As Algeria reels from devastating fires, isolated believers are struggling without support as churches remain closed. SAT-7 Producer and Presenter Samia Kessai shares, “People are searching for God and contacting us,” and SAT-7 is responding with programming and a new North African social media platform that shares the hope of Christ.
A sudden wave of wildfires spread in the mountainous Kabyle region last August, killing around 90 people and ravaging lands and properties in its wake. The fires not only shook the country but also created a ripple of political unrest, while COVID-19 remains a widespread threat.
The SAT-7 team in Algeria were firsthand witnesses to the destruction as their immediate family members who live in the Kabyle region were less than a mile away from the wildfires. Thankfully, the fire did not reach their homes, and the family members shared how God protected them.
But the situation is dire. Samia explains, “Many families had already lost more than one member to COVID-19, and now the fires have left them devastated. [The fires] have also compounded the already existing economic problem,” she says.
For believers in Algeria, many of whom feel routinely isolated as they live in villages and mountainous areas where churches are limited and remote, the recent fires and COVID-19 restrictions have made finding fellowship even more difficult.
“Churches are closed because of the pandemic and believers have nowhere to go to seek fellowship. Divorce rates are rising, and youth feel lost because they cannot find the support of church members as they did before,” Samia explains.
She adds that even children feel they are missing church. “My five-year-old son asks me why we are not praying in the church. He cannot understand why the church is closed. I tell him we are praying at home. But he wants to go to church and meet his friends.”
“But,” Samia says, “Despite the fear and the difficult circumstances, people are searching for God and contacting us through SAT-7, and we send their contact details to the follow-up team. There is hope. Things are unpredictable, but the Lord always opens doors for us. Even in difficult times, the Lord says that we should trust Him and His timing.”
SAT-7’s Algeria programs vary between worship, teaching, and testimonies programs in the Kabyle language, including My Church in Algeria, Free Souls, and the women’s program Despite All. These programs have been able to continue broadcasting. SAT-7’s Arabic team has created a new social media brand, also called Free Souls, specifically to spread the message of hope in the North Africa region.
Samia says that though the need is great, the team on the ground have limited capacity. She prays for more volunteers to be called by the Lord and have a heart for this service.
“With increasing economic and political problems in Algeria, and government suppression of gatherings and demonstrations, people are losing hope. Through SAT-7 programs, we show them that they have a friend and that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him,” George Makeen, SAT-7 ARABIC Programs Director, says.
Please pray for the believers in Algeria. Ask the Lord to comfort them through the difficult economic and political circumstances and to protect them and their families from COVID-19. Pray for SAT-7’s team in North Africa, that God will protect them and provide the resources they need.