MEETING JESUS THROUGH POWERFUL CHILDREN’S FILM

When your life has been dramatically turned around, you cannot help but tell others what it was – or who it was – that changed you. Through his powerful productions for SAT-7 KIDS, Mark Awaraji, who was once an “insecure little boy, addicted to many things”, is introducing   children across the Arabic-speaking world to the source of his own healing and freedom: the love of Jesus. After watching Mark’s latest short film Adonai, one viewer said, “I was so touched… I felt that I wanted to meet Jesus.”

A JOURNEY OF HEALING

 Seeing Mark talk to camera with such poise may lead you to think he has always exuded self-confidence, but that could not be further from the truth. He describes himself growing up in Lebanon as “an insecure little boy” with extremely low self-esteem. “I used to see myself as [physically] ugly and my character as really, really ugly also,” he said.

As Mark tried to deal with these negative feelings, he developed some dangerous habits. “I was addicted to all kinds of things: to porn, to alcohol, to gaming, and to drugs,” he says. He even ended up in prison at one point. “But I had a journey with Jesus, and He healed me from all of those things,” he said.

Mark is now a changed man, free in all senses of the word, and during a process of healing he gained invaluable wisdom that allows him to speak truth into the lives of young Arabs. His strong passion to see children go on a similar journey of healing and freedom is what drives him forward in his work with SAT-7 KIDS. “I believe Jesus has a journey with every single child to heal them from any insecurity,” he says.

Mark is using his God-given talents to create meaningful stories that bring about change in the hearts of young viewers. Mark’s first short film, Hagar, which tells the true story of a young Kurdish refugee’s journey towards peace and redemption, was released last year.

THE LOVE OF JESUS

Mark’s latest project, a drama called Adonai, is centered on the character of Jesus. Through it, Mark hopes to introduce young viewers to the one who healed his own childhood wounds.

The story unfolds in a rural village, among a group of children who love to play together but cannot stop running into conflicts. One day, the friends at the heart of the story – young boys Samuel and Haroun – are embroiled in an argument that escalates all too quickly. When Samuel is injured by Haroun, their relationship turns bitter, as does the friendship between their mothers.

The rest of their friendship group convince the boys to join an adventure through the forest in the hope they might be reconciled. During their journey, Haroun stumbles upon a mysterious hut containing an ancient book. Their curiosity leads them to encounter the living Jesus, who begins to teach them about love, forgiveness, and miracles.

Jesus displays his compassion in action as he saves one of the friends from the dangers of the dark forest. Having experienced Jesus as rescuer, friend, and King, they cannot help but tell their families all about the life-changing encounter.

“I’m so excited about this production with SAT-7 KIDS,” Mark says of Adonai. “It’s a unique project, showing a visually captivating story inspired by the Bible. It is a short film featuring Jesus and children, focusing on God’s love for every single child, so that our little viewers can relate and feel the love of Jesus for them also.”

“I WANTED TO MEET JESUS”

Adonai’s first screening took place on SAT-7 KIDS live show Behind the Door, with the short film receiving some wonderful feedback from viewers and participants. Fayza, a teenage girl from the Holy Land, said:

“I want to share something about the movie, Adonai. When I watched it last week, I was so touched when I saw the kids sitting with Jesus. I felt that I wanted to meet Jesus, sit with him, and talk with him. My favourite scene was when the kids were at the tent and they met Jesus.”

Another viewer, Danielle from Egypt, said, “The movie is amazing, I’d like to congratulate all the team behind it because it’s great.”

Adonai also had a profound impact on those acting in the film. Hagar, who portrays Tabitha, said, “I felt as if I was really sitting with Jesus, as if he was there, listening and watching us.”

Mark is now looking to build on the success of Adonai. “For me, my dream is to continue producing more and more content,” he says. “Like Adonai; inspired by the Bible and focusing on a child’s point of view.”

To watch the Adonai film, click here.

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