It was the kind of call Cyrus Khorsani prayed never to receive. Fifteen of his house church leaders in Iran had been arrested by local police. As he hung up the phone, his mind flashed back to a similar call he had received 10 years earlier, when he heard a friend’s voice warn him not to return home. That night, though many of his brothers and sisters in Christ were arrested and sent to prison, Cyrus and his family had a chance to flee Iran.
Before going into exile, he had been bold, perhaps reckless, for the sake of God’s kingdom. As a taxi driver, Cyrus shared his faith with countless passengers, handing out Bibles and inviting people to church. He’d even led dangerous treks to his country’s border to help smuggle Bibles into Iran. But now it was his spiritual children who were at risk—believers he’d discipled, as Paul had done in Corinth and Ephesus.
After arriving in the U.S., Cyrus knew his earthly family would be safe, but his heart was restless. He was filled with a sense of helplessness and began to resent his safety. How could he continue equipping his spiritual family in Iran?
Thanks to modern technology, he soon found a way to disciple a network of house church leaders from afar. And every year or so, he gets to meet with these men and women face-to-face, hosting them in a neutral country and providing them with resources like the In Touch Messenger.
He’d even led dangerous treks to his country’s border to help smuggle Bibles into Iran.
Cyrus knows that the audio Bible will encourage his Christian brothers and sisters to carry on God’s work with boldness. Filled with the Scriptures and key discipleship content from Dr. Stanley—including sermons on how to face adversity—this device provides comfort in times of difficulty and danger. And because of its discrete format, the Messenger is able to escape the notice of local police during surprise inspections or house raids, when all physical Bibles are often confiscated.
When Cyrus left Iran, he thought his greatest days of ministry were over. Yet God has multiplied those hundreds of converts into hundreds of thousands. Iran was one of the most unreached countries in the world. But today, thanks to people like Cyrus, there are many mature spiritual leaders who continue to produce disciples, making the house churches of Iran some of the fastest growing in the world.
Photograph by Audra Melton