International (MNN) — Sunday, February 13, marks World Radio Day. In the United States, radio can often be seen as a medium for entertainment. But in many other countries, people get vital information over the airwaves.
Jon Fugler with Trans World Radio (TWR) says in large swaths of Africa, radio is the primary source for news and entertainment. Even in a developed country like China, people have started using radio more due to intense internet restrictions. It can be their primary connection to the outside world.
For example, TWR has created programming for Tonga after the recent volcano eruption. Fugler says, “It’s relevant and it’s timely. It ministers to the emotional and the spiritual needs, as well as the physical needs and the need for information that people have. We have a series of programs that are going out right now. These are programs that really talk about heart issues. There’s a crisis, and people are thinking about life and death.”
The eruption severed undersea internet cables, leaving Tonga largely cut off from the outside world.
Help for churches
In many countries, Christians don’t have the opportunity to meet together at a church building. TWR can provide teaching and a sense of connection to the global Church. Fugler says, “The churches might just be house churches and very small churches. The pastors actually get their teaching from what they hear on the TWR programs.”
Due to social media, TWR actually gets to hear more immediate feedback and interaction from listeners.
Fugler says the pandemic has people around the world searching for answers. He says, “Please pray for open hearts. This is an unprecedented opportunity because radio is making a comeback. I would almost say radio is the new internet. Because this is how we are going to get the Gospel to some of the hardest places.”
The header photo shows the Tonga eruption from space. (Photo courtesy of Japan Meteorological Agency, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)