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.

 

 

Advertisements

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.

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.
1-8441
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.
dsc_0151
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.

A Desire to Serve

1-8456HEARTS AFLAME: THE DESIRE OF NARMIN’S HEART

Our Sweet Conversations Host

One of the most popular and highly recognizable faces in our ministry is that of Narmin Backus.  She’s the host of Sweet Conversations, our women’s talk show for Azerbaijan, but you don’t have to live in Azerbaijan to love her.  Her sweet smile and vibrant personality warm up any room she walks into.  Whether she’s attending a GHM event or representing us at an international conference, you’ll find an excited crowd around her, wanting to learn more about GHM and what we do.

Ken and Narmin on the set
Ken and Narmin on the set, with one of her paintings in the background

Narmin’s Mild-Mannered Alter Ego

It would be easy to imagine that when she’s not filming a season of Sweet Conversations or attending an event for GHM, our glamorous host is getting her hair and nails done or lunching with other TV personalities, but that’s not the life of our GHM talent.  While Narmin is paid a modest amount during film shoots, in her off-camera life she works as an Art teacher in Houston, while donating a great portion of her time to GHM as a translator, counselor, and fundraiser.

1-7452
In the green room with our make-up artist

The desire of her heart is to leave her teaching job and move to the Dallas area to work full-time for GHM.  It’s our desire, too.  We could use her help in a number of areas she is uniquely qualified for, including recruiting, training and managing our Connect counselors, among a long list of other important tasks.  Unfortunately, we need to raise support for her salary before we can make her dreams come true – but you can help.

Pledge Support for Narmin

dsc_0567
Presenting the case for Azerbaijan at GHM’s Open Hearts High Tea

Did you know you can help bring Narmin to GHM in a full-time capacity?  We’ve already set aside a fund for her employment and you can donate to it by earmarking your donations in “support of Narmin Backus”.  Narmin’s been fundraising in the Houston area for just this purpose and donations are beginning to flow in.  Your donation, marked for Narmin’s support, can make this dream, one we all share, a reality.

The Art of Support

1-6748
Narmins Studio on the set

However, there are other ways to support Narmin.  Did you know Narmin is an accomplished artist?  The premise Sweet Conversations is built around Narmin and Tarana discussing Bible stories as Narmin sketches scenes from the stories in her studio.  At the end of each show, a beautiful piece of art is revealed – sometimes an acrylic or oil painting, but also works in charcoal and pastels.  These paintings decorate our office and are displayed at our events.  If you purchase one of these wonderful pieces, the entire amount goes directly to Narmin’s support.  Just give us a call if you’re interested.

narmins-studio
Narmin wearing one of her creations

Narmin also creates beautiful pieces of wearable art and sells them online.  Narmin devotes all the profit from these sales to supporting her transition to the GHM staff.  Her handcrafted work is unique, lovely and affordable – whether you are buying it to give to someone else or simply as a gift for yourself.  To find out more, go to Narmin’s Art Studio on Facebook and send her a message.

Set Your Heart Aflame

By supporting Narmin, 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 to Celebrate the New Year Like an Azerbaijani

father-frost
Father Frost and the Snow Maiden

HEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST: A CONFUSION OF CELEBRATIONS

Traditional Christmas, Orthodox Christmas and Not Christmas at All

If you thought the bearded man in the picture was Santa Claus dressed in blue, you could easily be forgiven the mistake.  In Azerbaijan, he’s Father Frost and he’s part of their New Year Festivities.

Celebrations and religious observations around the winter solstice are as old as mankind and while there are many differences from place to place, there are almost as many similarities.  A  few common threads seem to be a tree, gift-giving, and feasting, but from there it can go almost anywhere.

December 25th is accepted as the traditional date for Christmas in most of the Western world, a date based on the Gregorian calendar.  Orthodox churches use the Julian calendar, so December 25th falls 13 days later on January 7th.  This fact alone is enough to confuse an Unbeliever, but throw in a little Soviet influence and it becomes impossible to parse out exactly what a holiday one is celebrating.

Narmin, host of Sweet Conversation in traditional Novruz costume
Narmin, host of Sweet Conversation in traditional Novruz costume

New Year, Novruz and Nyet

In Azerbaijan, even trying to celebrate the New Year can seem akin to shooting at a moving target.  Traditionally, Azerbaijanis have celebrated the New Year in conjunction with the Vernal Equinox, which falls around March 20.  They called it Novruz.  Originally, this was a holy day of Zoroastrianism, a monotheistic religious tradition that predates both Christianity and Islam.  Zoroastrianism was popular during the Persian Empire under kings like Cyrus the Great, many centuries before Christ.  The Novruz traditions have been around so long they have lost most of their religious meaning and have become the most beloved holiday of most countries once associated with Persia.

The Novruz New Year tradition coincided with the Islamic calendar and was celebrated alongside Muslim traditions.  However, in the 19th century, Azerbaijan fell under the influence of the Russian Empire.  Western traditions like Christmas and the Gregorian New Year were observed mid-winter, but Azerbaijanis kept celebrating Novruz in the spring.

Enter the Soviets.  Traditional regional observations or celebrations of any sort were discouraged under their regime, especially if there were any hint of religion.  Novruz was outlawed, because of it’s links to Islam, even though the tradition actually dated back to the earlier Zoroastrians.  The Soviet Union declared the New Year would be celebrated on the night of December 31st, just like it was in Russia.  The Azerbaijani traditions of Novruz were officially moved to New Years Eve, though some families continued to privately keep the traditional Novruz in Spring.  For good measure, they added in Father Frost and the Snow Maiden to the wintertime celebration, something they borrowed from the Russians who came before the Soviet takeover.

Azerbaijani Celebrations Today

Exit the Soviets.  Traditional Novruz festivities are returned to March 20th, but nowadays it is stripped of all it’s religious meaning.  It is merely the celebration of the coming of spring, in much the same way as Easter is celebrate by non-religious people in the West (except that Easter is on the first full moon after the vernal equinox to continue the confusion).

December 31st is a holiday called “International Solidarity Day of Azerbaijanis”.  At midnight the New Year arrives and Azerbaijanis rush into the streets to see firework displays.  These celebrations are made even more festive, because Azerbaijani-speaking Iranians visit the homeland of their heart to spend time with their family and friends.  Traditional national dishes are served along with plenty of wine.  For good measure, there is a New Year Tree and visits from Shakta Baba (Father Frost) and Karkyz (the Snow Maiden).

Believers meet visitors at the border with gifts
Believers meet visitors at the border with gifts

Christmas is celebrated in private by Believers in Azerbaijan (on December 25th by Evangelical Christians and on January 7th by Orthodox tradition).  Recognizing the recurring influx of Azerbaijani-speaking Iranians, Believers will meet the visitors with gift bags at the border.  Tucked among the Clementines,  pastries and other goodies are New Testaments and many prayers.  In fact, GHM donated to one of these distributions this year.

Help Reap the Harvest

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.

Our New Satellite Partner

bigger-sat-logoHEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST: IRAN AND SAT-7 PARS

A Cause for Celebration

If you are someone in the satellite broadcasting world, then we don’t need to tell you how exciting it is for us to be included on SAT-7 PARS programming, because you already understand their impact in Iran and other areas important to the Persian culture.  If, like most Americans, you have no idea what SAT 7 PARS is, then we’d like to let you know what all the celebration is about.

According to the SAT-7 PARS website, the channel, “broadcasts to millions of Persian-speakers in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan.”  The site goes on to explain:

Through SAT-7 PARS (“PARS” is a Farsi word referring to Persian culture), Farsi-speaking Christians both within and outside Iran can share their faith with seekers and encourage their fellow believers. The message they bring is both life-giving and life-saving. More than 60 percent of Iran’s 81 million-strong population are under thirty, and many of these young people are so dissatisfied with their society that they turn to drugs or even suicide.”

Co-hosts Narmin and Tarana interview Sweet Conversations guests
Co-hosts Narmin and Tarana interview Sweet Conversations guests

Enter Sweet Conversations

Even if you can appreciate the impact of broadcasting a program on SAT-7 PARS, you might wonder why Sweet Conversations, our Azerbaijani women’s talk show, would be on a Persian satellite channel, when Farsi is the primary language of Iran.  While Farsi is the primary language, it is only one of many spoken there.  As we said in this month’s issue of The Global Heart Beatthe 25 million Azerbaijani-speaking people in Iran outnumber the entire population of Azerbaijan.

By including our program, one of only two known Christian programs created for Azerbaijani-speakers, SAT-7 PARS is reaching out to a significant portion of the Iranian population.  The channel will begin with season 1 in January 2017 and over time will catch up with the other seasons we’ve produced.

Satellite Partners, Our Path to Central Asia and the Middle East

GHM programming is on other satellites in our target regions, like Iran Alive and Mohabat, but SAT-7 PARS is the most powerful voice for Christianity in Iran.  Here are a few facts and figures from their website:

  • “Broadcasts from Eutelsat Hot Bird 13B at 13 degrees East, 10.950 GHz Vertical, covering the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe.
  • Operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
  • Audience includes people in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, and other Persian-speakers spread across Europe and Asia.
  • Launched on 18 December 2006 (although programs carried on other SAT-7 channels from as early as September 2002).
  • Office/studios are located in London, UK | Nicosia, Cyprus | Limassol, Cyprus.”

Our hope is that Sweet Conversations is just the first of the GHM programs which will one day be broadcast on SAT-7 PARS.  Even now, we are working on dubbing programs we’ve already produced (and projects produced by others) into Farsi.  (See the December edition of The Pulse, our monthly e-news for information about Shawn, an exciting video featuring a famous American sports figure.)

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.

His Words Never Return Void

Narmin Backus of Sweet Conversations
Narmin Backus of Sweet Conversations

HEARTS ON THE MOVE:  A SWEET, BUT UNEXPECTED CONVERSATION

Central Asia Full of Beauty and Conflict

Americans can have a hard time understanding rivalries which plague regions of the world like Central Asia.  As a diverse nation of immigrants, Americans have developed racial conflicts and we argue about symbols, like the flag of the Confederacy, but we’ve only existed as a nation for a couple of centuries.  Multiply these issues by thousands of years, and you can better grasp the complexities of identity in these cultures.

Before Columbus sailed the ocean blue, the Americas were mostly wide open spaces, especially North America.  Certainly native empires existed, but they were mere pockets of humanity in a sea of forest, plain, mountain, desert and jungle.  The empires rose and fell over centuries rather than millennia, returning the land to the forest and jungle.

Ancient Azerbaijani Edifice
Ancient Azerbaijani Edifice

On the other hand, Central Asian civilizations have existed since the Scythians, Medes, and Ancient Greeks.  Deep hatred has come to divide various people groups.  At the same time, boundaries have been imposed by outsiders which only exacerbate the conflicts.  One has to peel back layer after layer to begin to understand the hatred between various groups in countries like Azerbaijan.

Jesus Christ, the Peacemaker 

Modern Baku
Modern Baku

Recently, Narmin, host of Sweet Conversations, our Azerbaijani women’s show, corresponded via email with a viewer, named Alfred.  Her correspondent was an Armenian man living in Russia.  He said:

“After the sad events […] my family had to leave Baku. In those days because of the lack of faith and understanding I was overcome with hatred toward your people, but Lord Jesus showed me the truth and spoke to me through His Holy Spirit of the value and the price of His blood that was shed for the Azerbaijani people as well. He also opened to me the truth that all enmity is eliminated on the Calvary cross  and His love covers all people and is for all people. My heart softened and I repented from my hatred. In Jesus Christ there are no Armenians and there are no Azerbaijanis, or Turkish, in Jesus Christ there are only brothers and sisters and let the Lord bless you, dear sister, and your ministry.”

As it says in Isaiah 55:11, “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”  This is why we do what we do.  Our goal is to bring the Hope of the Gospel to hopeless people for whom there are few opportunities to know the Truth of God’s Word, but there is a bonus.  Once filled with the Hope of our Lord Jesus Christ, ancient rivalries vanish.

The set of Sweet Conversations. At the center of the table are Bibles in the language of Azerbaijan.
The set of Sweet Conversations. At the center of the table are Bibles in the language of Azerbaijan.

Without Christ, a Central Asian man would not watch a show for women, much less correspond with the female host of the show and certainly an Armenian would not reach out to an Azerbaijani.  Explaining the magnitude of the conflict, Narmin said, “I rejoice in the messages. I am so so grateful and praise God for this. This is big!!! This is a miracle. Just to give you a comparison: This conflict between our countries is as bad as Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Alfred closed his latest email with these words,  “May the Lord bring His peace to this earth. May He send His mercy and so that there won’t be any more casualties from this pointless war. But most importantly may more people know our Lord Isa Mesih and would be saved through Him. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. Good bye my sister Narmin.”  Please join with Alfred in his prayer during this season of Christmas, as we have here at GHM.

Join Your Heart to Ours

1-7564You 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.

A Night of Dreams Afterglow

dsc_0109HEARTS OVERFLOWING: TABLES FULL OF FUN AND FELLOWSHIP

And Then God…

By any measure, A Night of Dreams was a resounding success.  Not that everything went perfectly, of course, but at the end of the night, everything God wanted out of the evening happened.

We’d been working on the event for months, but while it seemed like most things were moving along according to our plans, the small number of reservations had us worried. One week before the event, we actually downsized everything.  We put on our practical hats and looked at things with our human eyes.  We counted the reservations, tailored the scope of the event to fit the number and believed God would bless our efforts – even if the staff and volunteers were going to outnumber the guests.

Then, the floodgates opened.  Our downsized plans had to be up-sized.  We added tables and squeezed in an extra person at each table.  By mid-week, we were re-opening the second conference room to accommodate everyone.  We were thrilled, but we were exhausted!  We’d planned one party over a matter of months.  A week before the event we re-organized it to a much more intimate affair, then God stretched our plans beyond our expectations.

Down to the Wire

498772437
Mid-afternoon on Friday before the party

By early Friday afternoon, A Night of Dreams began to take shape, but we had a long way to go.  Preparations went on into the evening. Saturday morning, GHM staffers and volunteers were back in the room, getting lights and sound equipment set up.  At two, more staffers and volunteers came in for the final touches.

At five p.m., members of the Esther’s Friends Good Works Team arrived and gathered for a brief training session.  Almost immediately, guests began to arrive, even though things were not supposed to kick off until six.  A Night of Dreams had begun!

dsc_0038
Turkish Delight

Welcome to A Night of Dreams

Volunteers greeted each guest and guided them to the name tag table.  Next stop was a table covered in platters of Turkish Delight, a real Central Asian/Middle Eastern treat.   From there guests were given a program and urged to check out the items on the Silent Auction and other attractions inside the party.

GHM TV Personalities
GHM TV Personalities

 

As guests enjoyed a variety of entertainments, including a Silent Auction and visits with our TV hosts, our celebrity emcee, Jake Pavelka arrived. After a brief visit with our staff, he stepped up on the stage and kicked off the official activities.  During the evening, our guests enjoyed toe-tapping music, cried over tender testimonies and then opened their hearts and pocketbooks to the pressing needs our ministry serves.  The evening was full of even more surprises, mysteries, and excitement, creating an evening we’ll all remember for a long time.

 

Share the Overflowing Joy

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 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.