“I want to pray and never stop” says a young caller to the SAT-7 KIDS program Bible Heroes, which went live to support children after the explosion in Beirut. Channel Manager Andrea El-Mounayer shares plans to further care for children, including a region-wide project to unite them in prayer and creative expression.

“My heart is so, so sad and heavy to see all the devastation,” shares Andrea El-Mounayer, SAT-7 KIDS Channel Manager. “I lived through Lebanon’s 15-year civil war and never saw such utter devastation happen so fast. Beirut is unrecognisable. Words can’t describe how I feel about this. My heart is aching for those people who lost a friend, a loved one, or a home in just two seconds.”

Thousands of children in Beirut have been left homeless after the horror of the recent explosion – their immediate emergency needs include shelter, food, sanitation, medical assistance, as well as psychological support to cope with the experience in a healthy way.

Following the explosion, SAT-7 KIDS contacted the children that take part in the channel’s programs, ensuring they were all safe. Then, Bible Heroes broadcast live on Thursday (6 August), with presenters Karen and Elie, who both live in Lebanon, sharing their experiences during and after the explosion, followed by a time of prayer. This live episode received an overwhelming number of calls, as children across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) prayed for those in Beirut.

“I want to pray and never stop. Jesus, be with the Lebanese, give them strength and encourage them,” shares one young boy. “God, protect Lebanon and heal the injured,” prays a young girl. “May the people who lost their homes find other homes.” A second girl, from Egypt, prays, “God please protect your kids, heal all injured, stay with tired people and bless them. Protect Beirut and all the world.”

United through prayer and creativity

Andrea El-Mounayer, SAT-7 KIDS Channel Manager, also contacted child psychologists, other experts, and local children’s centres to explore the best means through which SAT-7 KIDS can support its young viewers across the region, especially those in Lebanon.

“It is not yet clear how many children witnessed the explosion, and expert advice shows it is too early to speak to children about their experiences,” shares El-Mounayer. “One children’s centre near the explosion was totally devastated, but thankfully all the children are safe.” Such child centres are vital hubs for children of different backgrounds, including Syrian refugee children.

As part of SAT-7’s For Beirut campaign, SAT-7 KIDS will launch a project called The Story of This Summer. Throughout the rest of the summer, children across the MENA will be invited to send in their creative work, such as videos, songs, dances, and pictures, to share their experiences during the summer. The project will give children across the MENA who have experienced challenging circumstances a safe outlet, an opportunity to participate in an activity together, and to pray for and with one another.

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