PANDEMIC PROMPTS SAT-7 KIDS VIEWERS TO LEAN ON GOD’S WORD
While COVID-19 has left a negative imprint on the world, on the SAT-7 KIDS program Bible Heroes, the pandemic has also led to a deeper engagement with viewers – and spiritual growth as their young hearts connect with the Word of God. “It’s like we are one family,” Presenter Elie says, and viewers agree.
“Bible Heroes, you are our amazing friends. We learn from you about God, how to read our Bible, how to memorise Psalms – all through this amazing channel with Karen and Elie. In hard times and happy times, you encourage us always.” – Olivia, a viewer from Lebanon
Every Thursday evening, hundreds of viewers like Olivia wait to call in live on Bible Heroes. Presenters Elie Awwad and Karen Khoury enthusiastically engage the children in discussions about Bible characters and what we can learn from them, and in a quiz competition with prizes. Since the advent of COVID-19, engagement with the program has increased – part of a general upward trend that has also seen visits to SAT-7 KIDS’ website increase by 28 percent.
“I noticed that during the coronavirus, the program has connected with children on a deeper level,” says Karen. Elie agrees. “In recent weeks we have been getting calls from people who have been watching for years, but have only just started calling us live,” he says.
The presenters also connect with viewers through Facebook Live, enabling more children to join in the discussions. During a session on thankfulness, a viewer shared: “I learned many things about God and myself during these hard times and the lockdown. The coronavirus helped me appreciate the blessing of freedom, and I learned to thank God for it.”
SHARING JESUS IS THE MESSAGE
Some viewers, like Tony, enjoy the program so much that they call every week. “Bible Heroes is my favorite program on SAT-7 KIDS,” the youngster shares. “It encourages me to read the Bible and learn about God.” Even when his call is not aired, he adds, “I like it when others call because I learn from them when I hear their opinions or questions.”
Karen and Elie’s passion for sharing the Word of God with children shows in their genuine interactions with callers, who range from children who never miss Sunday School to those who have never attended church. “When we first started this in 2014, we didn’t realise the effect it would have on children. Now, I see how God has blessed our viewers,” Elie says. “Bible Heroes plants His Word in children, which will yield fruit in their lives later on.”
Elie has experienced first-hand how what he learned as a child led him back to God after he left church during his teens. “I left for seven years, but the Word of God planted long ago guided me back, like the prodigal son,” he says. Today, both Elie and Karen are also active volunteers in their own churches. Karen helps underprivileged families, while Elie gives sermons at church and teaches Sunday School for adults.
“My heart is to help children know Jesus,” says Karen. “I pray about it before the program, because I feel a responsibility to them. We are not just presenting a program. We are sharing the living Christ. I pray that the Lord sets our hearts to transfer His Word to the children, and sets the children’s hearts to know Him.”