Global Partners Advance the Gospel in the Balkans

Dr. Frank Wright This month, for the second time in two years, Christian media professionals from across Eastern Europe gathered for training, spiritual growth, encouragement, and fellowship.

Led by Moody Radio, the Global Partners Training Conference was held November 12-16 in Sofia, Bulgaria, and saw 115 broadcasters from eight countries take part in workshops in radio, TV, social media, and management.

Eleven instructors from Moody Radio, Moody Bible Institute, In Touch Ministries, and NRB led in four days of workshops and seminars that touched on many key areas of broadcast production and ministry development.

Global Training Attendees“We had a marvelous interaction with more than 100 emerging Christian media professionals – all with a heart for using electronic media to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” recalled NRB President & CEO Dr. Frank Wright, who attended the conference as an instructor.

“We were excited about coming alongside these Evangelicals to help train them to do media more effectively, not only on the technical side and creative side, but also on the management and leadership side. It was an enormously well-done conference,” he added. “The Moody team did an outstanding job. I can’t think of enough superlatives to describe what took place there.”

Dr. Ron Harris, NRB’s Senior Vice President for Strategic Partnerships, was also an instructor at the conference and said the relationships developed and strengthened in that area of the world (often referred to as the Balkan Peninsula or the Balkans)  have been “a huge blessing.”

Global Traing groupDr. Harris expressed his appreciation for the team from Moody, who organized the conference as part of Moody Radio's Global Partners initiative, which is designed to forge relationships with media ministry groups and to train others to advance the Gospel through radio.

“We are excited to see the investment Moody brings to this training opportunity. Their resources, their focus, and the heart of their ministry are a great blessing to our Balkan friends,” Dr. Harris noted.

Adding to that, Bruce Everhart, Director for the Global Partners Training in Bulgaria, expressed his gratitude for all who participated in the event.

Bruce Everhart"This is what global partnership looks like,” he commented. “As presenters, we not only shared what we've learned about Christian media, but we learned tons from each of the attendees about what it's like to serve Christ using media in a different part of the world. The result of this kind of global exchange is sure to have lasting impact on all of our ministries." 

Along with the support of Moody, In Touch, and NRB, K-LOVE/Air 1 helped with the cost of buses and vans to take many of the broadcasters from Romania and Albania to the conference in Bulgaria. NRB thanks all its members who are active in training Christian broadcasters in all parts of the world.

Here are what some of the attendees of the Bulgaria conference had to say about the gathering:

“When NRB organized and sponsored the conference in Timisoara (Romania) two years ago, I was so excited with the enthusiasm, worship and kindred spirit found there that I feared that a second time could not be as good. In Sofia, I learned again, together with my colleagues from RVE (Radio Voice of the Gospel), that God is not only good but also faithful. With teaching teams from NRB, Moody Radio and In Touch Ministries, all expectations in professionalism and fellowship were met and exceeded. The kindred spirit that brought us together first was present again, equally moved by the Balkanic family temperament and our Lord's gentle Spirit. Our group recorded all the classes so that not only we who were privileged to attend the conference could partake in the teaching and atmosphere, but also those joining us in our vision who stayed home. We are looking forward to other venues in the region where meeting, learning and praying will bring us together in one worshipping spirit.”

Lucian Despa, Director for Radio Voice of the Gospel, Bucharest, Romania

“The benefit for the Balkans region, known for its conflicts and destruction of the rich local Christian heritage by communists, is at least twofold: First is in learning skills from experienced teachers from Christian ministries from North America, and second is in building a group for sharing and co-creating among our countries. So many young people were participating in the classes. I do believe that this creative potential will serve the local church. In present days, Eastern European churches need a different type of help. We need partnerships. Local evangelical churches are small and the creative and financial potential is very limited. We need to walk with someone with the know-how, with expertise and knowledge. This should be the new missionary approach of the 21st century of more advanced Christian groups. Help us to develop skilled people and share with us the products and platforms in the new media environment. This is the shortest way to reach broad segments of society."

Dr. Stoyko Petkov, Director of Studio 865, Sofia, Bulgaria

“We are very thankful for the Global Partners Conference. My team of 39 people was very encouraged, learned new skills and enjoyed a time of fellowship with other media professionals from the Balkans. Everyone came back home, full of appreciation for the teachers and full of ideas on how to better serve the Kingdom of God in our part of the world. Serving Jesus in a country where you are a small minority and are considered a betrayer of the religion of your forefathers is not easy. The challenges are difficult to predict and sometimes hard to endure. That is not so, however, when you know you have a family you can rely on. This is what I loved the most about this time in Sofia: the great experience of ‘being one family’ in Christ. Thank you to everyone who supported this conference.”

Enkelejda Kumaraku, Director of Radio 7, Tirana, Albania and Pristina, Kosovo


PHOTOS ABOVE: (1) Dr. Frank Wright, NRB President & CEO, speaking at the Global Partners Training Conference. (2) Conference attendees during a training session. (3) Conference attendees in front of Alexander Nevsky Church. (4) Bruce Everhart, Director for the Global Partners Training, speaking at the Conference.

Published: November 29, 2012