AS PANDEMIC HIT HOME, FAITH STOOD FIRM IN EGYPT
As hearts around the world are broken for Beirut, many also continue to struggle with COVID-19. Andrew Gamal, SAT-7 Producer and Audio Studio Manager, shares the story of his father’s recovery from COVID-19, and how his drive to show Christ’s hope to struggling viewers kept him going during the pandemic, Egypt’s lockdown, and his father’s life-threatening illness.
The coronavirus pandemic came very close to home for me. My father, who is a pastor in Upper Egypt, contracted the virus, and he got very sick and was hospitalised. My father is 83 and has diabetes, hypertension, and heart problems.
For many weeks, we waited as doctors gave us conflicting news.
During this difficult time for me and my family, I insisted on going to work every day. SAT-7 is a haven for many spiritually thirsty souls in the Middle East and North Africa who are searching for the truth. As a member of this media ministry on the front lines, I already understood the responsibility we have to our viewers.
And during the pandemic, this responsibility had become even more clear to me. The fear and uncertainty the virus brought with it has taken a toll on our viewers, and it was our role to be there, to proclaim the truth despite the high, relentless waves of doubt many experienced.
Working through the pandemic
But even before my father’s illness, fulfilling this role had not been smooth sailing. From the start, the pandemic brought with it more work and fewer people to do it. While many understandably decided not to go out, I personally chose to continue to go to work, operate the studio, and film our weekly worship program Keep on Singing while taking all necessary precautions.
We wanted to make sure our viewers all over the MENA each received a personal message of hope and faith during this time. This meant many international calls and online meetings that allowed singers in Egypt and other Arab countries to participate, which required more staff, not less. Curfew was also challenging for me, because I had to run after work for home-related errands before the shops closed.
A test of faith
Then, my whole family faced the challenge of my father’s illness on top of these other pressures. It was very difficult – one day there was good news, the next disturbing news. We prayed for him and after 22 days of uncertainty, a miracle happened. He was finally healed.
Doctors involved in the case were marveled. They saw God’s hands on my father.
I believe our response to the God who works miracles must be to live what we preach. We must be a living example of faith – and for that reason, I still feel driven to keep working as long as I can stand on my feet.
Andrew Gamal is a SAT-7 Producer and Audio Studio Manager for the Egypt Office. He is a father of two and has worked with SAT-7 for 15 years.