Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

WindupRadios In The Mission Field

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
Wind-up radios are helping war-weary residents of Angola find peace. The coastal West African nation has been wracked by civil war. Violence, aggression, assaults, and tribal tensions are a way of life, and poor roads and 15 million landmines make travel dangerous. Angolan pastors and missionaries often are isolated from those they hope to reach. But a simple hand-cranked device is making the impossible possible, Trans World Radio said. TWR distributes wind-up radios, which require no batteries or external power source, to church leaders in various regions. Users turn a crank and the energy powers the receiver to pick up TWR broadcasts from its transmitter in Swaziland. About 60 cranks will provide 30 minutes of listening. BayGen Radio, the company that manufactures the radios in Cape Town, South Africa, says each unit lasts thousands of hours. The radios are particularly helpful to pastors in remote areas with little access to Christian books or the Bible. They often use the broadcasts to share GodÕs Word with their congregations. In the city of Luena, a TWR producer hosts about 80 people in his home on Saturdays and Sundays to listen to the Chokwe-language programs. During the week, he carries the radio from house to house so about 230 people can hear Bible teachings. At the Center for War Disabled in Bengo, about 60 veterans listen to TWR programs on a wind-up radio. Leaders said the broadcasts helped bring peace to the often-aggressive residents. "People are running to the church," said Isac Silvano, who directs TWRÕs broadcast ministry to Angola. Through radio, evangelists "can take the message of hope, peace, salvation, faith, reconciliation, and forgiveness," he said. TWR broadcasts are aired in seven of AngolaÕs 10 main languages, including Umbundu and Kimbundu--the key tongues of AngolaÕs most belligerent tribes. Allowing members of both groups to hear the gospel has been an aid to reconciliation and church planting, local pastors told the ministry. (From Religion Today)

Perhaps such wind-up radios could be of some use in the Cubulco mission fields as well.

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