Liberia (MNN/HCJB) — Young radio broadcasters are praying that God will use them to share the Gospel to their countrymen and beyond. It's a partnership between HCJB World Radio and Africa Bible College in Liberia. They're praying that a mountaintop will become the broadcasting site for a station run by Africa Bible College University (ABCU) in Yekepa, Liberia.
Alex Walker, a British HCJB Global missionary, recently concluded a module on the practical essentials of quality broadcasting for Liberian students on the campus. An agreement to broadcast from the mountain is not finalized with a cell company, so ABCU's communications students currently broadcast from the campus.
With help from radio trainer Joseph Kebbie, the school was granted a radio frequency just weeks after it had filed an online application with Liberia's government regulatory body. The licensing process can take months, or even years, in some African countries.
"From the mountaintop they could see parts of Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire and many miles of Liberian countryside," said Jeremy Maller, projects coordinator for HCJB Global's Sub-Saharan Africa Region.
"When we were ready for the first test broadcast, the students … volunteered to sit behind the microphone and announce to a live audience that ABCU Radio is now ready to be heard," added Maller. "In the coming months, students will use the radio studios to improve their skills in radio production."
Some 100 students are enrolled at the school that reopened in 2008 after years of civil war in Liberia had devastated the campus. In July 1990 the war also forced the evacuation of staff from renowned international broadcaster ELWA after clashes on the station's campus between fighters of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia and government troops.
Staff returned and reopened the broadcasting and healthcare ministries in 1991 only to flee fighting in Monrovia again in April 1996. Missionaries and Liberian staff reinitiated ministries in 1997.
ELWA has partnered with HCJB Global and other broadcasters since 1985 in the World by Radio effort, making Christian broadcasts available in numerous languages that didn't yet have Gospel programming.
Further back in history, HCJB Global's French-language programming reached African listeners via international shortwave radio as well as medium wave radio. "Impact in Africa!" headlines an August 1968 edition of the mission's magazine, "Call of the Andes." Segments of letters sent to the station accompany photos of Radio Station HCJB's African listeners. "Did you know that HCJB's French programs are being broadcast over 19 stations in Africa?" the article asked its readers.
Nine of the stations that aired Christian programs were in the Democratic Republic of Congo or Republic of Congo. HCJB Global's programs were also aired in Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Gabon, Liberia, Mauritius, Niger, Rwanda and Senegal.