The Great Commission Forum at NRB 2022 showcased avenues to be a light in the darkness using global media. Erskin Anavitarte opened the forum with praise and worship, centering the event around the ultimate goal of bringing glory to God.
John Ankerberg, session sponsor and host of The John Ankerberg Show, shared the command we have been given as Christians to go and make disciples. In his own ministry, Ankerberg is creatively using tools available in regions around the world not yet reached, using YouTube, podcasts, and television to share the message of Christ, as well as providing Bibles in various languages.
Ankerberg welcomed Bishop Eliudi Issangya, who spoke about how his following of the Great Commission has allowed people in East Africa to hear God’s Word. He brought New Life Radio to Tanzania to provide Bible teaching. Some had never heard the Gospel before hearing New Life Radio, and in partnership with Your Network of Praise (YNOP), the reach has spanned 2 million people who had previously not heard the Gospel.
But Issangya’s ministry does not come without challenges. In Tanzania, high government taxes are a major hindrance to New Life Radio’s work, and false teaching infiltrates and obstructs Christian ministry across the globe. Christians must rally together and follow the direction of the Holy Spirit to conquer the obstacles in sharing the Gospel internationally.
Radio ministries are important in global outreach because there are possibilities to reach people that wouldn’t be reached otherwise, and these channels provide a direct connection into their homes. New Life Radio provides individual radios with the full Bible in Swahili and has allowed more people than ever in Tanzania to hear the Gospel in their language.
Following Bishop Issangya’s presentation, Ambassador Sam Brownback of The Brownback Group discussed his work following his time as Senator and Governor of Kansas, then as Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom from February 2018 to January 2021. Brownback reflected on how his own upbringing didn’t necessarily point to religious liberty advocacy: Instead, growing up in Kansas, he developed skills as an auctioneer. He now travels the world standing up for religious freedom for people of all faiths. His own Christian faith guides how he spreads the Gospel, sharing with everyone their individual right to stand up for their faith. Seeing places around the world where materials are blocked, Brownback looks for opportunities to force the gates open where the Gospel hasn’t been welcomed.
Our current American culture treats Biblical values and the message of Jesus as waning influences of little importance, but God never stops or slows His work in the world. Dr. Ankerberg, Bishop Issangya, and Ambassador Brownback are all evidence of what happens when Christians answer the call with “yes.”