An interview with the new Trans World Radio (TWR) Farsi Ministry Director. “I pray God will again be honored and praised in my country, as He was during the reign of Darius”.
At the crossroads of the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia lies the Persian-speaking world. This region is well known for its tapestry of unique culture, rich history and diverse people groups.
For over 25 years, Trans World Radio (TWR) has been speaking hope to this part of the world hand-in-hand with select partners through its radio broadcasts.
Today, TWR also shares the Good News with contextualized programs on the digital platform of TWR360.
In preparing the next steps for future ministry development to the Persian-speaking world, TWR warmly welcomes their new Farsi Ministry Director. F* was born and raised in Iran and now lives in Western Europe.
We invite you to get to know F in the following interview.
Question. F, thank you for meeting with me. Let’s begin with how you first heard about TWR.
Answer. I was already in ministry for four years when I first learned about TWR. I heard the testimonies of people coming to Christ on TWR’s evangelical radio programs. TWR was very special to me.
After a while, I met TWR members at a ministries conference and I learned more information about what they are doing. I also made a connection with fellow Iranians who were making Farsi-Iranian programs with TWR.
Q. What is your role with TWR?
A. As the new Farsi Ministry Director, I am here because we want to bring radio programs to Farsi speakers and organize the follow-up with listeners.
There is also the possibility to use social media to share the gospel. My idea is to use social media networks that are near the radio frequencies of our listeners and use social media as a way to broadcast radio programs too. This could include Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Telegram.
The possibility is to share the gospel in the Persian-speaking world and with Farsi speakers living in Turkey and Greece. I am praying to gain wisdom from the Lord that I can manage to reach them with the gospel in all these places. Our God is great.
Q. What should people know about Persian culture that can help us understand what it means to do ministry among Persian-speaking people?
A. Everyone already knows about Persian culture because it is in the books of the Bible – Nehemiah, Esther, and Daniel. The marriage of Esther was Persian, it was not a Jewish marriage because it occurred in the Persian Empire. Because of this, I think everybody knows the Persian culture.
We have a phrase, tarof, that describes the art of etiquette and respect you have for others. Iranians do not say what they feel. For example, if I ask if they are hungry, they will say no thank you, even if they need something to eat. I must ask them several times before they will say yes. It is impolite to express yourself directly. Tarof applies to everything. This is part of Iranian culture.
To do ministry among the Persian people, you must understand tarof. They may say yes to accepting Jesus because they want to show respect. You must be careful that they met Jesus and it was not just said to make you happy. You have to research and go deeper to understand if their ‘yes’ was tarof or if they had a life-changing experience.
Persian is a rich culture where hospitality is very important. But the culture is changing. My heart is to help my country see their heritage, to go back to a culture of hospitality, to love the Lord as Darius, king of Persia said in Daniel 6:26, “in my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel; For He is the living God and enduring forever.” I pray God will again be honored and praised in my country, as He was during the reign of Darius. This is my heart for my country and the Farsi speaking people – that Jesus Christ will be praised.
Q. I understand that your professional career included more than 20 years of experience in media, information technology, and missionary work.
A. God prepared me and made me ready for new things. When you are in a place where God has put you, then you understand that, that was the reason you had to have so many experiences to be here to reach people with His Word.
Q. What are you most excited about with your new role at TWR?
A. I am excited to reach more people with the gospel and to see how God gives wisdom to bring about this change to make productions. I am also excited to create discipleship for the people we are reaching. To do more for them than just passing them the gospel but helping them to walk with the Lord Jesus.
Q. What do you think will be the most challenging?
A. If something is a challenge, it is an opportunity to share this with God and ask, ‘how can God use this challenge to reach more people?’ The biggest challenge is how to bring the follow-up to have good communication and reach more Farsi speaking people while keeping in mind the security issues. I know God is going to do a wonder in this and make something that just makes us say, ‘wow!’
Q. How can we pray for you?
A. Pray for wisdom. It is most important for God to give me the wisdom to do His work and reach the Farsi speaking people. Pray that our ministry can go forward with our plans and for us to be humble in God’s hand. Please also pray for safety for me and my family.
Thank you for taking the time for this interview. Blessings to you and your ministry with TWR.
*Name has been omitted for security reasons.