Following a “crazy” calling
When Andrew Hart left his job at IBM six years ago to volunteer at SAT-7’s international headquarters in Cyprus, his colleagues thought he was crazy.
Now SAT-7’s Chief Operating Officer, Andrew explains why he left a comfortable life in the UK – with his wife and three children in tow – to run SAT-7’s technical operations in the Middle East.
As a Brit, Andrew represents one of 19 nations working together behind the scenes in SAT-7’s international office in Cyprus, enabling our frontline Arabic, Iranian and Turkish broadcasters to “make God’s love visible in the Middle East and North Africa”.
“I want your best years”
“At my 30th birthday party, I was sitting in a crowded room and I felt God speak to me,” Andrew said. “It wasn’t an audible voice, rather a strong sense of His voice saying, ‘I want your best years from you.’
“He later started speaking to me about serving in the Middle East. When I heard about SAT-7, I was excited and I wanted to invest my time in it.”
The work of Andrew’s small team in Cyprus takes place behind-the-scenes and is, he says, “rather unglamorous”. But it is vital for getting SAT-7’s life-changing programmes to viewers across the region.
“Technology is an enabler to take the message of life to the people of the Middle East and North Africa,” Andrew says. “And quite simply, it’s about being on the platforms where people watch TV so we can make this message available to as many people as possible.”
While being part of such a strategic ministry is rewarding, leaving home and wider family behind has not been easy for Andrew, his wife and children. “What keeps us here? It’s the fact that we are called by God, and the amazing stories we hear about what God is doing in people’s lives,” he said.
Andrew quoted a young woman in Turkey who contacted SAT-7: “Thank you for the mobile app,” she said. “My family don’t allow me to watch or read anything to do with Christianity, but I can watch SAT-7 on my phone and you have been my church in my little room.”
Andrew added, “Something my team did helped this woman to meet with Jesus. It was a huge encouragement to me that God could use me.”