No Safe Place

HEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST:  WOMEN AT RISK

Somewhere Safe

Throughout the US, in service stations, restaurants and other public places you’ll see signs identifying a location as a Safe Place.  Employees of these locations have been trained to help any youth who asks for it.  No shame is attached to the need for assistance.  Runaways, kidnap, victims and abused kids can step forward to be rescued from their dangerous situations.

While Safe Place is a national program for youth, regional programs throughout the US offer similar help for abused women of all ages.  In many women’s restrooms a discreet sign invites abused women to make their situation known by a phone call or a word to an employee.  If you google “wife abuse”, pages and pages of sites offer their assistance.

Whenever a vulnerable person steps forward, they are applauded for their bravery and within in a very short time they are in a shelter specially designed to assist in the beginning of their healing process.  A warm bed, a square meal, decent clothing, comforting words, de-tox, prenatal care, child care – whatever is needed to break the cycle of abuse which held a victim captive will be provided.  More importantly, even if their abuser discovers where they are, the abuser will gain no access until the victim is equipped to deal with them.

The Abuse of the Vulnerable

Even in places like America, where the call for help is seen as a sign of bravery, stepping out of the shadows and into the arms of caring people can be hard.  Trust is a difficult thing to learn, once it has been stolen.

In The Middle East and Central Asia, with its tradition of subjugation, should a woman or a child cry out for help, their reward is shame.  The beating a man gives his wife is a private thing, unless the husband is bragging about it at the local teahouse.  A woman keeps these things to herself. Enduring the inevitable beating is a sign of strength.

Among the frivolity of a wedding celebration the evidence of male dominance is clear.  In the picture above, the groom greets his bride in the traditional way, by stepping on her shoe.  This is emblematic of a woman’s entire life.  Her role is to submit and to do so with grace and endurance.  Yes, it’s just a small ritual, but would you allow it on your wedding day?

During the celebration it’s not unusual for the men to give advice to the groom concerning the “test beating.”  This is a wedding night ritual endured by many new wives until today.  Umida, the host of our Uzbek Women’s Program, can tell you how frequently this “test beating” occurs.  By administering the ritual of a wedding night beating, a husband can discover the demeanor of his wife.  If she doesn’t submit gracefully, she can be returned to her family.  If she does submit, you’ve gotten a good one and your family will honor her the next morning in the traditional “welcoming of the bride” ceremony.

Should a wife run to her family or friends for help, she’d be shamed.  “What kind of weakling are you?  “What did you do to deserve the whipping?”  “At least you have a husband and a home.  Be grateful.”  “You must learn to submit so you can protect your children.”  For the honor of the family, the errant wife would be humbly returned to the abuser, but there is no guarantee she would be recieved .  In some cases the wife would be severely beaten to demonstrate her family’s shame at her behavior.

God’s Word, the Bible, has a different message for women – a message of equality, hope, and joy.  This is the message GHM delivers to The Middle East and Central Asia in programs for women like Shukar Aytaman ( I Am Thankful) and Sweet Conversations.  Our children’s programs are designed to deliver the message of worth at a young age.  Even our men’s programs underline the respect men should pay women as co-heirs of God’s promises.  Reaching women and saving them from abuse is one of our prime objectives.  Wouldn’t you like to join 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 countries and turn fathers into daddies. 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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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.

A Tradition of Subjugation

HEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST: WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA

Equality From the Beginning

Women in western countries can’t begin to appreciate the debt they owe Judeo-Christian values.  While there are always improvements to be made to the human condition, for males and females, in the earliest pages of the Bible, God established the equality of sexes.  In the very first chapter of Genesis God said He created male and female in His own image and charged them both to have dominion over all things on the earth.

Throughout time, mankind has deviated from honoring this divine assignment in many ways.  Often it has been the religious establishment discriminating against the daughters of Eve, but regardless of the acts of man, God has continued to honor women.  His regard for women is recorded in the Bible – throughout His relationship with His chosen people and the beginning of the Church Age.  This tradition of the equality of the sexes is the platform on which women in western cultures stand, even as they turn away from other traditions of the Bible.  

Marching in the Streets

Women in western countries march in the street for their rights and for the rights of women everywhere, but sometimes they seem unaware of the privileges they already enjoy.  They stand under clever signs created out of the bounty of their education with their hair blowing in the wind, each wearing whatever their personal taste dictates.  They drive themselves to the protest in cars they bought with loans in their own name.  If they are married, they chose their own husband or significant other.  If they are women of faith, they may practice their own religion rather than following what their father or husband believes, with little fear of retribution.  Women in The Middle East and Central Asia often dare not even dream of these freedoms.

While some of the critics of western policies point to generous laws in third world countries, which promise paid leave when a child is born or quote constitutions which specifically name women as equal under the law, many of these brave benefits and laws are merely window dressing for countries which still hide their women behind a veil or allow honor murders and genital mutilations.  The words of the laws and the constitutions in no way reduce the burden of subjugation most women in The Middle East and Central Asia suffer.

Stuck in History 

The subjugation of women in many The Middle East and Central Asia countries is so entwined in the male-dominated culture that it really doesn’t matter what UN Treaty a country votes to accept or what their constitution says.  The women there are second class citizens with no hope, no rights, and no privacy.  If a daughter is slain for the family’s honor, according to religious traditions the government recognizes, what mother considers maternity leave a fair recompense for her loss?

The Muslim faith, the foundation on which these cultures are built, has a tradition of Sharia Law – a law focused on absolute obedience to a strict code of conduct.  The literature of Islam assigns a second class role to women and tradition shoves these women even further into the background.  They are completely under the control of the men in their lives, and for most living out this tradition, it is not a benevolent stewardship.

Stuck in Tradition

For too many women in The Middle East and Central Asia, it really doesn’t matter what the laws say, because  these women will never hear a whisper of any political laws offering freedom.  They will only know the religious impediments imposed upon them.   From an early age, they are closeted with the other women in the household.  If they receive any education at all, it is the bare rudiments.  As soon as possible they are taught their chores and begin a slave-like existence.  Marriages can be arranged and performed long before puberty.  Even if the marriage is not consummated, they may go into the house of their husband to serve their mother-in-law, the same way they served at home, but with harsher taskmasters.

It is into this atmosphere satellite broadcasting has been introduced.  Families that once knew nothing about the world beyond their village suddenly have the opportunity to see beyond the borders of their country.  Much of the programming is in foreign languages the viewers don’t even understand.  They merely like the noise and pageantry playing in their living room.  If there are programs in their own language, chances are they are programs of religious and political indoctrination.  GHM can show you footage of small children marching in a circle, singing of the beauty of martyrdom to Allah.

Imagine the wonder of these women who tune into our programs, aired in Azerbaijani, Uzbek, and Turkmen.  Beautiful, well-groomed women with smiles on their faces, talk about a God who loves women as much as He does men, and who not only offers the hope of heaven, but the assurance of it – without the need to suffer a martyr’s death and in dying take innocent lives.  How can an oppressed woman ignore this evidence of a life beyond her own?  The smiles alone are a testimony of the fact that there is a life beyond what these oppressed viewers can even imagine.

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.

No Sugar, No Spice

Life is harsh for women in The Middle East and Central Asia

HEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST: NOT ENOUGH DADDIES

God’s Plan for Little Girls

The Bible is clear.  All children are a gift of God, even daughters, because His prime directive to Adam and Eve was to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28).  Without females, there is no multiplication.  In God’s plan, a son is to leave his father and his mother to cleave to his wife and become one with her (Genesis 2:24).  A wife is to be a helpmeet, not mere chattel (Genesis 2:18).  Proverbs 31 heralds the value of a good wife which is beyond rubies.  This is God’s stance on women.  The New Testament takes it even further, admonishing husbands to love their wives, to be willing to lay down their lives for them (Ephesians 5:25).

That’s a far cry from today’s Western culture where women fight for equality and rights, but its even further from the  position of women in our target countries.  In The Middle East and Central Asia, a daughter is a disappointment, and men brag about beating their wives.  Little chance there will be a movement to celebrate fathers in these countries.  The fathers celebrate themselves.

Celebrating Father’s Day

Did you know there was no official recognition of Father’s Day in the US until 1972?  Mother’s Day was envisioned in 1908 and was made a national holiday in 1914.  In 1909 a woman raised by a widower thought fathers also needed recognition.  Imagine the love she must have experienced to feel that way!

It took her a year to convince the people of her state to celebrate Dads, but the idea ran into opposition elsewhere.  In part, the idea had a slow start because it was not embraced by retailers, and the fathers themselves had a bit of resistance.  They thought it might “domesticate manliness,” according to a quote cited by the History Channel.  Many people thought the idea of days to celebrate Mom and Dad separately were sexist and there should be a single Parent Day.   Even today, 17 countries around the world have a celebration of mothers, while only 10 recognize fathers.

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Father’s Day was initiated by the love of a daughter and persisted until it was made a national holiday because of daddies – not because of the ability of a man to sire a child.  Daddies love their children, the boys and the girls.  They have an affection for them, demonstrated by nurturing and sacrifices.  A daddy does not see a daughter as an expensive burden and a potential for shame.  A daddy does not want to hide his daughter away, but revels in her uniqueness, beauty, and strength.  He wants her to be educated and to enjoy success – and when his daughter has a daughter, the joy is multiplied.

The world needs more daddies, especially the part of the world GHM ministers to.  The role of women in these countries is defined by their subservience.  The fathers dictate everything, from the clothes they wear, to the religion they will practice, even to the man they will marry.  When a woman marries, she goes into the home of her husband where the mother-in-law is a virtual slave driver.  A woman’s only hope is to have a son that will one day bring a wife to serve her.

The world needs more daddies!

This is not God’s plan.  He sent Jesus Christ to offer hope to women.  The idea that a man should love his wife was a radical one in the First Century.  The fact that Jesus had women among His followers was a scandal.  The early church grew because of women like Lydia in Acts.

 Our most popular programs are our women’s programs, because they show women the love God has for them as women.  And remarkably, these shows are gaining popularity with men because all of us are created with the desire to love and honor one another.  It is the Enemy who deceives us into hate and subjugation.

In fact, one of the names of God is “Abba.”  Many translations use the formal form of “Father” in the verses where Abba used, but that does not capture the original meaning, which is more in line with “daddy.”  In Mark 14:36, Jesus asks Abba if the cup of death could be taken away, in the same tone a child might ask to be spared a difficult task. How wonderful to know, as adopted sons and daughters, we too can turn to our heavenly daddy for comfort and strength when our tasks seem too big.

The world does need more daddies.  On Sunday, as you celebrate your father, think of the men and the women in The Middle East and Central Asia.  Pray they would come to know our Father Creator through His Son, Jesus Christ.  Perhaps our Father is calling on you to partner with us in this crusade to teach the fathers of The Middle East and Central Asia to become daddies.

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 countries and turn fathers into daddies. 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.

Bring Uzbekistan Home and Invite Your Friends

Chef Abror and his guest Aziz

HEARTS OVERFLOWING: SHARE THE GHM MISSION IN A FUN, TASTY EVENING

Your Friends Will Be Talking About This For a Long Time

Imagine inviting your friends to enjoy an Uzbek feast prepared by the host of a popular cooking show.  It’s easier than you think!  All you have to do is invite your friends, open up your home for an evening and then enjoy the honor of being the host or hostess of a party your friends will remember and talk about for years to come.

Abror and Umida

The chef will be Abror, the host of Hayot Noni (Bread of Life), GHM’s Uzbek Men’s Testimony and Cooking Show.  Your friends will enjoy delicious dishes from Uzbekistan which have been featured on the show and have the opportunity to chat with Abror and his wife Umida, host of Shukar Aytaman (I Am Thankful), our Uzbek Women’s Program, about their home country, their programs and their lives.

In the past few weeks, a member of our East Texas Network test-drove this concept at her home.  Her guests couldn’t get enough of the food, loved chatting with Umida and Abror, and then learned a little more about GHM’s mission and our needs from CEO/President and Founder, Steve Sharp.  The guests were enthralled by the work of GHM and the only problem was getting everyone to head home.

Is Your Home Next?

If this sounds like an evening you’d like to host, we encourage you to contact us and reserve a date for your very special event.  We promise to help make your event a breeze to host, a joy to attend and a memory you will cherish.

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

Share the Overflowing Joy

Hosting an Uzbek evening in your home 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 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.

Garry Brunson, Behind-the-Scenes Hero

Garry shooting Shukur Aytaman

HEARTS AFLAME: GHM’S CAMERAMAN AND VIDEO PRODUCER

The Quiet Guy in the Back Cubicle

Were you to visit the GHM offices in The Hope Center, it’s entirely possible you could go home afterwards without even realizing Garry was there–unless of course you were here for filming.  In the daily hustle and bustle of ministry business, Garry goes about his day with a very low profile.  Most visitors come by to see Steve Sharp, our CEO/President & Founder or his Executive Assistant, Hannah Beth Roberts.  Guests taking a tour of The Hope Center are always excited to discover Umida, host of Shukur Aytaman (I Am Thankful), our Uzbek women’s program, doing translation work right in our office.

Garry sits several cubicles away from any traffic and most of the time he’s wearing a headset, so he’s disconnected from any commotion involving the rest of us.  He gets there early, frequently chooses to eat his lunch at his desk and often leaves without the rest of us realizing he has gone.

Nonetheless, probably more than anyone else in the ministry, Garry  impacts what our viewers see in our broadcasts.  Our hosts and co-hosts plan their scripts and are visible on-screen.  Our executive producer and director are in charge of the film shoot. However, once we say “That’s a wrap!”, Garry is the one who edits our programs and delivers them to the satellite companies.  What our viewers see is a result of his work with what we filmed.

While he may be almost invisible in the office, when it comes to filming, Garry comes out of his cubicle and becomes an active and vocal part of our production team.  He is a gifted cameraman with a great eye.  He’s the one who decides where the sets will be placed, and between episodes, he’s always fine-tuning the props.  When the director or producer wonders how something will look on film, Garry is the one they turn to.

Devoted Believer 

By working with GHM, Garry is merely acting out the faith he came to as a child.  Since then he’s lived his life “being a servant” and “trust[ing] the Lord’s guidance”.  He started his college career as a art major, but found supplies were expensive and he couldn’t attend university full-time.  Then he discovered a TV production course and “it turned out to be a perfect fit…[he] really enjoyed it.”  He found a production assistant job right after he graduated.

He met Steve Sharp while he was freelancing and as soon as GHM was big enough to justify it, Steve offered him a full-time position.  When asked about his favorite thing about working with this ministry he said, “Getting to use my skills and be creative in ways that ultimately effect people on the other side of the planet really thrills me!”

Mary and Garry with Zafar

Talented Musician 

Our quiet cameraman is also a talented musician.  During our last two Uzbek Women’s Program shoots, he came out from behind the camera to perform with Zafar.  Garry’s musical forté is percussion, and he really spiced up the sound stage with several different varieties of instruments.

As much as we all love Garry, we have to admit that one of the things we like best about him is that he’s married to a lovely and talented violinist named Mary.  She also appeared in some of the musical segments we recorded for Shukur Aytaman, and has graced us with her musical skill for a number of our events, including the Open Hearts High Tea and A Night of Dreams.

Grateful of Garry

The entire GHM staff appreciates how lucky we are to have such a talented teammate.  He is particularly appreciated by the Uzbek cast members who recently included him in an Uzbek worship celebration they held in a park after the Shukur Aytaman shoot.

Garry says, “Foreigners like Central Asians are not very hard to find.  We should always be aware that just because someone isn’t from here, doesn’t mean they are dangerous or scary.  They just have a different culture than ours and that’s OK.  Jesus isn’t about changing someone’s culture, He is about changing their heart.”  He went on to “encourage others to pray for the foreigners in our community and to stretch themselves to learn about other people and cultures.  The world is a beautiful place and it seems to be getting smaller all the time.”

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

Set Your Heart Aflame

Like Garry, 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.

 

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.