Middle East (MNN) — According to the U.S. Center for World Missions, one in 7 people around the world are followers of Jesus Christ. While that's a huge number, there are still many who have yet to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. But it also means there are many new believers in hard-to-reach areas of the world who need training. The Middle East and North Africa are two of them.
SAT-7, Christian satellite television for the Middle East and North Africa, is doing something about through a partnership. President of SAT-7 USA Rex Rogers says the effort is being called TEACH. "We're just now launching it. TEACH is an acronym that stands for Theological Education for Arab Christians at Home. It's 43 courses, all in the Arabic language. And it will be put on air and online over the next five years."
TEACH is a partnership between SAT-7, Overseas Council, and Middle East Council for Middle East education. Rogers says it's designed to answer a need in the countries of Morocco, Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia. "They don't have churches or Christian schools, seminaries, or Bible colleges, or even materials to grow and strengthen the church. So this effort is really intended to strengthen the church of North Africa and of course the Middle East."
SAT-7 will produce at least 430 half-hour episodes that will teach various components of this curriculum and reinforce it. The other groups will be putting the information online.
Rogers says while SAT-7 has had Bible teaching on television before, this is a little different. "They're intended to cover the entirety of the Bible. And while SAT-7's teaching programs have always been very good and very intentional, they really haven't been available in a systematic way."
Rogers says many leaders aren't qualified. "They're novices, many times, in the faith. You have people leading churches in places like Morocco or Algeria that maybe have only been believers for three to six months."
The effort does come with a price tag. "It's a 9.6 million dollar project that pays for airtime, production, program development, and also the online component. It includes that, too, over five years."
Funding is still needed to complete the project. If you're feeling God's call to help, click here.