Just as the Lord is enabling AWR’s current programming to spread in unexpected ways, He is also paving the way for the ministry’s reach to grow considerably through new stations worldwide. AWR’s coverage is expanding with additional stations in the Caribbean, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania and Uganda. Here’s just a brief taste of what is happening:
Target launch date: January 2020
The purchase of WGOD-FM on the island of St. Croix will cover almost the entirety of the Northern Caribbean Conference [NCC] region, which includes Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands (including Anegada, Jost Van Dyke, Tortola and Virgin Gorda), the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas), plus the islands of Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten.
A Seventh-day Adventist businessman bought the station in the mid-1980s, and recently decided to sell it to the church—albeit for a small fraction of its true value—due to his passion for broadcasting the Adventist message.
NCC Communication director Royston Philbert said of the development, “When I first thought of the new FM station opportunity, I must admit I thought our religious message would be airing along with secular content.” However, when he learned about the AWR 360° Broadcast to Baptism model, he said, “After some reflection, I found this approach to be potentially so powerful that I couldn’t sleep for the whole night! It was only then that the potential for radio dawned on me.”
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
Target launch date: December 2019
To date, AWR has broadcast via six Seventh-day Adventist owned FM stations scattered throughout the vast Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Yet there has been no Adventist FM station in the country’s capital, Kinshasa, one of the most populated French-speaking cities in the world. But all that is about to change with a brand-new station, which will debut at the end of the year!
AWR’s health director, Dr. Lela Ng, opened the door of opportunity by offering the DRC government free AWR360° health clinics in exchange for a radio frequency in the capital city. At first, it appeared that the plan might not come to fruition, but then something incredible happened: the government announced that it would not only grant a frequency for Kinshasa, but that it would also provide the ministry with frequencies in eight other cities of AWR’s choice throughout the country!
According to AWR General Vice President, Ray Allen, “The granting of nine FM station frequencies in one blow must be considered nothing short of a miracle! I believe it is a very strong indication that God wants his Word to be spread urgently to every corner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo!”
Target launch date: August 2019
Since 2015, AWR has broadcast 24/7 over an FM station in Tanzania’s capital of Dar es Salaam. There are 10 repeater stations linked to this mother station, and this has covered approximately 50 percent of the entire country.
AWR has recently assisted the Tanzania unions with the purchase of an FM station called ROCK-FM (which doesn’t stand for rock music, but rather “Rock of Ages”) that is currently being reequipped/refurbished so that broadcasting may begin in August. A further 10 repeater stations will be connected to this second mother station, which means that nearly 100 percent of Tanzania will be covered with the AWR signal!
Target launch date: September 2019
The additions of the three new stations in Lira, Mbarara and Hoima in Uganda will bring the total of AWR-affiliated radio stations in that country to seven. Existing stations include AWR Ebenezer (Mbale), AWR Maranatha (Jinja), AWR Prime Radio (Kampala) and AWR Light FM (Kasese). With the addition of these new stations, AWR will cover approximately 80 percent of Uganda, and the future addition of two stations will bring the total coverage to over 95 percent.
We’ve found that even the radio station workers are being touched by these programs and the local churches tied to them! Recently, during an employee gathering at Prime Radio, Pastor Josiah Usaba was on hand to counsel and offer intercessory prayer for any interested radio station workers.
A man named Daniel asked to meet with him. Daniel had worked at the station for 14 years but had “decided not to listen to all the preaching, lest ‘those people’ convert me into their faith.”
But his heart had started to change. He told Pastor Usaba about the stresses of his life, and later said of the conversation, “The pastor revealed to me how I had been deceived by the world’s sugar-coated offers, but that Christ could give me everlasting life.”
The pastor’s words stuck with him, and for six months he pondered them and listened to the radio sermons. After that time, he said, “I made a decision to get baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which believes in the true Christ.”
Praise the Lord for stories like these! In this region, just one 30-minute broadcast per week has led to hundreds of baptisms, and in some places, new churches have been established solely due to this limited radio broadcast. Said Allen, “If 30 minutes a week can establish churches, imagine the explosive results of actually owning a station that will run 24/7 fueled by the concept of AWR360° Broadcast to Baptism!”
Thank you for your support, which makes all of this possible! Keep an eye out for the next issue of Transmissions, which will feature even more exciting stories from some of these (and other) countries where AWR is reaching farther than ever before with the Gospel!