EASTON, MD — As a young girl, Christina Issa found a way to block out the horror of war raging in her homeland of Syria — by watching a faith-based television channel for kids, broadcast in her native Arabic.
She never dreamed that a few years later she’d be a presenter on the same channel, SAT-7 KIDS, encouraging other girls and boys living amidst war, violence and devastating loss.
To watch her story, click here.
On International Day of the Girl — a global awareness event held on Oct. 11 each year — Issa, now age 21, is using her platform to show girls living in even the most desperate circumstances that faith in God can change their lives.
Television: ‘Source of Hope’
“Growing up in the middle of war in Syria, life was full of uncertainty and fear,” Issa recalled. “But in the chaos, there was a source of hope that brought comfort to us… a sound coming from our small television set.”
Issa and her siblings crowded around their television set every day to watch SAT-7 KIDS (www.sat7usa.org), a free-to-view channel broadcasting Bible-based content in regional languages with local presenters across the Middle East and North Africa.
As Syria plunged deeper into civil war — a brutal conflict that has claimed an estimated 350,000 lives since 2011 — Issa says it was “hard to keep our faith strong when everything around us was falling apart.”
Issa’s own life fell apart at age 14 when her father died of cancer. She lost her faith “in God and everyone.”
After her family moved to Lebanon to escape the war, Issa’s faith slowly began to return. “Deep down, I knew all I ever needed was one more gathering around that television set,” she recalled.
When SAT-7 KIDS auditioned for new presenters for its “Challenge Accepted” show, Issa jumped at the opportunity and was hired.
“I found myself working for the same television channel that brought so much comfort to me as a child in Syria,” she said. “At that moment, I remembered little me, wishing to go into that television in our living room, never knowing that it might actually come true one day.”
Now in the show’s third season, Issa shares her faith and experiences with a generation of young viewers across the Middle East facing their own struggles and heartaches.
“I want to reassure them that their pain is understood and they are never alone,” she said. “With Jesus, they have the strength to overcome life’s storms.”
Launched in 1996, SAT-7 USA (www.sat7usa.org) — with its international headquarters in Cyprus — broadcasts Christian and educational satellite television and online programs in the Middle East and North Africa. Its mission is to make the gospel available to everyone, and support the church in its life, work and witness for Jesus Christ. SAT-7 broadcasts 24/7 in Arabic, Farsi (Persian), Dari, and Turkish, using multiple satellite channels and online services.
CONTACT: Matti Stevenson, 719-360-0586, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Global News Alliance, Out of War: Girl Becomes TV Inspiration in Troubled Middle East