In this blog post, Marianne Awaraji, a beloved SAT-7 presenter for almost two decades, shares her thoughts and hopes for her new role as Arabic Channels Audience Relations Manager and tells us how we can pray for her and SAT-7’s viewers.
I have been a presenter on SAT-7 since I was 10 years old, and I have always been passionate about following up with viewers. I feel a sense of responsibility for them – to pray for them, reply to their questions, to share my own personal life experiences, and show how Jesus can change all sorrows into victories and help us through life’s struggles. I even take their names home with me to pray for them!
Connecting viewers to hope
I believe people in the Middle East and North Africa today are in desperate need of hope – of a Saviour. We need to seize the opportunity to fill that void, to counter their fear and worry, by giving them the message of hope and truth. SAT-7 does this through our sound, Bible-based content, and also through our sincere and faithful follow-up.
Becoming the Audience Relations Manager has been a true blessing from God. I am so grateful to be in the position to build engaging relationships with our viewers and connect them to hope, and to Christ’s love, which they so desperately yearn for.
Follow-up is a journey – we don’t just answer their questions and then abandon them. We are building a wide network of partner churches from different denominations to whom we can connect our viewers, so we can make sure they are discipled and surrounded by a community of believers.
Addressing desperate needs
There are so many needs that I would like to help address through our viewer support work. Every day we receive many messages from viewers asking for advice, and in need of counselling. We also receive an enormous amount of theological questions, mostly from non-Christians who want to know more about Jesus. We also receive messages from couples struggling in their marriages due to the lockdown, and financial and emotional stress.
Children are also among the most vulnerable during this time, and many in the Middle East and North Africa are suffering from emotional and psychological problems due to the current unstable circumstances and events that have marked their lives this year. They need the love of Christ and His peace in their hearts from a young age, so they will not struggle with bigger problems in their adulthood.
I want to share with you the story of Mariam, a Syrian lady from a non-Christian background, who contacted us asking about Jesus. She told me:
“I am currently pregnant with a baby girl, and my dream is that from childhood she would know the amazing God who gave her to me. I saw some beautiful values in you on SAT-7 that I hadn’t seen before in my community – how you love each other, how you pray for each other, the way you talk to each other. This channel was a door of light to me.”
Since we were unable to send any gifts to her in Syria, I contacted a partner church there and we were able to connect her with them. She got back in touch to say:
“Marianne, I visited the church today for the first time, and the pastor welcomed me and gave me a Bible.”
Pray for Marianne
I pray that God will provide the resources for us to further boost our audience engagement and provide more of the right support for our viewers, so they can feel seen and personally encouraged, and so that they can voice out loud the heaviness on their hearts. Please pray for special wisdom for me as I train, empower and guide my team, and for God to open the right doors to equip us as a team and enable us to partner with organisations in the Arab World. May He lead us as we guide people on a journey – one of allowing Christ into their hearts to heal their pain, growing into strong disciples, and becoming able to serve their communities themselves.