What makes TWR Canada an effective ministry? How can we most effectively reach people with the truth – in a way that leads to transformed lives and eternal salvation?
This looks different for each people group, culture and community, but we have found that when radio ministry partners with local people who provide follow-up and build relationships, the results are significant.
Ministry to the Roma people demonstrates just how effective ministry is with a partnership between media ministry and an on-the-group partner. Throughout Europe and even the world, the Roma people face significant prejudice and condemnation. They have been labelled as “unwanted” and used to be known widely by the derogatory term “gypsies.” In Macedonia, many Roma people are from a Muslim background and are trapped in a cycle of generational poverty. They face significant stigma in the country. Even thirty years ago, there were no evangelical Christians in this community. TWR saw a need to show these people that they are wanted, loved and valued by God.
TWR began a program in 2009 called The Voice of Truth to reach out to the Roma community living in and around Prilep, Macedonia’s third-largest city. In 2016, this program lacked funding and was at risk of being terminated. TWR Canada began supporting this project at this point (Click here for the e-update when we began funding it) and, seeing the value of the program, we continue to do so.
The radio station that airs this program is prominent within the community, thus it is a familiar and trusted platform for the Roma people. It also has a very clear signal, which makes it effectively received by the inexpensive transistor radios commonly used in the community.
However, the effectiveness of The Voice of Truth is due to more than just radio. The team that writes and produces the program is committed to being involved in the community. The Roma are highly relational and hospitable and greatly enjoy visits by the team. This in turn builds relationships where the people can ask questions and be discipled. The team has built a significant number of relationships this way and has seen God’s hand at work. We recently received the following story from this team regarding one family they visit regularly.
They suffered for years with alcoholism, unemployment, helplessness and hatred. The family home was neglected and unkempt. This family felt truly hopeless … until they were introduced to Christ through radio.“
“The change for this family began inwardly and is now reflected outwardly in their lives. As the love of Christ permeated their home, they began to experience joy and new meaning. The children noticed the difference in how their parents behaved toward each other, which transformed the atmosphere of their home. They began to study the Bible, pray and listen to The Voice of Truth together. Their neighbours have even remarked on the difference, and children from the community now come to the home for Bible studies.
“This new hope and purpose is also reflected in how they conduct their daily work lives. The family has worked hard to raise livestock as a source of income rather than relying on social charity as they did before. They no longer spend money on alcohol and have greatly improved control of their finances.”
We are excited to hear how a locally-produced program in their language combined with personal relationships with the production team has led to such significant life change. Praise God! Please pray for this team and that the program will continue to bear lasting fruit in the Macedonian community in and around Prilep.