NRB Strategic Partnerships Prayer Newsletter
Not Quite a Tale of Two Cities
It’s more like a tale of two continents, and the faithful servants of the one true God. The past few weeks have given me rich experiences in Accra, Ghana and Chennai, India. And I am reminded anew how the Lord has called and placed His servants in these places to take His Good News to those in darkness.
Africa by Radio is an association of Christian broadcasters who are using radio and the Internet to touch lives for Christ all across this massive continent. About 100 dedicated broadcasters from 19 African countries and 5 other nations gathered in Accra, Ghana, for the second Continental Convention under the theme, “Transforming the Continent, One Listener at a Time.” I was deeply moved by the heart of those who serve in hard places, but do so with joyful hearts and creative minds. They talk of wars and rebellions like we would talk of traffic jams on our freeways. It is a common occurrence and a part of their lives.
Africa by Radio has been supported strongly by HCJB Global, TWR, and Far East Broadcasting, along with other international ministries like Galcom International. My role there was to bring greetings and encouragement from NRB, and to learn what God is up to in Africa through these outstanding servants. From South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Chad, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and many other countries, the message of hope…found only in Jesus…is going forth.
The massive country of India is the second largest in the world, with over 1.2 billion people. Hinduism and Islam are major religions in India, with Christians of all types making up only 3-6% of the population. However, there is great hope among evangelicals for the growth of Christianity throughout India.
Operation World, a wonderful encyclopedia of the faith needs of every country in our world, says this of India:
“Millions have become more open to the message of Christ through literature, widely broadcast radio and TV programs and extensively used Christian videos, films, and cassettes. Indian produced Christian media is vital to effectively reach Indians with the gospel.”
My recent trip to India has underscored this dramatically. There is a real sense of urgency among Christian broadcasters in India. They feel that today is the day, now is the time for the truth of the Gospel to be broadcast all across India, that millions may come to Christ for salvation.
Over 125 media and ministry leaders from all over India gathered in Chennai for the second Christian Media Conference. The aim of this year’s gathering was to consider the value and need of an association to link Christian broadcasters as they carry the Light of God’s Word into the darkness. They recognize that they can have a stronger voice and a greater impact working together. And they are seeing the importance of improving their skills and sharing new strategies as they answer God’s call through Christian media.
At the invitation of some of the leadership, NRB is sharing its almost 70 years of experience as an association with our Indian brothers and sisters. Over the coming months we believe that an association will emerge in India, led by dedicated Indian Christian broadcasters. NRB is excited to provide guidance and encouragement in these critical days.
In reading Operation World I noted that 70% of India’s population is under 35 years old. They refer to this group as the “new India” that is less impacted by the caste system and more open to Christianity. The book says, “As such, they are a hugely strategic group to reach for Jesus….” Christian media, used effectively, can play an enormous role in reaching many in this generation for Christ.
Pray for the opportunities in Africa and India. Pray for the enthusiastic and dedicated leaders who are emerging in these areas. And pray for all of us to know the role God has for us in seeing these massive areas of our world see, hear, and receive the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Other Ministry Updates and Prayer Needs
Albania and Kosovo
In just a few weeks the people of Kosovo will have a Christian witness on the air. Media 7 of Albania, with the help of several key partners, launches Radio 7 Kosovo. Staff selection and training is underway, and equipment arrives soon. Yet there is much for which to pray. Government authorities in Kosovo have not finished the paperwork to finally authorize the station. Pray there will be no delays or challenges. Pray for the Media 7 staff from Tirana, Albania, as they make numerous trips to Prisitina, Kosovo, in preparations for signing on the new station.
Media 7 also begins television spots, in partnership with NRB member ministry NEED HIM. TV spots will air in some of Albania’s most popular programs and point viewers to a web site to chat about a relationship with Jesus. Albanian believers have been trained to counsel those seeking Christ. Pray that many will respond to this new outreach opportunity.
Challenges continue for HopeFM as they seek a firm foundation for this critical broadcast ministry in Sweden. In-country financial support, programming strategies, and overall ministry direction are all areas for prayer. Pray for the HopeFM Board and Roger Arnfjell as they walk through uncharted waters in one of the most secular countries in all of Europe. They need a strong witness for Christ, with solid Bible teaching, and an engaging style that will attract many to the hope found only in Jesus.
The ministry of Radio Mosoj Chaski, based in Cochabamba, Bolivia, continues to grow and progress. They have recently been granted approval by the government as an independent organization. At last word there were still some decisions to come from the government as it relates to their taxes. Pray for these steps with the Bolivian government and the local government to go smoothly. The radio ministry also is looking for staff for a couple of positions. As you may remember, Radio Mosoj Chaski may have as many as one million regular listeners, based on a government survey a few years ago. The potential for impact among the Quechua Indians of Bolivia is very strong. In addition to this, the ministry is looking ahead to a time they will need to update their shortwave and studio equipment. Pray for wisdom as they move forward.
NRB has partnered with Galcom International of Canada to help two Christian radio stations in Haiti. Radio Lumiere in Port au Prince will be receiving solar panels to help run the station during the many times of power outage in that ravaged area. And Radio 4VEH in Cape Haitian, in the north of the country, will be receiving scores of solar powered, fix-tuned, radios to be distributed among the poor of Haiti. Haiti has been known as the poorest nation in this hemisphere, and the earthquake and hurricane damage has only added to the daily misery. I will be in Haiti in late November and early December to see the work first-hand and see how God is touching and blessing lives through faithful Christian radio ministries. We’ll prepare a video report for the next NRB Convention. Pray for the broadcasters who struggle with enormous challenges to bring the Good News to Haitians.
ELION Media has hosted a couple of media training workshops in Belgrade as part of their desire to train others in video and audio production for God’s work. Along with a workshop with Craig Forrest, a noted producer/director from California, ELION also opened their production facilities to a number of ministry friends for training in video production. ELION Media will continue training others in Serbia as part of their strategy to grow the ministry and impact that country for the Gospel.
In addition, the ministry has translated some powerful Christian videos and captioned them for Serbians. ELION recently produced 500 copies of a 2 DVD set called, “More Than Dreams.” They distributed this to a large gathering that included many Roma people of Muslim background. Pray for the opportunities before this ministry, and for the financial needs for the continuation of their ministry work.
In previous newsletters I have mentioned the financial needs for the international work of NRB. God is answering your prayers and touching the hearts of people with the ability to give. While needs still exist if we are to continue to grow this work, we are excited to see people respond with gracious support.
NRB has made several grant proposals to foundations that support Christian ministries, with the hope that they will see the opportunity and value of strengthening Christian broadcasters around the world. Pray with us for a positive outcome with these funding requests. And pray that other individuals will join with us in supporting the Lord’s work to take the Good News to those in far-away places by radio, television, and other electronic means.
On my way through London to India recently I took the opportunity to visit Premier Christian Radio. Peter Kerridge, who has done an exceptional job in establishing a strong, multi-faceted ministry in the UK, leads this ministry. I was impressed with the staff he has assembled, and their dedication to reaching London and beyond with the Gospel.
While I don’t work directly with Peter and Premier, I hope you will pray for their ministry. The UK is facing many challenges to the Gospel these days. We need to uphold strong evangelical pastors, churches, and ministries throughout the United Kingdom, so that they may return to their biblical roots, and not continue to drift away from the Bible and from God.
I began with a reference to “A Tale of Two Cities.” The oft-quoted opening line of this literary piece is, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” For us and for the Gospel, this is the only time we have. This is our time to share Christ. The challenges faced are our challenges. But we do not face them alone. As we are reminded, our Lord knows our needs…both personal and ministry…and is ready to supply His wisdom and His resources to accomplish His will.
With urgency for the Gospel,
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