TWR hastened to join the battle against the deadly Ebola outbreak by using the ministry’s communication network to spread health information across West Africa.
The 10th outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been ongoing since August 2018. This is the largest-ever outbreak reported in the country and the world's second largest in history! According to the Ministry of Health, Democratic Republic of the Congo, it has been declared a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern.”
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is grappling with an epidemic causing more than 2200 deaths and over 3300 confirmed infections since the outbreak was declared in 2018. The virus is attacking two provinces of the DRC with neighbouring countries taking steps to mitigate the risk of spread. The World Health Organization has more than 800 staff on the ground supporting the Government-led response together with national and international partners.
Lesotho is a rare country in its own right. It is not only one of the few mono-ethnic countries in Africa but also one of the few independent nation-state enclaves in the world. Furthermore, it claims the highest lowest point of any country on earth existing entirely above 1,000m (3,281ft), holding the nickname “The Kingdom in the Sky”. The name Lesotho roughly translates to "the land of the people who speak Sesotho”. This tiny kingdom, spanning just over 30,000 square kilometres, is home to around 2 million people, of which most are from the Basotho people group.
With a quarter of the population of Lesotho being HIV-positive, the country has the second-highest HIV prevalence rate in the world, after Eswatini. HIV has become one of the biggest barriers to development in the country.
TWR’s 2TWR’s 200,000-Watt Transmitter Brings Gospel to Nigeria and Surrounding Areas00,000-Watt Transmitter Brings Gospel to Nigeria and Surrounding Areas
CARY, N.C. (Jan. 30, 2020) – Think of this Saturday’s official launch of TWR’s Oasis broadcasts as an answer to the prayers of a Yoruba-speaking man who lives in turbulent northern Nigeria.
A couple of years ago, the man emailed TWR (also known as Trans World Radio) after listening to the world-renown Thru the Bible programme: “I really appreciate your programme, sir. The Lord will strengthen the ministry. Continue to pray for us in the north. We are facing terrible persecution here.”
TWR supporters and response ministries have been praying for people like this listener. And now expanded gospel programming that brings messages of encouragement, discipleship, reconciliation and hope will be able to reach all of this country known as the “giant of Africa.”
“It is our strong belief that Oasis, a wellspring of living waters given freely to all who thirst, will be a place of restoration to the languishing souls of this great nation,” said Abdoulaye Sangho, TWR’s international director for West Africa. “Through its transmission of the pure Word of God, not only will millions have the opportunity to hear God speak in their own heart languages, but also the disillusioned pilgrim will find hope again.”
For many years TWR has broadcast into Nigeria, which is ideologically divided into a largely Muslim north and largely Christian south. With its official start date of Feb. 1, 2020, the 200,000-watt Oasis transmitter newly installed at TWR’s West Africa Transmitting Station (WATS) will soon cover the entire country and several surrounding areas, with a strong, clear AM signal.
Forty-five years to this day, on 1 November 1974, the first 25,000-watt short wave transmitter was switched on in the secluded location just outside of Manzini, Swaziland, now Eswatini. The joy and excitement brought about by this milestone was overwhelming as TWR launched its fourth international transmitting site. The biggest blank spot on the missionary radio map was covered at last!
Programmes went out in English, Afrikaans, German, Zulu, and Portuguese throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The Gospel reached ears that had never heard its sweetness before. Four letters were received from people who had heard the first broadcast and had decided to follow Christ as their Saviour. God was already at work in this small, humble beginning.
Have you found language barriers can make people seem unfriendly and distant? “Making friends beyond acquaintances was hard for me,”says South Africa born Ivan Bam, looking back at his time in Germany in the mid 1980s. “In those days there was no social media to make connections back home or with friends when it seemed like life there had moved on without me.” Bam felt his biggest barrier to integration was the German language and learning it was a process. “It was really difficult at first. I was trying to fix my loneliness by looking back to my home country. The feeling is often magnified by struggles to learn a language, form deep connections, and generally integrate into a culture. The loneliness that expats experience comes generally with a sense of alienation.”
MY RADIO, MY FRIEND
“I could not speak any German when I first arrived in Germany. I felt incredibly lonely. So, during that time I tuned to the programmes of TWR in English on my radio. This carried me through a difficult period,” Ivan recalls. Tuning his radio to listen to TWR programmes in English helped him to overcome loneliness. Radio listening developed a beautiful habit of connecting with God while hearing voices that brought messages of hope and relief. Ivan calls this part of his story, ‘What a friend we have in Jesus’.
Ivan has since returned to his home country, South Africa, and currently works for the ‘Back to the Bible’ ministry located in Pretoria where he now resides. He clearly shares his passion that people should receive salvation and turn back to God.
What is the purpose of TWR? Simple, yet profound: Jesus. Our global media outreach engages millions, like Ivan Bam, speaking more than 230 languages to reach people in more than 160 countries with biblical truth. For more than 65 years, God has enabled TWR to lead people from doubt to decision to discipleship. Whether through high-powered radio, emerging digital platforms or face-to-face interactions, TWR leaves a lasting spiritual footprint!
Join the many listeners who have downloaded the TWR Africa App. Or listen live to programmes on the TWR Africa website at www.twrafrica.org. Another option is TWR Africa on DStv audio channel 855. TWR strives to reach listeners with the most practical and relevant forms of media available.