Project: Updates 2017

We are so delighted to be able to post a video with testimonials about how remote groups are enjoying and responding to Broadcasts:

A further update from Director Ray Rising:

We praise the Lord for the wonderful seed being sown and the Harvest it brings. What a wonderful blessing!

Scripture engagement open to the entire community

One of our team members worked in Bible translation in an area where there was no radio programming in the local language. When the owners of a local Christian radio station discovered that an audio recording was available of the Gospel of Mark in the local language, they began broadcasting it for one hour each afternoon. If you were to walk through the villages during the hour of the radio broadcast, you would hear the Gospel of Mark coming from the radios in so many homes that it was like hearing it in “Surround Sound.”

Radio has been the most powerful media platform for communication in Latin America. Most everyone listens to the radio, and many listen throughout much of the day. It is commonly believed that if something is important, it will be heard on the radio. Radio is where people look for entertainment, information, and news. For many indigenous groups, listening to the radio is essential. It would be hard for them to imagine life without it.

The predominance of radio is being challenged by other forms of media, but radio continues to be a cost-effective medium for reaching almost any given population. Radio can cross geographical barriers as well as inter-confessional and denominational barriers which divide many communities.

Small, local radio stations tend to be hungry for programming and charge relatively little for air time. Some are even willing to give free air time.

Many radio stations now also broadcast via the Internet, and various apps make it easy for people to listen to these “webcasts” via a smartphone, tablet or computer that can connect to the Internet. See for more information.

Radio Programming Content:

The most common forms of religious radio content in Latin America are preaching and music. Playing Scripture portions is another common programming option since it requires little preparation. Radio programming that features a variety of elements is generally the most effective for engaging audiences. Below are some elements that can be considered as providing interesting ways to engage with Scripture in a radio program.

  • Scripture Readings - Dramatized readings greatly increase people’s ability to pay attention, and to understand and remember the passage being read. Dramatized reading may require a bit of extra preparation but is always worth it. Using one of the Faith Comes By Hearing recordings can help provide dramatized readings of high quality.

  • “Word of the Day” is a way to feature a key biblical word or phrase to increase understanding and conversation about potential applications. It is best to avoid obscure words and phrases since there are so many others which are major themes of Scripture. Doing this in the local language will connect deeply with people’s hearts and minds, thus making it far more meaningful to how they live than if it were allowed to become a vocabulary lesson for the national language. 
  • Greetings - Listeners pass on greetings, birthday wishes, and messages to other listeners. Look for ways to get audience engagement, such as through contests with prizes. Rewards for participation could include vernacular Scripture portions, vernacular music, and videos, etc.
  • Talk shows - Topics of community interest are discussed by a talk show host and someone who is regarded as knowledgeable of what the Bible says on a selected topic. This can also be done with a panel of people expressing their questions and perspectives. Topics might include issues of interpersonal relationships, temptation, discouragement, trauma, financial management, cultural change, agriculture, animal husbandry, nutrition, hygiene, and health issues. Two basic approaches to talk shows are scripted and unscripted conversations. A scripted conversation involves following a prescribed plan of discussion. An unscripted talk show requires a high level of participant expertise and wisdom. In both of these approaches, it is important that the participants be people who are able to wisely articulate local concerns, doubts, beliefs, and ways of thinking, and can show how the Bible addresses these in a way that makes sense in the local culture and language.
  • God-At-Work Stories - Local residents share stories of how they have seen their lives transformed through Scripture. Interviews should be pre-recorded so that they can be edited for appropriate content and time frame.
  • Music - Radio broadcast of music can be enhanced with discussions about song lyrics and how they relate to Scripture. These are most effective when the participants prepare beforehand to discuss pre-selected songs.
  • Interviews - Local Christian musicians and other kinds of artists, merchants, educators and other kinds of professionals, are invited to talk with them about their life, work, and the role that Scripture plays in what they do and how they think. It is recommended that there be some research done beforehand to know the interviewees’ quality of spiritual life and the part that Scripture has in their life; also to know about their reputation and the quality of their home life and business practices. Interviews should always be pre-recorded for editing for content and time frame.
  • Audio Dramas - These have a wonderfully enjoyable way of enabling listeners to enter into the story. Dramas can broach biblical topics and cultural issues through one-time or serial performances. Cultural issues need to be explored with local content developers. (The Culture Meets Scripture workshop can be very helpful in this.) Positive traits of a culture can be used to show how biblical concepts are already present in the culture, and how they can be strengthened, such as the value for strong families, honor, and respect for others, a responsible work ethic, living in harmony with others, etc. Every culture also has problems and struggles that need to be discussed, such as sexual abuse, alcoholism and drug addiction, gossip, machismo, bullying, etc. Radio dramas can powerfully address these topics in ways that are different than, and that can be coordinated with, talk shows.
  • Call-in Talk Shows - With the mobile phone now ubiquitous, a radio talk show in which the host(s) converse with listeners is very doable, and listeners can also send their comments and questions to the radio station via SMS text messages. The person(s) hosting the show will need to be knowledgable of local views and biblical insights on the selected topic, they need to understand how to handle and show respect for opposing views, and they need to be able to keep the show moving along while being live on the air. This is not an easy task but has lots of potential for helpful dialogue.
  • Talk about Language - Comparisons between the local language and the national language regarding the usage and meaning of words, figurative speech, analogies, and other language features which are relevant to Scripture can help listeners be more effectively bilingual while creating a greater appreciation for their own language.
  • Announcements - Community events and community service opportunities can help the entire community and thus adds value to the program.

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