International (MNN) — Words of
Hope just got confirmation of the benefits radio ministry provides in East
What they found wasn't
surprising. Lee DeYoung with Words of Hope explains, "Radio
is by far the most important, most used and most trusted medium of
communication. People use it both for
accessing information and for entertainment.
Radio is an indispensible tool for learning about dangers to the
community and fueling the daily conversations that most people carry on in an
The countries in the study included
Sudan, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, focusing specifically on
broadcasts in: Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Luganda, Acholi, Lingala, French, and
DeYoung says they partnered with
the Media Research Institute and Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC) for a study in
the region looking at how well existing radio programs and partnerships are meeting
Surveyed users indicated they also
looked to the radio to receive biblically-based parental and marital
counseling. Others learn basic health and safety measures, such as
administering medication or boiling water for safe drinking.
To heighten their programs'
effectiveness, the minsitries use national broadcasters who can speak the
language or dialect of the people they are ministering to in a culturally-relevant manner.
Because of the credibility given
radio, the Gospel is having impact. DeYoung says their research revealed that "there are many opportunities for the
church in Africa to reach out to people, capitalizing on its reputation as a
significant guarantor of peace in conflict-torn areas and providing new
opportunities for people. The
expectations of the church are much higher than for Islamic mosques and
like-minded ministries purposely work with local churches. Teams often hand out radios, medical
services, and food. In this way, new
believers become connected to a congregation, where they can experience Christian
fellowship and be discipled.
According to FEBC, in cases where
Christian churches are forbidden, para-church organizations personally contact
listeners who have written. These agencies help by providing Bibles, answering questions about
Christianity, and sometimes leading listeners to the Lord.
Keep praying for the
effectiveness of Christian radio and Words of Hope.