New Satellite Expands Our Reach

HEARTS ON THE MOVE:  GHM ON IRAN ALIVE

Satellite Broadcasters Are Our Partners in Spreading the Gospel

First Corinthians 12:5 tells us, “There are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord”  That’s very true when it comes to the work GHM does in The Middle East and Central Asia.  GHM produces original Christian programming in our target countries’ heart languages, but we depend on ministries like Iran Alive for broadcast via satellite.

Pastor Hormuz, Founder and President of Iran Alive says, “We should focus on Iran not because there is a need—needs are everywhere—but because it is the wise strategy. Iran is the gateway to transforming the Middle East with the Gospel. Once Iran turns to Christ, the whole Middle East will fall like a domino effect. Iran is where God is working in a special way today.”

Iran is a patchwork quilt of languages, stitched together with Farsi.  The most frequently spoken language in Iran, after Farsi, is Azerbaijani, the language used in Sweet Conversations, our Women’s Program and in the newly dubbed Children’s Program, Story World.   These programs are important tools used by Iran Alive to reach the Azerbaijani-speaking people of Iran.

Sweet Conversations brings the Gospel to Azerbaijani-speaking women in Iran

Better Technology Reaches More Hearts

Pastor Hormuz was gleeful when he sent an email to Steve Sharp with the news of the upgraded satellite.  He told the story of a woman who was able to watch an Iran Alive program for the very first time.  Late one sleepless night, as she switched among the channels she usually watched, she saw a program she wasn’t familiar with and through it came to accept Jesus Christ as her Savior.  Pastor Hormuz did not specify which program she saw, but it could have very easily been Sweet Conversations.  Each Sweet Conversations program is laser-focused on the difficulties facing women in countries like Iran and Turkey.

The new satellite reaches 15 million new viewers who have not previously had access to Christian programming and can now hear the Gospel in their own living room.  It also reaches 1 million Believers who had been without access to the encouragement and teaching available on Christian TV.  In addition to better coverage, the new satellite broadcasts are subject to less jamming – a ploy used by governments to keep their populations in the dark about Christianity, global politics and Western freedoms.

So join with us as we celebrate this exciting news from our ministry partner.  We are glad to share it with those of you who donate to, pray for and volunteer with GHM.  Every dollar you give, every prayer you lift and every hour your volunteer now goes further in spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

Join Your Heart to Ours

By partnering with Global Heart Ministries you are helping to fulfill The Great Commission in this generation. Together we can bring the light and the truth of Jesus Christ right into the living rooms of every deceived child, every oppressed woman, and every hurting home. This is our message. This is our call.

We invite you to join this vision as a volunteer, a prayer warrior, or a financial donor. Contact us today by phone or email. Let us know how you’d like to partner with us as we reach out to the Most Unreached regions of the world.

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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.

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.

Sweet Conversations Shoot Needs You!

An expensive undertaking

HEARTS ON THE MOVE: THE COST OF FILMING

The Costs of Video Shoots

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

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

Setting up our shoot in the conference room

Other Money-Saving Measures

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

GHM volunteer with slate and white balance board

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

Sweet Conversations Shoot Later This Month 

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

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

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

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

Join Your Heart to Ours

By partnering with Global Heart Ministries during our film shoots you are helping to fulfill The Great Commission in this generation. Together we can bring the light and the truth of Jesus Christ right into the living rooms of every deceived child, every oppressed woman, and every hurting home. This is our message. This is our call.

We invite you to join this vision as a volunteer, a prayer warrior, or a financial donor. Contact us today by phone or email. Let us know how you’d like to partner with us as we reach out to the Most Unreached regions of the world.

 

 

A Invitation to Serve

On the Set with Sweet Conversations

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

Be Part of the Fun!

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

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

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

Thirteen Shows in One Week

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

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

Just one of many jobs on the set

So How Can You Help?

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

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

And There’s More

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

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

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

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

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

Join Your Heart to Ours

By partnering with Global Heart Ministries during our film shoots you are helping to fulfill The Great Commission in this generation. Together we can bring the light and the truth of Jesus Christ right into the living rooms of every deceived child, every oppressed woman, and every hurting home. This is our message. This is our call.

We invite you to join this vision as a volunteer, a prayer warrior, or a financial donor. Contact us today by phone or email. Let us know how you’d like to partner with us as we reach out to the Most Unreached regions of the world.

Praying in the Name of Jesus

HEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST: PRAY FOR GHM

GHM Target Countries

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

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

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

Languages Add Spice to Life

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

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

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

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

Join Your Heart to Ours

Fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation.

Praying for us (in English or any other language) is just one of the ways you can partner with Global Heart Ministries to fulfill The Great Commission in this generation. Together we can bring the light and the truth of Jesus Christ right into the living rooms of every deceived child, every oppressed woman, and every hurting home. This is our message. This is our call.

We invite you to join this vision as a volunteer, a prayer warrior, or a financial donor.  Contact us today by phone or email.  Let us know how you’d like to partner with us as we reach out to the Most Unreached Regions of the World.

Bringing Truth to Easter

HEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST: PEELING AWAY MYTHS

The Rites of Spring

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

Easter in Persian Cultures

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

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

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

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

Help Reap the Harvest

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

You can partner with Global Heart Ministries to fulfill The Great Commission in this generation. Together we can bring the light and the truth of Jesus Christ right into the living rooms of every deceived child, every oppressed woman, and every hurting home. This is our message. This is our call.

We invite you to join this vision as a volunteer, a prayer warrior, or a financial donor. Contact us today by phone or email. Let us know how you’d like to partner with us as we reach out to the Most Unreached Regions of the World.

Farsi, The Persian Heart Language

“Farsi” Written in Persian

HEARTS RIPE FOR HARVEST: MODERN LANGUAGE WITH ANCIENT ROOTS

Multiple Languages in One Nation

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

One Language, Ancient Roots and Much Influence

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

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

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

So What?

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

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

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

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

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

Help Reap the Harvest

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

You can partner with Global Heart Ministries to fulfill The Great Commission in this generation. Together we can bring the light and the truth of Jesus Christ right into the living rooms of every deceived child, every oppressed woman, and every hurting home. This is our message. This is our call.

We invite you to join this vision as a volunteer, a prayer warrior, or a financial donor. Contact us today by phone or email. Let us know how you’d like to partner with us as we reach out to the Most Unreached Regions of the World.

Little Bear Travels to Azerbaijan and Beyond

HEARTS ON THE MOVE: STORY LAND TAKES FLIGHT

A Change of Venue

If you were about eight years old and you lived in Uzbekistan, your favorite program might be Hikoyalar Zamini (Story Land) and your favorite character might be Ayipolvon, Strong Puppet Bear. (At GHM we call him, Little Bear, but an Uzbek never would.)  Perhaps your mom likes to watch Shukar Aytayman (I Am Thankful), a women’s talk show, and your dad is a big fan of Hayot Noni (Bread of Life), where men discuss life while cooking special meals.

If you’re an eight year old Azeri, in Azerbaijan or Iran, your mom might watch Sirin Sobat (Sweet Conversations), but if you wanted to enjoy Little Bear, you’d have to know how to understand Uzbek–and we’re working on that.  Little Bear is coming to Azerbaijan!

A Change of Language

The most expensive item in our budget is the production of new episodes.  It takes a huge investment of resources to produce the 13 episode series required by the satellites to broadcast our programming.  The response we get from our audience makes it worthwhile. How can you put a value on hearts being won to the Good News of Jesus Christ?  We can’t, but we only have a limited amount of resources available to us for producing programming.

Much of what is aired on Central Asian and Middle Eastern television is American television shows and movies with subtitles.  Some programs have the native languages dubbed in, but usually the dubbing is quickly and cheaply done and it shows.  The dialog does not match the moving mouths of the speakers.  We’ve all seen foreign films like that. It’s distracting and takes away from the enjoyment of watching.

However, there is a dubbing procedure called lip-synch dubbing that is almost invisible to the audience.  The translation is carefully timed to match the each movement of the mouth.  A video specialist might pick it up immediately, but the casual audience will most likely not even notice.  That’s what we’re using to take  Ayipolvon  (Little Bear) to Azerbaijan.

When we take the message of Christ to unbelievers in Central Asia and the Middle East, we don’t want anything to get in the way of the message.  That’s the reason natives from that part of the world, speaking their own heart languages, host our programs. However, because of the cost of associated with creating new programming, we are taking advantage of lip-synch dubbing to bring Little Bear to Azerbaijani-speaking children.

Rest assured that native Azerbaijani speakers are the ones dubbing in the new language for Little Bear.  In fact, in January we introduced you to Timothy, an Azerbaijani musician who is helping us with this project.

Join Your Heart to Ours

By partnering with Global Heart Ministries in projects like lip-synch dubbing programs, 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.