 was a highly respected missionary from western Iran, of Assyrian descent, trained by Justin Perkins.

Chapter 5 “Sowing Seed in a Desert Place”

William Miller served Christ in Persia from 1919 until 1962. His stories are recounted in My Persian Pilgrimage and Tales from Persia.

Chapters 7 and 8 “Christian Dogs” and “Arise and Eat!”

Hossein Soodmand’s story is recounted on the Elam Ministries website.

Chapters 9-12 “The Mysterious Book,” “Who Is That Young Man?” “The Reluctant Soldier,” and “Soodmand the Shadow”

Mina Nevisa tells her story, and the story of her husband, Javid, in Miracle of Miracles, which you can obtain directly from them at Touch of Christ Ministries, P.O. Box 223492, Chantilly, VA 20153, or from their website at

Chapter 13 “Blood of the Martyrs, Seed of the Church”

The story of the martyrs, especially Haik Hovsepian, is told in the video A Cry from Iran, produced by Hovsepian Ministries.

Yeghnazar is a zealous and passionate Armenian Christian whose family all did much to spread the gospel in Iran. Sam eventually left his home country and set up Elam Ministries in England, a ministry that reaches Iranians for Christ through the internet.

The story of Rahin Soodmand is told on the Elam Ministries website.

 Chapters 14 and 15 “The Imam Worshiper” and “Iran Alive!”

Padina’s story is told in the book Iran: Desperate for God, published by Voice of the Martyrs. A re-enacted version of it is also available on youtube.

Hormoz Shariatz has hosted the Iran Alive! satellite program since 2001, answering the questions of seeking Muslims, and seeing thousands of them turn to Jesus Christ for salvation.

Chapter 16 “A Man on a Donkey”

Taher’s story is told on the Open Doors website, the website of Brother Andrew, the Bible smuggler.

Chapter 17 “Living Water in the Desert”

Saeed Abedini’s story is told many places on the internet. You can watch videos of his wife Naghmeh speaking in churches all over the world, passionately telling their story and speaking of the love and power of Jesus Christ.


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