Each time Louise Mokhof sits down to tape an episode of the SAT-7 PARS program Sarah’s Daughters, her prayer is that she would be able to help yet another woman in Iran come to know her own identity as God’s beloved.
For two seasons now, the program has proven to be revelatory for women inside Iran where so many aspects of society negatively shape a woman’s identity. In Iran, many women are working to overcome discrimination and inequality, such as being legally entitled to only half the inheritance as a male counterpart. Some estimate the rate of domestic abuse to be as high as 66%, meaning two out every three people. [Source: Iran Red Crescent Medical Journal] SAT-7 receives messages from survivors of abuse who find their hope in Christ on SAT-7 PARS.
Those who tune in to Sarah’s Daughters via satellite channel or on YouTube hear the truth about their identity and other teachings from the Bible.
“By presenting the truth, somehow we direct their attention to the right source,” Mokhof said. “Then through that they understand ‘Oh, how far we’ve been misled.’”
The 30-minute SAT-7 program draws its name from 1 Peter 3:6, which says “like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.”
Mokhof focuses on a women’s identity in Christ because she knows it’s often the first thing Satan targets.
“If he can win that battle, he doesn’t need to do anything else,” she said.
Mokhof knows well the issues Iranian women face. She and her husband, Feridan Mokhof, left the country 31 years ago. Since then, they’ve tirelessly served the underground church in Iran. Today, from the United Kingdom, they oversee a network of 700 house churches.
CAPITAL OF PLASTIC SURGERY
During her time in ministry, she has witnessed another way Iranian women struggle with their identity: Iran’s obsession with cosmetic surgery. Mokhof calls it the “capital of plastic surgery.”
As the Islamist society pressures women to cover everything but their face in public, women focus heavily on their face. As a result, Mokhof said many women now share uniform facial features.
“That shows just how unhappy they are with who they are,” she said. “This is a psychological thing.”
A BACKGROUND OF PAIN
To help counsel viewers, Mokhof co-hosts the program with Rashin Soodmand, a psychologist and daughter of Hossein Soodmand, a martyred Iranian pastor. When Rashin was a teenager, authorities tortured and hanged her father for leaving Islam as a boy.
“She’s the right person to be next to me because what she shares comes from a background of pain and that’s helpful because the majority of women have pain in their daily life,” Mokhof said.
HISTORY-MAKING CHARACTERS WITH IDENTITY CRISES
Mokhof draws from the Bible in each episode, often sharing stories of people in Scripture who struggled with their identity. Gideon, for example, lacked courage until the angel of the Lord called him mighty.
“So many of these characters had problems with their identity but once their eyes were opened to their true identity, they became a history-making character,” Mokhof said.
Viewers regularly message Mokhof through social media or email thanking her for how the program has helped them see themselves in a new light.
“If I get even just one response, that makes my day,” she said. “I get so excited when I hear that a life is transformed.”
Mokhof has also heard examples of women learning about their identity in God and then teaching the lesson to their daughters. Other women, whose husbands are more fanatical, watch Sarah’s Daughters and implement its teachings in a less obvious way at home.
“SEE YOURSELF THROUGH GOD’S EYES”
One particular woman whose husband struggles with addiction gave her life to Christ because of the program. She told Mokhof that her brother and husband often beat her.
“Many times they would take my hair like a rope and beat me so badly,” the woman said. “But now when I see myself from God’s heart, I can say they don’t understand but I know who I am.”
At the end of most programs, Mokhof and Soodmand pray for viewers and share new ways they can see themselves.
“I tell them, ‘Don’t see yourself from the lens of your parents or your neighbors. See yourself from God’s eyes. If only one of you was left on the earth, even for that one person, he was ready to be crucified to give them their identity back,’” she said.
Mokhof said she’s grateful to SAT-7 for giving her the platform to help women battle for their true God-given identity.
“There is not a day that I don’t pray for SAT-7,” she said. “Bless also the donors who financially support SAT-7. They don’t know what effect they are having. It is so profound for His kingdom and I am grateful for that.”
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