For Such a Time as This: Iranian Woman Shares the Gospel With Other Iranian Women, Helps Them See Their True Identity in Christ

By Nancy Flory Published on February 24, 2023

“I lost hope and purpose and everything,” Lily Meschi, Director of Partners Relations for Iran Alive Ministries, says. She grew up in Iran in a nominal Muslim family. “We had a great life in Iran,” Lily told The Stream in an interview. Then her family moved to Germany when she was a teenager. Not long after, her father, who was working in the U.S., arranged a marriage for 18-year-old Lily with a business partner 14 years her senior. The man was abusive to Lily. She had no hope. “My life was already ruined.”

A Second Chance

One day, she was driving to college. “I was thinking to myself and I was praying. I was like, ‘Oh, God, I wish I had a do over. I wish I could have my life start all over again.'”

The next week, her parents asked her to come over to visit with some friends of the family. When she walked in, she felt calm and peaceful. “When I entered my parents’ house, there was this sense of joy and love that I had never, ever, not even when we were in Iran experienced.”

The friends of the family were Christians. They all watched the Jesus film. After it was over, one of the girls there said, “Lily, did you know, if you accept Jesus in your heart as your Lord and Savior, He will make all things new?” Lily was stunned. It was an answer to her prayer.

The girl shared two Scripture verses in the Bible with Lily. When she finished, tears were rolling down Lily’s face. She prayed to accept Christ in her life. “I just knew that I knew that I knew at that point that Jesus was my Lord and Savior. I just knew that if anyone could pull me out of the dungeon that I was in, [it] was going going to be Jesus.”

‘Not My Daughter’s Cross to Carry’

She began attending church and watching Iran Alive Ministries; specifically Dr. Hormoz Shariat’s preaching. Within months, her whole family had become Christians. But it wasn’t easy for Lily. Still married, by this time she had a daughter. The abuse in the home continued until one day she decided she couldn’t live like that anymore. 

“I got the revelation really that this isn’t going to work. I tried everything I could to save the marriage, but I couldn’t. [A]fter I came to faith, I felt like, ‘Okay, this guy is my cross to carry. This is my assignment from God that I need to help him, give him the opportunities to grow, all of that. And so I was like, ‘Well, I’m willing to, if this is my cross to carry, I’m willing to carry it.’

“But then I was like, ‘but that’s not my daughter’s cross to carry.’ I have a responsibility to protect her. So the Lord really set me free from all of that.”

‘I’m Not Going to Say No’

She began to volunteer for Iran Alive Ministries. One day Dr. Shariat asked Lily to come on staff. She refused. When he pressed her, she agreed to fast and pray. After many days of fasting and praying she said yes. She wanted to minister to others and help lead them to Christ. 

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“I’m not going to say no to what the Lord is calling me to. This is a very historic time for Iran. And you know, if He wants me to be a part of this history making, I’m not going to say no to it … It’s a huge privilege for me to be able to just work alongside [Dr. Shariat] and [bring] the good news to Iranian and Farsi speaking people now.”

Helping Women Discover Their True Identity

One of her roles involves helping Iranian women discover their true identity in Christ. Lily explained:

My desire is to, really, every time I am on camera, every time I’m ministering to them through the broadcast, is to really help Iranian women realize their identity in Christ — knowing who they are, their value and what He has called them to be. Iranian women are really squashed and crushed and don’t really have a voice. And I myself was a victim of it. They have been oppressed for so long culturally and politically. So, my desire is to really bring that understanding and knowledge about who Christ has called us to be, and really shed light to their identity, their true identity in Christ.

Not only does Lily help bring awareness of Iran Alive Ministries in the West, she reaches women through the ministry’s broadcasts, programming that reaches 6 million Iranians every day. It’s one of the most watched Christian channels in Iran. 

‘They are Deeply Loved’

Lily has a message for Iranian women. “[T]hey are deeply loved by God and they are valuable in the eyes of God. That every single one of them is unique in the sight of God and is created for a very valuable purpose in life. They just need to find that value in Him in through knowing Him intimately and be equipped by Him and through His Spirit to do exactly what He has created them to do. And they can only find that through knowing Christ.”

Women are Coming to Christ

Since Lily began working with Iran Alive Ministries, many more women have come to Christ. “We have seen, in general, more Iranian women come to faith and have the desire to be equipped and mobilized in our ministry than men.”

Iran Alive Ministries offers discipleship classes for those who have come to faith. “We begin discipling them through the online churches or underground churches. Those that have a desire to really take it to the next level, we have a training school, discipleship training school that helps them know their spiritual gifts and help[s] us know how to mobilize them based on those gifts.” The number of women they’ve been able to mobilize is twice as many as men. 

Lily added that the programming is effective, but they still have room to grow — especially to make the program more focus driven for women. “You know, we have more women serving leaders in our ministry than we have men, which is amazing to me.”

Lily has been with Iran Alive Ministries since 2021. “And every single day that I’m there, the Lord just confirms to me that all those things that I have learned [in her career and in Bible college] we are using to really bring the good news to Iranians and Farsi speaking people. [Those things] are coming together for me as to why He has trained me — for such a time as this.”

Watch Lily’s testimony:


Nancy Flory, Ph.D., is a senior editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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