Most of the ministries I pray for because I am personally connected to someone in the ministry – a missionary training pastors in South Africa, a campus ministry, an actress in Christian media, pastors all over the world, a woman mentoring leadership skills for women and the list goes on. Seeing them on social media reminds me to lift them up in prayer.
Other ministries I pray for because they touch my own faith walk – churches I’ve attended, Bible teachers I’ve sat under, seminaries I’ve studied at, even museums. Then there are ministries like Global Heart God goes out of His way to introduce.
About a year ago, Bill and I attended a ministry event for another organization, one that I had been praying for and he contributes to. We were seated with representatives from Global Hearts, whose ministry immediately captured Bill’s attention. Growing up as a Christian in Egypt, he has a real interest in missions targeting lost people in the East. He’s done the tough job of translation and he appreciated the economy of scale in the ministry’s business model. He immediately understood the Global Hearts mission.
In short, Global Hearts Ministry creates Christian TV programming in native languages for Central Asian countries. The audiences in that part of the world are hungry for quality programming in their native languages. Global Hearts provides that programming along with messages which reach beyond TV time and capture the hearts of its audience for Jesus.
I thought last year’s divine appointment had been all about Bill. It was an interesting ministry, but not one I was passionate about – yet. Recently I had the opportunity to learn more about their work. Specifically, I watched a sample of a TV show being broadcast in that part of the world which competes for air time with the Global Hearts Ministries productions. What I saw made the need for Global Hearts very real.
At first glance the TV show produced in Central Asia seemed very much like a show I’d seen my grand-niece enjoy. She’s a first generation American. Her parents immigrated to America from Egypt and the family worships in the Coptic Church. The show featured small children with big dark eyes singing, marching and clapping their hands. The language was Arabic, but the message was that Jesus loves little children and wants to protect them from harm.
The sample of programming from Central Asia also had small children with big dark eyes singing, marching and clapping their hands. Unlike the Coptic show, the Central Asian women leading the children wore head coverings, but that’s hardly noteworthy in today’s world. It was the translation of the song they were singing which stunned me. The message was that Allah would love these beautiful children when they became martyrs for Islam.
Suddenly, my interest in Global Hearts was no longer vicarious. I imagined precious children, so much like my own grand-niece and grand-nephew, hearing such a hateful message. I know how little hearts and minds embrace the messages they receive amid singing, marching and hand-clapping. I can still recite the songs I sang in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. I’ve also taught children of those ages in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School and watched them soak up catchy turns of phrase with an upbeat tempo. I wanted desperately for these sweet Central Asian souls to hear a message of love, not martyrdom.
It was not lost on me how God put me in that room to see that video the day after the Paris massacre. The ministry event had been on my calendar weeks before the massacre occurred. Some people would call that a coincidence. I don’t.
Global Hearts Ministry is about more than children’s shows. They have wonderful nature shows, men’s cooking shows, women’s talk shows and more. At this recent event I met a woman who is the Azerbaijani equivalent of the American Oprah phenomena. This is no longer just a ministry Bill donates to. This is a ministry I will be praying for with all my heart. Please take a look at their website. See if this ministry also stirs your heart. Whether you are the prayer warrior or the manager of the purse strings, this is a ministry doing a great, important work.