SAT-7's Ethos is central to everything within this organization. It impacts programming, technology, decision-making and human resources. One crucial element of our Ethos is accurately representing the culture and people from the region in which we work. And, as the SAT-7 bouquet of channels has grown to include the Arabic, Turkish and Farsi (Persian) language groups, our staff has grown to reflect the lands from which these languages originate. SAT-7 now has staff from across the region including, Iran, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and more. One Egyptian staff member, Marlin, shares her desire and commitment to continue to live and serve in her home country. Marlin is an example of how SAT-7 is able to live out this aspect of our Ethos through the blessing of our staff. Read below:
I was born and raised in Egypt, a pastor's daughter and the youngest in my family. My story begins at the age of 15 when my parents persuaded me to finish high school in the USA. I was reluctant but I obeyed on one condition: that I would go to university in Egypt. As soon as I graduated from high school, I returned home and applied to various universities where, to my shock, I was informed that I couldn’t get into an Egyptian university with my American diploma and that I had either to go to the American University in Cairo or back to the USA. The American University was far beyond our financial means so I was obliged once again to leave my home country. This time I was devastated and began questioning everything in my life. I wondered if I was being punished for something had I done wrong. With no other option, I said goodbye to friends and family and left for the second time with a broken heart.
In the USA I lived for one goal only: to graduate and return to where I belonged. I knew in my heart that I didn’t belong in the USA; my heart was left in Egypt. Even though communications back then was difficult (there was no internet and long distance calls were very expensive), I was able to keep in touch with everyone but I missed my country and my people.
Understanding God's Plan
Finally, I returned home. Now was the time to press the PLAY button in my life! I started working for SAT-7 in 2001 as an assistant to the production manager. I didn’t know much about SAT-7 then but I was sure that it was the answer to my prayers.
As time went by, I began to better understand God’s plan for my life. As much as I was confused and angry at having to leave home for eight years, I understood that God had been preparing me for a bigger mission. The tough experience I had been through was God’s way of shaping me to become a woman of strength to fit into His ministry through SAT-7.
SAT-7 has gone through huge changes and transformation in Egypt over the last few years. I have worked in almost all departments, doing just about everything. I am currently the Information Manager for the Egypt office. My job is to provide all of SAT-7's offices with updates and information and to help raise funds across the world.
A Sense of Belonging
When the revolution started in Egypt, the country went into absolute chaos. Internet connections and mobile phone networks were cut off, prisoners were released and thugs were everywhere on the streets. My family (living in the USA) was worried sick for me and wanted me to leave the country - in fact they booked me a flight! In spite of feeling fearful about the revolution, I felt that leaving at such a crucial time was a betrayal to my country and my people. I kept thinking about my fellow Egyptians who didn’t have “the American option”, including my extended family who still lived in Egypt. Would I ever see them again? What would happen to them? What about SAT-7? With all these questions and feelings I realised afresh my love not only for my country but also for SAT-7's ministry. There was a different sense of belonging in my heart. I tried to convince my family that the God who protects them in the USA is capable of protecting me here in Egypt, but in vain…
While in the USA with my family, I prayed for Egypt and for SAT-7 and God’s voice was clear to me that I belong there. I stayed only for two weeks until the former president stepped down and things started to calm down. I wanted to come home so badly to be a part of everything taking place in the country and in SAT-7. I wanted to be in the square when Christians were freely leading worship from the center stage. I was watching it all on the internet and TV but it wasn’t enough.
I had chosen many years ago to live in Egypt and work for SAT-7 but now I am SURE that this is where God wants me to be. Even though the future is uncertain I have decided to stay. Nothing feels more right than living God’s will in your life. The inner peace and sense of satisfaction He always gives me during difficult times are the biggest proof that I’m in the right place. SAT-7 for me is my home. This is where my best friends are, and where I share my life with people, with the ultimate goal of reaching the people of the Middle East with God’s love. SAT-7 is my church - the Body of Christ - where I find unity and love in good times and bad.