An interview with team member, Khalil*.
How long have you worked with Arab World Media?
‘I began my service with Arab World Media in March 1999 when I left my country, Syria, to go to the Media Centre in France. It was the first time I had travelled abroad.’
What did you do before you joined our team?
‘My first experience of serving the Lord was in Damascus. I worked with a countrywide outreach programme called ‘The life of love’ for six months as a volunteer, and then for two years as a full time worker. I was responsible for our main centre in Damascus where we made copies of the Jesus film for distribution in Syria. I was also in charge of the outreach itself, in Damascus and the south of Syria. We showed the Jesus film and distributed gospels and Christian books in villages, schools and both local and Christian community centres. Our goal was to bring the good news to everyone, encouraging them to accept Christ as Lord and Saviour.
‘In addition, I was involved in my local church. For a year and a half before I travelled to France, I was on the board supervising the youth ministry.’
What does a typical day look like for you?
‘My normal working day begins at 7.30am when I look at emails and respond to them. Then I check the results of our online advertising to ensure seekers are engaging with the content. I sometimes make adjustments if a particular advertisement is not performing well. After that I turn to our outreach on social media to add new material or to reply to comments that our visitors have made. Twice a week I renew the content of our home page on the ministry website.
‘Almost every day I have one or two Skype meetings with different members of our team, which is now scattered over several countries (in the Middle East, France, UK and South America). We discuss and plan our media outreach strategy together.
‘During the day I am available to respond to the phone calls we receive from visitors to our website and social media pages. I have a mobile phone specifically for the ministry, which I always keep with me. People also use free apps like WhatsApp, Viber and Skype to contact me on it.
‘Through the week (not daily) I reply to some of the emails coming into our response system from people in Syria and Lebanon. I also update the system with details of contacts who keep in touch.
‘I am responsible for the management of our office in the Middle East. I work with Habib* and my wife, Sara*. We share about our activities and pray together. My day normally ends around 6pm, although I continue to receive phone calls and messages on my ministry phone until late into the night.’
What’s the biggest challenge in your ministry?
‘The biggest daily challenge in my ministry is that, as a believer in Christ and the head of a family, I myself experience the pressures and the varied and sometimes complex – or even conflicting – responsibilities of everyday life. But when I open my computer or turn on my phone there are people who are waiting to hear a word of counsel, encouragement and help from me. Often I feel at a loss and that I am the one who is in need of someone to encourage and support me! But I thank the Lord who gives me strength each day so that I can be a source of encouragement to others and help them to put their trust more firmly in God and to place their lives in his hands.
‘Another daily challenge is working with a diverse team of around 20 people, but having to relate to them at a distance. This does make things harder, especially when we speak different languages (or different dialects of the same language) and have different cultural backgrounds.’
What’s the biggest blessing of serving God this way?
‘The greatest blessing I have received from the Lord in this ministry is to see people asking him to come into their lives and accepting him as their Lord and master. I have not only seen this in our internet ministry. I have also been able to meet people here in the Middle East with whom I first had contact through our media outreach. I have been able to lead them to Christ and it has been a wonderful and precious experience. There is no greater joy than to see people’s lives being changed as they believe in Christ and then later go on to serve him.’
How can we pray for you?
‘Pray for me to draw strength daily from the Lord, so that I can be a source of blessing and encouragement to the many who are in touch with us.
‘Pray about the situation in my country of Syria. We are continually concerned for our families (both my wife’s and mine) who are still living there.
‘Pray for our son Joseph*, that he may continue to walk with the Lord. He is now an adolescent and there are many challenges for him.
‘Pray for us as Syrians living in the Middle East. It is almost impossible for us to travel since no country wants to give Syrian nationals a visa, even for a short visit. So we cannot take advantage of opportunities to attend conferences, training events or meetings that could be of help both to the ministry and to us personally.’
*No real names have been used in this interview.
Nationals in ministry
Khalil is one of a growing number of Arab team members whom we value immensely.
National workers serve as the backbone for Arab World Media’s ministry. Whether from a Christian or Muslim background, they bring a depth of experience, gifts of evangelism and discipleship, and cultural insights that fundamentally enhance outreach and church planting.
Gifted Christian workers like these are central to the success of our efforts to see groups of obedient disciples of Jesus in the Arab world.
This year, we need to raise £97,000 (US $121,000) to cover the expenses of our nationals in ministry. We already have £13,400 (US $16,700) pledged, but there is a long way to go to reach our target.
Please consider becoming a financial supporter to enable us to retain and expand our team of nationals in ministry. Follow one of the links below to make a donation today.