NRB Strategic Partnerships Prayer Newsletter
Bucket List? God’s List!
My experiences in this vast country are certainly limited. A few days in a few locations doesn’t qualify a person to speak of the complexity of this land or its people. There is much I haven’t seen or experienced. And, yes, there are the modern structures of Delhi, Hyderabad, and other major cities. But even there it is difficult to hide the poor the country.
India wasn’t on my bucket list. Actually, I don’t have a bucket list. But if I did, India would probably not be on it. Now, though, after four trips to the sub-continent, God has been adding the people of India and their need for the Gospel to my heart.
The slums of places like Calcutta and Bombay (now Kolkata and Mumbai) have touched many. My journeys have not taken me to those places. But the needs of the people throughout India can easily overwhelm almost anywhere you go. Yes, the poverty is gripping. This most recent trip to Allahabad in the north has shown me the breadth of poverty in India.
Though Allahabad, a city of over 1.5 million, has some prominence…over half of India’s Prime Ministers are from there, including Nehru and Gandhi…it mostly reflects the image of a third-world existence. Poor infrastructure. Squalor on the streets. Filth. Images and smells that overwhelm the senses. The state of Uttar Pradesh is one of the poorest in all of India. It shows.
What also shows, though, is the beauty of God’s creation. The people He fashioned. The ones for whom Jesus died. As an amateur photographer, I could spend days and days just recording the faces, the people, of this land. There is beauty and character mixed in with the hopelessness that is etched on many of the faces. And not just the old. Many of the children seem to understand the hopeless nature of their existence.
This is not to say that India is totally backwards. Some our world’s brightest minds have come from this complex land. People of India excel in so many of our key industries…technology, medicine, mathematics…to name just a few.
But, more overwhelming to me than the economic poverty is the spiritual poverty and darkness that pervades so much of India. That’s what I see in the faces. That’s what tugs at my heart. The need for Jesus.
Our recent trip to India has been to train Christian broadcasters in the effective use of the media tools available. Many of them recognize the overwhelming task of spreading the Gospel to the masses apart from media. Pastors of churches that reach twenty to thirty thousand on a weekend have told me Christian media is a must if India is to be reached for Christ. Changing the face of India…the faces of India…is not an easy task. It hasn’t been through the centuries, for the William Carries and countless unknowns who have given their lives to reach the hearts of the people of India. II Peter reminds us that, “The Lord is…not willing that any should perish.” I wonder…could that be said of us?
So…while my focus remains global in what the Lord leads me to do, we will pray and seek ways to grow the impact of the message of hope…only found in Jesus…that India so desperately needs to hear.
The whole world is lost in the darkness of sin,
The Light of the world is Jesus.
May His Light overwhelm the darkness so that the beautiful faces of India will shine with the hope that God intended from creation.
India Media Training Report
We are pleased that over 100 media professionals and media students attended the recent training in Allahabad, India. Called "The All India Heavenly Kingdom Media Conference," the three-day conference had workshops in television, radio, and management. Support for the conference came from various sources, including NRB, Good News Television (India), Great Commission Media Ministry (Finland), CBN (US and India), HCJB Global (Asia, Australia, India) and the Christian university in Allahabad, which hosted the event.
Instructors for the conference traveled to the event at their own cost, and provided both outstanding teaching experience and a strong Christian spirit. Among the instructors were Dr. Frank Wright, President/CEO of NRB, Dr. Hannu Haukka of Finland, who is chairman of the International Committee for NRB. In addition, Priti Choudhry and Krista Sederwall from CBN taught much of the intermediate TV production workshops, while Edward McDougal, award winning film producer from Chicago taugh the advanced sessions on TV production. Also assisting in some of the session was Dr. Ratna Sajja, International Director for In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Sajja also serves on the NRB International Committee and was born in India.
Radio is not well developed in India, but may be a stragegy for the coming days. Ty Stakes of HCJB Global, and several of the HCJB team from that region, helped attendees understand the value of Christian radio, and gave ideas on how to program in order to impact lives for Christ.
Our coordinator in India is Ashvin Dhyriam, who heads up Good News Television, Chennai, India, and other TV channels in the country. His desire is that the media training in India be an annual event, so that the Gospel can be spread throughout this country of 1.2 billion people.
While we are grateful for the steps taken in training Christians in media skills, we know these are baby steps in the vast land of India. One of the steps that will benefit this process will be the formation of an association of Christian broadcasters in that country. We began discussions with leadership there last year, and have continued to work with them in the process.
Pray that these Christian media leaders will be able to form their association in the next months, and that broadcasters from across India will take part in this group. The goal is for better training and a stronger voice for the Gospel.
In November we will join with friends from Moody Broadcasting for a weeklong media training conference in Sofia, Bulgaria. Coordinating meetings, often via Skype, have been going on for several months in order to make the workshops and sessions effective and productive.
Pray for those deciding to attend, that they might see the value of the conference for themselves and their ministries.
Radio 7 – This ministry, based in the capital of Tirana, continues to grow. Its station in the Albanian capital is the base for its outreach in the country of Kosovo. A separate station in Pristina is taking Christian hope to this country that is almost totally Muslim. Pray for the Radio 7 staff that travels each week from Tirana to Pristina to produce programming and further train the new Radio 7 Kosovo staff.
In addition, the ministry has started Radio 7 Nord, in the northern part of Albania. Based in Shkordra, the programming is reaching an audience that has little evangelical influence and is in need of the Gospel. Pray that Radio 7 can get the needed backup equipment to make sure the Radio 7 Nord programming is consistently sharing the Good News of Jesus.
Radio Emanuel – This ministry is in Korce, in the southern portion of Albania. Radio Emanuel is positioned to reach into Macedonia and Greece, and is producing programs in those languages, along with its main programming in Albanian.
Among the prayer requests for Radio Emanuel are the need for financial stability to cover their expenses, and for the ability to grow. There are areas south of Korce that cannot hear the radio station and have no Christian witness via radio. In addition, Radio Emanuel needs a new facility. Their current location is quite small, and they need additional space for offices and for studios for all their varied programs and languages. Pray also for their steps with new technologies, such as their new website and the streaming of their audio on the Internet, all designed to increase the impact of the message of hope in Jesus.
In previous newsletters we asked for prayer for Sasko and Ira Bogeski and their ELION Ministry as they organized and hosted Nick Vujicic of Life Without Limbs. Over 10,000 people attended the two live ticketed events, and many thousands more saw him through numerous TV programs and special meetings. Nick has a strong Christian testimony and shares it with everyone.
Nick met with high government leaders, the Orthodox Church Patriarch, and national sports figures, including world-famous Serbian tennis star, Novak Djokovic.
Sasko Bogeski told me, “Nothing like this has happened in Serbia. God was truly there and worked through Nick to share the clear Gospel with thousands.”
Pray now for God to guide ELION Ministry to use the opportunities that will come from this to grow the impact of God’s Truth in Serbia.
Other Ministry Opportunities
Continue to pray for the various ministries that are on our heart. Though we aren’t always able to be active in assisting them, we want to be faithful to pray for God to use them in their countries to bring His message of hope to the many who need Jesus.
Here is a list of the ministries we pray for and serve, as the Lord directs.
France – Gospel Radio
Sweden – Hope FM
Turkey – Radio Shema
Indonesia – Radio Dian Mandiri
Bolivia – Radio Mosoj Chaski
Kosovo – Radio 7
Albania – Radio 7 Tirana
Albania – Radio 7 Nord
Albania – Radio Emmanuel
Romania – Alfa Omega Television
Romania – Radio Voice of the Gospel
India – Good News Television
And pray that we will have growing opportunities to assist these great ministries as they serve the Lord in challenging situations. God is using them in amazing ways.
My travel to other countries often underscores for me several things. One, we are so blessed in the USA, by what we have and by the opportunities God provides. We have our challenges (many of which NRB addresses continually on Capitol Hill and across our country), but the Lord has poured out His blessings.
Two, the faith of those who serve Him in other lands is often stronger than ours, tested and tempered by adversity and difficulty of every type. I am always strengthened, encouraged, and humbled by these who serve our Lord so well.
Three, my desire to assist those in Christian media around the world grows stronger with every trip, every visit with these servants. But I cannot do it alone. I need your prayers, your support, your assistance. It is one of the reasons I often ask you in these newsletters, “What is God saying to you right now?” If he is speaking to you, the best thing to do is respond. Pray…give…assist…go. Whatever it is, follow His urging in your heart. Many can hear the Gospel for the first time through these various broadcast ministries.
What is God saying? How will you respond?
Ronald L. Harris, DD
Senior Vice President for Strategic Partnerships
National Religious Broadcasters
703-330-7000 (NRB HQ)
NRB / 9510 Technology Drive / Manassas, VA / 20110