NRB Strategic Partnership Prayer Newsletter
I suspect it has happened to you. You’re reading the Bible, maybe a familiar passage, and a verse of Scripture seems to lift off the page and lodges in your mind. Happened to me the other morning…and the verse keeps coming to the forefront of my thoughts. Captivated.
My morning routine usually involves reading a portion of God’s Word, and recently the Gospels have been my focus. Familiar, for sure. The opening chapter of Luke contains the story of Elizabeth and Zechariah, the parents of the baby boy we would know as John the Baptist. Zechariah had lost his ability to speak or hear (Unbelief…a whole other story!). But after John was born the father regained his speech and, filled with God’s Spirit, prophesied about his new son. It was a verse in that passage that captivated me. In speaking of John’s assignment to prepare the way of the Lord, Zechariah said of John,
“You will tell His people how to find salvation through forgiveness of sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” (Luke 1:77-79 NLT)
My mind quickly went to the men and women I have the joy to work with all around our globe. There is such darkness in our world. And while we in the U. S. also see spiritual darkness in our part of the planet, we have many places where His light shines. And, at least for now, we can freely broadcast God’s Truth without fear of reprisal. That isn’t true in many places in our world.
I am often struck by the boldness of Christian broadcasters in other lands. They don’t take the safe path or the easy road. They launch Christian broadcast stations in the face of reprisal or intimidation. They take ministry steps because the need is there, not because the funds are there.
Are there misunderstandings, jealousies, and differences of opinions among these broadcasters? I would guess there are. They live in the real world and face real struggles. Some that I know don’t have adequate resources to care for their family as they would like. Yet they pour themselves into ministry…because people around them desperately need Jesus.
Some face persecution, with potential for death. When you proclaim the message of Christ as the only way to God in countries ruled primarily by Muslims, you are treading on dangerous ground. But these faithful press on.
Fascinated. What strikes me is that to be around these broadcasters is to be with people filled with joy…not fear. In spite of whatever hardship they may face, they reflect the joy of the Lord and the love of Christ. They seem to embody what the writer of Hebrews penned when he said,
“We are not among those who shrink back and thus perish, but are among those who have faith and preserve their souls.” (Hebrews 10:39 NET)
I firmly believe God is going to reward the active faith of these Christian broadcasters. A few verses earlier in Hebrews the author instructs the Christ followers,
“So do not throw away your confidence, because it has great reward. For you need endurance in order to do God’s will and so receive what is promised.” (Hebrews 10:35-36 NET)
Motivated. I also believe some of you will be motivated to be the key to the success of these who serve in other lands.
My wife Judy and I were watching a movie that came out a few years ago about the US Coast Guard’s rescue swimmers, an elite group that is called on to save the lives of those who find themselves in peril at sea. The movie is called “The Guardian” and stars Kevin Costner. At one point the rescue team was on board a helicopter on a challenging rescue mission. Running low on fuel and at a critical point, the pilot looked at the rescue swimmer and asked, “Do we go, or not go?” The reply came without hesitation. “If we don’t go…they die.”
Yes, motivated. I had to ask myself, “Do I believe that spiritually…that if I don’t answer the call, some will spiritually die?” Or…do I just see this role with NRB as something nice to do?
The reality is people are dying without Christ. Are we doing our part…going, giving, praying, encouraging…in order to rescue the perishing?
“You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness, and in the show of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” (Luke 1:77-79 NLT)
What is God saying to you?
International Ministry Prayer and Praise
There is always much to pray for, and much for which to give thanks to God. Here are some of the items for prayer this month.
We are into our last two months of preparation for the Balkans Training, November 2-6, in Timisoara, Romania. Here are prayer needs.
• Pray for the U. S. and European faculty as they prepare for the 20 workshops and seminars.
• Pray for the financial resources to cover the cost of the conference. We still need support to take care of expenses.
• Pray for the Balkan ministries that are sending their workers. This is a big cost for them, but will result in better-prepared staff and more effective ministry.
• Pray for the safety of all who will travel to Timisoara for the conference.
• Pray for a sense of unity among these faithful servants that will impact the people of the Balkans far beyond any human expectation.
• Pray for the many details that will need to be accomplished for a smooth and effective conference. Especially pray for the Balkan planning team who will help guide the conference in November.
There are always several phases in the launch of a broadcast ministry.The vision is shared, the resources sought, the technical launch is done, and you're on the air! But there is more to do, more decisions, more challenges. Sweden is dealing with these new areas as they grow the ministry of HopeFM, using Christian radio to impact a very secular country for Christ.
• Pray for financial support to grow in Sweden through individuals and churches. Pray that they will see HopeFM as a valuable tool and ministry partner.
• Pray for decisions leading to the best programming mix for HopeFM.
• Pray for the leadership and staff as they work as a new team, that they will sense God’s direction and His fellowship in this exciting ministry.
• Pray for new opportunities to impact Stockholm and other key cities in a major way, to build a consistent and loyal audience for HopeFM.
There are countries that we don’t identify by name in publication due to the sensitive nature of the work and the potential for persecution and intimidation. However, we can still pray for these needs.
• Pray for broadcast ministries that proclaim God’s Truth in the midst of areas under heavy Muslim influence.
• Pray for the wisdom and strength for station managers seeking to reach Hindu, Muslim, animist, and people of other religions (or no religion) who listen to the Christian stations.
• Pray for the potential interconnection of scores of these stations for more efficient and effective ministry. Pray for those helping to make this a reality.
There are numerous Christian broadcast stations inRomania, for which we praise God. But all have needs as they try to reach those in their country and in the surrounding lands. There are major, urgent needs in one ministry that we will mention for prayer. However, all these Christian broadcasters are challenged by the economic downturn and by other pressures.
Alfa Omega TV Ministry has moved into a new Communication Center, and while that is an exciting development, it also brings big challenges. Tudor Petan, who heads the ministry, listed several items as urgent needs:
• Pray for the completion of key areas of the Alfa Omega Communication Center in Timisoara, Romania.
• Floor for the TV studio (145 square meters)
• Lighting system for the TV studio
• Walls, windows for additional rooms at ground floor
• Heating & air conditioning installations
• Waterproofing - roof & terrace
• Additional office furniture
• IT upgrades, including computers & editing software
While the ministry of Radio 7/Media 7 continues to grow in Albania, this ministry is taking steps to secure a broadcast license in Kosovo. The fact that this country is largely Muslim presents challenges to evangelical believers in Christ, but this country needs the light and love of Jesus to counter the darkness that surrounds so many.
• Pray for the leadership of Media 7, both for their work in Albania and in Kosovo.
• Pray for the license request for a broadcast station in Kosovo that would cover that country with God’s Truth. It appears that this is becoming a reality.
• Pray for protection of the Christians in that land as they present the hope found in Jesus Christ.
• Pray for the financial support to needed to make this station a reality.
Among the Christian radio ministries in France is Radio Gospel. It has been a web radio presence for over 3 years, and continues to work toward an FM frequency in Paris. Last spring Paul Harrigan learned that their application for a temporary license had not made the last hurdle. However, they press on. In a recent communication Paul talked about an iPhone app for Radio Gospel. It is now in a testing phase. Paul writes,
"It was wonderful riding the train to Paris and driving the streets of Paris hearing the music of Radio Gospel through the iPhone! However we do not give up the effort of applying for the FM frequency, given that the CSA (French FCC) will send out a bid request for the FM frequency that RG has been working to obtain."
• Pray for favor with the French CSA as Radio Gospel applies for a frequency. It is a complicated and costly process, but it has the potential to broadcast to 20% of the population of France.
• Pray for financial support for the ministry. They report they need $51,000 to complete the year in the black.
• Pray for all Christian communicators in this country, as they look beyond the challenges for God’s opportunity to share His Word with an apathetic people.
ELION Media Ministry continues to grow as it uses media to impact Serbia and beyond. With the acquisition of a professional HD video camera, computer and editing software, audio recording and editing equipment, and related production equipment, ELION is now producing media material for use in churches. Subtitling software has helped complete their first project, the translation into Serbian of the Christian film series, More Than Dreams. Videos of regional seminars and Christian testimonies will help present Christian ministries to a wide group.
• Pray for a new facility for ELION Media. They now operate out of a corner of Ira and Sasko Bogeski's bedroom. This is not best for the ministry or the family. Pray for the financial support to cover the acquisition costs and monthly rent of an appropriate location for the ministry.
• Pray for the Mega-City Campaign that ELION is helping to launch in Serbia. This month-long media blitz will directly impact churches in Serbia, and will result in hundreds, if not thousands, who give their lives to Christ.
NRB Strategic Partnership
This fall will be extremely busy for me as we seek to encourage and strengthen God’s servants in Christian broadcasting around the globe. Here are some of the opportunities God is opening up for us in the next weeks.
• Pray for our NRB President, Dr. Frank Wright, and I as we travel to Russia near the end of September to meet with the association of Christian broadcasters there. Under the direction of Hannu Haukka of Great Commission Media, they will be looking at the challenges facing them in a changing political climate in Russia.
• Pray for new opportunities to assist with Christian broadcasting in Spain. We’ll travel there in October to meet with a broadcaster in Barcelona to see how we can help strengthen the work. Other NRB members, including Chuck Pollak, are currently assisting them in planning their funding strategies.
• Pray for the opportunities in Romania. In addition to the Balkans Training in November, we will be teaching at Emmanuel University in Oradea, Romania, and preaching at the thriving Emmanuel Baptist Church in that city, at the invitation of our friend Dr. Paul Negrut.
• Pray for a coming trip to Sweden in November, as we seek to assist HopeFM with programming ideas for effective ministry in Sweden.
• Pray for the ongoing need for financial support for our administrative and travel expenses. I praise God for those who have committed to underwrite some of the trips and other expenses.
• Also pray for us as we continue to teach a course at Dallas Baptist University. I thank God for their willingness to adapt to my schedule. Pray that we might inspire a new generation of Christian communicators.
Whew! It almost makes me tired just to think of all that is before us. Actually, it makes me excited to know that God still finds me useful in His kingdom work. I know He could accomplish His purposes and plans without me, but He chooses to use me. I am humbled and amazed at that. And, yes…captivated, fascinated, and motivated by His love and grace. How about you?
In His service…for His glory,
Ronald L. Harris, DD
Senior Vice President for Strategic Partnership
National Religious Broadcasters
703-330-7000 ext. 400 (NRB HQ)