Pray for the work of SAT-7

Your prayers are vital to SAT-7

SAT-7 provides the Church of the Middle East and North Africa with an opportunity to witness for Jesus Christ through inspirational, informative and educational television and online broadcasts 24/7.  Prayer is at the centre of our work.

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A heart for the marginalised

“Uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy.” Psalm 82:3b-4a

God’s deep concern for those who are undervalued or rejected by their communities is evident throughout Scripture. SAT-7’s goal is to make His love known to all in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) but especially to those who are marginalised and oppressed. Our international Day of Prayer on 2 November is focussing on the region’s women and girls, who have little status or value, and are generally isolated from the Gospel.

This month, you can read about how SAT-7 is reaching women and children, providing encouragement and support to those facing painful experiences that are compounded by societal pressure.

Addressing sensitive subjects for Arab women

A magazine show for young Arabic-speaking women is tackling difficult issues and helping viewers to open up about their painful experiences. An episode of Needle and Thread broadcast on 9 October addressed infertility and miscarriage, delicate subjects in a family-oriented culture where childlessness carries a huge stigma.

One of the presenters, Maie, said some of the common things people say to a couple who haven’t yet had children are, “Are you not trying?” “Why?” “Enough waiting!” “Let’s go!”.

 
Maie shared a story about being just eight years old and seeing a television programme about an infertile woman. It filled her with fear and she told her mother she would never get married because she did not want to someday find herself in that dreaded situation. Maie said, “Childbearing is seen as a rite of passage and people think there is something wrong with anyone who cannot do it.”

“God bless you very much, you are the source of blessing in my life.”
              Woman from Egypt

Guest panelist Irene highlighted how people can respond insensitively to miscarriage, saying hurtful things like,“Maybe you weren’t ready yet” or “Thank God because the child might have come out deformed or disabled.” Irene suggested more sympathetic and helpful words to say, “This is truly an upsetting thing, it’s a difficult situation.”

The following week’s episode of Needle and Thread covered women suffering from breast cancer. Maie said, “If you’re watching us right now, we want you to know that we’re very sorry for what you’re going through. You’re not alone. We are praying that God will be near to you.”

A broadening Smile for Farsi–speaking viewers

A live Farsi show for children is expanding due to its growing popularity! Smile on SAT-7 PARS receives so many calls from devoted viewers that the producers have decided to broadcast a second weekly hour-long episode; a new Tuesday programme adding to the existing Friday show. The extra air-time allows the audience (mostly children aged 3 to 8 and their parents) more interaction with hosts Parastoo and Pendar.

The Tuesday episode premiered on 23 September – the first day of the Iranian school year. Fittingly, Parastoo and Pendar encouraged the children to apply themselves to learning. The key Bible verse for the episode was Proverbs 18:15, “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.” When children called to share their experiences of their first day at school, the hosts wrote their names on a heart-shaped blackboard.

“I love the Smile programme. I hope that you keep broadcasting it.”
Smile viewer

As well as doubling Smile’s air-time, the producers are next month launching a new magazine format of the show aimed at older children (ages 7-13) with a refreshed set design. Smile Magazine will feature games, Bible messages, news and social media interaction.

Encountering the Middle East at SAT-7 events

Two UK churches were transformed by the sights, sounds and smells of the Middle East for SAT-7’s Encounter events. The evenings at Woodlands Church, Bristol, on 27 September and Bromley Baptist Church on 4 October featured Joyce Saddi and Rawad Daou, two Lebanese hosts of one of SAT-7’s most popular shows, From Me to You.

The pair, who are also members of the Arab world’s most popular contemporary Christian worship group, Strongholds, performed songs in English and Arabic, and spoke about their ministry and experiences as Christians in the troubled Middle East.

“Pray for our children. They are so fearful because of the horrible things they have seen, that they can't sleep at night and can't always keep food down.”
                     Viewer from Iraq

Asked at the Bristol event what people in the West can pray specifically for Christians in MENA, Joyce said: “Not to fear; to stay strong; for peace. Even if we can’t have outward peace, real peace is being with God. And pray for strength against persecution and against feeling weary and wanting to give up. A lot of Christians want to leave and that’s understandable but we want to encourage Christians in the Middle East to stay in the Middle East.”

 

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November 2014

Pray for women in the Middle East who are struggling with the pain and stigma of childlessness. Pray that they will receive support and encouragement rather than pressure and judgement.

Give thanks for Needle and Thread which is helping Arab women to work through their difficulties and find strength from the experiences of others.

Give thanks for the popularity of Smile among viewers in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. Pray that the addition of a second weekly show and the forthcoming Smile Magazine will attract even more viewers.

Pray for hosts Parastoo and Pendar as they interact with young viewers and their families; pray that the Lord will give them energy and enthusiasm as well as sensitivity and discernment.

Give thanks for the Encounter events at which many people were inspired by Joyce and Rawad’s passion and commitment to their ministry with SAT-7. Over £6,000 was raised for SAT-7’s work!

Pray, as Joyce requested, for peace and strength for Christians in MENA as they go through extraordinarily difficult times.

Pray especially for Christians in Iraq and Syria who continue to face the threat of the brutal militant group calling itself Islamic State.