Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. (2 Timothy 4: 2). Through SAT-7, Christians in the Middle East are making the presence and beliefs of Christians more visible and accessible to the region’s people than ever before, says founder and Executive Director of Christian TV network SAT-7, Dr Terence Ascott. Ascott says the small Christian minority is sharing their faith today in ways that were “unthinkable” 20 years ago, and, they are doing it at a time when violence in the name of religion, is causing many in the region to question their inherited beliefs. Extremism and violence in the name of religion have increased the hunger for SAT-7’s programming. As a result of their pioneering work, about 15 million viewers across the region now watch SAT-7’s 24-hour-a-day Christian programs in Arabic, Farsi (Persian) and Turkish regularly. With the explosion of social media, as many as 4.7 million SAT-7 videos a month are being watched on YouTube and Facebook!
- That Christians in the Middle East will be encouraged and strengthened in their faith through SAT-7’s programs.
- That the Lord will use SAT-7 to bring people in the Middle East to salvation through Jesus Christ.
- That hearts would be open to the gospel message.
- That presenters and everyone involved in the technical or other ways of production of these programs will be filled with the Holy Spirit. (Source: Mission Network News)
Nearly all people across different nations were once migrants or refugees. They came from other places and settled in a “new” country. Jesus was a refugee in Egypt for a time before returning to Israel. Abraham was a migrant when he left his father’s house. Moses was a migrant, born in Egypt and left for the Promised Land. Britons and Saxons are not “originally” from Britain. Nor are the Bushmen (Khoi/San) from Southern Africa, or the Berber from Algeria. We are all people on the move – migrants and refugees. Americans migrated from England and many other nations to the USA. Many were initially refugees or migrants from other countries. The same is true of all people groups in Southern Africa, though some came earlier than others.
Recently a “white” American man asked an Asian woman in the USA, “Where are you from”? Her answer: “California”. “No, I mean, what country are you from”, he asked. “I am an American”, she answered. Again he asked, “No, but where are you really from”? Her answer: “I think I understand your question. My grandparents came from Taiwan some 55 years ago”. He answered, “I like your Thai food”. She asked, “So where are you from”? “I am an American”, he replied “Yes, but where are you really from”? “I am from Kentucky. I am a normal American”. “But where are you originally from”? “O, I think I understand what you are asking. Some three generations ago, my family came from Britain”. The woman said, “I like your fish and chips”! Nearly all of us are migrants or refugees in one way or another! When we think about today’s migrants and refugees, let us not refer to them as “they”. Let us rather think in terms of “us”. Millions of Muslims are fleeing to other nations as refugees and some as migrant workers due to violence, persecution and turmoil in countries in West Africa, North Africa, Central Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Middle East.
- With hearts full of compassion for Muslim migrants/refugees because we were also once migrants/refugees, years/decades/centuries ago.
- For Muslim migrants/refugees to be accepted as people who need to settle somewhere and for them to find ways to provide for themselves.
- For Christians to help today’s migrants/refugees to start businesses or find work.
- For the church in countries where Muslims migrants/refugees are moving to, to find effective ways to reach them with the gospel.
Deuteronomy 10:18-19 says; [The LORD] … loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. South Africa ranks very highly in the world with regard to asylum seekers. However, regular outbreaks of xenophobia have drawn strong criticism, not only amongst leaders, but also from lay people. Xenophobic events have exposed our underlying racism and animosity. In the Old Testament, Moses instructed the children of Israel to include foreigners living amongst them in their celebrations. (Deuteronomy 26:10-16). The theme of accepting and caring for foreigners in the Bible continues in the New Testament, where it is called ‘hospitality’, literally meaning ‘love-foreigners’. (Matthew 25:35; Luke 14:12-14). Various NGOs, Christian groups and government agencies have contributed food and given help and support to address the critical needs of thousands of displaced families seeking refuge in South Africa.
- That Christians will seek opportunities to be personally involved in befriending newcomers in our country, many of whom have never heard the gospel.
- For Christians to be filled with the love of Christ so that Muslims will experience the love of Jesus and be drawn to Him.
- For God to open doors for witnessing using the parable of the heavenly banquet.