Nicosia, Cyprus- On Thursday evening, August 3, SAT-7 broadcast live from its studio overlooking downtown Beirut . The program included a live call-in segment in which viewers from across the Middle East called in to say they are praying for the situation and for the SAT-7 team as they work to broadcast Christs love from the midst of a war zone. But by Friday morning August 4, the team was no longer able to continue their work.
We didnt get any sleep last night and were really shocked about what has happened. Bridges on several main roads into Beirut have been bombed, even in Christian areas, and many of our staff can no longer come to the studio, says Naji Daoud, the SAT-7 Lebanon Director. It is really quite frightening because now it seems that no area of the city is safe and innocent people are dying. When people do come to work, they dont know if theyll be able to go home.
Fortunately, thus far no SAT-7 personnel have been hurt during the crisis, but because several main roads are now unusable the office leadership decided to close the office. Its not only the closed roads, but also the lack of fuel. There is no fuel to buy in the country and we dont know when we will get more, adds Mr. Daoud. Several programs were to be recorded and had to be cancelled, including a womens program and a youth program.
Despite the challenges, SAT-7 hopes to re-open the studio on Monday. But Mr. Daoud says it will depend on whether the situation improves. Because of the lack of fuel and the difficulty of traveling, the team is putting an emergency plan into place in which a small crew may move into a donated flat located near the office and continue to produce programs. They intend to carry on broadcasting a live current affairs program each week, on Thursday evenings at local time, if conditions allow.
When asked what he would like Christians around the world to be praying for, Mr. Daoud said, really the most important thing we can pray for is a cease fire. We need this to end because it only seems to be getting worse. SAT-7 also urges prayer for their team in Lebanon and for all the people suffering in the region.
During this weeks program, pastor and counselor Rev. Joseph Najm was asked by a SAT-7 presenter how to apply Gods words to difficult situations like the current crisis in Lebanon . Rev. Najm said, These are very difficult times and we need to remember that in Gods Word we are warned that we would face difficulties. But in times like this our faith can be our fortress. We need to remember the heroes of faith like Joseph, Daniel and Job. Their stories are in the Bible to strengthen and encourage us.