Throughout COVID-19, SAT-7 KIDS has been a loving, familiar hand for children to hold when nothing else feels normal. Maintaining this consistency does not only involve presenters and production teams; behind the scenes, it also involves SAT-7 KIDS Audience Relations as a direct line of support for young hearts across the Middle East and North Africa.
Children Share Lockdown Activities
“So many children and young adults are engaging with us!” says Audience Relations Coordinator Suzy Gabenian. “We invited children to share their lockdown activities with us, and they are sending videos of themselves singing, praying, dancing, and telling Bible stories. This initiative helps kids express themselves and takes their minds off any worries.”
In these inspiring videos, the young viewers show strong faith and positivity. Louly, a young girl from Egypt, sent in a video of a playful dialogue in which her mother tests her Bible knowledge. When her mother asks what Jesus did, Louly answers, “Miracles.” When she is then asked, “What did Jesus do for Louly?”, the little girl says, “He died on the cross.”
In a second video, four-year-old Lyandra recites the Lord’s Prayer in Coptic, the liturgical language of the Coptic (Egyptian) Orthodox Church. In others, children share their favorite Bible verses, including young O’Neil from Iraq, who recites Psalm 8. The videos are shared in live SAT-7 KIDS programs and on social media, which is a great encouragement to the children.
Peace in a World of Fear
“The role of Audience Relations has been very important during the pandemic,” says Gabenian, who is based in Lebanon. “When our young viewers are isolated at home, they need us to show them God’s love and reassure them with His Word.” When the crisis hit the Middle East (and North Africa), the team posted videos that explained the facts in age-appropriate ways, helping young viewers protect themselves and others. “Then we created more videos to encourage them – telling them that, while we must take precautions, we should not forget that God is stronger than any disease. We help kids rely on and trust in Jesus, our only refuge,” Gabenian continues. These videos have been well-received – one, with Family of Jesus presenter Mina Awny, reached almost 430,000 people and received more than 30,000 responses. One viewer responds, “Thank you for this encouraging and reassuring message. May God fill our hearts with peace that passes every understanding, in a world full of fear.”
Supporting children is not only a pandemic response – it is a daily routine. Every day, the Audience Relations Team replies to viewers’ messages and emails, sharing clips, photos, and schedules as well as posts to encourage children in different areas of life. They send out gifts and messages for children’s birthdays and prepare child-friendly devotions for older children to read.
The launch of Facebook Live sessions in 2019 has since become an important part of the channel’s wider pandemic response. These sessions help viewers feel closer to SAT-7 KIDS presenters. “In the first session, which was about fear, 85 children took part,” Gabenian says. “Some children said they were scared of lions, or the dark, or being alone. So, the presenters shared their testimonies. They said, ‘I used to be afraid of the dark, too, but after I knew God was in my life, everything changed.’ This session was a triumph,” she smiles.
What You Can Do
Over 9 million children and parents in the Middle East and North Africa turn to SAT-7 KIDS as a trusted source of safe, godly entertainment and Bible teaching. It is the support of ministry friends that keep these programs on the air during the uncertainty and highly evolving circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can make a lifetime of difference for a child today with a gift of any size or reach more children with a monthly donation.