God’s work in Turkish young people’s lives through SAT-7 TÜRK
For SAT-7 TÜRK, engaging and supporting young Christians in their faith journey includes offering work opportunities that enable them to be role models for other young people. Here is the testimony of one of the channel’s newest employees, who is working in the Viewer Support team, helping and encouraging young viewers.
Yunus is 26 years old. Like many young people, he was originally very comfortable with his inherited beliefs. He says:
“Like the millions around me, I had no idea that Christianity once thrived in Türkiye. My beliefs were my identity. Even though God was far above me and unknowable, I firmly believed that no other truth was possible.
“When I was 16 years old, that all changed. I loved music. I enjoyed playing flamenco guitar and then studied classical guitar. I was good at it, spending hours in practice. Music brought me joy. Then a religious teacher I respected asked to meet with me. ‘Yunus, I have something to show you,’ he said. He pulled out a book of our religious writings, one that I greatly respected. ‘You see here, it says music is a sin, forbidden. You need to turn from music, from sin.’
“I remember the moment vividly. I was greatly conflicted. How could this be? How could something as great as music be a sin? But it was in one of my holy books as absolute truth. Then, for the first time, I began to question all I believed.”
Yunus decided to do something he had never done before: to read the religious writings. As he did, his doubts began to grow, and so did his fear; he had been warned of severe consequences if he doubted the teachings. But the idea that the music he loved was sin… it didn’t make sense.
So Yunus’ search for truth began. He was sure there was a God who created everything, including music. He contacted a Christian society in Türkiye, where the people gave him a Bible. As he began reading it, he was stunned by the words of Jesus, words of love, life, and hope. He thought they were the most beautiful words ever uttered by human lips.
Yunus had two dreams in which he called out to Jesus. Then one day, he literally heard His voice: “Yunus, I have been looking for you for years. Why are you not accepting me? Are you stabbing me like they did on the cross? Are you hurting me? Is that what you want to do?” Yunus believed at last, and “suddenly, wonderfully, everything was made new. I was born from above!”
Yunus found a church and began to grow in the Lord, and he also started watching SAT-7 TÜRK. Using his skills on guitar (he believes now that music glorifies God and is not a sin), he became a worship leader. As a technically savvy young person, he also became an expert in social media. Then his pastor told him that SAT-7 TÜRK was looking for a Viewer Support officer.
In his role, young people share their struggles with him, or how they saw a social media ad for the channel or were touched by a story they saw on SAT-7 TÜRK. He then can tell them, “I was once where you are. I had the same conflicts, the same questions. I understand. I tell them that I used to watch SAT-7 TÜRK to learn what Christianity was about.”
“Young people especially are doubting their faith more than ever before,” explains Gülsüm I., SAT-7 TÜRK Deputy Executive Director. “I find that many who contact SAT-7 TÜRK have been seeking God for years. They are turning to the safety and privacy of social media. The hosts, the program presenters, pastors, Bible teachers, and the Viewer Support team are Middle Easterners. Many of them come from similar religious traditions.”
Praise God for how He has worked in Yunus’ life! Please pray for SAT-7 TÜRK to be able positively to influence other young viewers, who are often conflicted. Pray that it may help them overcome their fears and will be there to nurture new believers and support the many who are isolated. Pray too for the channel’s plans to host a Christian youth festival this year.