Unrest threatens freedom throughout Middle East, boosts ministry

By February 5, 2008

Middle East (MNN) — The instability plaguing the Middle
East and North Africa hurts the region but is actually boosting a Christian
radio ministry. 

HCJB Global's Curt Cole says they're experiencing exciting
growth. Since the launch of the
broadcasts, they've grown at least a half million listeners weekly from the

If you scale growth by the latest information from Morocco
alone, "We've seen about six times the amount of listeners that we had
back in 2004."

Aside from the fact that people have had time to get used to
the ministry programs HCJB provides, Cole says, "I think we attribute that to
just the maturing of the different services."   
Seven or eight years of making the process efficient has contributed to growth, along with getting
the word out about what they're doing and moving to shorter segments.

Unrest itself played a unique role, too. Although HCJB doesn't target young people, they
have found that a large segment of the listening audience from that age group is
responding because they're concerned about the violence and its effect on their
future. "We have sensed and have heard from other
youth organizations that the youth of the region are really
questioning the realities of what they're being told."  

Cole says their approach has had to change to meet the
needs. What they offer is diverse. From music to women's issues, their programs
tie into a web-based community which allows people to safely ask questions
about Christ. "We have chosen to share Christ in a way that is not
confrontational. It's more a sharing of Christ as He is. It's a much more open approach in trying to
gain access to listeners where they can develop a deeper relationship with us
over time.

Pray for continued openness in the minds of the Arab listener. HCJB
is enjoying a maturity in the ministry, along with the increase in the
listenership. Pray for the team as they
work to balance the programming style to keep doors and hearts open to the Gospel.

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