Thursday, September 8, 2011

Day 5: SAT-7 Revisited

Did you know that the vast majority of Muslims have never met a Christian? To many muslims, Christians are evil. I have been learning about the caricature pictures of Christians that Muslims are being taught. For example, I recently read a story where a young man talked about his mother telling him that, "the Christians will come and take you away if you do not behave." Instead of monsters under the bed, kids would fear Christians!

Jesus loves all

Living in the West we can't understand what life is like in the Middle East and North Africa. There are cultural differences that we can't even comprehend. I spent two months in Egypt, which is the most open country in these regions and still did not understand much. People stood super close, they stared, most of the humor escaped me. If I was to just go up to any person in the street and start talking about Jesus they would think I was crazy and go on their way, if not kick me out of the country. But when a person who is from that culture starts to talk about Jesus, it makes begins to make sense.

This is what sets SAT-7 apart. Each program uploaded to the satellite feed explains Jesus' words through ways that represent both the culture and God's Truth. Did you know that in Tunisia lambs are considered dirty? So when we Westerners talk about Jesus being the Lamb, we are inadvertently confusing and even offending the very people we are trying to communicate with! Thankfully more Christians who understand this cultural separation are stepping forward.

SAT-7 has four different channels, SAT-7TURK, SAT-7PARS, SAT-7ARABIC and SAT-7KIDS. Different channels for different languages and cultures. Stories are coming in daily about how far of a reach this is having on the people watching SAT-7 programs. More couples are trying to work on their relationship instead of giving up, more men are turning from drug and alcohol abuse, and children's livelihoods are improving. In the countries where it is possible, more Christians are reaching out to their Muslim neighbors and becoming emboldened as they talk about their faith.

Here is a video about a group of Christians singing about Jesus in a mall. This is Lebanon's take on a flash mob. When I first watched this, I commented about the audio and how it seemed so staged. An international staff member who I was discussing this with said that for Lebanon Christians, this was huge. They were taking the risk of being out there and it had to be perfect. We don't see it as authentic, because it was obviously pre-recorded and very rehearsed. But to them, it was a huge hit! Put in that context, I watched the video again with a completely different view. 

*With 9/11 right around the corner, consider reaching out to someone you know who has a different faith than you. Remember that as different as that person may be, he/she was created by God and put here for a purpose. By loving like Jesus we can slowly turn the tide of hate and lift the veil of ignorance.

God bless.

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