At the end of the month Joyce and Rawad, presenters and musicians on SAT-7’s popular From Me to You young adults show, are coming to the UK to participate in our Encounter the Middle Eastevenings on 27 September and 4 October. We caught up with Joyce to find out her hopes are for their visit and to ask how the current crisis in Syria and Iraq is affecting From Me to You viewers.
Q. What are the viewers of Menni Elak (‘From Me to You’) telling you about how they feel concerning the situation in Syria & Iraq at the moment?
People are very afraid at the moment, especially in Iraq. They don’t know what to expect. Some feel disappointed and let down, they don’t know why God has allowed such a thing to happen. Some also feel betrayed and let down by their neighbours.
In the Lebanon there are lots of refugees still coming from Syria. Many men, women and children are coming regularly to our church in Beirut to ask for food and for medical aid. The churches in Lebanon are trying to help but a lot feel overwhelmed and not able to cope. Many non-believers are worried and afraid because there are so many strangers among them, people from different backgrounds and cultures and they don’t know how to respond to them.
“We are asking God what we can do … and how we can love them”
Many non-Christians are attending our church meetings from Syria. They come because they want to see if the Church can help them at all. There are about 80 such families in our own church at the moment.
Every week families are coming to our church to ask for help. They come asking for food vouchers, but sometimes they come without asking for help; they are coming because they enjoy the services. We are discovering how we can help, but it is hard. We are asking God what we can do and how we can love them.
The situation in Israel/Palestine has also affected viewers deeply. People are hurting on both sides of the conflict. Our viewers are asking how to love and what to do.
Q. What are you hoping your visit to England will achieve?
We want to close the gap between Arab and UK Christians. To show that we both worship the same God and we want to show people how we are living as well as the struggles we are going through.
When I last visited the UK when I was 16, people asked me if we live in tents in the Lebanon. I think that there are a lot of misconceptions! In particular, I would want to show that there are misconceptions about the role of women in the Middle East, about how they are oppressed and what they are able to do.
Book your place now!
Tickets for Encounter the Middle East are available here. There is a suggested donation of £7.50.