More than 120 delegates from eight countries gathered last week for the Media Forum of the Association of Christian Broadcasters (ACB) in Russia.
Countries represented included Siberia, Almaty, and Kazakhstan. Some delegates traveled from as far away as Vladivostok in Far East Russia (8.5 hours away by plane) to attend.
The purpose of the January 25-26 event in Moscow was to bring together those involved in Christian media for a time to share experiences and insights. It also provided an opportunity for those just starting to engage in electronic media to glean from more seasoned broadcasters.
“Despite the worrisome trend in Russia regarding Christianity, the Forum was energized, rising to meet challenges in the days ahead,” remarked Dr. Hannu Haukka, President of the Great Commission Media Ministries and Chairman of the NRB International Committee.
Among those joining from the U.S. to offer their insight and encouragement were NRB President & CEO Dr. Frank Wright, Rich Bott of Bott Radio Network, Bill Blount of Blount Communications, Ed Cannon of Far East Broadcasting Company, Dr. Ron Harris of MEDIAlliance International, and Wayne Shepherd of Wayne Shepherd Communications.
Shepherd, whose experience as a radio broadcaster spans 40 years, said he was as encouraged by ACB Russia delegates as much as they were by those from the U.S.
“It didn’t surprise me to find that the ACB Russia Media Forum attendees were not looking for training in the fundamentals of broadcasting. These were seasoned broadcasters who, like all of us, were looking to take the next step in sharpening their skills and proficiencies,” he shared. “I felt our role was to offer encouragement and to facilitate discussion. But, as often happens around the world, it was those of us from the U.S. who were encouraged and challenged by their example and service to Christ through all forms of media.”
Bott, who is Chairman of NRB’s Board of Directors, similarly shared how the experience inspired him.
“What a privilege it was to attend and participate in the ACB Russia Conference,” he said. “It was readily apparent to all of us that the Lord is actively at work in this part of the world through the faithful, enthusiastic work of those we met. I was inspired especially with the testimonies of so many I met who had grandfathers and fathers who went to prison for their faith, and now their children and grandchildren are faithfully proclaiming the Gospel in this generation. What an inspiration to persevere regardless of hardship and opposition.”
According to Haukka, efforts will be made to arrange for media training in other regions of Russia as the needs are made known. St. Petersburg and Vladivostok have already made petitions for training.
ACB Russia, an NRB affiliate, is dedicated to leading and uniting Christian broadcasters in making a relevant and effective impact in all the communities of Russia. ACB Members come together with a commitment to share their resources and expertise to achieve that goal.
PHOTOS ABOVE: (1) NRB President & CEO Dr. Frank Wright speaking to attendees of the ACB Russia Media Forum in Moscow. (2) L-R Dr. Wright, Wayne Shepherd of Wayne Shepherd Communications, Ed Cannon of Far East Broadcasting Company, Dr. Ron Harris of MEDIAlliance International, Bill Blount of Blount Communications, Trent Landenberger of North Carolina, and Rich Bott of Bott Radio Network. Photographs courtesy of MEDIAlliance International.
Published: January 31, 2013