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Radio is a Christian witness in remote Sudan

Hope for Sudan is a collection of daily radio programs, designed to help Sudanese people understand God’s plan for their lives.

RADIO, MEDIA & MISSIONS AUTOR 350/Jade_Alger 26 DE JUNIO DE 2023 11:45 h
In partnership with the TWR Arabic team, a local pastor goes house-to-house, giving out radios and teaching people how to use them. For many, it’s their only chance to listen to the gospel message. / Photo: [link]TWR[/link].

Sudan is a nation of change. From antiquity, the Sudan region has been a place of interaction between the cultural traditions of Africa and those of the Mediterranean world, says Britannica. It was the largest country in Africa until South Sudan voted for independence in 2011.

The nation has a population of over 45 million people and ranks tenth among the 50 countries on the Open Doors World Watch List where persecution of Christians is most extreme.

In Sudan, ethnicity is often closely tied to language and religion, according to Britannica. Sunni Islam is the majority religion and there are strict societal norms based on Islamic law. Sudanese Arabic is the primary language, and most people identify as Arabs.

For many years, TWR (Trans World Radio) has been bringing hope to the Sudanese people through media. In the old days, a medium-wave broadcast went out every night from a powerful transmitter strategically located in the Middle East that covered the area of Sudan and some of the Gulf countries.

Some of TWR’s Sudanese programs are produced in Egypt because many Sudanese people live in Egypt. One example is a weekly drama program called Songs of Hope, which presents the message of Christ in a musical way that the Sudanese relate to.

Currently, a power struggle between the armed forces and a paramilitary group has resulted in violence, especially in the capital of Khartoum. “People are suffering. Many have died. Many have been evacuated. Many ran away. The country is experiencing unrest. So politically speaking, it’s a tough time,” said TWR’s Arabic ministry director.


A unique opportunity

In October 2020, TWR began reaching northern Sudan from a shortwave radio transmitter located within Africa. This development presented new possibilities. Shortwave radio can travel long distances, is robust, and listeners can’t be traced. Its anonymity makes it safer for listeners in countries like Sudan, where freedom of religion is restricted. Most importantly, it’s the only way many people in remote Sudan can access the gospel.

TWR’s Arabic team knew this was a unique opportunity, so they started a project called Hope for Sudan; one hour of daily broadcasts, aired five days per week. Hope for Sudan is a collection of programs that includes Women of Hope, The Way of Righteousness, Talmatha, The Prophets, Power in Persecution, and more. Together, these programs give Sudanese listeners the tools they need to understand God’s plan for their lives.

Each program within the Hope for Sudan collection meets a specific need. For example, The Way of Righteousness teaches that Jesus is more than a prophet, and Talmatha teaches new believers how to mature in their faith. In Power in Persecution, believers share how God’s hand delivered, encouraged, and sustained them after they received Christ.

A lot goes on behind the scenes to produce Hope for Sudan. A Sudanese pastor took programs that were already prepared in classical Arabic such as The Word Today and My Journey in Life and began producing them in Sudanese Arabic for this one-hour block of airtime.

In partnership with the TWR Arabic team, a local pastor distributes radios to remote areas of Sudan. He travels into the mountains where people don’t have internet or mobile phones. He goes house-to-house, giving out radios and teaching people how to use them. For many of these people, it’s their only chance to listen to the gospel message.

Soon, Biblica’s When Your Whole World Changes, designed to help people walk through major crisis situations, will be aired in Sudan in cooperation with TWR. “I feel it’s an open window to comfort and encourage the people in these difficult times,” said TWR’s Arabic director.

[photo_footer]  Many nomadic peoples live in remote areas of Sudan where radio is often their only access to biblical teaching. / Photo: [/photo_footer] 



A Great Orchestrator

When asked how he sees God guiding the ministry, TWR’s Arabic ministry director replied:

“I believe that God will lead people to the broadcasts… it’s not like a business. I do what I need to do, as quick as I can, with the resources I have, and I leave the results for the Holy Spirit. In my history of doing this, I’ve seen God bring the right people to the right place, to listen to the right message at the right time of their lives.

“God is looking for those true seekers. He takes the initiative to look for these true seekers. And God will not leave true seekers without a witness. And this machine, the radio, can be the witness.

“We are not alone; there’s a Great Orchestrator who is orchestrating the whole thing. We must be obedient and hardworking. We must be pure and honest in what we do. We must be clean vessels for God to use, and he will continue the work.”


A listener’s testimony

“I’m a new believer in Christ and your episodes are a wonderful way to nourish my new faith. The more I listen to The Word Today, the more I understand that Jesus is the way. I struggled when I first became a believer. As you know, there aren’t many Christians living in my country. But when I found The Word Today through TWR’s broadcast, I committed myself to listen regularly, and it was then that I started growing in my faith. I thank the Lord that we are family in Christ.

“In Sudan, it’s hard to find solid Bible teaching. I’ve been struggling for years to understand the Word of God. I’ve prayed for so long that I would find someone to help me go deeper in the Word so I can grow closer to God’s heart.

“The program is wonderful; the introduction and content give me guidance and understanding. I want to follow the Lord’s example during this difficult time in my life. I love Jesus and want to be like him. Your program opens my eyes to truth. I wholeheartedly thank you.”

Jade Alger, writer and communication specialist for TWR Europe and CAMENA.




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