International (MNN) – Today is World Radio Day and Trans World Radio wants to celebrate by highlighting why radio isn’t just a pastime from history, it’s actually a favorite present-time activity and vital communication tool.
World Radio Day
Haven’t heard of World Radio Day? Well, that’s probably because February 13th wasn’t established as World Radio Day until 2011 by UNESCO. And it’s a great time to recognize radio’s powerful presence and the fact that it’s still a major media force across the globe.
“You get into Africa, you get into Latin America, you go into Asia; radio is a primary source of information, of encouragement, of help,” Trans World Radio’s Lauren Libby shares.
“In Africa, it teaches farmers how to farm better… Globally, radio provides information and content that you couldn’t get in other forms. And it provides it to people in an accessible way, that they don’t even have to be able to read, but they can just listen.”
Benefits of Radio
What many may not realize is how radio is used to reach people with information who are poor, illiterate, disabled, young, and old– and without discrimination. Radio isn’t limited by these things or by conditions like remoteness or education levels.
And in the United States, radio is still an important part of everyday life. Libby says recent surveys show about 93 percent of the audio consumed in the U.S. and Western Europe is from on-the-air sources, primarily radio.
“Radio’s still a very viable force in the [world] today and it shapes public opinion and that’s why I think people are saying, well, I think we need to acknowledge the fact that radio is viable. It’s cheap, it’s accessible, and it’s understandable,” Libby says.
Radio also crosses borders into closed countries and reaches people in areas where others may not be able to travel. And, in a sense, radio levels the playing field for who has access to information.
Now TWR’s footprint in radio is to share the most important information of all, the Gospel. TWR’s goal “is to proclaim the good news of the Gospel to the whole world by mass media so that lasting fruit is produced.” Radio is a major way TWR is able to accomplish this goal.
Growing, Reaching, Preaching
In fact, Libby shares that TWR has actually been building broadcast facilities and just signed on a larger facility on Bonaire. The ministry is also preparing to beam another radio signal into Africa. TWR feels that radio is a way to reach mass numbers of people and prepare the way in these people’s hearts for the missionaries ministering to them.
“We currently touch, with our broadcast facilities, 190 countries every day in 235 languages. And on our digital facilities, we’re approaching 60 languages and we have about 50,000 people a day on our digital platforms. So, audio, radio—very, very important for the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Libby says.
Impact in India
Just under two weeks ago, Libby returned from India. While in the country Libby attended a conference where people host radio homes. About 2,000 TWR listeners in the country traveled to attend this same conference. One man traveled so far that his journey included two-days of walking, a train ride, and then two busses before he reached his destination. In all, it took a week of traveling one way for this man to reach the conference.
“He said, ‘Radio is the way that I grow in my spiritual life. It’s what connects me to Jesus,’” Libby shares. “I could tell you stories of Africa, I could tell you stories of Latin America, I could tell you stories of the rest of Asia, but that is something that is very important to people, who again, don’t have all the resources in the world.”
For an example, when Libby was in India he couldn’t access his email or download it because of the lack of resources. So, what may be an easy way to communicate or access information in the West is at times just not an option in other parts of the world.
Needs and Help
But, the radio is only a useful tool when there’s information to share. One of the hardest things to raise money for, Libby says, is programming for TWR radio.
“Whether it be into the Islamic world, whether it be into the animistic world, whether it be into a secular world—programming is important because it is repetitive,” Libby explains. “It needs to be there every day to give people a continuing awareness and building step, on step, on step.”
Would you consider giving to TWR’s ministry, to help build awareness amongst people throughout the world that Jesus Christ is Lord and wants to redeem them? Also, pray for TWR’s ministry to have the necessary resources. Pray that there would be Gospel impact through radio.
For ways to give, click here!