Sifa FM: 14 Years in the Making, So Far!
The TWR-Kenya FM project has been 14 years in the making! Bernice Gatere, TWR-Kenya National Director, says that this project is her "big thing for God." She smiles and quotes John Haggai, who said, "Attempt something so impossible that unless God is in it, it's doomed to failure."1
Since 1996, TWR-Kenya had been applying for an FM license to broadcast in Nairobi. After nine long years, a listener wrote in saying, "I know someone in the Ministry of Information, are you interested in meeting him?" This “someone” was not only a Senior Secretary in the Ministry of Information, but he and his wife were also very keen listeners of the TWR programme, Thru the Bible. His wife would record the broadcasts for him while he was at work.
Hearing about TWR's endeavor, he suggested TWR apply for a license in the towns which have available FM frequencies. He discovered that there were six. Miraculously, the government granted all of the applications! The condition, however, was that all six stations must begin broadcast simultaneously or the licenses would be revoked. Yet, all of these locations are inaccessible by tarmac and several are not even on the national power grid.
Bernice explained the problem to the government and asked for more time, and in response they added a license for Voi, a more accessible area. This is Kenya FM's flagship station - it is live, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Speaking about the listener responses coming in from Voi, Bernice says, "I just tell the Lord, "Thank you, it was worth it." The sleepless nights and the tears, people are coming to know the Lord. Every time the station manager comes to Nairobi and she tells us what is happening on the ground, it is very exciting!"
What are some of these listeners saying? One of them writes,
Sifa FM is the voice of encouragement. Many times your programmes have encouraged me and I thank God for the good work you are doing. The music played ministers to me even before the preaching. I never miss tuning my radio into Sifa FM. God bless you.
Kenya FM has been branded Sifa FM - Sifa means praise in Swahili. Its wide distribution throughout the Northern and Eastern parts of Kenya reaches almost half of the Kenyan population! Many people living in these areas are destitute and illiterate, and because of Sifa FM, many can say, along with another listener who wrote in, "I am growing in my faith day by day."
Recently one of the other six stations went live. The team which set it up had to endure an attack by bandits to get there, but by God's good grace, the station is now up and running. TWR-Kenya would like to get the other five stations live as soon as possible. Currently these stations operate out of people's homes or back rooms of their shops. Programmes are produced in Nairobi and are couriered to location on CD. This involves major challenges as CD's often don't get there on time, and the broadcasts are unpredictable.
TWR-Kenya needs funds to get these stations live. Please prayerfully consider supporting this project.
Published 28 July 2010
The FM radio staton at Voi
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