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I’m Still Learning…

Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity (and privilege) to counsel a few people. Some are family members, some ministry friends. Some throughout the US, some spread in various places around the world. While it is gratifying to share some spiritual insight that God has given me though my 66 years on the planet, it also makes me think. How much more could God use me if I knew Him and His Word better? How much greater insight would I have to give if I spent more time in prayer, communicating with the one who has promised to give wisdom liberally to those who ask and diligently seek?

I’m still learning. And I have a long way to go. But I am willing. Willing to allow God to walk me through circumstances not of my choosing so I can learn how faithful He is. Willing to launch out beyond my comfort zone so I can experience the Comforter, who has promised to never leave me alone. Willing to go where He leads, even though we don’t understand all that means. I hope I am a good learner.

Judy and I have been reading through Genesis and have had some good discussions about the life of Abraham. You quickly see that Abram/Abraham was not perfect. But he was a man of great faith in his great God (Hebrews 11:8-10). While I’ll likely not be counted among the faithful of Hebrews 11, it isn’t a bad goal to set. A faithful, willing servant that God can use to strengthen and encourage others in their God-given assignment.

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists, and that He rewards those who seek Him.”

                                                                                   Hebrews 11:6 ESV

Where are you in the learning process?


Ministry Updates and Prayer Needs

I have just printed out several newsletters and ministry updates from some of the broadcasters we work with through NRB’s Strategic Partnerships division. It is exciting to see how the Holy Spirit is enabling these choice servants to impact the world where God has placed them.  I’ll share some of the top ministry prayer needs for this month.

As this newsletter goes out I am on my way to Ghana, Africa, for a conference of Christian broadcasters. Africa by Radio is an alliance of several key broadcast groups, including HCJB Global, TWR, and Far East Broadcasting. There will be broadcast leaders from all over Africa, particularly the sub-Saharan area. I am excited for this opportunity to bring greetings from National Religious Broadcasters in the US, and to encourage those serving faithfully in Africa. And, I am excited to learn how God is using these servants to impact their region. The theme for the conference…“Reaching the Continent One Listener at a Time.”

Pray for those attending to be blessed by the Lord as they work to be more effective in sharing the Good News across Africa. Pray that God will use us to encourage them to the high calling the Lord has for them. And pray that we’ll discern God’s direction for any area where we can serve.

Middle East
Though I am not working directly with this ministry, I would like to direct your prayer to the work and impact of SAT-7. This organization produces informative and educational television programming aired on three 24/7-satellite channels, including the region’s only Christian channel for kids. They have recently broken ground for new studios in Lebanon to consolidate their production facilities in that country. SAT-7 is an effective broadcast ministry covering a vast Arab world with the Truth of God’s Word in very creative ways. Pray for Terrance Ascot, the Executive Director, as SAT-7 continues to grow in influence and impact for Christ.

After dreaming and praying for many years, Radio 7 in Kosovo is becoming a reality. Enkelejda Kumaraku of Radio 7 in Tirana, Albania, has worked diligently to secure a broadcast license for a station in Pristina, Kosovo, the capital of the country. This is a nation that has seen conflict and devastation for centuries. Ten years ago the ethnic and religious conflicts led to massive killings of Albanians in Kosovo. Their enemy was identified as Christian (Orthodox Serbians) and there is still strong animosity toward the Christian faith. Into this situation steps Radio 7, bringing God’s love and His Truth to combat Satan and his lies.

With major help from NRB member KCBI Radio, Dallas, and other ministry partners…and with your prayer support…Radio 7 will be on the air this fall.
Pray for the completion of the station and its studios, installation of the antenna and transmitter, and for the training of the Kosovar staff. Pray that the authorities would complete all paperwork so the station can sign on as expected. And, pray for the protection of the Kosovo staff and all who give leadership to this ministry. There is active persecution in Kosovo towards Christians.

Enkelejda gave a recent report on what the situation is like today in that almost totally Muslim country.

“I came from Kosovo last night, so full and in pain in my heart for what is happening there. Yesterday the traffic was blocked because of Islamists protests in the main square and streets. It’s sad what is happening with them taking more and more advantages, dominating TV, radio and magazine. The church is really shrinking back and fear is ruling. The pastors all feel Kosovo is going to be a Palestine of Europe isolated from the rest of the world.”

Later, back home in Tirana, Albania, Enkelejda wrote:

“I'm at my balcony…and listening the call to prayer from one of the nearby mosques. Where are we going? How is life going to be for our next generations? It all so much depended on what are we doing now.”

You can sense the urgency of the hour, the deep need for prayer, and the opportunity God has opened for people to hear the truth, that the only hope for Kosovo, Albania…or America…is found in Jesus Christ. Pray for continued boldness for this critical venture of obedience and faith.

ELION Media has hosted a successful video training seminar for some 30-35 people. Taught by Craig Forrest, a California-based video producer, the workshop was held September 9-10 in Belgrade, Serbia. Teaching Christians more about media production is one of the goals of ELION Media Ministry and its leaders, Sasko and Ira Bogeski. This is an exciting step.

Pray for ELION Media as they add new people to their staff. God is drawing individuals to the ministry to work along side Sasko and Ira. Though the ministry does not have the funds to pay these individuals, they are seeking the Lord’s direction and support as they follow His will.

Alfa Omega Television continues to grow in its opportunity to reach people in Romania, Moldova, and around Europe and the Balkans into the scattered Romanian population. Using cable, satellite, and IPTV (computer based) systems, Alfa Omega is teaching a larger and larger audience with unique Christian programming.

The ministry opened their media center last fall, and continues to build out the three-story facility, as they are able. First-floor studios and offices are complete, and work is underway on completing the second floor.

Tudor Petan, director of Alfa Omega, is asking for prayer for several areas of need. They need to set up a satellite uplink at their site for better link to the various media outlets. The ministry wants to create additional language blocks of programming to serve the other surrounding countries in the Balkans. This would be done in partnership with evangelicals in the other countries. This is an aggressive ministry that God is using to impact a whole region through Christian media.

In late September we will be in Chennai, India, meeting with Christian broadcasters to help them form an association in India. With a population of over 1.2 billion in India, many see media as a key tool God will use to take His message to those lost without Christ. Christian broadcasters have been using secular radio and TV stations to carry their programs. We are seeing more opportunities for dedicated Christian broadcast outlets.

Pray for the meetings September 29-30 in India, and for discussions about major media training sometime in the future.

Other Ministries and Regions
Continue to pray for the following ministries as they serve faithfully in their area, that God would meet their material needs, protect them spiritually and physically, and enable them to lift up the name of Jesus as our hope.

Radio Voice of the Gospel, Bucharest, Romania
Radio Gospel, Paris, France
HopeFM, Stockholm, Sweden
Radio Mosoj Chaski, Cochabamba, Bolivia
Radio Emanuel, Korce, Albania
Radio Dian Mandari, Bali, Indonesia
Radio Shema, Ankara, Turkey

Strategic Partnerships
The Apostle Paul was not shy about asking others to pray for him. In that same spirit, I ask that you pray for our ministry work around the world. New opportunities are coming from India, Ukraine, Lithuania, and other locations where God is at work. We are limited by financial support and the time that one person can give to such a need. We feel firmly that God is leading us in this ministry, and we ask you to pray for the financial resources to accomplish His will.

I feel like the preacher who announced to his congregation one Sunday morning, “I have good news and bad news concerning our church budget. The good news…we have all the money we need to do the various programs of this church. The bad news…those funds are still in your wallets!”

I know God has His people, gifted to give. Our hope is to identify them, and to tell the story of what the Lord is doing through Christian broadcasting around the world. Pray we might be diligent and effective, as we continue to learn and serve.

"Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you."
                                                                                   I Thessalonians 3:1 (NLT)

Trusting in His Grace,