Dove is a poster child for how the Lord has used the partnership we have with thousands of people to transform Iran. Many Iran Alive leaders can share dramatic stories of how Jesus completely changed their lives. Here is her’s:
“As far back as I remember, I lived under the oppressive spirit of fear. I felt rejected by my mother and was physically abused by my father, whom I loved dearly despite his abuse.
In addition, I was constantly under mental and physical attacks by demons. As a child, I was often sick and mentally unstable. When I became a teenager, it got worse. On several occasions, I got so bad that my parents wanted to put me in a mental hospital. When I turned 18, I took a course on fortunetelling and witchcraft. I became a medium and could talk to the dark spirits.
I always wanted to be an actor. So, I got admission to an acting school. There I met my husband, Ali, who was also an actor. We got married and for the first time, I felt loved and accepted by someone. For the first time in my life, I felt happy.
But then it happened. First, my father passed away, and as I was grieving his loss, my beloved husband died in a car accident. In a short time, the only two people in the world I loved and who loved me were taken from me.
After that, I had no reason to live. I attempted suicide by swallowing poison. But they rescued me, and I was in coma for three days. I was under suicide watch 24 hours a day.
The hospital allowed me to smoke, so I smoked many cigarettes a day so I would get cancer fast and die. I started wearing black clothes all the time and even painted my room black. I felt the color black correctly reflected my life and how I felt.
As a Muslim, I believed this was all God’s fault and he was punishing me. But punishing me for what? So, to please him, I started doing my Namaz (Islamic ritual prayer) five times a day. But in the beginning and the end of my recited prayers, I would demand, ‘God kill me, take my life.’ I was angry at him.
Then I heard that my nephew, Reza, had become a Christian. He had come to Christ through a lady called Hana. He insisted that I talk to her. When I met Hana, she said that she was the pastor of an underground church and that her own pastor was Dr. Shariat from Shabakeh7 (the name of Iran Alive’s satellite channel). When she shared about a loving God who loves me more than my own father and late husband, the message resonated with my soul. My heart melted. I prayed to receive Christ the same day. I was changed in an instant.
Promptly, I started sharing Christ with my friends and family members. They were astonished and could see that something powerful had miraculously changed me. In a matter of two months, my sister, brother, and several aunts became Christians. I was trained by Shabakeh 7 to be a leader and started a house church. In two years, I led 30-40 people to the Lord and started several underground house churches.
But suddenly, trouble came. Several people in our house church were arrested by the Islamic government, and I had to flee for my life. I went to another city in the north of Iran where I had some relatives.
But then I got arrested. During long interrogation sessions, they tried to break my spirit. But Jesus was with me, and I was calm and even happy. I showed love to my interrogators by asking about how they were and about their families. This made them mad because they wanted to break my spirit and felt that they had failed their mission.
They set a court date for me. But I did not show up and fled to a big city. There I was called by Iran Alive leadership to serve with them online. They trained me and put me in charge of online prayer and counseling ministry. Later, I was promoted to be in charge of training pastors and counselors.
Now about my name. I chose ‘Dove’ because when I was depressed and suicidal, all my clothes and my whole life were black and dark. Today, I wear mostly white clothes because now, in Christ, I am happy.”