NRB Strategic Partnership
May 2010 Prayer Newsletter
God Has His People
This has been a very busy year for NRB’s Strategic Partnership division. By God’s design, numerous opportunities have opened up to develop and strengthen relationships with international Christian broadcasters in various parts of the world. Today’s great technology allows us to maintain contact with many via email, Facebook, and Skype. But there is nothing that replaces being with these dedicated servants personally.
So…we have been on the road (or in the air, I should say) quite a bit. From Eastern Europe to Indonesia, from South America to Sweden, from France to Finland, I have seen first-hand the great work going on in Christian communications. Each place is unique, with different needs, challenges and opportunities. Yet, I have observed at least one constant: God has His people.
Thinking of that recently I remembered a song by that title by Christian artist Steve Amerson. The chorus of it says,
God has His people; carefully they are placed
Where He can use them to show His love and grace,
God has His people daily living out their lives; in simple, subtle ways,
They are salt and light.
And what amazing people He has. Some serve in remote regions where technology is lacking. Somehow they find ways to harness today’s tools for God’s use, taking the message of hope in Christ to their world.
Others are in more modern settings, where all of the technology tools are available to the masses. Yet they face the challenge of an apathetic culture that cares little for God or the Gospel. Their world lives for pleasure or self, with little thought of eternal matters.
In all cases, though, I find servants of passion, love, and urgency. Passion for Christ and His will for their lives…love for the people where they serve…and an urgency to proclaim the Gospel, sensing the days are short and the needs great.
Another thing that amazes me is what capable people God has in His service. Even though some have not had a background in broadcasting, they have thrust themselves into the work, learning what they need to know, and trusting God for things they don’t know. It seems they have understood what another part of the Steve Amerson song says:
And no matter where He places you there’s a purpose and a plan.
He has never wasted anyone whose life is in His hands.
True, some face discouragement because the work is hard, and sometimes the resources seem few. That is where God allows me to step in and bring a bit of encouragement from His Word, and when possible…and with your help…bring resources to help them do what God has called them to do.
By the way, do you know that you are included in that song? Your prayers, your support, your encouragement is the important job the Lord has put before you to do. You have been “carefully placed” to show His love and grace. There is purpose and a plan in the life He has given you. Jeremiah 29:11 doesn’t just apply to missionaries, preachers, Christian communicators, or those in other “full-time” ministry jobs. It applies to all. It applies to you.
God has a plan for you, to prosper you, to bring you a hope and a future. He has had that plan all along. It is yours to live in or to ignore. So…like the servants I see on the field…you have the opportunity to be salt and light.
The story is told of someone who was complaining to Oswald Chambers, the teacher behind the “My Utmost for His Highest” devotions. They said to him, “I can’t serve God where I am!” Chambers quickly replied, “You can’t serve God where you are not. The only place where you can serve the Lord is where He has placed you.”
God has His people. Here and around our globe. Salt and light. Simply showing His love and grace.
Ministry Update/Prayer Requests
Having just spent time with Christian communicators in France, the needs and opportunities are fresh on my heart. This is a tough area to serve. Evangelicals are marginalized, and it is extremely difficult for them to have a media presence in Paris and other metropolitan areas. There are Christian radio stations, mostly run by the Catholic Church. But creative broadcasters are exploring ways to increase their impact, especially in Paris, where about 20% of the total population of France lives.
• Pray for Radio Gospel as they seek the authority to broadcast with a temporary license in Paris. The hope is that if they can secure that, they can possibly get it extended and, eventually, secure a regular license. Pray for Paul Harrigan as he directs this effort.
• Pray for the federation of Christian broadcasters in France as they seek ways to better serve together, increasing their skills and their effectiveness. Pray for Denis Steffen and his wife Annie as they lead and serve.
• Pray for Christian broadcasters who serve in other French-speaking countries, like Benin, Burkina Faso, Algeria, and others. They, too, are seeking to make a difference with the Gospel of Christ over radio and the Internet.
• Pray for the Internet ministry, Top Chrétien, which has created evangelism websites, such as www.Jesus.net in many languages. They are seeing an individual pray to receive Christ as Lord about every 45 seconds. The web site, www.godrev.com, shows the locations of the decisions in real time as they are being made all over the world. Almost two million people have indicated they have prayed to receive Christ as their Savior, with many being directed to a local church for discipleship, or to an online course for spiritual growth.
• Pray for the French Christian broadcasters to be encouraged by God’s Spirit, and for them to find favor with authorities as they seek broadcast frequencies.
ELION Media Ministry has been able to purchase a professional HD video camera and has begun to tape and produce videos. New software will now allow them to translate and caption Christian videos into the Serbian and Macedonian languages. This is an exciting step for a ministry that serves a country where evangelicals number only 0.02% of the population.
• Pray for Sasko Bogeski and his wife Ira as they take on a rapidly increasing workload. Pray as they assemble a team of volunteers who can help them with the ministry tasks.
• Pray for additional equipment for recording, such as lighting and sound for their video production work.
• Pray as they visit with pastors in Serbia about the Mega City Campaign that will blitz a city with Christian messages for a month. These campaigns have been very successful in Russia and the Middle East. Pray for the many details and for the finances that are needed for the campaign in the Balkans. These massive projects typically cost around $100,000.
More solar powered shortwave radios have been delivered and distributed in Bolivia to carry the programming of Radio Mosoj Chaski to the Quechua Indians in the Andes Mountains. This is a cooperative effort of NRB member Galcom International, NRB member radio stations, individuals, and NRB’s Strategic Partnership division.
• Pray for this significant broadcast ministry that has over one million regular listeners. Pray for the staff and leadership as they seek to be even more effective in their ministry to the Quechua. • Pray for more partners, US radio stations, and others to provide Galcom radios for this ministry. At $20 each, these fix-tuned radios are amazing missionaries that serve in hard-to-reach places of the Andes, taking God’s hope and Truth to a needy people. This would be a good project for any size Christian radio station, a church group, Sunday school class, or even a family. $100 puts five radios to work for over 10 years.
The diligent team at HopeFM is continuing to grow the ministry of Sweden’s only full-fledged Christian radio ministry. Financial support is growing in Sweden, but new opportunities and the need to add to the small staff will continue to challenge HopeFM.
• Pray for Roger Arnfjell and his staff and volunteers as they continue to improve the quality of the programming and the presentation.
• Pray for more frequencies to become available across Sweden.
• Pray also for the needed strategy to connect these stations, and the financial support that will undoubtedly be needed for this technology.
• Pray for individuals in Sweden, one of the most secular countries in Europe, to be touched by God’s love, with hearts changed for all eternity.
• Pray for the evangelical community to be unified and strong against Satan’s opposition.
Challenges abound for Christian broadcasters in this the largest Muslim nation in the world. Yet creative, dedicated, and brave servants of Christ are finding ways to establish more and more Christian broadcast outlets.
• Pray for the new association of Christian broadcasters in Indonesia, as they gain strength from each other and from the Lord. Pray they will have a unified voice for Christian broadcasting with government authorities.
• Pray for opportunities with Christian businessmen to establish partnerships on some of the thousands of islands to start and support Christian radio. Exciting relationships are already being forged in this direction.
• Pray for protection for these broadcasters who face possible persecution for their clear witness for Christ in hostile cultures.
God seems to be doing a special work in the Balkans, a former stronghold for Communism and atheism. In a few days we will be heading to Austria to meet with a planning team of key Christian broadcasters from Eastern Europe. This meeting had to be cancelled last month due to the volcanic ash that shut down airports all over Europe.
This team will be determining what types of training are most needed to take the impact of Christian communication to another level in this region. NRB will be assisting by bringing a team of broadcasters to the area in the fall for the Balkans Training Initiative.
• Pray for the team of Christian broadcasters as they head to the planning meeting, that they will have God’s direction in their hearts and will be able to sense the Lord’s wisdom for the training.
• Pray for financial support pledged by NRB members to be completed. Pray also for others to help support this effort financially. $13,500 has been given and pledged. Another $6,500 is needed to keep the cost affordable for those in the Balkans.
• Pray for the right team to be assembled from NRB Christian broadcasters from the US, and for them to have the funding needed to provide for their own expenses for the week of training being planned.
• Pray for an unusual sense of God’s presence and direction, that those in the Balkans will be led to a new strategy to take the message of grace, love, and hope found in Christ to this important region.
Whew! There is a lot going on in the assignment God has given us. I feel so blessed to be able to connect people from around the world together for added strength in the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ. The Lord is the great enabler, and we are blessed that He allows us to be a part of His plan. You see, God doesn’t need me (or you) to do His work. We aren’t doing the Lord a favor by serving Him. God can accomplish His will any way He wishes.
I often think of the wonderful story of Esther. We quickly gravitate to that passage that proclaims that Esther had come to the kingdom “…for such a time as this.” We apply that to the opportunities that are before us…all of us…in God’s work, and rightfully so. But sometimes, if we aren’t careful, we can leave the impression that if we don’t do our work for the Lord, it just won’t get done, and God’s plan will be halted or slowed.
In that same verse, Esther 4:14, Mordecai tells Esther, “…If you keep quiet at this time, liberation and protection for the Jews will appear from another source, while you and your father’s household perish.” The word to Esther, and to us, is that our gracious God gives us the opportunity to join in on His work, reaping a storehouse of blessings in the process.
What is it that God is placing before you? What door is He opening for you, so you might receive a blessing? And what part will you play in His plan for salvation for the multitudes of our world who have yet to hear of Jesus and His love? The door is open. The opportunities abound. Are you one of God’s people…carefully placed for such a time as this?
Ronald L. Harris, DD
Senior Vice President for Strategic Partnership
National Religious Broadcasters
703-330-7000 ext. 400 (NRB HQ)
Dr. Ron Harris
Sr. Vice President for
Strategic Partnership, NRB
[We should] make a private chapel of our heart where we can retire from time to time to commune with Him, peacefully, humbly, lovingly.
The old serpent will tempt you and entice you, but he will be sent packing by prayer, and if you do some useful work in the meantime, you will block his chief approach.
-Thomas a Kempis
The illustrations of prayer our Lord uses are on the line of importunity, a steady persistent, uninterrupted habit of prayer.
We must repeat the same supplications not twice or three times only, but as often as we have need, a hundred and a thousand times.
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
Prayer takes the promise to the bank of faith, and obtains the golden blessing.