Oct23TueOctober 23, 2018
Recently, at the TWR Asia Partners Conference, we had the opportunity to learn more about the work of TWR among our partners from across Asia. We heard how the Chinese government's new religious regulations are affecting the church, how the wars in some countries have caused civil unrest for many years, and the need for gospel-centered programming to reach out with the hope of Christ to those in desperate need of relief from persecution. One thing was consistent from each of the 17 nations represented: God is good; he is in control and he is working through media and the ministry of TWR.
In 2014, TWR Canada began sponsoring a 30-minute weekly program, God’s Unique Book, for the majority Sinhala Buddhist community in Sri Lanka. The first year of programming was based on a book that the TWR team in Sri Lanka used as a guide for the program. Since then, they’ve created original programming covering topics such as salvation, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, who God is, what the Bible is, the authority of the Bible and family issues. In the month of October, they were teaching on what the Bible has to say about how children and elders should be treated. God’s Unique Book airs on national radio at night, and reports indicate that families are listening to the programs together and that house churches are being formed as a result.
"I'm a mother calling from Galle. I’m a Buddhist and I have completed my Bachelor’s Degree on Buddhism. I’m a single mother who struggles to look after my 4 year old son. My husband left me and my son and is now living with another woman. I usually beat my son whenever I get upset. I hit him even for the smallest mistake he makes. But after listening to your program today about caring for children, I have realized what I’m doing is not right. In your program, one child shared how she suffered with the things she has faced when she was a child and how those bad experiences impacted her perspective towards parents and society. That has really touched my heart and I have decided to love my child rather than beat him. Please pray for me and help me to be accountable to you on my parenting and teach me how to pray to God.” A listener of God’s Unique Book
The TWR Sri Lanka director, Sanjaya, commented that God’s Unique Book is a great program for them because they are producing content that is by Sri Lankans for Sri Lankans. It gives them the opportunity to reach people with a message that is specifically developed for them.
Sanjaya joined TWR Sri Lanka in January 2018. His background in ministry and IT and passion for the youth of Sri Lanka are evident as he works towards finding ways to reach the next generation with the hope of Christ. “Last month, we did a promotion where we delivered small business cards with only the TWR logo and the air times of our programs. We went and handed out cards to people in the streets. After some time, we took a much-needed break and went to buy king coconuts and gave the salesperson a card. The coconut distributor gave this card to another woman who is a Buddhist. After listening to the program listed on the card, she ended up calling in and asking for prayer for the cancer that was throughout her body. She was scheduled to go for surgery on the following Wednesday so called a second time on the Friday before for prayer. On the Tuesday, she went to have a pre-operative appointment and was told she was now cancer free and no longer required the surgery.” Praise the Lord! This is one of many stories of how God is working throughout the country, doing things that only he can do to show his power and sovereignty.
The radio home group ministry is also active in Sri Lanka. Using content from Thru the Bible, they meet in groups comprised mostly of women and children to pray, sing songs of praise, then listen to the program. Afterwards, they answer the worksheet questions together. Please pray that the men in the community would also start coming to the radio home groups. In many cases, they are not interested and see the Christian church as something for women and children only.
Until recently, the women’s radio broadcasts were done by a man. Now, a woman has started translating and producing them, and there has been a warm welcome to this from the women listening. The producer, Renuka, is a mother and grandmother herself which allows her to speak from experience as she shares the message of hope for the women of Sri Lanka. Renuka loves taking the lesson that she is translating and applying it to her own life and family.
It was encouraging and exciting to hear all that is happening, but there is more to be done. Please pray for the ministry in Sri Lanka and across Asia as they continue to bring hope to the region by mass media. Pray also for Sanjaya and his team, that as they seek to reach their country they would be diligent in the work set out before them.