Children’s TV presenter Gemma Hunt is fronting a special programme for UK audiences about SAT-7’s television ministry in the Middle East.
In Free to Be Me Gemma and SAT-7 Lebanese children’s presenter Marianne Awaraji discuss their shared vision for television that gives children joy and helps them reach their full potential. Both also share how their Christian faith inspires their broadcasting careers.
“As a mum and someone who works with children in media, I think it’s really crucial to help children reach their potential and find real joy,” Gemma says in the programme.
“All over the world families are finding life really difficult,” she continues. But, in the Middle East, she says, “Even before the pandemic, conflicts, uprisings and poverty prevented children from learning and flourishing.”
Marianne joined Gemma via video link from SAT-7’s largest studio, in Beirut, Lebanon, as she finished the last song on her weekly, live children’s show, Allo Marianne. Sitting in SAT-7’s London studio, Gemma spoke to her in the aftermath of Lebanon’s COVID-19 lockdown and the devastating explosion in Beirut’s port.
Free to Be Me highlights how broadcasts like Marianne’s programme support children both spiritually and emotionally to grow in faith and flourish as the people God made them to be.
In Free to Be Me both TV presenters explain how faith influences their work. Marianne, serving a Christian channel, shares how coming to know God as “Father and a really close friend” as a 14-year-old inspires her to encourage her viewers to relate to God in the same way.
Gemma, working in media where she cannot generally talk about her faith openly, points to a prophetic word spoken over her when she was 16. This said that she would be salt and light in the media. So now, she says, “I know that Jesus and His light is shining out of me in the places I am working, which is pretty awesome!”
The Free to Be Me programme can be watched in a 12-minute and 25-minute versions at www.sat7uk.org/freetobemefilm