Russia (MNN) — Russians are not using shortwave radios anymore, according to HCJB Global.
And while this may seem like bad news for a ministry which depends on these radios for sharing Christ's love in so many parts of the world, they are far from giving up on ministry in Russia.
Thanks to technological advances growing by leaps and bounds, not only can HCJB Global's ministry continue, but it may be easier than ever to share with Christians and non-Christians alike.
"Russia has leapfrogged in technology," said David Uhles, director of HCJB Global's Europe/Eurasia Region, on their Web site. "Within the last decade, they've gone from really poor landlines to every student having a cell phone."
Through the Internet, HCJB Global is able now to reach more people–and a different demographic. Many students have access to the Internet. Plus, it is more inexpensive than shortwave radios.
More than 30 million–that is 21 percent of Russia's population–have access to the Internet. Additionally, this change makes Christian material more easily accessible on the Web than on the radio due to increasing government restrictions on radio stations.
"We are major partners in the production of Web sites that contain MP3 media, live streaming of radio programs and Bibles studies," Uhles said. According to HCJB Global, music and programs are displayed on the site in a layout attractive to both Christians and non-Christians. Their site also has a place for Russian Christians to connect and encourage one another in the faith.
In the future, HCJB hopes to find ways to connect with Internet on cell phones, making the message of Christ even more accessible. And as high-speed broadband becomes more and more available in the country, "we're positioned to continue on the upswing with the Internet in Russia," Uhles said.