“This episode changed my life”
“For eight years I hid my problem because I was afraid of being different from a society that will not accept me if I was not like them. For eight years I felt alone, until one day I decided to come here.”
This is how 11-year-old Leen Abou Jaoude bravely opened up about her struggle with dyslexia, sharing her story on SAT-7 programme, You Are Not Alone.
She explained how she asked God to be able to read and write but came home from school crying every day because it was so hard. “Sometimes I used to act like I’m still asleep to avoid going to school,” Leen said. But, through the SAT-7 show, she discovered she wasn’t alone.
Leen was introduced to Mohammad Faour, a 23-year-old student with dyslexia who was about to graduate. She was shocked to discover the achievements of someone with the same problem as her.
Speaking later about the episode, Leen said, “You Are Not Alone made my voice heard along with the voices of others. This episode changed my life.” She added that she began to trust her mother who had been telling her to pray and that Jesus would help her: “Jesus changes our life forever, in a moment, when He puts people in our path that reach us through Him… And I, through Jesus, say to each one of you today, do not be afraid, you are not alone.”
You Are Not Alone began as a series to accompany viewers during the pandemic lockdowns but it has continued to connect viewers who feel isolated in various ways through story-sharing, prayer and support. As Leen’s story highlights, when people open up about their situations and struggles, about their faith and how it helps them, it gives other people hope for a way forward.
In an episode about suffering, a young wheelchair user asked Reverend Suheil Saoud, a pastor from Lebanon, if he could put himself in their shoes. With honesty and bravery, he shared openly about the heart-breaking loss of his daughter to cancer at the age of just 22. “I am hurt too, the same as you,” he said, adding: “Pain encircles people that are hurt together.”
Rev Saoud’s example of holding onto faith and testifying to the Lord’s work in his life was an encouragement to both the studio guests and the many thousands watching at home.
Leen’s story is one of a number of inspiring stories of lives changed that you can read in SAT-7’s Summer Insight magazine
Read more about new SAT-7 programmes that are giving a voice to children and young people