TESTIMONIES AND TUNES IN THE TAJIK TONGUE
SAT-7 PARS’ mission is to provide holistic Christian television for everyone in the Persian-speaking world. Thanks to a courageous Christian musician, the channel has now produced its first series in the Tajik dialect, called Our Salvation is in Him.
“There is a need for programs in the heart language of Tajikistan,” says Director and Producer Mikael Tunér, who grew up in the region and whose vision is to make a variety of shows in Tajik. While Iranian Farsi is widely understood among all Persian-speakers, audiences feel a sense of familiarity and belonging when a presenter speaks in their mother tongue.
A PASSION FOR WITNESS
SAT-7 PARS has been looking for Tajik-speaking program hosts for a long time, as it is a challenge to find Tajik Christians willing to talk about their faith on television. Finally, Tunér says, “God sent us Mahinbonu!”
Mahinbonu Gazanova is a well-known Christian singer who began her personal relationship with Jesus at age 42. Now 65, she is as eager as ever to tell others about God’s work in her life.
“In Tajikistan, I can only talk to people I meet face-to-face,” she says. “I prayed for the opportunity to share my testimony with many people in my country via radio or television.” Within a week, God answered her prayer, and the opportunity arose to appear on SAT-7 PARS. In mid-2017, Mahinbonu travelled to the IRR-TV studios in Finland to record the first series of Our Salvation is in Him.
A VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS
Mahinbonu shares her testimony over the course of the series, interspersing it with worship songs she has written. “As Mahinbonu shares the story of how she became a believer, she is lending her voice to those who are unable to share their own stories,” explains Tunér. Mahinbonu’s songs also enable Tajik viewers to praise God in their own language, in their own homes.
Unfortunately, the filming of Our Salvation is in Him was cut short when Mahinbonu fell ill after making eight episodes. But God’s hand was still in the project. The day Mahinbonu had to leave the studio, Tunér heard from another Tajik Christian singer interested in working with SAT-7 PARS. Farangis Soleiva will join the team in 2018 to record the five remaining episodes of the first season. The channel’s team is praying for Mahinbonu’s recovery and giving thanks for God’s provision for the program, which will air soon.