Thailand (MNN) — It all started three years ago. HCJB Global got a call from Campus Crusade, Canada. Their church-planting ministry had an opportunity to put 100 community radio stations on the air in Thailand.
President of HCJB Global Wayne Pederson says, "In the last three years, we've been on the road to planting 100 radio stations all across Thailand. We have 20 up and running, and 80 more to go. Our goal is to plant one radio station a month, and that'll get us to 100 radio stations by 2020."
HCJB Global trains nationals not only to put the stations on the air, but how run them. That, coupled with 8,000 churches, could be the springboard for evangelism. Pederson says one program specifically is making a difference already. "One of our most popular programs is a program that teaches English as a second language. And we're seeing the spotlight program being used by Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam because there's such a hunger to learn English. So we're using that as an entrée to the Gospel."
It costs about $30,000 to get these stations built and sent. They're built in Indiana at HCJB Global's Technology Center. "They produce the antennas there, and they're shipped over to the country. The transmitters are carried in in suitcases (as luggage), so that's how we get them easily into the country."
Planting radio stations is a key part of their church-planting initiative. "Church planters understand that when people listen to the radio, they become interested in following Christ. They ask, 'Where can I meet other believers, or where can I find a church?'"
With less than 1% of the population Christian, believers are praying thatthe initiative continues to succeed.
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