“I work at a gym,” Zanele, a Thru The Bible (TTB) Zulu listener from Pietermaritzburg tells the group gathering for the Listeners’ Club launch. “It has become a norm for my workmates to understand that when my favourite programme begins to air at nine o’clock, I do not tolerate any noise nor disturbance,” She further tells with a light giggle.
Then Noluthabo spoke of how her mother’s love of the programme inspired her to listen to TTB. She discovered how programmes with wise words for life are of great benefit to the youth as they shape their lifestyle and better their character, the same way the TTB programme has done with her.
Also, in attendance as special guests from the United States of America were TWR's Thru The Bible International Liaison, Mr. Joe Fort, together with Mr. Harry Bettig who is expected to take over from Mr. Fort in a few months upon his retirement.
"What we witness being launched today,” says Fort, “Is similar to what we have in India, where Radio Home Groups meet regularly for a similar purpose to translate the teachings that they receive in Hindi to other minority languages in the country."
He further acknowledged that the growth of the ministry in this programme is a miracle in its own right. Despite all changes in time and environment, it has grown from a mere 40 languages aired at its inception to currently over 120!
Harry Bettig expressed how the concept works in South Asia, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh where more radio community groups exist.
"People have learned so much as a result of the existence of Radio Home Groups. They also encourage others to listen to TTB programmes more often." he added.
Tokens of appreciation were presented to veteran listeners of the radio programme, with some stretching up to more than a decade of listenership. Amongst the tokens presented were Bibles, commentaries and audio Bibles. These were all donations to TWR from the Durban Mission Press and the Durban Bible Society.
Special tokens were also presented to Reverend Ernest Mcambi who has worked with TWR and radio ministry for over two decades, influencing a large following of listeners in the province - some of which were in attendance of the event. The host radio station Umgungundlovu FM, also received a token of appreciation.
wo other speakers at the event were KwaZulu Natal Area Ministry Director, Mr. Petros Gwala, who spoke on the positive expectations projected from the formation of the club, and TWR Southern Africa Area Ministry Director, Sphiwe Nxumalo-Ngwenya, who stated that the the club would help listeners discuss the messages aired on TTB Zulu programmes.
"We need to have listener groups for the programmes,” Sphiwe says, “that will enable people to meet in certain areas and get a chance to give review and feedback to each other on the messages they get from TTB. This will help at a personal level and as well help grow the listenership."