Across the Middle East and North Africa, families feel hopeless as they struggle with events beyond their control. For Kiarash* it’s disagreements surrounding his faith. Sogand* is feeling overwhelmed by her sons’ addictions. And Fayrous* feels discouraged by mounting debt and her husband’s difficulties with finding work.
Iran’s growing unemployment rates and strict religious laws make life even more difficult for divided Persian families, many of whom are facing a growing drug problem. In the previous six years, the number of people in Iran who regularly use drugs has doubled to 2.8 million. This is becoming a national epidemic.
In Egypt, economic pressures have led to skyrocketing unemployment rates and living costs. The dominant religion is apparent everywhere. But according to Arab adherents who contact SAT-7, the dominant religion is not providing hope or solace or solutions to the emotional and spiritual problems they face. The question becomes, is there hope for families lost and broken by these circumstances?
Being a Christian believer in Iran is oftentimes difficult. For Kiarash’s family, it has become a dividing factor. “Recently, my wife has learned about my faith and, since then, I’m having a hard time.”
Kiarash’s family doesn’t agree with his faith. And, now, he has to appear in court. “My wife applied for divorce because of my faith, and I will have to appear in court, but I’m afraid to go.”
Where does Kiarash find hope? By reading God’s Word, available through SAT-7. However, when there isn’t much time for television programs, where can viewers turn? For Sogand, the SAT-7 Call Center is a source of hope. During SAT-7 episodes, a phone number is displayed on the screen for viewers to call in with questions or prayer requests.
Sogand’s family is struggling. Economic pressures and drugs have become great dividers. Sogand has finally found a job as a caregiver, but it’s far from home. So, she can’t visit her sons, Farja*and Sasan*.
“I’m at the end of my rope,” Sogand shared with counselors at our SAT-7 Call Center. “My sons call me regularly and ask for money to buy drugs with. I know I shouldn’t give them any but what can I do, they have no one but me…pray for my endurance and peace. Pray for every young person who is in the bondage of addiction.”
Sogand finds hope as counselors pray with her, providing counseling through God’s Word.
In Egypt, Fayrous is finding the same hope. With the rising cost of living and jobs becoming challenging to find, Fayrous’s husband moved to Kuwait to find work—and Fayrous is struggling. She is one of many female heads of households in Egypt, who manage affairs at home on insufficient budgets when their husbands become migrant workers.
“Please pray for my husband, he lives in Kuwait and is trying to find a job. We have many loans. He is unwise and has a bad temper.”
But there is hope. As Fayrous finds support through our Call Center, she knows she is not alone. “I was feeling far from God, but after getting your message, I felt the Lord beside me, telling me that He hears my prayers. Thank you so much.”
Countless situations across the region continue to divide families and strain relationships. However, families like Kiarash’s, Sogand’s, and Fayrous’s, can find emotional and spiritual support, as well as counsel based upon God’s Word, which gives them hope and encourages them to continue to seek the Lord.
*Names changed for security reasons
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© SAT-7 2017