Pastors in remote region welcome empowerment via radio

By November 1, 2007

Mali (MNN) — HCJB Global Voice has made its way into Timbuktu. The location's reputation is quite accurate. "Timbuktu truly is remote," said Dennis Wiens, USA director of Church Connections for SAT-7, an Arabic satellite television ministry.

The station is a result of Wiens work with local pastors. One of those pastors who is also director for the Malian Media Association acquired the frequency last December. Last April the station was installed and was up and running within four days. 

Since then, they have received hundreds of positive responses. The broadcasts are in five languages: Tamasheq (Tuareg), Sonrai/Songhoy, Hassaniya, Bambara and Fulani.

Malians can hear the broadcasts within 100 miles of the station in Timbuktu.

Wiens, who has been a missionary in Mali for 20 years, says the local pastors have a deep desire to plant more churches. However, with large families and farms to attend, this task is difficult. The new station will be a means to empower and encourage local pastors.  

Though Timbuktu is remote, located in the desert along the Niger River, it is also a strategic government center. There are currently 44 FM radio outlets in Mali, eight of which are 250-watt FM "suitcases" sent from the HCJB Global Technology Center in Elkhart, Indiana. 

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