Life in Lebanon is becoming unbearable for many. SAT-7’s Beirut-based Communications Officer, Maria Al Khoury, shares her experience of the crisis that has engulfed her homeland and how by God’s grace, SAT-7 is continuing to broadcast hope.
Lebanon is passing through one of the most complex and tough economic crises in the world. Every area of daily life for Lebanese people is affected, and in recent days the situation has worsened. Even bread has become scarce, and people are rushing to try and get it before it is completely unavailable. Water is also in short supply, and in some areas completely cut off due to a lack of electricity. Daily power cuts have increased, pharmacies are almost empty, and we have seen a return of the long queues for fuel that can cause clashes between citizens.
Every detail of life in Lebanon seems beset with problems. The cost of living has increased dramatically due to the collapse of the Lebanese Lira, leaving an estimated 78 percent of the population in poverty, according to a study by the UN. Jobs have been heavily affected, since many industries cannot function normally with the fuel quantities available.
Amid the continuing COVID-19 crisis, many fields of work face a dilemma. In education, for example, long power cuts make remote learning a risky option. But returning to in-person schooling could increase the country’s coronavirus cases and put additional strain on hospitals already struggling with the very low quantities of fuel left.
Continuing – just!
In the midst of this crisis, SAT-7’s Lebanon office has only barely been able to continue functioning to make and broadcast its Christian programming. Together with SAT-7’s Cairo studio team, the Beirut studio is responsible for the lion’s share of shows on SAT-7 ARABIC, SAT-7 KIDS, and the educational brand SAT-7 ACADEMY. Many non-programming staff are working from home in order to allow studio operators to use the resources available to keep all productions and broadcasts on schedule.
As Lebanese endure every kind of shortage, a number of Christian leaders in the country shared short 60 seconds of hope messages via SAT-7. Here Revd Ramzi Jreij, host of Is it Important to Be Christian? shares an encouragement from Jesus’ words about a time of great tribulation (Mark 13:25)
I give thanks to God that SAT-7 is still able to broadcast hope and joy during these dark days, into the homes of people in Lebanon and across the Arab world. A Spiritual Evening, the Beirut-produced testimony and worship show, recently led the audience in special prayers for Lebanon, and in a series of online video messages, church leaders from different denominations offer Scriptural encouragement.
Our Audience Relations team also strive to support people and pray with them. “I am from Syria and I now live in Lebanon,” one woman recently told the team. “I cannot find a job. Thank you for praying with me and encouraging me. God is good.”
I was also encouraged by another recent testimony from Lebanon, which reads, “God has given me joy and happiness on earth and He has given me rest as well. The Lord has taught me to love others, and when Jesus entered my and my husband’s lives, we became more united. I was on the SAT-7 premises when I heard the Good News of Jesus Christ for the first time a year ago.”
Out of the depths
SAT-7 ARABIC’s social media pages are also mobilising prayer for Lebanon and encouraging people to stand strong together in faith. One post includes a verse that reminds people of how God answers prayers and is there all the time. The verse is from Psalm 130:1-2 and says: “Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.” Hundreds of thousands of people are watching videos urging prayer for Lebanon.
Will you please add your voice in prayer?
- Pray for wisdom for citizens and those in power.
- Pray for faith, hope, and peace to rule in the lives of Lebanese people.
- Pray for all the people struggling in the fields worst affected by this economic situation.
- Pray for SAT-7’s Lebanon office and all its teams to be able to work effectively and continue to spread God’s love.
Maria Al Khoury joined SAT-7 in June 2021 as a Communication Officer for the International Office. She is a fresh graduate from the Lebanese American University with a degree in Multimedia Journalism. She has worked in several events as a journalist, social media coordinator and photographer.