MENA (SAT-7) — Around the world, churches, schools, businesses, and families have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly every industry seems to have been impacted in some way; many television shows and programs have halted or drastically altered programming while everyone’s in quarantine.
But SAT-7’s audience in the Middle East and North Africa needs the programming SAT-7 provides. Although they’ve canceled their Network 2020 conference and implemented work-from-home mandates for staff in many SAT-7 studios, they’re continuing production.
But why the urgency? Nicoletta Michael says SAT-7 is focusing its programming and its pandemic response into four main categories.
- COVID-19 Awareness and Prevention. SAT-7 is making efforts to spread news and precautions directly from the World Health Organization to its audience. Their goal: teaching safe and healthy practices to anyone who may not know what it takes to keep their communities safe from COVID-19.
- Education. Education was hard enough for families to access in the Middle East and North Africa before the pandemic hit. Now, in addition to families who could send their kids to school in the first place, kids who did have access to education are stuck at home with no way to learn. That’s why SAT-7 “designed and redesigned our program… so that we could respond to the educational needs of the children [and] support parents in homeschooling.”
- Mental and Relational Wellbeing. According to Michael, “We felt it was important to address this issue and how those viewers could maintain their physical and mental wellbeing by taking care of [not just] their body but their minds as well.” SAT-7 also addresses some of the relational challenges that face families in lockdown, such as an international rise in domestic abuse.
- Spiritual Support. In times as tumultuous as these, people have questions. They want to know where God is, how they’re meant to stay a part of a body of believers, and where they can find hope in the middle of chaos. Fortunately, SAT-7 was “able to address those questions, bring the church to people’s houses, and bring support to people [while] also answering these questions.”
SAT-7 is covering each one of these topics with minimal staff and while following all government-instructed safety precautions. Staff members are either working from home or rotating in set crews to avoid contact with one another in case of contamination. SAT-7 personnel maintains required distancing. They’ve minimized the amount of content they’re producing.
But they’re still producing.
Pray for staff. “During this time, they have shown extreme adaptability and flexibility and courage,” Michael says. “They have put themselves second so they can be responding to the needs of the people in [the Middle East and North Africa].”
Pray that they will continue to stay healthy and that their families will remain safe during this pandemic.
Pray for viewers. Some members of SAT-7’s audience have been in the hospital, so pray for their safety and health in the days ahead.
“We would like to pray for God’s guidance in giving the right answers to people that are caught now in different dilemmas and questions.”
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Header photo courtesy of Pixabay.