Mariam used to present SAT-7 PARS children’s programme Golpand, and during her time as presenter she developed a strong friendship with Anousheh, a 12-year-old girl living in Iran. Through this friendship, Mariam shares how she was able to help Anousheh through a very challenging time:
Anousheh was one of the first regular viewers of our live show, Golpand. I would wait for Anousheh’s call every week. It was so encouraging and exciting to see her engage with the topics and grow in her understanding of God’s Word.
Last September, I left Cyprus for the UK to start my studies, and I was heartbroken to leave the children behind. But this summer, I returned to guest host a couple of episodes of Golpand. During the live show, Anousheh called and asked if she could talk in private.
Crying down the phone, Anousheh told me her father was taken to prison about seven months ago, and she hadn’t been able to contact him. My heart broke into a thousand pieces. In my efforts to console her, I shared my own experiences of hardships, hoping she would feel heard and comforted.
I told Anousheh that my dad left when I was young, and that I cried a lot because it hurt so much. For months I would blame God, asking, ‘Why me, God? Why do my friends have their father, and I don’t?’ But then one day, I sat down and talked to my mum. She challenged me to start reading the Bible again, and to talk to God and pray.
I took my mum’s advice, I read the Bible, I talked to God, and I prayed for my family. Eventually, God showed me that everything is in His hands, that He is in control, that He loves us, and that He protects us. I shared with Anousheh that even though we don’t have our fathers close by, we have a Heavenly Father who is always beside us. He has also given us strong, superhero mothers who love us and care for us. I encouraged Anousheh to take the same advice my mum had given me.
After our talk, we prayed together and Anousheh felt a lot better. After we had hung up, I received a voice message from Anousheh saying that she was so happy and peaceful. She said that I am like her older sister, and that if it wasn’t for me and our talks throughout all these years, she would not be who she is today. She then told me that she and her mum want to become Christians!
Overjoyed, I offered to put Anousheh and her mother in touch with the SAT-7 PARS viewer support team – and the very next morning Anousheh and her mum both prayed and gave their hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am still in contact with Anousheh; we speak, pray, and video chat every day. I am so happy that we talk and that I have a younger sister to talk to and share God’s Word with!