Even to Smile is a Radical Thing

Smiling for the Joy of the Lord!

HEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST: WOMEN DON’T SMILE IN MY COUNTRY

Ready! Set!  Action!

Umida and Feruza were dressed for the set. Lori had finished their hair and make-up.  The cameramen, techs, and producer were set-up to film around a water feature in a garden. Everything was ready to shoot the opening scene for the Shukar Aytayman (I Am Thankful) Uzbek Women’s Program.  The producer said, “Ladies, there’s no dialog in these scenes.  They’re just part of the titles we’ll have at the beginning of each show.  I want the viewers to be drawn into the program by your joy.  So big smiles, OK?”

It wasn’t OK.  Umida said, “Women don’t smile in my country.”  Can you imagine the implications of that?  How early in a girl’s life would you have to begin training her that smiling is unacceptable? Or perhaps she learns it by observing the women around her who never smile?

A Simple Smile

Look back over yesterday.  How many times did you smile?  Perhaps there was a smile on your face as you took your morning shower?  Certainly you smiled into the mirror as you gave yourself the final once over, to imagine how people would see you during the day?  Over breakfast did you share a smile with a child, a spouse, or a roommate?  Did you nod at your next door neighbor and grin as you backed out your car?  If you dropped your kids off at day care or a babysitter’s did you smile at the employees receiving your child?  Did you smile at the doorman or security guard or receptionist at your office?

Smiles greet, thank, and reassure those around us.  Smiles help us cope with the stresses of life. Smiles allow us to express pleasure and joy.  In our western culture, even in the dreariest of lives, a smile is a necessity for males and females alike.  In Uzbekistan, women don’t smile.  

Imagine a life without smiles.  In fact, give it a try.  See how long you can go without smiling, even to yourself – perhaps especially to yourself.

Back on the Set

For a moment, everything came to a halt.  Steve, our producer, had to think for a moment.  One of the primary things we require of ourselves, as we film our programs, is that they be culturally correct.  We want everything that is said and done, every prop and wardrobe choice, to be true to the lives of our audience.  Certainly through satellite broadcasting and the internet, our audience sees the smiles of women from Westernized cultures, but they do not share smiles among themselves.

A quick prayer went up, “Father, what would you have us do?”  And then suddenly he knew.  Steve said, “Well, we’re going to smile today.  Let’s show the Uzbek women what it means to have the joy of the Lord.”  The resulting footage is a message without words.  Umida and Feruza invite the women of their country into their joy before  a single syllable is spoken.

This is the purpose of GHM programming.  We want the people of The Middle East and Central Asia to know there is something to smile about.  We want them to have hope, in a place where it is unknown.  We want the joy of the Lord to invade their lives with profound change.

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.

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.

 

Shukar Aytaman Update

Sisters and Co-hosts for Shukar Aytaman

HEARTS ON THE MOVE: UZBEK WOMEN’S PROGRAM IN POST PRODUCTION

What Happens Next?

Here at GHM we make a big deal about film shoots.  One reason is they truly are one of the most exciting projects we participate in.  Hair, make-up, lights, people flying in from all over the world, takes and re-takes, musicians, cameras, sound boards, sets, props and a few miracles.  (We start the next one in less than two weeks.)

Another reason we make such an ado about them is because we really need a lot of help to pull it off.  The list of things we need – money, equipment, materials and people – for a video shoot is overwhelming.  We have to make sure we get the word out to everyone involved in any way in the ministry, because it really takes all hands on deck, as well as all the miracles we can get.

If you’re one of the many people who participate in our film shoots, then you may be wondering what happens when we turn off the cameras, break down the set, and store everything away for the next shoot.  (Did we mention set-up for the next shoot begins on June 25th?)  Let’s follow the filming of Shukar Aytaman (I Am Thankful), our Uzbek Women’s Program, into the post-production phase.

Some of the best moments on the set end up on the cutting room floor!

The Voluminous Results of Filming

A couple of months ago we introduced you to our cameraman/editor/ musician Garry Brunson and soon you’ll meet our director Jim McGuire.  While both were very important on the set, they become even more important as uncountable hours of video and audio become 13 tightly-woven 30-minute programs.

While all the recording happens during a one week period, the result is a whole lot of audio and video recordings.  There are three main cameras, with dollies, being manually operated by cameramen which record both video and audio tracks throughout each take, but that’s just the beginning.  We also have cameras running from stationary positions, just in case.  Our talent wears lavaliere mics on their persons that feed directly into the cameras and we have additional boom mic to catch sounds from throughout the set to help make sure we get every last word.

In our world, there is no going back to the studio.  The studio is a conference room and everyone involved in the shoot has gone back to their regular lives.  What we get during that strategic week of filming is all we’ll ever have. 

Turning Raw Video Into Programs Ready to Air

The first thing Garry Brunson has to do is make sure that everything we shot is securely saved in the appropriate places.  The investment of time, money, and energy must be properly archived for our use.

Then he’s got to take a look and listen to what he’s got.  This alone entails weeks of work.  As Garry watches all the takes he begins to see what he wants the finished product to be.  He takes note of particularly good shots so he can find them again in the mountain of material he has available.

Imagine the kind of jigsaw puzzle he is working!  For every moment of the filming, there were multiple feeds of audio and video and his job is to pull the best of the best.  In a short conversation between the co-hosts, Garry has to seamlessly weave together a natural looking and sounding exchange from takes off a variety of sources.  The worst part is that in spite of the many takes he might have to choose from, sometimes there’s just not a good one, but you’d never know it when he’s through.

Once Garry pulls together a rough draft of an episode, he begins to work closely with both Jim, the director, and Umida, the host of the program who is also our on-staff linguist.  The three of them work together to come up with a version that they are ready to show to our Producer, Steve Sharp.  Have they captured the vision Steve had for the programs as he and Umida discussed them before the shoot?  While they are usually close, Steve guides them to fine tune everything into the perfect program.

It’s taken several paragraphs to explain this process, but it does not begin to touch on all the details required. Each step is a tedious technical operation applied with true artistic skill.  Garry goes through months of editing to produce the programs which are aired and the rest of the post-production team is with him every step of the way.  The Shukar Aytaman programs filmed in March will go to our satellite partners in the fall and by then, Garry will also be in post-production on Sweet Conversations.  (We did mention that we needed you for that shoot didn’t we?)

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.

Still Glowing from Shukur Aytaman

HEARTS ON THE MOVE: PICTURES FROM THE SET

Pictures tell the story best.  Hover over pictures to see captions.

Shukur Aytaman Afterglow

Zafar, Umida, and Feruza – Musician, Host, and Co-host of Shukur Aytaman

HEARTS ON THE MOVE: UZBEK WOMEN’S PROGRAM USES HOLIDAYS TO SHARE THE GOSPEL

Touching the Cultural Heart to Share the Spiritual Message

Every culture has its own special occasions and these celebrations provide a strong link to the hearts of its people.  For instance, Americans don’t have to be Christians for festive decorations and traditional carols to evoke a deep emotional response at Christmas.  This is the cultural heart, and when we create programming to touch it, GHM gains deeper access into the lives of our viewers.

Utilizing this principle for the latest season of Shukur Aytaman (I Am Thankful), our Uzbek Women’s Program, the theme for nearly every episode was an Uzbek holiday.  Each holiday opened the door for a spiritual lesson.  For instance:

  • Teacher’s Day allowed us an opportunity to introduce Jesus Christ as the Greatest Teacher.
  • Ramadan, a time of personal sacrifice, led to a discussion of the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.
  • International Women’s Day was a perfect chance to discuss the role of women according to God’s Word.
Behind the Cameras – Garry and Hannah Beth, with Ron in the background

Guests from Around the World

One of the biggest challenges for our programs is lining up our guests.  In the past we have tried to focus on featuring Uzbeks, primarily because Uzbekistan has been a very politically shuttered society.  However, the new president has indicated an interest in opening the door for outside influences, which allowed us to cast our net further for potential guests.  This season’s line-up has a definite international flair–and Umida, our host, even wore jeans on one of the episodes, a real no-no in the past.

In conjunction with this, we changed our format a little.  Before when we’ve featured guests who did not speak the language, we would dub their conversations into Uzbek for airing.  This time we allowed our co-host Feruza, an accomplished linguist, to translate the conversation into Uzbek on the spot.  We tried it as an experiment in our first take and were thrilled with the results.  The conversation seemed to flow more naturally, so we used this method for the rest of the shoot.

We were pleased to have several Uzbeks in our line-up, but also very glad to have the opportunity to include a Mexican, a Russian, a Kuwaiti, and an American.  It was truly an international cast.

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.

 

Open Your Heart on Valentine’s Day

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

HEARTS OVERFLOWING: ALL THEY NEED IS YOUR LOVE

Valentine’s Day Isn’t Just for Lovers Anymore

The world is changing.  Definitions, boundaries, and expectations are flexible.  Valentine’s Day is a great example.  What was once the private territory of romantic love is now celebrated by best friends, relatives, and lovers alike.  

In many places around the world, Valentine’s Day is just another day on the calendar and love, romantic or not, isn’t a consideration.  Their lives are filled with violence, turmoil, hate, and hopelessness.  Many of these people live in Central Asia and the Middle East.

TV Programming that Changes Lives

GHM  TV Personalities
GHM TV Personalities

Then one day, someone with a hurting heart tunes in to one of our television programs. Perhaps a friend recommended it or they happened on it while looking for something to watch.  Imagine their surprise when they see joyful people speaking in their very own heart language offering the gift of hope.

GHM programming is unique in that we reach out to the cultural heart to build a bridge to spiritual truth.  Most of our potential viewers have no interest in watching a religious program of any sort.  They are fed up with religion.  So we provide them something of interest and then offer something more:

 

Umida
Central Asian women discuss the challenges of divorced women or the plight of sex slaves in a viewer’s own country. The stories match the viewer’s own story. Imagine the joy of discovering the freedom Jesus Christ offers to the abused.
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A popular well-known musician is being interviewed by a smiling woman. Female viewers are intrigued, because smiling is foreign to them. Imagine learning Christ offers His joy to everyone.
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Central Asian men in a kitchen, preparing food for a special occasion, discuss the challenges of leading a family in difficult times. The viewer might watch to get the recipe, but he continues watching because answers to his own problems can be found in the Bible.
Abror & Animals
A delightful show about animals features an enthusiastic host from their own country describing an exotic species a family has never seen before. They’re happy to see the animal, but they are amazed that the same Creator God who equipped the animal to live in its habitat has also made provision for the viewers.


Evidence of Lives Changed

We know our programs are making a difference.  We train and mentor home pastors in our target countries, who tell us the miraculous results of people watching our programs.  We get calls, emails and texts from people begging to learn more about the Lord Jesus Christ and the God of the Bible.  We walk step-by-step in ministry with Central Asians and Middle Easterners who would still be walking in darkness, but for their encounter with Global Heart Ministries.

We may not be able to change the oppressive government regimes they live under or improve their financial outlook overnight, but when hope is introduced to their lives, they change.  Instead of living in fear, they invite persecution as a badge of honor.  An arrest is an opportunity to save the soul of a policeman.

While we are joyful at every life changed, we are also proud of contributing to positive changes happening in our target countries.  We have met Ministers of Culture who enjoy Sweet Conversations.  New presidents are holding ceremonies to introduce a Bible in the native tongue.  Policemen are as interested in grace as they are in writing a ticket.

A younger Steve Sharp being filmed for Turkmen TV
A younger Steve Sharp being filmed for Turkmen TV, 2008

Open Your Heart Capacity-Building Capital Campaign

Over a decade ago, Steve Sharp first traveled to Central Asia to record a praise and worship CD in the native heart language of the Turkmen people.  Today, Global Heart Media programs reach hundreds of millions in Central Asia and the Middle East in a variety formats and languages.  It’s been a long hard journey, full of joy to be sure, but challenging nonetheless.

God has gone before us opening doors and making opportunities for us, but the needs of the ministry are great.  We need more people on our staff.  Some of our filming and editing equipment is bordering on obsolete.  We have more opportunity than we have capacity to fulfill.  We need your support.

We need to raise more than one million dollars over and above our annual budget during the next two years to substantially increase and strengthen our reach.  In the coming days we’ll be telling you more about the Open Your Heart Capacity-Building Capital Campaign, but it’s not too early to participate.  We have already raised nearly $140,000 and your contribution could help us reach our ambitious goal.  Valentine’s Day would be a perfect time to show your love to the people in Central Asia and the Middle East who need it so badly.

Join Your Heart to Ours

Contributing to our Open Your Hearts Capacity-Building Capital Campaign 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.

Shukar Aytaman Film Shoot Coming

2015-10-19-18-14-21HEARTS ON THE MOVE: UZBEK WOMEN’S TALK SHOW TO BE FILMED IN MARCH


It’s Show Time!

We’re excited to announce we’ll be filming Season Four of our Uzbek Women’s Talk Show, Shukar Aytaman (I Am Thankful), in March.

Co-hosting the show are Umida and her sister, Feruza.  These beautiful Uzbek women share the Gospel in an engaging format, which addresses the concerns of the women in their country and points them to Jesus Christ as the only answer. For one week a year, they abandon their usual jobs for the set of their TV show, but it’s not all make-up calls and time in the spotlight.  The week is long and grueling.

Thirteen Shows in One Week

Because we don’t have our own recording studio, we set up for our shoot in a conference room at The Hope Center.  We only have one week to take care of everything – set-up, filming and break-down.  We pull in our talent, technicians and volunteers for one week of intense filming.  The call sheet assignments start very early each day and often go on until late in the evening.

We have to film thirteen episodes, because the satellite providers require that number in order to air our seasons.  Our goal is to have at least one guest per show and we also have Zafar, our favorite Uzbek musician, come for the filming.  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.

So How Can You Help?

First, you can start praying – right now.  Umida will be lining up our guests in the coming weeks and it is a difficult job, especially because of cultural challenges.  Umida is young and she is a woman, which in the Uzbek culture means she should be quiet and wait until she is approached.  When she calls and emails people who are her elders, especially men, they can take offense.

In addition, because of the intense persecutions Uzbek Believers face in their own country, even after they move to the States or Canada they are afraid.  They worry about what could happen to their family and friends back in Uzbekistan if they show their face or use their name on a Christian TV program.  They are also suspicious of being spied upon and reported to the government.

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 Uzbek 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.  Or you can order pizzas to be delivered, or 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.

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.

Happy 2017 from GHM

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Our GHM Samovar

HEARTS OVERFLOWING: LOOKING AHEAD

Let’s Share Some Tea

Celebrating the New Year with family and friends is a tradition throughout Central Asia and the Middle East.  In each home, a gracious hostess pours tea for her guests from a piping hot samovar. In some cultures the tradition is to fill the glass to the brim to show the depth of the home’s hospitality.  In others, a full tea glass would be a rude suggestion to drink your tea and leave, so the hostess would only give you a few sips at time.  Let’s pretend you’ve dropped by for a visit, but you’ll have to pour your own cup of tea.

A Little Music in the Kitchen
A Little Music in the Kitchen

Sharing Memories

All around the globe, the turn of the year is a time to look back over the past twelve months.  What kind of year was it for you?  We hope it was filled with special memories and a bounty of blessings.

The GHM year was amazing in many respects, thanks to the blessings of our Lord and our generous donors.  Here are a few highlights:

  • Filmed new seasons for our Uzbek Animal Show, Azerbaijani Women’s Talk Show and our Uzbek Men’s Cooking & Testimony Show. (Hayvonot Zamini – Animal World, Sirin Sohbat Sweet Conversations and Hayot Noni – Bread of Life.)
  • Grew the number of satellites broadcasting our programs and doubled the hours of broadcasting.
  • Our Central Asian teaching pastor trained and spiritually supported almost 150 house pastors.
  • Kicked off Connect, a phone & text counseling system to compliment our broadcasts.
  • Hosted the first Open Hearts High Tea, a heartwarming success, and introduced Esther’s Friends, Women Serving God through GHM.  (Men desiring to serve God through GHM are welcomed to join the new Daniel’s Men of Valor.)
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    A Night of Dreams

    Held our annual Fundraising Gala, A Night of Dreams – truly a dream come true.

  • Traveled thousands of miles to share the Gospel and the story of GHM.  We also had several opportunities to enrich our knowledge of our target region and its people groups.
  • Re-branded our newsletter, The Global Heart Beat, and our e-news, The Pulse.  Began posting two blogs a week on a regular basis and ramped-up other social media interactions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 
  • Became an approved charity on Amazon Smile.
On the Set of I am Thankful
On the Set of I am Thankful

Looking Ahead

No New Year’s Celebration would be complete without sharing best wishes for the coming months.  What do you have planned for 2017?  We hope the entire year is a smashing success for you and yours.

Here are a few things we hope to accomplish this year:

  • Film more new seasons beginning in March with our Uzbek Women’s Talk Show (Shukar Aytaman – I Am Thankful).
  • Develop our Connect Counselor Team to include more counselors and more languages.
  • Lip-synch dub our current inventory of Uzbek programs into the Azerbaijani language to widen their audience. (More about this on Thursday.)
  • Translate and dub the movie Shawn into Farsi for broadcast in Iran.
  • Build Partnerships with other ministries operating in our target countries
Open Hearts High Tea
Open Hearts High Tea
  • Host the next Open Hearts High Tea and an Annual Fundraiser, to grow our volunteer team and expand our budget.
  • We have rights to other projects, like an animated series called Friends and Heroes, we’d like to dub into our target languages, if we get funding.

These dreams only scratch the surface of our hopes for 2017.  We hope you’ll partner with us to make these dreams a reality.

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

Share the Overflowing Joy

You can partner with Global Heart Ministries in 2017 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 explore this vision and consider being 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.

Christmas in Uzbekistan

christmas-treeHEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST: UMIDA’S CHRISTMAS WISH CAME TRUE

Wishes Beneath the Tree

Long before Umida met Abror, she wanted to visit the United States during Christmas.  She had no desire to move here, until she and Abror realized their dream of ministering to Unbelievers in Uzbekistan meant moving to America, but she dreamed of what it would be like to freely celebrate the birth of Christ in the Western tradition.

Uzbeks celebrate in a very Christmas-like way at New Year’s.  They put up and decorate a tree.  They exchange gifts.  They share traditional meals with family and friends.  During Umida’s childhood this was the highlight of the year and everyone looked forward to it.

When Umida became a Believer, December 25th took on a new meaning.  Her desire to celebrate Christ’s birth in a glorious way became even more urgent when she began to babysit for some missionaries in her city.  She observed for herself the joy shared by Christians at the Nativity of Our Lord and of course, they told her stories of their celebrations back in the States.

Now Umida, Abror, and their family live in the US and are free to celebrate Christmas with all the trimmings.  Her Christmas wish came true – just not as she expected it to.

Umida, Host of I Am Thankful
Umida, Host of I Am Thankful

Christmas in Uzbekistan Today

Asked to describe Christmas in Uzbekistan today, Umida shared these observations:

  • The country’s few Christians celebrate the birth of Christ while the majority of the population knows little of its meaning.
  • The country is predominantly Muslim with a history of 70 years of Soviet atheism.  Most Christians are Orthodox and they celebrate Christmas on January 7th.
  • For most Uzbeks, Christmas has no religious content and its celebrations blend with those of the New Year.
  • Under Soviet rule, all religious traditions, be they Christian or Muslim, were neglected. The current regime, fearful of Islamic terrorism, has limited religious freedom and maintains a close watch over all religions.
  • For the Uzbek media religion does not exist and is rarely spoken of. Christmas is no different. When mentioned at all, it is devoid of religious aspects and is only discussed as something celebrated around the world.
  • Christmas symbols and decorations like those found in Europe or the US adorn the streets of Uzbekistan’s main cities, including the capital Tashkent.  For most people Christmas is just part of New Year celebrations, an occasion for getting together with friends. But for some it is so closely associated with Christianity and foreigners they reject it altogether – including the tree.
  • For the country’s small Christian community, December 25 remains the birthday of Jesus and a time of joy. They get together and sing Christmas songs which were translated into Uzbek language from English or other languages.
  • In spite of the limited and non religious-oriented media coverage, local Christians are not discouraged and see the positive side. For some, ever hopeful, even the limited exposure of religious events is important because things might change and the media might start talking about religious celebrations of all the country’s religious communities.

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.