NRB Strategic Partnership Prayer Newsletter
Light Dispels Darkness…Every Time
It is difficult to know. Am I reading the Old Testament…or the daily news? Turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa as people rebel against oppressive leaders. Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, among those seeking freedom.
There's a gospel song we used to sing years ago,
An earthquake and tsunami of biblical proportions devastate Japan, with a ripple effect around the globe. The potential for a nuclear meltdown brings further fear and uncertainty to Japan and the world.
Questions abound. The search for answers intensifies almost hourly. Truth is needed. God’s Truth. The Gospel. Our only hope. Jesus.
God has His people in strategic places. He did so in Bible days, He does so now. Today they use electronic media to share that Truth. I think of Terrance Ascott of SAT-7 ministry that uses multiple satellite TV channels to spread the Gospel throughout the Middle East/North Africa region. I think of Far East Broadcasting, TWR, and HCJB Global, whose broadcasts blanket Asia, the Middle East, and many other parts of the world. We need to continue fervent prayer for these key ministries. And…we need to support them financially, more than ever before.
Spiritual darkness is not limited to the Middle East or Asia. Satan tries to eliminate the light of God’s Word all over the world. Yet, there are…to borrow President George H. W. Bush’s phrase…thousands of points of Light, piercing the darkness. And that encourages me.
I am privileged to know some of the servants that the Lord has called out to serve in their country, in their culture. They boldly hold out the flame of faith. In various ways we are involved through National Religious Broadcasters with 10-12 ministries who have great opportunity for influence. Their broadcast signals and media influence cover over 500 million people. People who are lost without Jesus. People who need healing and hope. Sheep…lost and wandering…without a shepherd. I am reminded of the compassion of Christ, expressed in Matthew’s account of the Gospel.
“Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36 NASB
In times like these, we need a Savior.
And the chorus began,
In times like these, we need an Anchor.
This Rock is Jesus, yes, He’s the One.
This Rock is Jesus, God’s only Son.
As simple as that chorus is, it is truth. In these turbulent days, we need to take the claims of Christ to the searching world. It has always been that way. But we are reminded daily that time is short, people are lost, Jesus is coming, and we need to tell as many as possible there is hope in the midst of a hopeless world that is in many ways crumbling before our eyes. There is a Rock.
This Rock is Jesus. The Light of the world. The Hope for all men and women everywhere. Pray that each of us will share that truth with boldness. Keep the light coming to dispel the darkness of our world.
Prayer Needs and Ministry Opportunities
Media 7 in Tirana, the capital of Albania, has two major challenges in need of our prayer. First, a few months ago they received a broadcast license for a station in their neighboring country of Kosovo. They need to be on the air in just a few months, and Media 7 needs to raise about $70,000 US to purchase the transmitter and antenna. Pray for the needed funds to proclaim God’s Truth to this almost totally Muslim nation.
Second, Media 7’s director, Enkelejda Kumaraku, has been working to gain a television presence in Albania. In what appears to be a miracle of God, a couple in Albania, who are not Christians, have offered to give Media 7 the TV station they own! At this point it is unclear all that this might entail, but it seems it would be both the license to broadcast and the equipment and studios. Pray for wisdom and continued favor to reach more people for Christ using these powerful tools.
In the southeastern part of Albania, Emanuel Radio, in Korçë, is working to extend the reach of their Christian station, too. A new antenna in the mountains above Korçë will allow their signal to reach many more in Albania, as well as touch lives in both Macedonia and Greece. Pray for the funds, good weather, and for the team of engineers from North America who will do the work.
HopeFM is facing some important decisions and critical days. While opportunities for growth continue to present themselves to the ministry, the financial support for the station has been slow to develop, especially in Sweden. Roger Arnfjell, who leads this broadcast ministry, is dedicated to designing a program mix that encourages Christians in this very secular Scandinavian country. At the same time, there is a strong desire to touch the hearts of the lost, who, like the scripture quoted earlier, are like sheep without a shepherd. Help is coming from Premier Radio in London and its general manager, Peter Kerridge. He has been successful in building a ministry in London that is financially viable while it proclaims God’s Truth for today’s culture. Pray that the ministry work that is so needed in Sweden will be strengthened, and that HopeFM will become a powerful tool for the Gospel.
Onda Paz, the Christian radio station in Barcelona, is a significant ministry, touching thousands of lives in that city and well beyond. But the cost of running the station is more than the local church can support. Efforts have been going on for some months to put this station on a firm financial footing. Now God is calling someone from the US to invest his life and experience in Barcelona with Radio Onda Paz. Matt Stockman was in Spain last fall helping the station hold its first effort at a Radiothon. Through that experience, and sensing God’s calling, Matt and his family have begun the steps to move to Barcelona to give leadership to Onda Paz. He will assist Pastor Julio Perez, who has headed up Onda Paz since its start some 10 years ago.
Matt Stockman is in the process of raising the funding needed to relocate his family to Spain and to support them while he joins the work of this important Christian station. If God moves you to give, or to learn more, let me know and I will get you in touch with Matt.
We give thanks to God for continuing to bless ELION Media Ministry in Belgrade. A European ministry has provided a new(er) Mac computer for Sasko Bogeski to use for video editing, allowing him to work more quickly and with greater flexibility in producing more videos for the Serbian people. And it looks like the old computer will be put to good use. Software is available for a web-based radio station, and ELION is working now to put together the programming needed for such a ministry. Several challenges (prayer opportunities) exist, such as the fact that there is very little Christian music recorded in Serbian. Another issue is the Internet connection that will only allow for a few people to sign on at a time. However, God is already meeting that need.
ChristianNetcast.com is a company that streams audio for many Christian radio stations, churches, and ministries. They are now working with ELION Media so that their programming, when it is up and running, will be accessible to a worldwide audience. This is a wonderful blessing, and will allow ELION to have greater impact for Christ to Serbian-speaking people.
Pray for Sasko and Ira Bogeski as this ministry develops. They are now looking for ministry offices on a permanent basis. Contributions are already coming in for this purpose, and it may be that within a few weeks this may be accomplished. Pray for wisdom and direction for all phases of ELION Media Ministry.
NRB’s Strategic Partnerships
The NRB Convention last month was a great event, with many internationals joining us for a time of instruction, inspiration, networking, fellowship, and worship. Each year it seems the awareness of the global opportunities for the Gospel grows among our NRB members. It is wonderful to connect some of the great folks we work with in other countries with US based ministries that can assist them in their calling to reach their culture for Christ.
About $12,000 was given and pledged to help two Christian radio stations in Haiti continue their work and touch the needy lives of the Hatians. Our thanks to the many NRB members who have a heart for their colleagues around the world, and are willing to dig deep to help them serve in hard places.
We are getting more opportunities to learn of the work of Christian broadccasters in other countries. In the months ahead we hope to be in Turkey, Albania, Serbia, Ghana, Haiti, and possibly Belize. Most of these trips will be to assess the ministries, find out what the needs are, and begin the process of linking them with partners who can meet their needs.
My prayer for these days is for the finances needed for these trips, and for discernment on where to go and what to do. Already, some have indicated they will help cover some of the travel costs. God is good. I know He will supply the needs for what the Lord wants me to do. Overall funding of our ministry and administrative costs is an ongoing need. Pray that as we tell the story of the Lord’s amazing servants around the world, that God will raise up those gifted to give, who will do just that…give as He directs.
As you read this I am in India and Nepal with Hannu Haukka of Great Commission Ministries, and with a partner ministry with him, East-West Ministries. We'll see some of the follow up to a Mega City Campaign in Kathmandu, Nepal, where they report overwhelming response to the month-long campaign. Then we are off to Chennai, India, where a Mega City Campaign is just getting underway. This strategy is having a great impact for the Gospel in key cities in many parts of our world. Pray that those who desire "The Power to Change" will invite Jesus into their lives to bring about the only "change" that matters...changing from death to life.
One more request. As events continue to unfold in the Middle East and North Africa, pray for those holding up the Light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ there. We need that Light piercing the darkness. In times like these, we need a Savior. His name is Jesus.
Ronald L. Harris, DD
Senior Vice President for Strategic Partnership
National Religious Broadcasters
703-330-7000 ext. 400 (NRB HQ)