Reaching the Cultural Heart
The world is looking for hope, but most people don’t realize Jesus Christ is that hope. In fact, many in Central Asia and the Middle East think they already know everything they need to know about Christianity and they want no part of it. Here at GHM, we get a little creative in our endeavors to reach hurting hearts, so they can hear the message we share. We call it reaching the cultural heart to share the our spiritual message.
We go to many extremes to accomplish this that others might see as unnecessary, but we’ve learned how vital it is to the message we share. The hosts of our shows were born in the countries we minister to. They are native speakers of the programs’ heart languages. We go to great lengths to ensure the guests featured in our productions are natives also; born in the countries and speaking the heart languages, just like the hosts. We are careful about each item on our sets, so nothing reveals our productions are created in the US, rather than the target country. The music on our shows come from the nations for which they are produced. We want nothing to harden the hearts of our viewers to the message we bring.
We package our message in engaging formats to draw in people who would never turn on a “religious” program. Talk shows on women’s issues, men’s cooking shows, and animal shows enjoyed by the entire family are our entertainment vehicles. We have talked to many people who watch our shows and “overlook” our message…at least until the Holy Spirit gets a hold on them.
Since the very beginning we have encouraged our viewers to contact us through our websites and email. We heard from many of them, but we needed a tool to effectively mentor these hurting hearts. So, back in August, we kicked off Connect, a counseling service for our viewers. Connect capitalizes on the emotional heart response of our viewers’ and turns it into a relationship, just like Sophia’s story from last week.
Connect uses a computer program called ECHO to provide secure phone and text counseling, allowing us to reach across the world in one-to-one conversations. Our new broadcasts feature a banner along the bottom of the screen, encouraging viewers to call us. When they first call, in order to protect them, all we do is get contact information. Then we can call them back on our secure system, which has never been breached. Some callers want to know more about Jesus. Others are struggling with addiction, witchcraft, divorce or abuse and just need someone to talk to. With Connect, we can be that someone.
Connect is still in its infancy and we’ve faced some challenges. Earning enough trust for our viewers to actually make the call is a huge hurdle. Even then, some callers are angry and all they want to do is scream abuse at our counselors. Even though our invitations are made in Uzbek and Azerbaijani, many times our callers are Farsi-speakers. In these instances we are able to patch theses callers through to our ministry partners at Mohabat TV.
Connect is still very new, but we can already see how valuable it is to our callers. Right now we only offer the phone number on a limited basis, because we only have a few counselors who are able to answer the calls, but we look forward to a day when we’ll have counselors available around the clock and our phone number will be offered on every broadcast.
Join Your Heart to Ours
By supporting Connect, you can partner with Global Heart Ministries to fulfill The Great Commission in this generation. Together we can bring the light and the truth of Jesus Christ right into the living rooms of every deceived child, every oppressed woman and every hurting home. This is our message. This is our call.
We invite you to join this vision as a volunteer, a prayer warrior, or a financial donor. Contact us today by phone or email. Let us know how you’d like to partner with us as we reach out to the Most Unreached regions of the world.