‘When They Come to Take Mom Away’—Preparing My Daughter for Persecution in Iran
'How could I live not knowing how my daughter was doing?'
Being incarcerated for your faith is one thing. But what would happen to your child if you were taken away? A mother in Iran (No. 9 on the World Watch List) shares how she prepared her daughter for the day persecution arrived at their door.
I knew the day would come … the day they would ring my doorbell and take me and my husband to prison. Although everyone around me thought I was a housewife, I was, in fact, involved in full-time ministry. The authorities were bound to find out.
We started preparing our daughter Lily* for persecution when she was still in primary school: “When they come and take mom and dad away, don’t worry,” we told her. “The Bible tells us it is normal to be persecuted as believers. They will take us to prison, ask us some questions, and hit us. Then we will come back.”
THE DAY IT HAPPENED: persecution in iran
It was an early winter morning when the authorities came to our house. Lily was 12 at the time and had already left for school. They searched everything. Then they ordered my husband and me to come with them.
On the way to prison, I thought about Lily and how she would know what to do when my sister picked her up from school and told her—Lily would pray for us. And when she was afraid, she would pray more.
In prison, my husband and I were split up. I was allowed to call Lily four times a week. I was interrogated daily; soon, they found my weak point. My little girl.
I told them everything they wanted to know about myself, but I refused to give the names of others. “Okay,” they told me, “as long as you won’t give names, you can’t call your daughter.”
PLACING MY LILY IN HIS HANDS
“I was devastated. Back in my cell, I couldn’t stop crying. I knew that I did the right thing. Yet how could I live without knowing how my daughter was doing? How could she be comforted without hearing my voice?
While I was praying, suddenly I felt a warm wind stroking my cheeks.
“Take it in,” I heard the Lord saying.
With every breath of warm air I took, I felt my body being filled with joy. In fact, I couldn’t sit anymore. I had to dance for joy and praise God. It lasted all night. All night, I was dancing for the Lord, until the next morning God was giving me the strength to put my beloved daughter in His hands.
Not long after, I was released, as was my husband … through tears, I saw my Lily’s face again. She told me that she had been praying a lot for us. Spending these times in prayer and trusting the Lord in everything was a completely new experience for her.
In hindsight, Lily says that she never grew more in her faith than during that time we were in prison. I prepared my Lily for what would happen when her parents were taken away. And I learned to put my Lily in the hands of the Lord, and He took care of her in miraculous ways.”
*representative name and photo used for security reasons