New technology helps reach youth in Democratic Republic of Congo

By July 14, 2010

Dem Rep. Congo (MNN) — HCJB Global Partner Radio Kahuzi has launched a cutting-edge spiritual outreach to young pastors and youth in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C.). The program, only two months old, is interactive with instant feedback via SMS text messages.

"Even though there are no land lines in eastern D.R.C, there are cell phones," explains missionary Richard McDonald in a Web site report. "Like young people in America, African youth are learning how to utilize this new method of communication, and in this case, for the glory of God!"

Young pastors, young people and adults are hungry for answers to life's perplexing questions about "how to live righteously and godly in a perverse generation," said McDonald who serves at the station with his wife, Kathy. "Each one of these young people has lived through horrific experiences over the past 18 years of war, famine and disease. Yet they are hopeful and hungry for the Word of God and for contact with believers in the outside world."

In the first two radio Bible studies aimed at and developed by this audience, there were exhortations against imprudence in the Christian community in Swahili, discussing 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 and Ephesians 6:31, with "very positive ratings." Suggested follow-up topics were received via SMS text messaging from young pastors and youth up to 300 miles away.

The next topic developed for broadcast was suggested by a young man who leads one of the local Bible studies in Bukavu. "Improving Youth Participation in the Lord's Work," based on a passage in 1 Timothy, was the theme. It was followed by discussion and SMS feedback.

"There are so many obstacles Satan seems to put in the way," McDonald added. "But the recognition that God is not willing that even one of these beautiful young people should die without the knowledge of His Son makes it all worthwhile."

Though Radio Kahuzi reaches millions in eastern D.R.C., in many territories such as Kambabari it is the preferred radio station for more than 70 percent of that area's 262,000 residents. Now the ministry is making plans to install three additional FM relay sites.

Help to put these relay sites on the air is coming from many sources. The Kahuzi Radio Club in Stephens City, Va., for example, reported on Facebook that the youth in their daily vacation Bible school had raised $1,000 to help purchase an FM relay transmitter from Galcom for the outreach in D.R.C.

Radio Kahuzi, one of HCJB Global's partner ministries, is owned and operated by Believer's Express Service, Inc. (BESI). Started in 1992, the station broadcasts via shortwave and FM in English, French, Kikongo, Mashi, Lingala, Tshiluba, Kinyarwandan and Swahili.


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