The Faith of Our Founding Fathers

HEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST: FAITH’S DISAVOWAL OF DEPENDENCE

America’s Independence Day

July 4, 1776:  The day America officially declared independence from Britain.  Today we celebrate that milestone with picnics and fireworks, but back in 1776, the signing of the Declaration of Independence was a solemn step  which would lead to a bloody war with Britain.  In many ways it was America’s first Civil War, because while those who believed in independence won the war, there were many living in America in 1776 who were actually loyal to the Crown and King.

Taxation was the sticking point that eventually drove Americans to part ways with Britain, but our spirit of independence was born out of a desire for religious freedom.  After Christopher Columbus made his famous voyage in 1492 for Spain, soon adventurers from all over Europe were making their way to the New World with a wide variety of motivations, from pure greed to pious claims of spreading Christianity.  But all these adventurers were merely visiting the New World to plunder it for European fame, fortune or furtherance in religious organizations.

When the Pilgrims came to Virginia in 1607, they came to make a home, because they could not safely practice their faith in their own homeland.  They were followed shortly by the Puritans, Quakers and other groups seeking religious freedom of one kind or another – even the freedom to have no religion at all.

Unfortunately, many of those who came to America to escape religious persecution were quick to impose their own form of religious intolerance on others.  Almost without exception, those who desired to persecute all others who did not practice their own religion, claimed their intolerance was to protect God, but other voices prevailed.

Though Americans have not always gotten it right, the value of religious freedom, for everyone’s brand of religion, was an early concern of the Founding Fathers.  Smithsonian.com points out, James Madison, a future president at the time, “noted that Christianity had spread in the face of persecution from worldly powers, not with their help. Christianity, he contended, ‘disavows a dependence on the powers of this world…for it is known that this Religion both existed and flourished, not only without the support of human laws, but in spite of every opposition from them. ‘”

Today we imagine the birth of our nation to resemble our national bird, the Bald Eagle, climbing fully-formed out of  an egg, but in truth, like a newly hatched eaglet, it took time to develop the ideas that eventually became our Constitution and Bill of Rights.  The Declaration of Independence was written in 1776 and the Constitution in 1788, but the Bill of Rights was not written until 1791.  It is there that our freedom of religions was advanced and today is protected:

 “Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

The Disavowal of Dependence

Today, GHM can testify to the Christian faith’s disavowal of dependence on the powers of the world.  In America, where religious freedom is protected, many clamor for a freedom from religion, traditional Christian churches report attendance is down and religions John Madison never heard of spring up almost daily – some with no relationship to Christianity beyond a disdain for it.

However, in The Middle East and Central Asia, where Christianity is actively persecuted in many areas and barely tolerated in others, people are clamoring to have access to the Bible and to meet with Christians.  It is impossible to count the number of people to whom Jesus Christ has appeared in dreams and visions.  The Spirit moves without the support or encouragement of the governments of these countries.

It is for these seekers and new Believers we produce Christian programming to be broadcast via satellite in countries like Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.  By training and mentoring home pastors we encourage Believers in this country to continue to fight the good fight and offer the hope they have to others.  Wouldn’t you like to partner with us in these efforts?

Help Reap the Harvest

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.
Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

You can partner with Global Heart Ministries to fulfill The Great Commission in this generation in The Middle East and Central Asia. 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.

 

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Media Makes a Difference for Volunteer

Alma maintains the GHM database.

HEARTS AFLAME:  ALMA DIXON KNOWS DATA MATTERS

Alma Dixon is a volunteer we can’t live without.  Our database of donors, volunteers and partners is critical to our operation and she’s the one who keeps it percolating along.  Because of her, our supporters get their their newsletters, e-news and records of their donations.  When we pick up the phone and call someone, the number is available because Alma keeps the database humming.  It’s a huge job and its one she volunteers for.

When we asked how she became involved with GHM, her answer was a smile and one name: Steve Sharp.  Steve was worship minister at Alma’s church when he started his ministry in Central Asia.  When he asked her to help, she “really had no choice – he never takes no as an answer.”

Sermon Tapes Put Jesus in the Driver’s Seat

Alma knows the effectiveness of media when it comes to the Gospel.  She had been brought up in a Christian home, but admits “Jesus was a passenger in [my] life.”  After she was married her brother sent her some sermon tapes which caused her to change drivers.  “The Lord began to soften my heart, I started reading the Bible, attending church and eventually I relinquished the driving to Him.”

That’s the kind of life-changing message GHM brings to The Middle East and Central Asia.  Religious leaders there promote a monotheistic belief system, but that system does not satisfy the hearts of the men, women and children of the region.  Alma reminds us, ” The people in that part of the world are eager for spiritual answers and they are responding to the Gospel message.”

Zafar, Umida and Feruza, Musician, Host and Co-host of Shukur Aytaman, Our Uzbek Women’s program

Through satellite broadcasting, GHM delivers the Gospel into the living rooms of countries like Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Iran and Kazakhstan.  When a viewer is touched by the message of our programming, there are hundreds of home pastors, trained and spiritually mentored by GHM, who can bring the viewers into their hidden churches.  As Alma pointed out, these home churches are not filled only by our viewers, but many in those areas are encountering Jesus in visions and dreams.  Even as many here in the Western World are turning their backs on Christianity, the Lord is moving in The Middle East and Central Asia.

“Think eternally, life passes quickly,” is the message Alma wants to pass on to others.  She knows her work for GHM is for the Lord and she’s happy to be a part of reaching others so far away with the Gospel.  Wouldn’t you like to join Alma and many others in supporting GHM with your time, talents and money?

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

Set Your Heart Aflame

Like Alma, 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.

 

Sweet Conversations Shoot Needs You!

An expensive undertaking

HEARTS ON THE MOVE: THE COST OF FILMING

The Costs of Video Shoots

It costs a lot to film a season of programs.  Considering the millions of people our programs reach via satellite broadcasting, it’s money well invested.  One day we sat down with a calculator to put a price tag on an individual contact for one of our children’s programs.  We discovered two children could hear the Gospel for a quarter.  That’s a pretty big return on the investment of twenty-five cents.

It is only because we are a media organization that we can reach inside some of our target countries at all.  Most nations in The Middle East and Central Asia do not allow any missionaries in their countries at all, so we couldn’t send anyone there if we wanted to.  While this is challenging in many ways, it opens the door for economy.  The price of the shoot wouldn’t begin to cover the cost of having a missionary and his family in these countries and the missionary would never be able to reach the millions of people our programs do.

Setting up our shoot in the conference room

Other Money-Saving Measures

Two other factors add to the economical nature of our video ministry:  The Hope Center and volunteers.  Ministries who are tenants of The Hope Center get a lot of perks, which is why there is such a long waiting list and also why we feel so blessed to office there.  Chief among those perks are the opportunity to use the conference rooms during the work day free of additional fees. We take over two of the large venues on the first floor of the building.  Imagine what it would cost to pay for studio time.  We are so grateful to be at The Hope Center.

GHM volunteer with slate and white balance board

Our other important financial weapon is volunteers. Many people on a GHM set are volunteering their time, beginning with our talent and their guests. Professional make-up experts, cameramen, production assistants, and others show up and put in long days for the pure joy of serving the Lord and the people in our target countries.  But that’s only the beginning.  All of our guests are hosted in private homes.  Volunteers run errands and make trips to the airport for us.  During our last shoot we saved over $1000 because volunteers provided all our meals.

Sweet Conversations Shoot Later This Month 

We’ve already made a call for volunteers for the Sweet Conversations video shoot coming June 25-July 1, but while you might not have time to join us at the shoot, perhaps you’d like to underwrite one (or more) of these expenses:

  • $4 – the cost of two dozen hard-boiled eggs – one of our crew’s favorite snacks, a days’ supply.
  • $5 – two 24 packs of 8 oz water bottles, will last a couple of days
  • $15 – for a 24 pack of AA batteries, a critical, frequently needed item
  • $25 – the cost of doughnuts for the morning break (many on the set arrive very early and by 8 AM need a pick-me-up)
  • $55 – to pay for gas for a round-trip visit to DFW Airport
  • $100 – Selection of sodas for crew lasting all week
  • $150 – the cost of providing a mid-day meal for the crew at The Hope Center’s Cafe 6:19
  • $200 – to pay an on-set technician for a day’s work (and this is a rate much lower than these professionals usually make)

Or perhaps you’d be interested in underwriting the cost of an episode.  Please contact us for more information.

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

Join Your Heart to Ours

By partnering with Global Heart Ministries during our film shoots you are helping 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.

 

 

A Invitation to Serve

On the Set with Sweet Conversations

HEARTS ON THE MOVE: SWEET CONVERSATIONS FILM SHOOT JUNE 25-JULY 1

Be Part of the Fun!

Come join us in June for a Sweet Conversations film shoot.  If you’ve been a part of one of our previous shoots, then you already know the excitement involved in filming a season of shows.  If not, then why not let June be the month you change that?  We’ll be filming Season Four of our Azerbaijani Women’s Talk Show, Sirin Sobat (Sweet Conversations).

Narmin and Tarana, the lovely co-hosts of Sweet Conversations, bring a mixture of Azerbaijani culture, current topics for women, beautiful paintings, and the Good News of the Gospel to Azerbaijani speaking audiences throughout Central Asia. For one long grueling week, they abandon their lives in other cities and come to our temporary studio to film an entire season of programs.

Global Heart Ministries
Sweet Conversations hosts Narmin & Tarana encourage Azerbaijani women all over Central Asia.

Thirteen Shows in One Week

It is necessary to film thirteen episodes because our satellite providers require that number in order to air our seasons.  We set up for our shoot in a conference room at The Hope Center and then take care of everything–set-up, filming and break-down–in one week so the other ministries at The Hope Center can utilize the space for their events. With only one week available our talent, technicians, and volunteers are in for some intense work. The call sheet assignments start very early each day and often go on until late in the evening.

Our goal is to have at least one guest per show and this season our guest list will include several visitors from Azerbaijan. Shuffling personnel in and out for the various episodes, finding them a place to stay, and transporting them to and from the airport is a huge logistical nightmare.

Just one of many jobs on the set

So How Can You Help?

First, you can start praying – right now. We’ve been lining up our guests for months.  For this season the task includes dealing with bureaucratic red tape in Azerbaijan for the necessary visas.  While that’s going on, we’re not free to share exactly who our guests will be, but we can tell you the list is exciting.

Like other Christians in Central Asia, Azerbaijanis face persecution for their faith and that makes the visa process more difficult.  The Spirit is moving and doors are opening, but for every joyful success for our believing friends, there is another story of violence, incarceration, and loss of property.  

And There’s More

We also need other kinds of help from our faithful volunteers. Here are a few of the ways you can help:

Transportation – Whether you can help out with one trip to the airport or are available all week to help move people around and run errands, we sincerely need your help.
Hosting Talent – In the Central Asian culture, guests expect to be hosted in a home, rather than in a hotel, so all of the talent will need a place to stay while they are here. Some will only need to stay for one night, while others will need to stay all week.
Providing Food – Each day we have to feed all the people working on the set. We need help in a variety of ways.

  • Each morning we have donuts. Whether you’d like to pick them up yourself and visit the set, or just underwrite the cost we’d really appreciate it.
  • Each midday we have lunch and some days we need dinner. You can help us by underwriting the cost of feeding the crew at The Hope Center’s Cafe 6:19, you can order pizzas to be delivered, pick up your favorite fast food, or if you like to cook, we’d love for you to bring us a meal.
  • We keep a table full of healthy snacks for breaks. Whether you’d like to donate individual snack items, underwrite our shopping trip to Costco, or have an organization that would like to take over the whole job, it would really be a blessing.

Prayer – This is something we always need, but most especially during our shoots. You can lift us up during the day as you go about your routine or you are welcome to arrange a visit to the set and pray as you observe.

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

Join Your Heart to Ours

By partnering with Global Heart Ministries during our film shoots you are helping 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.

Praying in the Name of Jesus

HEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST: PRAY FOR GHM

GHM Target Countries

When we tell people GHM produces Christian TV programming for The Middle East and Central Asia, they usually want to know more.  Sometimes they have specific countries on their heart that they already pray for.  Others aren’t quite sure exactly what countries are in Central Asia.

GHM has produced original programming in Turkmen, Uzbeks, and Azerbaijanis, but that doesn’t begin to reflect the wide reach of our ministry.  Here are a few reasons why:

  • In these regions, political borders are not related to the use of of languages inside the countries.  So, for instance, while Azerbaijani is the official language of Azerbaijan, there are large populations of people in several surrounding countries, including Iran and Turkey, who use Azerbaijani as their primary tongue.
  • Many of the languages in the region developed out of the same branch of the Indo-European language family or out of the Turkic language family, meaning that many people can understand many of the languages they do not actually use themselves.
  • Because languages flow so freely between the various countries we minister to, many of our potential viewers speak more than one language.

Languages Add Spice to Life

While our office is staffed by people with names like Steve and Hannah Beth, we communicate daily with our program hosts, Umida, Abror, Feruza, Narmin, and Tarana–and that’s only the beginning.  We have others who regularly appear in our programs, like Aziz, Bahtiyor, and Zafar.  During our last filming we had Mexicans, Russians, Kuwaitis, and Americans as guests, along with many Uzbeks.  There’s rarely any way to guess how many languages might be spoken on any given day in our office, and it’s hard to know which ones we’ll be hearing.

We laugh as we listen to one another struggle with an unfamiliar name or word–and spelling is a whole different subject!  We’re not complaining though.  It makes what we do so much more interesting.  That’s why we’re inviting you to join us in a little language game.

While there is only one Savior, His Name comes in many forms, according to what language you speak.  We invite you to pray to Jesus Christ for the salvation of those watching our programs, using various translations of his name spoken by our viewers  (Translations courtesy of Google Translate):

  • Arabic:  Almasih Eissa
    المسيح عيسى
  • Azerbaijani: Müqəddəs İsa
  • Georgian: Ieso K’riste
    იესო ქრისტე
  • Kazak: Иса Мәсіх
  • Kyrgyz: Ыйса Машайак
  • Russian: Иисус Христос
  • Tajik: Isoi Maseh
    Исои Масеҳ
  • Turkish: Yüce isa
  • Turkmen: Isa Mesih
  • Uzbek: Iso Masih

Join Your Heart to Ours

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

Praying for us (in English or any other language) is just one of the ways 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.

Bringing Truth to Easter

HEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST: PEELING AWAY MYTHS

The Rites of Spring

A quick glance around the Internet will quickly inform you of the pagan history of Easter.  The Easter Bunny comes from some Nordic tale of an egg-laying hare.  From the beginning of time, in myriads of cultures, an egg is the sign of new life.  Many gods and goddesses of mythology have tales of rebirth among their legends.  Even the very name of the celebration is often linked back to the name of a goddess.  For these reasons and others, some Christians shy away from celebrating what they feel is a holiday tainted by other religions.

Easter in Persian Cultures

For Christians in Central Asia, Iran, and other Persian nations, Easter is a very special time.  Before they became Christians, most Persians, like Azerbaijanis and Uzbeks enjoyed a holiday called Novruz, which we discussed last month.  Many of it’s traditions relate to the coming of spring and the signs of new life in nature.  The history of the holiday has many links into a number of religious traditions, but it has come to be celebrated in our times for the pure fun of it.  To those brought up celebrating the signs of life of nature with Novruz, the hope of Christ has a very precious meaning.

As with much of the world, America’s commercialism is pervasive in GHM’s target countries.  Our TV hosts tell us that decorated eggs, chocolate bunnies, and stuffed chicks can be found in many of their stores.  Central Asians, Iranians, and others throughout the Middle East watch newscasts and movies where Americans are making a big ado about an Easter frock or the White House Easter Egg Roll.  They are able to enjoy the festivities without any understanding of what Easter is.  They see it as a sort of American Novruz.

However, once someone becomes a Christian, New Life means much more than fresh green leaves or the return of agriculture.  Narmin, host of Sweet Conversations, our Azerbaijani Women’s Program, loves to celebrate Novruz because of the memories of friends and family it offers, but Easter has become her favorite holiday because it assures her of the hope she has found in Jesus Christ.  Umida, host of Shukar Aytaman (I Am Thankful), our Uzbek Women’s Program, could not carry her Bible when she went to her home church in Uzbekistan, but now she proudly wears a cross around her neck since she has the freedom of America.  For these women and for Christians everywhere, it is the cross and the empty tomb which are the true symbols of Easter, not rabbits and eggs.   

No one loves hope more than those who have known hopelessness. Our viewers know what it is to live without hope.  Soviet occupation squelched all religious practice. When the Russians left, Islam flooded the religious vacuum, but it did not offer hope, only rigid rules encompassing every facet of life.  The Good News of Jesus Christ, offered in every program we produce, is a refreshing wind of hope, embraced by Believers–old and new–in our target countries.

Help Reap the Harvest

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.
Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

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.

Farsi, The Persian Heart Language

“Farsi” Written in Persian

HEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST: MODERN LANGUAGE WITH ANCIENT ROOTS

Multiple Languages in One Nation

Several months ago we told you how the Iran of the Ancient Silk Roads has become a modern day linguistic crossroads for The Middle East and Central Asia.  Representatives from virtually every language of these areas live in Iran and speak their own tongue within its borders.  However, Iranians also have their own language called Farsi and it has ancient Persian roots.

One Language, Ancient Roots and Much Influence

Use of Old Persian, the grandmother of the Farsi used in Iran today, can actually be traced back to Persis, the capital of the Achaemenid Empire, discussed in a previous blog, so it is at least 2500 years old.  What was once the capital city of Persis is in the Fars Province of modern Iran, hence the name “Farsi.”

According to Farsinet.com, Farsi is the most widely spoken of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian languages and Wikipedia says there are about 110 million people around the world who use it.  The primary countries using Farsi are Iran, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, but it is considered a prestigious cultural language in Western, Central, and South Asia and has influenced neighboring tongues such as Arabic and the Turkic languages.

Because of a long history in literature, Middle Persian (the form before the current language and after the original Achaemenid use) was the first language in the Muslim world to break Arabic’s monopoly on writing, according to Wikipedia.  The literary classics in these countries include many works of Persian authorship.

So What?

Perhaps you are wondering why all of this matters to GHM.  Well, because the use of heart languages is foundational to what we do, that’s why.  Our programming is designed to reach the cultural heart of our viewers and part of that task is accomplished by using native speakers of our heart languages as hosts.  We have produced original Christian programming in Azerbaijani, Uzbek, and Turkmen.

To our delight, these programs are enjoyed throughout The Middle East and Central Asia, regardless of the name of the country, because the geographical boundaries have little influence on the use of heart languages.  Also, Azerbaijani, Uzbek, and Turkmen languages can be understood to a great degree by other people who also speak Turkish-based languages.

Now we want to take it to the next level.  Since Iranians already share the Persian culture our programs target, by lip-synch dubbing them into Farsi, we could multiply exponentially the number of potential viewers.  Remember, Farsi is spoken by 110 million people in the world and the influence of the Persian culture followed the Empire into the Indian subcontinent and throughout the rest of Asia.

Lip-synch dubbing is a translation method which seamlessly transforms the language spoken so well only an expert can tell it has been dubbed.  Imagine all the lost men, women, and children mired in hopelessness who could be freed into the joy of salvation by watching our programs.  So that is our dream, to lip-synch dub all the many programs we have already produced into Farsi.

While lip-synch dubbing a program is inexpensive in comparison to producing a new program, it still takes money.  While money is not something we like to spend much time talking about, it is very necessary to this opportunity the Lord of languages has set before us.  The Lord God confused the languages at the Tower of Babel and now He is leading us to take His message to His children who speak Farsi.

Help Reap the Harvest

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.
Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

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.

How Did a Jewess Become Queen of Persia?

HEARTS OVERFLOWING: QUEEN ESTHER AND ESTHER’S FRIENDS

Esther by Narmin Backus
Esther by Narmin Backus

Once Upon a Time

While the Bible contains many accounts reading more like an adventure story than part of a religious text, it could be argued the tale of Haddesah is one of the more remarkable:

A young orphan is being raised by her uncle in the city of Susa.  One day it is announced the king ‘s eunuchs are holding a beauty contest to find a new queen.  The lovely Haddesah is quickly chosen to be among the contestants and her personality is so sweetly unique she gains the notice of all.  Because of a friendship with the eunuch in charge of the contest and her own wisdom, she gains the king’s favor when presented to him and the lovely Haddesah becomes Queen Esther.  

The most wondrous thing about this tale is that it is absolutely true, but what makes it even more amazing is this: Haddesah is a Jew.  Today’s Jews still celebrate the festival of Purim, which commemorates her astonishing contribution to the nation of Israel.  How in the world did a Jewish orphan end up queen of a Persian court?

Artist's conceptual drawing of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Artist’s conceptual drawing of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The Babylonian Captivity

If you’ve read our most recent blogs about Persian history and culture, you’ll remember the Babylonian captivity of the nation of Israel, by King Nebuchadnezzar, brought Israeli captives from Israel to Babylon.  Then Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon, so he inherited the lands Nebuchadnezzar controlled and the Jewish captives in Babylon.

The magnanimous Cyrus allowed all of his subjects to follow their own religious persuasions and he allowed Jewish captives to return home.  The book of Nehemiah tells the story of the return to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall and the Temple.  However, not everyone wanted to return.

The Jews had been in Babylon for 70 years.  Many had been born there.  Many held important positions in the government of the Babylonians and continued to earn favors under Cyrus.  A life rebuilding their traditional home did not seem as desirable as continuing their pleasant sojourn under the auspices of the wise King Cyrus.

Susa today, a UNESCO world heritage site dates back to the time of Queen Esther
Susa today, a UNESCO world heritage site dates back to the time of Queen Esther

Enter Xerxes and the City of Susa

Susa is the city where the action in the book of Esther took place. While there are some scholars who tag Artaxerxes as the Persian king called Ahasuerus in the Book of Esther, most say Ahasuerus was Xerxes, the son of Darius.  Both kings made their home in Susa, a city which associated with both Daniel and Nehemiah, so one might say Haddesah was in the right place at the right time to save the Jewish nation.

Remember, at the time of Esther/Haddesah, Persia included everything from Turkey to India west to east and everything from Egypt to Russia south to north.  This means that the city of Jerusalem and its new temple were included.  It also means that far flung Jewish communities, like those still existing in Uzbekistan until today were under the rule of Queen Esther.

When the evil courtier Haman, frustrated by Queen Esther’s uncle Mordecai, tricked the King into allowing all the Jews of the Persian Empire to be killed, the entire Jewish race was within the reaches of the empire and they would have all been slain.  But King Ahasuerus didn’t know his queen was a Jew.  The wily Mordecai had insisted she keep this part of her history a secret.

Before revealing how Haman’s evil plot would reach into the palace of Susa and cost the king his queen, Esther and her ladies fasted and prayed.  The roll-out of Esther’s reveal contains cliff-hangers of the highest order, but they also demonstrate dramatically how the will of the Lord works out in the lives of real people – like the King and Queen of Persia, an evil courtier named Haman and Uncle Mordecai, who eventually became second only to the King in Persia.

Esther’s Friends

When Queen Esther wondered if it was indeed her place to approach the king about Haman’s scheme, her uncle told her it was likely God had placed her in her high position, “for such a time as this.”  Like Queen Esther, Global Heart Ministries has been placed in history at a very specific time – a time when technology has opened a window for the Gospel to shine its light into the Middle East and Central Asia.  We have no idea if this modern day miracle will continue, but as long as it does, like Esther, “thus [we] will go.”

Also, like Queen Esther, we have a group of ladies who join us in our endeavors.  We call them Esther’s Friends.  They pray for us, volunteer with us and donate to us on a regular basis, helping to further the Kingdom of God among the Persians and the Arabs.  If you’d like to join Esther’s Friends in our battle for the Gospel in the Middle East and Central Asia, contact our volunteer coordinator at jane.sadek@globalheartministries.org

Join Your Heart to Ours

Joining Esther’s Friends is just one of the ways 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.

 

 

26 Free Tablets for Kids

closeboysmileHEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST: AGES 4-14 IN THE 10/40 WINDOW

Smiles and Statistics

Everything we do at GHM is directed at putting smiles on the faces of men, women, and children in Central Asia and the Middle East – not temporary happy smiles arising out of situations which will last only a few moments, but smiles reflecting the eternal joy of salvation. These are real people to us, with real challenges, and they need the Lord.  We never forget that.

However, our supporters donate to us with the understanding that we’ve done our homework.  You want us to use your dollar to effectively reach the lost, so your treasure will not be squandered. To do that, we utilize all the relevant statistics to strategize our plans.

The 10/40 Window

second-10-40

The latest relevant statistics focus on an area popularly called the 10/40 Window.  This is the area of the world, delineated by the 10th and 40th lines of latitude, where the greatest numbers of people unreached by the Gospel are located.

GHM hearts map
Hearts indicate countries where GHM is involved through satellite broadcasting, phone/text counseling, and home pastor training.

 

When you compare this map with the GHM Heart Map, it is easy to see why we have chosen Central Asia and the Middle East as our target areas.  Not only are these countries geographically contiguous, they also share a cultural heart.  In addition, while political boundaries divide the areas into countries, the dominant languages spill across borders with little attention to the name of the country.

The 4/14 Age Group

Another important statistic for this region is the fact that 70% of the world’s 4-14 year olds live within these longitudinal meridians.  According to groups like Compassion International and the Window International Network, that’s about 833,000,000 lives. While children are not our sole target in these areas, many ministries do have the strategy of reaching out to children to become global agents for change.

one_hope_logo2One of those child-focused ministry groups is One Hope.  For thirty years their focus has been providing God’s Word to every child.  This year they plan to reach 101 million children with the Gospel and they are partnering with us to reach Azerbaijani & Uzbek-speaking children.

The 26 Free Tablets

One Hope utilizes many innovative and creative mediums to spread the Word and they partner with other ministries to reach their goals.  Many ministries share the the same goals as One Hope and each of us has developed our own effective tools.  Like GHM, One Hope doesn’t consider the job done just because someone has had an opportunity to hear the Gospel.  Both of our ministries want to create a relationship with our viewers to build seekers and new converts into strong Christians.

This is why One Hope has partnered with us for translating our Children’s Programs into Azerbaijani and offering 26 Free Tablets to our Uzbek and Azerbaijani audiences in a contest.  When these programs are shown, we’ll also announce the Tablet contest and ask viewers to enter by providing a little contact information.

Not only will we give away 26 Tablets loaded with all our programming in Uzbek and Azerbaijani, we’ll receive contact information for millions of families across the region. That information will be used by both ministries to reach out to these families on the ground. What a marvelous partnership!

Help Reap the Harvest

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.
Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

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.

Expanding Our Reach Through Dubbing

dsc_0218HEARTS ON THE MOVE: REACHING MORE PEOPLE WITH LESS MONEY

The Cost of Production

We’ll be honest with you.  Filming a new season of shows is one of our favorite ways to spend a week.  It gets all of us together in the same room being creative.  We see members of our cast and crew that we only see during filming.  Many of our techs live here, but they have other full-time employment which means we only see them at shoots.  Volunteers come in to help out.  We have meals together, pray together, and worship together.  We love it.

However, video shoots are wildly expensive and they are only the tip of the iceberg.  Once the film is in the can, so to speak, the production process has just begun. Depending on the complexity of the program, and the complications experienced during the shoot, it can take from six months to a year to get a show ready for broadcast.  Post production represents a huge expenditure of  both personnel and equipment.

The expense is well worth it.  Our programs are broadcast on four satellites, each of which reaches hundreds of millions of men, women, and children in Central Asia and the Middle East.  This form of ministry is by far the most cost effective ministry available and in places such as our target countries; it is the only way to reach unbelievers in a way that is safe for us and for them.

And satellite broadcasting is just the beginning!  We upload our videos to several sites, like Vimeo and globalheartmedia.org where our audiences can stream them 24 hours a day, every day.  We are also able to download the programming to memory sticks and SD Cards for on-the-ground distribution.  We’re even discussing using portable video players inside a few of our target countries to raise awareness of our programs among House Churches.  As you can see, we squeeze each episode filmed for the maximum exposure.

The Magic of Lip Synch Dubbing

Several times in recent months we have mentioned our new lip-synch dubbing project. We’re transforming Uzbek Hikoyalar Zamini into Azerbaijani Hekayeler Alemi (Story Land in both languages).

Filming and producing a new season costs approximately $130,000 from start to finish. Transforming a completed episode into a new language costs about $30,000.  That’s an approximate $100,000 in savings!   It’s easy to see the economy lip-synch dubbing brings to our productions.  Suddenly, for a fraction of the cost of a new program, we can reach a whole new audience.  The cultural feel of the programs are appropriate throughout Central Asia and the Middle East, but new languages make them readily accessible to children in various language groups.

For our current lip-synch project, another ministry has partnered with us financially, because Story World so perfectly fits their target audience in Azerbaijan and places in Iran where Azerbaijani is the predominant language.  We hope one day we are able to lip-synch all of our completed programming into other languages, like Farsi, Arabic, and the Turkish language.  We feel this will allow us to make the best use of the programs God has allowed us to produce.  We’d love for you to help us afford this worthy goal.

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.
Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

Join Your Heart to Ours

By partnering with Global Heart Ministries, you are helping 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.