Jad*, a teenage Syrian boy, called in to SAT-7 KIDS to tell his favorite presenter how much the channel’s programs mean to him. Jad shares how when he was displaced and kidnapped by militants in 2015, recalling songs from a sing-along worship show brought him comfort.
“When the war started, everything changed. I left my house; I left my region. I was far from my siblings, away from my dad. Some people attempted to murder my dad,” says 17-year-old Jad from Syria in a phone call to SAT-7 KIDS Presenter Marianne Awaraji Daou (pictured above).
Marianne shares that she had to hold back tears while listening to Jad tell this part of his story.
“Jad called my program Allo Marianne twice,” she says. “The first time, he said he has been watching SAT-7 KIDS since he was nine or ten, in secret because his family [did] not know he is a believer. He said he grew to know and love God through the programs. He remembered all the songs I used to sing years ago. This was a really special moment for me.”
But the second time Marianne heard from Jad, she found out there is so much more to his story. Jad shared how, four years in to Syria’s decade-long civil conflict, adversaries came after his family, kidnapping his father. Jad was later kidnapped himself, too.
“Dad was in one place, and I was in a different place. That was the worst part of it. Mom and my brothers were safe. Thankfully we are back together now,” he shares.
During this time of catastrophic loss, Jad remembered the songs he learned and sang along to on SAT-7 KIDS. They gave him a sense of comfort and peace. He says, “Even when I was kidnapped, I used to remember the songs. I used to sing them again and again.” Jad’s favorite song, written by Marianne several years ago, is called “Because God So Loves You.”
Today, Jad’s dream is to be baptized, though this presents hurdles due to his family not knowing about his faith. He asked others to pray this will happen. And he asks to pray for mothers to be reunited with their children, brothers reunited with brothers, and for peace to reign in Syria.
“I am sure there are many viewers like Jad, who are from a non-Christian background, watching us secretly,” shares Marianne. “I believe that God is working in their lives just like He did in Jad’s life. We should do what we do faithfully – pray for our viewers, follow up with them, and show them the real love and hope we have in Christ.”
The emotional and spiritual support SAT-7 KIDS programs provide Arabic-speaking children can be vital at times of crisis when they offer a safe space for them to share their feelings. Children have contacted the channel to share and ask for prayer during violence and humanitarian crises in Syria, the aftermath of the Beirut explosion in August 2020, and the recent violence in the Holy Land. The presenters and audience relations staff also aim to help them develop a faith that helps them lean on God during these times.
“We teach them that despite our sadness, we can deal with catastrophes by expressing our fears and facing them,” says Marianne. “We can take our sadness to God and trust that He is Hope. Clearly, the Word of God that was sowed in viewers’ lives has changed them. It is still engraved in their hearts.”
Please pray for our audience relations teams as they follow up with young viewers like Jad that they may speak words of comfort and Hope to their hearts; and if you feel led to donate to help this work continue, you may do so here. Thank you for your support.