“Arise, shine; for your light has come,
And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.”

— Isaiah 60:1

Starting Thursday evening, February 25, through the following evening, the Jewish holiday of Purim will be celebrated to remember the life of Esther, queen of ancient Persia. In the fifth century BC, Esther, which means star in Persian, rose up in the midst of challenges to be used mightily by God to save her people from utter destruction. Today, we would say she needed inner healing and training before being allowed to rise to such authority, having been an orphan, practically a prostitute, isolated from her people, etc. This sounds familiarly like some bold and courageous modern-day Persian women—disciples of Jesus Christ who are leaders in rapidly reproducing disciple-making movements (DMM). Actually, in their nation, this movement is primarily led by women.

Esther, also known by her Hebrew name Hadassah, was a young Jewish girl living in Persia when the Jews were in exile. When her parents died, she was raised by Mordecai, her older cousin. As time went by, the king of Persia became displeased with his queen, so he banished her forever from his presence.

After a year-long process of beauty preparations, Esther found favor in the king’s eyes, causing him to chose her as his queen. Her call to the palace and chosen position of authority ended up saving her entire family and people group from a decree of annihilation of the Jewish people. As queen, Esther’s life would have been spared from the genocide, but she stood with her people. To make her case, she needed to approach the king without being summoned—a capital offense. Yet, she acted without regard for her safety, even her own life.

In the Middle East, God is currently raising up women leaders of DMM and the underground church—modern-day Esthers in modern-day Persia—to bring the gospel of His Kingdom to a hurting nation full of hurting people, especially women. With boldness, courage and by God’s mercy, they have overcome a variety of challenges and backgrounds, including radical Shia extremism, prostitution, addiction, chronic illness, suicidal thoughts and failed attempts, abuse, rape, persecution from family for being followers of Christ, etc. They are the personification of the broken, the hurting and the hopeless—basically the nobodies of their society for whom Jesus came to bring hope, healing and life. At times, they have risked their own lives to be obedient to Christ in their words and actions. As a result, they are being used by God in miraculous and powerful ways, seeing many come to salvation, liberty and freedom in Jesus Christ.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.”

— Luke 4:18

Just as God redeemed what happened to Esther by saving an entire nation through her, in the same way, He is redeeming the life circumstances of many oppressed Muslim women through modern-day Esthers. By way of their love for God and obedience to His Word, He is saving a lost region. God is doing this mighty work in the fastest growing and largest church in the world, which happens to be in a highly-restricted nation. To learn more and hear amazing testimonies, please watch and share Sheep Among Wolves Volume II, which documents this rapidly reproducing, primarily women-led disciple-making movement inside the Middle East.

“…speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.”

— Acts 14:3

Prayer StarterS

Please join us in praying for these courageous and bold women in leadership.

  • Pray they would be hidden from those who seek to do them harm (John 8:59 and 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5).

  • Pray they would be strengthened with might in their inner man and comprehend the extent of God’s love for them (Ephesians 3:16-19).

  • Pray they would continue to be bold and courageous in sharing the gospel of the Kingdom wherever the Spirit leads (Ephesians 6:19).

Through your prayers, may we see an even greater harvest in the Persian world, including many people being set free by the power of the Lord. Jesus is the light and hope to such as these and for such a time as this.

“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel…”

— Ephesians 6:19

Thank you for praying with us.

Please visit our Prayer page for more resources, especially Sheep Among Wolves prayer guides, or for information on how to join our prayer team.

Thank you for supporting these women
in leadership.


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