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CAMENA Newsletter - June 2022

By TWR Staff
C Asia, N Africa, CAMENA, Middle East, TWR MOTION


Sharing the Good News Through Radio Distribution

Seventy-five million people live in Central Asia. More than 80% of them are Muslims. Evangelical Christians are a very small minority and evangelistic activity is severely restricted. In this context, how do you reach people with the gospel? How do you strengthen isolated believers?

One way is through Christian radio. TWR broadcasts across Central Asia. The challenge is to make these programs accessible even in the most isolated places. TWR distributes small, high-quality radios pre-loaded with gospel programming that are also able to receive AM and FM signals. The Radio Distribution Project endeavors to reach the ends of the earth with the gospel of Jesus Christ. In 2022, the team has distributed 1500 radios and MP3 players and 2000 SD cards throughout Central Asia.

To reach the believers who face pressures from the government, radical religious factions, and their community, TWR provides biblical resources in seven local languages by broadcasting radio programs on various transmitters and online, YouTube videos, social media sites, and smartphone apps. TWR is discipling and encouraging isolated individuals as well as those in an underground house church setting.

The teams also provide radios to families with limited financial means, the elderly, the blind, and the weak. In one region the team cooperated with a blind society. They gave them radios and USB sticks preloaded with TWR programs so these precious people can have access to the knowledge of Jesus Christ also.

In another instance, a member of the radio distribution team stood on one side of a waterway while a listener stood on the other side. This body of water was the border between two nations. The team member threw the radio across the water and the listener caught it! Hope has no borders.

One of the reasons the team distributes SD cards is so that listeners have a discrete way to listen to our programs. One woman wanted an SD card for her smartphone. She said that if her husband caught her with a radio or MP3 player, he would kill her. But with the SD card, it would appear that she was simply using her phone. Many listeners are persecuted for their faith by their unbelieving family members. These SD cards provide a way for them to safely listen to the gospel and TWR programs.

We praise God that in a region where sharing God’s love is difficult and dangerous, Christian programming can quietly enter homes and change lives.

Prayer Points:
  • Pray for the churches in our region. Where there is persecution, there is revival and growth. Persecution encourages believers to be closer to God and spend more time with Him; this helps them strengthen their faith and grow spiritually. Pray for protection for our persecuted brothers and sisters.
  • Pray for the gospel to spread throughout Central Asia so that all may hear of Christ and be saved.
  • That the invitations we put out on TikTok will lead people to our YouTube, Telegram, and Instagram channels where they will hear the gospel. We are thankful for this opportunity to share Christ.
Listener Stories:

A sister wrote, “Hello, I believe in Jesus, but my sister goes to the Jehovah’s Witnesses church. Can you explain some things to me?”

This listener asked a lot of questions about the Trinity. She also said, “Hello, can you send me the Scriptures? I may need two. I listen to Dr. McGee (Thru The Bible).” Afterward she said, “Peace be upon you. I received the book you sent. May God bless you and give you and your family His peace. And bless your service. Thank you.”

A woman shared, “I received a grocery bag with a radio receiver from the office because I wanted to give it to a grandmother. But I could not find this grandmother. One day I had to go out on business and the package with the radio receiver was in my car. I met a woman with many children, who is pregnant again. Some of the children are school age. She was thankful for the groceries as well as the radio. Thanks to the Lord, and to the brothers and sisters who made this possible.”

Testimony:

“In the last few broadcasts, there have been topics about the hope that we can have in different situations in our lives. The broadcasts were prepared from the epistle of Peter and commentaries to every verse. These messages are very simple and clearly explained. We can also share in a group when we get together with brothers and sisters. Thus, you are spreading the knowledge of God through the radio programs.”

Putting the Gospel on Their Screens

With the videos of TWR Motion we can share the love Jesus with people who have faith questions in the Arab world. TWR Motion’s vision is to create custom, gospel-centered videos for missionaries and local believers to use as they make disciples in places with limited gospel resources.

The goal is to make first-class, affordable videos for teams using media to connect with spiritually open people. One of their focuses is on creating videos to reach the Arab world in a culturally relevant way using Facebook and YouTube platforms.

One of the series is Share the Story. This series was created to share the gospel through animated Bible stories. Several years ago, a church planting team in the Arab world invited TWR to create an animated video series of Bible stories to engage with people online. Each of the 20 episodes focuses on a specific story from the Bible. The series starts with creation and ends with the resurrection of Jesus. Together, they build a picture of God’s grand story of redemption.

With the partnering team living in the Arabic culture, they can effectively guide the creative process by influencing the look and feel of the animations. For example, one of the ways to make the videos culturally appropriate was using silhouettes instead of showing faces, which would be offensive in a Muslim context.

Each video also ends with discovery Bible questions church planters can use to begin engaging seekers with what the saw in the video.

Our church planting partners in the Middle East have been using Share the Story with refugees. One of the men the team followed up with shared: “I watched all the videos, what do I need to do? I’m fully convinced this is the truth. I’ve been praying to Jesus ever since.” He told his friend about what he learned. The two men put their faith in Jesus and were baptized in 2020.

Prayer Points:
  • Pray for the TWR Motion team as they continue to produce new videos that has a big impact on people’s lives.
  • Join us in prayer for our church planting partners in the Middle East who use the videos among refugees.
  • Give thanks for our team who help us in the creative process to make the videos culturally appropriate.
Listener Stories:

An Arabic The Way of Righteousness listener: 

“I got to know Jesus Christ recently and was seeking Christian programs. Thank God I found your program which is helping me to understand the way my Savior has set out for me … I know now that my real identity is through Jesus, who saved me, and I acknowledge that I am redeemed through his blood. I would like to send my gratitude to you for the TWOR [The Way of Righteousness] program. My heart is full of thanks that the Lord has helped me encounter such a blessing. Please pray for my spiritual growth, and that my old identity does not hinder me from growing in my new identity in Christ.”

 

The Many Names of Jesus

The idea for a series exploring the ‘Names of Jesus’ was floated a couple of years ago. The programs were made, for the most part, by local Kabyle people (based in the region), who were and continue to be passionate in deepening their understanding of Jesus Christ.

In a remarkable way, the series reveals the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the divinity of Jesus and God’s beautiful, eternal plan of faith, hope and love. The program, called Ismawen N Lmasih in Kabyle, clearly proclaims the truth of the Good News while providing a clear understanding into the meanings of the many different names of Jesus. It has an impact on people by encouraging them, giving hope and inspiring Kabyle people to follow Jesus with dedication and passion.

Each episode includes Kabyle worship music, several voice talents and of course the central theme of Jesus; each time focusing on another name and the significance of that specific name. It is a very good format and recently some of our own Kabyle team members commented the following on the series:

“I got to know Jesus more, simply by doing this program.”

“It was so nice to explore Jesus more, while conveying the core messages of who Jesus really is and what he has done for each one of us.”

According to the Kabyle team, this sentiment is also echoed by many who listen to the programs in this series. Moreover, it has been said that the series compliments our other Kabyle programming very effectively.

The Names of Jesus series is very important, as the main audience is culturally and historically rooted in a region where the current dominant religion gives a false narrative as to who Jesus really is, where Jesus is simply a prophet and/or a good man. A lot of questions remain, as to who Jesus really is. Even when people first choose to follow Christ, there is often a long learning curve in coming to a full understanding and appreciation of Jesus the Messiah. In Kabylia, Christianity is usually called “the Religion of the Romans” in the local language and tradition. The idea that Jesus came to bring salvation to ALL and not just some and that He was so much more than just a prophet or good man is something that is still far from being a concept understood by the masses. Furthermore, there is a firm belief amongst many that Christianity is some sort of Western or colonial religion.

Let us pray that the Lord keeps doing great things in Kabylia, the surrounding regions, North Africa and indeed throughout all of the CAMENA region.

Prayer Points:
  • Pray for the writers of the series Names of Jesus as they continue to develop the scripts and prepare the programs for broadcast. Prayer is appreciated for good health, strength and creativity in their work.
  • Pray for the follow-up team who are connecting with the listeners through social media, calls and visits to listeners homes, that they will be a great source of encouragement to the listeners to the program.
Listener Stories:

Nasira from North Africa said, “I’m following Job’s book explanatory through your TTB (Thru the Bible) program, and it reached until chapter 38. I always thought that my life has come to a dead-end, and it felt like all the faith I had in my heart had been lost. Too much pain and too much suffering because I have become a Christian in a non-Christian land. But when I started listening, the in-depth teachings helped me see that God is still in control and that He is working on my behalf even through the pain. I felt an unprecedented feeling of hope and peace. Indeed, the Word of God is reviving to the heart and soul! Thank you for such a program that helps us be encouraged and changed. Please do pray for me!” 

A woman in North Africa messaged the TWR team and said, “Thank you so much for praying for me every time I go for my chemotherapy sessions. Your encouragements and prayers have been a tremendous support to me, and I am happy to announce that my recent analysis showed I am cancer free! I praise God for His mercy and kindness. Please continue to pray for me, that I will continue to look to God and be confident in his provision.” The follow-up team said, “We continue to reach out to many people suffering from various illnesses and this is much appreciated!”

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