International (MNN) — Trans World Radio is now in parnership
with the Association of Evangelical Relief and Development Organizations, or
AERDO. The coalition is made up of
believers engaged in relief and development work.
TWR also participates in the AERDO HIV/AIDS Alliance, a
group that pursues collaborative involvement in HIV/AIDS projects around the
world. TWR's global coordinator for
HIV/AIDS ministry initiatives Tom Watkins says the partnership is a natural
fit, citing their 2004 response to the tsunami as an example. "We were
able to come in with radio and be able to coordinate some of those efforts with
the relief and development organizations to have an immediate communication
strategy there. Secondarily, you also
have the long-term effects of just the whole trauma situation that will go
beyond the immediate relief efforts."
In the immediate aftermath of the tsunami, physical needs
were overwhelming, but sharing information about where relief efforts were
taking place was hampered by the loss of infrastructure. When TWR partnered with Link Care Center, a ministry committed to
providing restoration and compassionate care worldwide, they were able to
quickly disseminate crucial information about relief supplies.
The spiritual needs soon became evident, so TWR also worked
with fellow associate AERDO member International Bible Society, using portions
of When Your Whole World Changes in special programming for tsunami
survivors. Watkins says their team created a series of radio programs that
offered practical, biblical ways to process stages of trauma.
Often, TWR broadcasts messages of hope during crisis, and these messages find an open door to the heart, says Watkins. "It is also a
time in life when people are very much questioning 'Who is God? How can He be relevant to my life?' It's also an opportunity to bring in
evangelistic messages at a time when people are feeling extremely
needy and questioning. Their foundation's
Most recently, TWR has come alongside Kerus Global Education
to produce a radio drama program offering a character-based prevention strategy
promoting abstinence and fidelity. Kerus and TWR are working with local
churches and faith-based organizations to train local leaders to facilitate
faith-based listening groups targeting children and families.
It's a concentration of effort. Watkins explains the thought behind the
association: "TWR's desire is not to just throw out seed to the wind,
so to speak, but rather to team up with people who are on the ground,
experienced, and who have strong relationships with the local church. In everything
we do, we want to assist the church."