Arab Christians reaching out to tsunami victims

By January 12, 2005

Middle East (MNN) — While the death toll continues to rise in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster, the tragedy has affected a satellite television network that ministers in the Middle East and North Africa. The organization? – SAT-7.

According to ministry leaders a friend and supporter of the ministry, Flemming Kofod-Svendsen, a pastor and former member of the Danish parliament, lost his son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. The daughter and son-in-law of the former head of SAT-7’s Egypt office were on their honeymoon and were only spared because their hotel room was on the 5th floor. The first three floors were engulfed by the rushing waters. Also, the Executive Director of SAT-7 Great Britain, Sonia Home and her husband were in Thailand. They were on the beach just as the tsunami was about to hit, but they ran to higher ground and were unharmed.

Those connections and their compassion for the victims encouraged SAT-7 to take action. Several SAT-7 staff members began creating TV announcements urging their viewers in the Arab world to pray for the suffering in Asia. The spots also encourage viewers to give to organizations like World Vision, UNICEF, the International Red Cross and MedAir.

Terry Ascott, SAT-7 CEO, says the disaster is a hot topic in the Middle East. He says, “Many people in the Arab world, of many religions, are asking, ‘Why did some live while so many perished?’ Some say the tsunami is God’s judgment on the sins of that part of Asia — where some nations are well known for prostitution and other vices. Others say the earthquake is a signal that we are in the “End Times.”

Ascott says while we may never know why this happened, he says we do serve a loving God. He’s praying that God’s glory will be revealed and that many will turn their attention to Christ and His sacrifice.

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