TWR Burundi has been broadcasting on Burundi National Radio since early 1993. The two original programs, Good News for All and Jesus is the Answer, remain the most popular of all the programs produced and aired. Good News for All provides biblical teaching in response to a variety of spiritual issues, while Jesus is the Answer focuses on the issues faced by youth and allows for the sharing of testimonies and prayer requests. Each of these programs, sponsored by TWR Canada, has the potential to reach approximately 10 million people across the country as well as in the DR Congo and Tanzania. Every month, over 250 people respond to each program by phone, text or visits to the office.
“I thank you very much for the program, Jesus is the Answer. It has released my life from the slavery of sin. As I heard so many good testimonies of people who used to be bound like me, but now are unbound by Jesus, so I also received Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I am now completely separated from witchcraft, hatred, disputes and all kinds of sin. Now I have total peace in my heart, and I thank you for this powerful program.”
In recent years, TWR Canada has partnered with TWR Burundi for several other initiatives. In each instance, we have seen God moving the hearts of people and, as a result, the ministry continues to grow in exciting ways!
Although there are several local church denominations throughout Burundi and the population of Christians is quite high, very few people own their own Bible. “In the case where one gets enough money to purchase a Bible, he has to walk about six hours to the bookshop.” As well, most church leaders are not equipped with enough Bible knowledge to teach their followers effectively. TWR Canada partnered with ShareWord Global for the distribution of 2,000 Swahili and Kirundi Bibles. Pamphlets with program schedules and TWR contact information were inserted into the Bibles. The goal was to provide greatly needed Bibles while informing listeners about available programming. One pastor commented:
“Members of my church in Kibati sang and danced when they saw the gift of the Bibles. We used to listen to the program Good News for All, but now we are going to listen to other TWR programs [as well] because we have the daily schedule.”
Translation, Printing and Distribution
The distribution of Bibles led to many requests for more materials, as listeners were desperate for tools that would help them strengthen their faith and knowledge of the Bible. TWR Canada partnered with TWR Burundi once again for the translation, printing and distribution of Your Quest for God and Food for Faith. Two thousand copies of each book were distributed. The books are powerful tools for reaching out to people to encourage them as they strive to grow in the likeness of Christ. Several people who have received books have expressed not only appreciation for the book but for TWR Burundi as they say they have felt very cared for.
In Burundi, listener engagement projects have included Bible and literature distributions as well as radio contests and social media campaigns. Books are distributed to listeners who call in, as well as through TWR campaigns carried out in schools, churches and even in a military camp. Many recipients have responded by telling us how these books helped increase their faith, and many have begun listening to the programs more (or for the first time). By the use of social media pages, listeners of the programs aired by TWR Burundi are able to connect with the producers, ask questions and maintain contact. Radio programs have also been distributed over social media and on a smartphone application. Staff at TWR Burundi are excited that through these initiatives they are receiving hundreds of responses each month through phone calls, text messages, visits and even when they run into listeners in their daily lives.
We also continue to work with our team in Burundi through the translation, production and airing of The Way of Righteousness in the Kirundi language. This 100-program series is a popular tool for Christians wanting to speak with Muslim-background people about the gospel. The program is a non-confrontational tool for evangelism and answers the critical question of “how to live a righteous life before God.” TWR Burundi will be promoting the program to churches and providing training on how to follow-up with interested listeners.
God is at work in Burundi, and we continue to see this ministry grow and lives transformed as a result. What a blessing to see listeners actively engaging with our teams as they provide requested tools that have become a means for people to strengthen their relationship with God. Please pray for the TWR Burundi team as they continue to engage with listeners through the production of programs and distribution of materials.