Mobilising prayer for strength and comfort during disaster
SAT-7’s Arabic channels and viewer support team are mobilising prayer across the region and reaching out to viewers affected by the devastating earthquake in Morocco and catastrophic flooding in Libya.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Morocco and Libya at this extremely distressing time,” said Rami Al-Halaseh, SAT-7 Arabic Channels Executive Director. “As a ministry, our first – and immediate – response was to call our satellite viewers and social media followers across the Middle East and North Africa to join us in prayer for all those affected. During this week, our live programs have been covering the crises and hearing from people on the ground. We are trying to bring a message of God’s love and comfort to all those in distress.”
Last Friday (8 September), a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Morocco’s High Atlas mountains killed at least 2,900 people and left many thousands more homeless and destitute. Just three days later, on Monday (11 September), Storm Daniel swept through northeastern Libya, breaking two dams near the Mediterranean coastal city of Derna. A torrent of mud and water flowed through the city, killing upwards of 11,000 people, with a further 30,000 people missing.
Throughout this week, SAT-7’s live Arabic programs and social media pages have been covering the crises, making special episodes to address the needs of viewers of all ages.
SAT-7 KIDS program Behind the Door broadcast a special episode yesterday (Thursday 14 September) called ‘Resilience and hope in times of adversity’ to speak encouragement to the people of Morocco and Libya – as well as others across the region distressed by the tragic scenes.
The episode expounded several Bible stories – including the trials of Job and persecution of the Apostle Paul – highlighting their faith, hope and resilience in the face of great adversity. They encouraged young viewers with verses including Psalm 46:1-3:
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
The program also urged solidarity with those affected by the disasters. “We encourage viewers to pray especially for the children in these nations,” said Andrea El Mounayer, SAT-7 KIDS Channel Manager. “We earnestly seek strength, comfort, and resilience for those who have been affected by these natural disasters, believing in the power of compassion and intercession.”
VOICES FROM THE GROUND
Tonight (15 September), You Are Not Alone will share the stories of people affected by the earthquake in Morocco. One viewer, Omar Emzilie, who lost his mother and other relatives, continually thanked God in the midst of everything he was going through. There will also be interviews with people who came from neighbouring towns to help those in need, and a journalist from Marrakesh who will be providing an overview of the situation in the city.
Tuesday’s (12 September) episode of Different Angle, a weekly program that discusses topical issues and highlights the Christian perspective of current events, covered the crises in Morocco and Libya and included viewer calls from survivors. Mahdy told the show: “All Moroccans are terrified because the earthquake wasn’t just on Friday, but every day. With every tremor, people are leaving their homes and sleeping on the streets.”
SAT-7’s Viewer Support team has been on hand to speak with, pray for and encourage viewers who have been impacted by the disasters, as well as proactively contacting known viewers in the crisis-affected areas to check on how they are. The Viewer Support team is also linking up people in need of practical help in Morocco with a pastor who has worked with SAT-7; he is able to connect those with pressing needs – financial and otherwise – to organisations and underground churches that can help.
“Please do continue to pray for Morocco and Libya,” added Al-Halaseh, “and also for our teams as they support viewers in need of care and comfort.”