I work with SAT-7, a Cyprus-based Christian satellite television ministry broadcasting in Arabic, Farsi, and Turkish to 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and 50 countries in Europe too. It’s a distinctive ministry methodology, using satellite broadcasts to beam uncensored Christian programming into a few open but many closed or largely closed countries in the region.
In particular, I serve with SAT-7 USA, the Easton, Maryland based American development arm of SAT-7. SAT-7 USA is what we call a support office. Others include SAT-7 Europe, SAT-7 UK, and SAT-7 Canada.
Christian satellite television is not your grandfather’s approach to missions. It’s been around for about 15 years, but it’s still viable. On the bleeding edge satellite television is converging with smart phones, social media, and other similar technologies, so who knows what the future holds? Still, satellite television in the Middle East is predicted to be viable for some years to come in a region of the world where more than 50% of the people are illiterate and the Internet has yet to make the infrastructure inroads it has in Asia.
While SAT-7 represents a creative and effective ministry paradigm, we still need in-country on ground missionaries, and God bless them for their work. But in many places in the Middle East and North Africa people involved in Christian work cannot safely carry out their assignments. In some countries like Saudi Arabia churches are banned. In some countries like Iran, churches exist but typically as secret house churches. Believers meet in small groups, are led by whoever is available, and sing in whispers.
These circumstances represent more reasons why I believe SAT-7’s capacity to edify the region’s Church and evangelize the lost via satellite television is such an incredible technological gift for such a time as this. It’s spiritually effective: we know this from the innumerable audience comments we receive testifying to changed lives. And it’s financially efficient: we’re able to reach viewers for about $1 per viewer per year. Incredible.
Allow me to speak personally for a moment. I recognize that even if God allowed me to live until I’m considered elderly, I’ve already lived most of my life on earth. Only God knows how long I will live. I don’t. But I do know that I want to finish well. I want to use my time for the Lord.
I want to be engaged in a ministry that brings the message of Christ to people in a way that changes their lives. I want to give money to a ministry that has integrity, exercises good stewardship, and aspires to do more for the Lord. I want to support and pray for a ministry that is at the center of global significance.
This is SAT-7. It’s getting the job done despite political, social, ideological, religious, and cultural obstacles. It works.
So with Thanksgiving tomorrow, I am glad and thankful God has placed me where he has. To serve him in support of such a spiritually strategic ministry is a privilege.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010
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