Wielding the Sword in KZN
The Bible describes the word of God as a sword (Heb. 4:12; Eph. 6:17), and it makes it clear that if you are a Christian, you are in a spiritual battle (Eph. 6:11-12). So, not only do you need a sword (a Bible), but you also need to know how to use it. TWR's programming is all about teaching listeners how to wield this sword of the Spirit.
Yet, when broadcasting on short wave or medium wave, mountains, valleys, and winter weather can often prevent the programmes from getting through! This is especially true in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa. Add to this the broad displacement of people, the lack of electricity, and the difficulty in acquiring batteries, and you have a challenge on your hands!
TWR has risen to this challenge by distributing Sabers among KZN listeners! A "Saber" is a "heavy military sword with a long cutting edge and, often, a curved blade."1 No, TWR is not handing out literal swords! We are distributing special devices called Sabers. They look like radios, but they're quite unique - they don't need batteries!
The listener can generate the power required to operate the device by winding it up. The radios also don't need to receive a signal - they are embedded with two gigabytes worth of TWR programming. Now listener groups can listen to TWR programmes anywhere, anytime on these robust MP3 players designed for Africa!
How is TWR doing this? A pilot project has started whereby 30 Saber devices will be loaded with programmes and distributed within the next two to three months. These devices will be given to various people including: farmers, pastors and students, who will in turn recruit people to join their listener groups.
A listener group is like a Bible study, or home group, which gets together at a particular time and location during the week to listen to programmes, and then discuss them as a group. Because the programmes can be listened to at any time, several listener groups can use the same device several times in a week.
Also, these people often do not have access to e-mail, post or SMS and so it is difficult to hear from them. Now, with listener group leaders, TWR can have direct contact with their listeners. Listeners can therefore communicate the effect of the programmes more easily.
After three to six months, the Saber devices will be returned to receive a fresh two gigabytes worth of programmes, and sent back out to train Christians in handling the sword of the Spirit.
Published 30 June 2010
A Saber mp3 player.
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