THE LITTLE SHOW TEACHING CHILDREN ABOUT JESUS

With its handmade children’s program, Sweet Anecdotes, SAT-7’s Persian channel is going small. The makers are taking a traditional approach to animation – filming little paper characters in a miniature set – and using it to share the Gospel with young viewers in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan.

“We have never made a program like this at SAT-7 before,” says Mironas Leys, director of Sweet Anecdotes. “When I was a kid there were animations like this that I used to watch, and I really enjoyed them. I learned a lot from those shows, so I thought this could be an effective way to teach kids about Jesus.”

A LABOUR OF LOVE

The strategy for Sweet Anecdotes could not be simpler: present the events of Jesus’ life in chronological order, from His birth all the way through to His resurrection. But the process is not so straightforward. Each scene requires a high level of artistry, attention to detail, and effort.

Each 10-minute episode features a range of paper characters, who are carefully designed and assembled on site, as well as multiple handmade backdrops. The tiny characters slot into horizontal grooves running along the bottom of the set and are brought to life by a ‘puppet master’ beneath the platform.

It is a time-consuming and labour-intensive process, but the desire to produce something original makes it all worthwhile. “Nowadays, with the technology out there, a lot of these elements can be produced electronically,” explains Mironas. “But this is all work done by hand; it is original content. With kids’ programs being one of our priorities as a channel, we want and need to be more creative in our approach.”

EARLY LEARNING

Mironas believes that even the youngest of children will be able to understand the stories about Jesus’ life as told through Sweet Anecdotes. “Through this program we can teach children from an early age about Jesus. Even very young children can enjoy this kind of animation.”

Mironas grew up in Iran and did not learn about Jesus until later in life. “In Iran, children do not learn about Jesus or Christianity; there are very few sources of information,” he said. SAT-7 PARS’ growing catalogue of programs for children and youth is helping to change that.

Darya, a young SAT-7 PARS viewer from Iran, recently told us, “I am so grateful to you for helping me to come to faith in Christ while I am young,” while another young girl named Shida said, “Thank you for helping me in recent times to learn so many things from the word of God.”

Through Gospel programs like Sweet Anecdotes, SAT-7 PARS is laying a foundation of faith in the lives of little children, in the hope that many of them will go on to follow Jesus as adults.

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