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TWR Adds Stories for Children To Reach Young Listeners

By John Lundy
C Asia, CAMENA, Europe, Global, Middle East, Germany, Spain, Uzbekistan, TWR360



When Ralf Stores thinks of unreached people groups, children come to his mind.

“A lot of missiologists … talk about what’s referred to as the 4/14 window,” said TWR’s director of global media services. “That is the need for reaching children between the ages of 4 and 14, because statistically the vast majority of people who accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, they do so between (the ages of) 4 and 14.”

Thought of in that way, children also comprise a huge people group. More than 2 billion of the earth’s population are 14 and younger, according to the 2021 CIA World Factbook.

That’s why Stores is delighted about a child-focused set of programs that became part of the lineup of TWR, also known as Trans World Radio, last year.

Stories for Children consists of 170 three-minute, child-friendly Bible stories developed by a German-based agency and produced in 30 languages, from Arabic to Uzbek.

The agency was founded and is run, almost single-handedly, by Elfriede Grotz, a German native with a heart for children and missions and a background with Child Evangelism Fellowship.

Grotz began the program in 1992 as a telephone ministry, she wrote in response to questions. She prayed for 60 calls on the first day and got 70. Since then, the 170 stories in the series have been translated into 36 languages. So far, it has been produced in 30 of those languages. Grotz wanted to focus her resources on further developing her program in more languages, more than on distribution.

That’s when a mutual friend introduced her to Dirk Mueller, TWR’s international director for Europe.

Mueller liked what he heard.

“I like that it gives a really good introduction to the Bible, to Jesus and to the stories,” Mueller said in a telephone interview. “It’s a good foundational, conservative Bible teaching but developed in a way that is really very attractive to children.”

Mueller presented the programs to Stores, who was equally impressed. Both said they felt that TWR could benefit from more children’s programming.

“I took one listen to the programs, and I said, ‘This is terrific,’” Stores recalled. “Well done. Very good production. Dramatized. Exactly the kind of thing that we could use.”

With their mutual interest in reaching children with the good news of Jesus, TWR and Grotz’s organization, Aktionsgemeinschaft Ost-West Dienste gGmbH, or AOW, reached an agreement on April 7, 2021. The agreement was simple: Grotz would provide the content of the programs, and TWR would distribute them. No money would be exchanged. Under separate agreements, TWR also could produce the programs in additional languages, with Grotz maintaining editorial oversight.

“She’s a perfectionist,” Mueller said with a chuckle. “She wants things to be high-quality.”

TWR already has placed all the programs in 23 of the languages on its TWR360 website, those being the languages that the program and the website have in common. (Overall, TWR360 is available in 104 languages.)

In addition, TWR’s Arabic ministry has already installed the Arab-language version of Stories for Children on its platforms.

Now, TWR’s partner in Spain is in the process of producing a European Spanish translation of the program.

It’s no small thing. Each episode includes six to eight characters as well as background sounds and background music. But although dramatized, it’s also straight-forward. “It’s short, and it’s right to the point,” Stores said.

Grotz said she’s thankful the programs can be heard by more children.

“TWR reaches the unreached that I would not,” she wrote. “Praise the Lord! … I pray that everyone whom we reach with the good news from Jesus will be with him in eternity.”

The programs can be found here.

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