As the International Day of Families approaches on May 15th, 2016, SAT-7 is taking a moment to reflect on the individuals who support SAT-7. With the help of churches, organizations and individuals across the world, SAT-7 continually shows viewers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) that they are a part of a larger family rooted in Christ. It is a family that supports one another through broadcasting God’s love, hope and mercy, regardless of nationality, race, or gender. We know that family includes YOU, our faithful donors and partners. During a recent visit to Wisconsin, where the SAT-7 Church Connections Team spoke at local churches, SAT-7 was reminded of the depths of the love embedded within God’s family.
When SAT-7 Church Connections Director, Dennis Wiens, came to speak at the First Baptist Church in Webster, WI, he had no idea what to expect. First Baptist Church has been a faithful supporter of SAT-7 for the past ten years. Like clockwork, a gift from its congregation appeared every quarter. Yet, no one in the USA office could recall how First Baptist Church heard about SAT-7. Maybe it was during our participation at the Converge Worldwide Conference at Bethel University? Or maybe it was at one of the many visits SAT-7 makes to churches across the nation to both share the good works happening in the MENA Region and thank supporters for their gifts?
Regardless, when Dennis attended the Sunday service, he was instantly taken aback. At the front of the sanctuary, set up on the alter, was an ornate plastic bowl. And in the bowl was some change. Every last two Sundays of the quarter the congregation of First Baptist Church gathered together, adults and children alike, to place whatever coins they had collected in the plastic bowl or the coin cans passed around during service. Whatever was collected at the end of each quarter was then counted up and given directly to SAT-7. The congregation knew very little about SAT-7; however, they routinely supported SAT-7 in this unusual and loving way.
And SAT-7 is the only organization for which the congregation does this. But why do they continually give when they know very little about our organization?
Ten years ago, First Baptist Church began the tradition with their children to show that even the smallest amount changes lives. Many continued to bring their coin cans in every quarter to continue this tradition despite not knowing much about SAT-7. When Dennis shared the latest news about SAT-7 first with their Sunday school class and then with their congregation, members saw the immediate value of supporting SAT-7. With their change, First Baptist Church makes a huge difference in the lives of countless brothers and sisters in the MENA Region. They learned that a little goes a long way. (8 cents provides 1 viewer with 1 month of programs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.) As one congregation noted, “Knowing what SAT-7 is makes me want to give more!”
First Baptist Church, along with countless others, has helped SAT-7 show our family members in the Middle East and North Africa the love God has for each of us. Thank you for helping SAT-7 uplift and encourage our brothers and sisters facing persecution. It is with your help that SAT-7 is able to create programming, provide counselling services, and utilize apps that aid individuals in understanding that they are not alone.
Together, as a family united through Christ, we are able to reach individuals like Daoud and Yasmine. Daoud lives in Syria and, along with many others, faces persecution at the hand of ISIS. Yet, Daoud has found hope and peace through a SAT-7 Program, “Let’s Sing Together.” “Hello, I love you so so so much. I don’t watch any other channel but you because you are the best. You tell us what to do in our daily life. Thank you so much for being you.”
Others are like Yasmine. Yasmine is finding that SAT-7 helps her family overcome feelings of loneliness and spiritual-oppression. Yasmine wrote, “My family and I wanted to thank you for your nice programs. They are a real blessing for us…Please pray for us to grow in our Christian faith and to overcome our problems. May God bless you all.”
Thank you for helping our brothers and sisters in the MENA Region through your support of SAT-7. This International Day of Families, pray for family members in the Middle East and North Africa. Pray that God provides each of our brothers and sisters with the tools necessary for a fruitful life, for protection from evil, and for peace despite the violence and oppressions they face.