Anyone in crisis—whether a health issue, a broken relationship, addiction, societal issues, or even war—knows there is no one better to talk with than someone who has “been there.”
SAT-7 PARS developed a new live program, Our Neighborhood, because of the increasingly serious problem of drug addiction in Iran and surrounding Farsi-speaking countries. The program’s host, Iranian pastor Rev. Miltan Danil, has been there.
Miltan grew up in a dysfunctional home and used heroin to ease the pain of his troubled childhood. By age 17, he was an addict. He served time in prison, became severely depressed, and attempted suicide three times. Then something turned his life around!
Miltan’s brother told him that Jesus could save him and heal him. Those words of hope inspired Milton to give his life to Christ and to Christian service. He explains, “Once you come from [a] terrible experience, you just want to help people.”
On screen, Our Neighborhood tackles all aspects of addiction. Off screen, SAT-7 PARS continues to reach out to hurting people with compassionate advice, prayer, and vital follow-up support. In this region of the world, war and displacement have caused many people to suffer from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and they are left with a feeling of overwhelming hopelessness. SAT-7’s ministry is modeled after Jesus’ own ministry of compassion and healing for hurting people. Programs like “Our Neighborhood” with presenters like Miltan attract viewers who face not only addiction but many other heartaches and challenges.
Miltan says, “Having Our Neighborhood in live format gives us direct communication with our viewers. We want to hear from them, to know what they are experiencing today.… I want to see people put their hope in Jesus, to see them healed and set free.”
Another new live program, From Heart to Heart on SAT-7 ARABIC, encourages couples to open up about their difficult issues. The married presenters, Rawad and Marianne, along with their guests who also have “been there,” bravely share their own challenges and examine them from a biblical perspective.
Rawad and Marianne speak honestly about problems they have faced, including financial difficulties, Rawad’s issues with anger, and his past addiction to pornography. The program provides a platform that encourages viewers to speak honestly also.
“People want to feel free to talk about their struggles,” Marianne says. “When they hear another couple talking about theirs, they think, ‘Oh, I am not alone. I can share.’ And that is how we build each other up.”
While it is very difficult as well as culturally taboo to talk about infidelity, one episode featured an Iraqi man who shared that he had been unfaithful. His wife forgave him, and the couple received support that helped them to heal.
Many viewers have asked Rawad and Marianne how to handle their husband’s anger issues. Others want to know how to deal with arranged marriages or how to cope with the challenges of living with the husband’s parents—an arrangement that is very common in the Middle East and North Africa.
The couple’s answers always point to God as the center of the relationship. “This is the key,” says Rawad. “When you read the Word of God, He is saying to respect your wife as you love yourself. If you truly love God, you can do it. Even though sometimes I am angry, because I love God I will compromise, be humble, and ask my wife to pray with me.”
Marianne emphasizes the importance of communication and quality time together. She adds, “Compromise is also key,” and encourages both parties in a marriage to affirm that, “It’s not about me any more…it’s about us. I choose us.”
Programs like Our Neighborhood on SAT-7 PARS and From Heart to Heart on SAT-7 ARABIC were created to encourage people and to bring HOPE to those who need it most!