Broadcasting the Gospel
Friday, December 10, 2010
Events such as the annual Far East Broadcasting dinner provide an opportunity for local Christians to gather for fellowship across denominational lines as well as to gain greater understanding of how the universal church is growing around the world. The Regional Director for Far East Broadcasting Canada is Rev. Klaus Tonn, and his talk and the video he presented this year gave a glimpse into the church and the spread of the gospel in areas where missionaries cannot go. In the past, Russia and China were such areas, and when it became safe for the local people to send out communication, the churches in both areas had grown dramatically, thanks to the radio broadcasts which can cross all boundaries. Today, broadcasts in the mother tongues of the various peoples reach into a number of countries where it remains dangerous to spread the Gospel, to become a Christian, or even to be a Christian. Many of these countries lie within the 10 degrees North Latitude to 40 degrees North Latitude window across Asia and Africa, one of the least evangelized areas of the world.
In spite of the danger, another source says that every dollar spent on evangelism to this area has as much effect as a hundred dollars spent on evangelism in any other part of the world. Another related fact is that there were more Christian martyrs in the 20th Century than in all of the previous 19 centuries put together, and this continues.
Far East Broadcasting, in cooperation with other radio ministries such as HCJB World Radio and Trans World Radio, is part of the World by Radio Project which aims, “To provide every man, woman, and child on earth, the opportunity to turn on a radio and hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a language they can understand, so they can become followers of Christ and responsible members of His church.” Toward this goal, FEB broadcasts Christian programming in nearly 160 languages to more than 100 countries with a potential listening audience of two-thirds of the world’s population. It broadcasts over 600 program-hours daily. More than 95% of the 1,200 people serving with Far East Broadcasting are nationals ministering to their own people in their own language. Each month, the FEB offices receive an average of more than 62,000 responses from listeners. Of course, not all listeners respond for a variety of reasons such as inability to afford postage, fear of persecution, or illiteracy. Typical responses are appreciative, and often include questions or requests for help.
Rev. Tonn was accompanied by John Sawatzky whose beautiful solo voice added greatly to the enjoyment of the evening.
For more than 50 years, radio has been one of the most effective and efficient means of obeying Jesus command to, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19-20 NIV)