Over a weekend when Egypt was in tumult over new powers assumed by its president, the Executive Director of SAT-7’s Egypt studio was giving UK Christians first-hand insights into the country’s changing spiritual and political landscape – and into SAT-7’s role in uniting Christians and giving them a voice in their society.
Speaking at a series of meetings across southern England last weekend, Farid Garas said, “Egypt’s Christians don’t know what to expect in the long term. We know it won’t be easy. We cannot stay in our comfort zones, because there are no comfort zones!”
But, Farid said, unlike other citizens, Christians “have hope and believe God is in control”. He said that many people are watching SAT-7 to find out why Christians have hope.
Christians are also discovering their unity. “The Church in Egypt has started to realise its strength. It has started to join together as one body and SAT-7 is a platform for that,” Farid told guests attending a SAT-7 Middle East Hope evening at Stoneleigh Baptist Church in Epsom on 24th November.
Two examples of this unity were a 70,000-strong Night of Prayer in November 2011 at Cairo’s massive Cave Church, and a worship and reconciliation service in Tahrir Square, held on New Year’s Eve 2011. SAT-7 played a part in organising these events and broadcast them both live to millions of viewers across the region.
“I believe we’re going to see the glory of God in a lot of things,” Farid said. “Because of persecution we’re getting on our knees more, seeking God’s protection, his guidance, and we are seeing many grow in faith. It is tough, but you see the joy.”
He said SAT-7’s role in this is “to be a voice of hope in Egypt, to help people see light in the darkness. We have a faithful staff who seek God and we want to serve all Egypt’s people.”
Farid’s talks – accompanied by video clips and live streaming of programmes – were an inspiration to those who attended the meetings. An attendee at the Epsom event tweeted: “Inspirational at a SAT-7 day. Honour to be in a room with amazing people who live to tell God to Middle East and North Africa.” And another, attending an event in Chippenham, Wilts, emailed to say how moving the meeting at Sheldon Road Methodist was: “So helpful to hear from Farid. I do rejoice over SAT-7’s work. You have been called to the Kingdom for such a time as this!”