Skype Dates Across the Sea

In an old neighborhood drenched in history and steeped in mythical tales is a row of quaint stucco bungalows. Ibrahim* lives in one of these homes.


In this neighborhood he was born. It’s where he went to school, where his family worships in the mosque about a mile away, where he met his wife. This neighborhood, this city, this country—Egypt—is all Ibrahim has ever known. The rest of the world is but a dusty collection of facts in textbooks.


Christianity was something he studied in school; nothing more. Curiosity about other people and cultures often had Ibrahim wondering if he’d one day experience the big world that seemed to be forever beyond his reach. He devoured every book, every television show with even a hint of anything outside of Egypt.


But television programming is limited in Egypt. What Ibrahim watched depended on the signals he could pick up with the satellite dish installed on his flat terraced

roof. Sometimes he got random European programs, but never did he come across anything Christian.


Meanwhile, eastwards across the Mediterranean Sea, in Lebanon, Al Waad (Hope Channel Middle East North Africa) was trying to find a way to consolidate their broadcasts and better serve their viewers. They were using one satellite to broadcast English programs and another for Arabic, Turkish, and Farsi. Their broadcast reach was also limited.


The solution God provided was for Al Waad to be broadcast on Eutelsat 7 West, which is co- located with one of the most popular satellites for TV view- ing in the Middle East. How far it would reach and how many people would stumble upon it, was difficult to predict. But Amir Ghali, Al Waad Director, did not doubt the power of the Holy Spirit. “We have been praying for this development for many years,” he said. “Our peaceful, non-partisan programs receive many wonderful responses from viewers who watch Al Waad. This development creates a huge expansion for an even larger audience.” What Amir did not expect was for Ibrahim’s satellite dish across the sea, in the Muslim country of Egypt, to pick up the new signal.


From the very first time that Ibrahim caught Al Waad on his television set, his mind was opened, his heart was on fire. Every day, every free moment, he watched more and wanted even more. Somehow, the messages from the television were not enough. He wanted to connect with people, he wanted someone to answer his questions. So he called the Al Waad office.


Thrilled to get a call from a viewer in Egypt, Amir and his team set up a Skype date with Ibrahim for his first Bible study. A very excited Ibra- him met with the Al Waad team and scheduled several more Bible studies over Skype. But Ibrahim has been so excited about learning more about Jesus that he can’t wait for the next lesson. Every day, the Al Waad office receives calls from Ibrahim.


Just imagine Ibrahim’s life had he never caught Hope Channel’s new, stronger signal!


*Name changed to protect the viewer


You can find more stories and news in Hope Channel’s quarterly news magazine, HopeLINK. Download a pdf copy or add yourself to the mailing list to receive free hard copies by mail.

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