More than 20 million people in Nigeria now live under the signal footprint of Love 104.1 FM after recent upgrades to perhaps the only private radio station carrying Christian programming in the entire country.
Nearly a decade after going on air in Umuahia as a small 250-watt station in 2004, Love 104.1 FM recently boosted its effective radiated power to 20,000 watts through upgrades to its transmitter and tower facility.
Now, even more Nigerians can be reached by Love FM's broadcasts in English, Igbo and Pidgin.
"For decades, Nigeria has been mainly closed to indigenous Christian broadcasting by a tough, inflexible regulatory bureaucracy that effectively stifled attempts to establish private, non-government controlled evangelical broadcasting," reported Tom Blackstone, Executive Director of Galcom International, USA, Inc., which has been working with Vision Africa, the team behind Love FM, to reach southeast Nigeria. "This state of affairs has been a source of continuing frustration for those who sought to use the airwaves to reach Nigerians for Christ."
Today, however, Blackstone says they now can happily report that in southeastern Nigeria, at least, this situation is improving. And Love FM is now better able to share its unique faith-based community radio format, which attracts new listeners, evangelizes, disciples, and reportedly pleases government officials with a healthy mix of praise music, preaching, teaching and humanitarian information.
In response to this very positive development, Galcom sent 2,000 solar-powered GO-YE radios fix-tuned to 104.1 FM to Nigeria last year. The radios have since been distributed in a number of villages that are within reach of Love FM's radio signal but have no electricity and therefore no access to radio or television signals.
"I have held babies in my arms that would not be alive today if they had not heard about one of our medical missions over one of [Galcom's] radios," shared Vision Africa Executive Director Paul Ditto. "I have met terrorists that gave up their life of crime and accepted the Lord as their Savior as a result of hearing broadcasts from our radio station. I have met women with tears streaming down their face as they recalled how radio programs on our radio station saved [their marriages]. I have met pastors with churches that started with only a few followers and grew to hundreds of Nigerians attending, as a result of programs they broadcast on our radio station."
"[The] radios allow our good news of His Good News to reach many more Nigerians than would be possible had we not been able to distribute those radios throughout the region where our signal touches many souls," he added.
Galcom plans to send more solar-powered radios to reach additional souls in southeast Nigeria with help from its partners and supporters. Galcom exists to give help and tools to missionaries that have answered the call of Christ to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."
PHOTOS ABOVE: Photographs courtesy of Galcom International, USA, Inc.
Published: April 4, 2013