Middle East (MNN) — What if you could share the Gospel with women thousands of miles away, just by cooking a meal in your kitchen at home?
Believe it or not, it’s possible, thanks to a great idea from Nancy Stafford, the honorary leadership chair of Women for Middle East Hope, a wing of Christian satellite television ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, SAT-7
“Part of our goal for Women for Middle East Hope is to be a bridge builder between women of the West and women of the Middle East and North Africa,” says Stafford.
The kitchen is the heart of the home, and as Stafford says, food is a language everyone understands. Her idea was to create a cookbook containing international recipes from the Middle East and North Africa.
“Each of these dishes has got a woman featured who talks about her life a little bit,” says Stafford. “So, it’s an educational tool, it’s a connecting tool, and it’s just fun.”
It was Debbie Brink of Women for Middle East Hope who thought to print testimonies along with the recipes. These stories are good praise and prayer points, but there’s a practical strategy, too.
Brink says, “By purchasing it, you’re helping to fund more programming for women through SAT-7. So, each purchase helps to produce more programming that’s geared toward women, their struggles, their family issues, how to raise their children, and how to be a good wife. And so the Gospel is presented in a variety of different ways through these programs that now women around the West are able to help fund through these purchases.”
Brink made sure some of her favorite recipes made it into the cookbook–ones she had on her first trips to the Middle East. One is a chicken and rice recipe, the other is a pastry that doubles as a dessert and breakfast food. These and many more authentic, favorite, and easy-to-prepare recipes fill the pages of the book.
I bought the book, now what?
Stafford says buying the book is only the beginning of possible ways to help SAT-7’s television ministry to women.
Women for Middle East Hope also has a study guide available called Hope for the Hopeless. It is a discussion with biblically-based ideas on how you can make a difference in the lives of women in the Middle East and North Africa.
One idea is to host a Middle Eastern meal with women and then use the study guide to brainstorm about how those women can help other women in the East.
Fundraising would help support the ministry going on with SAT-7.
Stafford says, “The programming on SAT-7 that’s aimed at women is phenomenal. And to really put it in perspective: in that part of the world, to have as much dedicated programming for women as we already have is almost unheard of.”
They want to do more, but it will take funds.
You may want to note that Women for Middle East Hope has an expanding store of jewelry and other items; the proceeds will help this ministry. Check it out here.
Brink shares a way you can be praying for these women and their families.
“I just came back from Tunisia. I had never been there before, and I met some wonderful women,” she says. “Women are coming to the Lord. They’re not allowed to publicly say that very often, but I think we need to pray for those women who are in the shadows, quietly coming to Christ who need to have discipleship, they need to understand more about what the Bible says, they need to grow in their faith.”
She continues, “We also need to pray for the women in the families that we’re hearing about every day on the news that are now refugees having to flee their countries and their homes and leaving everything behind and living in camps.”
These families, fleeing to and from Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, have nothing left.
Pray that SAT-7 and Women for Middle East Hope would continue to be an effective ministry to those in need. Pray for the success of SAT-7’s educational program for children in camps. Pray that their faith would be encouraged because of the help they are receiving.