India (MNN) — In late August, mass flooding quickly created a national crisis in India. Over one thousand villages were affected by the floods, displacing three million people from their sinking homes.
Amid the chaos, the Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC) reached out to the area and began to plant seeds to one day share the Gospel.
Their role in India included sending their "First Response" team to broadcast directly following crisis.
"The emotional and spiritual state of people after a disaster is very vulnerable," says FEBC president Greg Harris. "They're very needy, and they're looking for any kind of help and encouragement and news that they can get."
In order to help, encourage and provide news updates, FEBC is doing several things. FEBC provided emotional support with their radio broadcast in India, quickly creating programs after talking to people on the ground. A post-disaster phone number was provided when the programs were aired, which resulted in the overwhelming response of almost 750 phone calls in 18 days.
Although FEBC is known as a Christian broadcast, the immediate relief programs were not fashioned to spread the Gospel. "What we're really doing through this type of ministry is laying the groundwork for longer-term listener relationships," says Harris. "Once the disaster begins to subside, people will remember that they were hearing these really helpful, really encouraging, hopeful kind of broadcasts at a time that they were suffering. The goal is that they will begin to listen long term to the programs that are really preaching the Gospel."
Not only did these First Response broadcasts offer emotional support for Indian listeners, but they also gave government news updates whenever possible. FEBC was able to answer thousands of people calling with questions about what would happen next by means of their broadcast, says Harris. "Because we are producing custom programs, we were actually able to take phone calls and record them and make them part of the next day's program, and allow government officials as well as non-profit officials to answer their questions." Undoubtedly, the distribution of this useful information was an encouragement to listeners and also raised interest in FEBC's future broadcasts.
FEBC hopes to establish many more radio programs throughout the world. "It's a great opportunity for us as Christians to demonstrate that we really care about people," explains Harris. FEBC currently has 32 radio transmitters with programs in more than 150 languages across the world. They are working on creating further direct relief programming.
FEBC has been faithfully serving since 1945, using radio ministry to reach thousands of people for Christ. In order to provide First Response radio programs in other countries, FEBC needs to raise about $10,000 dollars to have on hold when disaster hits. Click here to help FEBC reach the world for Christ.