Feb7WedFebruary 7, 2018 By The TWR Canada Team
Chichewa-speaking youth in Malawi retelling Bible stories in their own language.
It always starts like this:
“Here we are.”
“I hope she’s home.”
“Can I ring the bell?”
“May I ring the bell.”
“But I want to.”
“Well someone better, or we’ll miss our visit with Mrs. G!”
Do you recognize this? This is the conversation that begins each English Bible Stories Alive program from A Visit with Mrs. G Ministries. Since the late 1970’s, A Visit with Mrs. G Ministries has written and produced children’s Bible stories for radio in a way which makes the story come alive for listeners. The English Bible Stories Alive programs are broadcast across the United States and around the world via shortwave and satellite radio.
TWR Canada is partnering with A Visit with Mrs. G Ministries to translate, produce and distribute children’s Bible stories in seven languages, using the Bible Stories Alive series. Two of the countries where these programs are being broadcast are Malawi and Kenya.
Over the last several years, listeners in Malawi have been requesting children’s programming. At a listener rally in Malawi, one listener said: “We need captivating, child-friendly and systematic Bible teaching programs for children in Chichewa, which can help them understand the Bible, so that they are rooted in the Word, to be able to develop strong Bible-based values and morals from a young age. This will help them survive in the face of the changing 21st century religious landscape. [As well,] we want to see adults listen and engage in Bible discussions with their children.”
Bible Stories Alive is being broadcast in English first to allow us to assess the need for programs in the Chichewa language. While English is an official language in Malawi, many children are not fluent in English. Therefore, English programs may not be easily understood by children, especially in rural areas. As these English programs are being aired, several children and youth are being selected to retell eight of the stories in their native Chichewa. Then, through engaging with listeners, it will become clear if programming for children in Malawi is better broadcast in English or Chichewa.
In Kenya, there is also a need for children’s programming. Of the content that is broadcast in the Kenyan media, less than 10 percent is made for children. Bible Stories Alive programs are being translated and produced in Swahili, which began broadcasting on two radio stations in Kenya in November 2017. The Swahili children’s Bible story programs are very interactive. After airing the pre-recorded children’s Bible story, the phone lines open for children to call in with their questions and comments. This allows for follow up with the children beyond the radio program and for consistent engagement week after week.
Please pray with us for the children of Malawi and Kenya as they listen to and engage with the children’s Bible stories on the radio. Our desire is that many would discover Christ as their Saviour, and that as they grow and learn, their other family members would also find the truth.
These children’s Bible stories are also being translated and produced in Arabic, Spanish, Persian and Mandarin. To learn more about children’s Bible stories in these languages, click here.
The English Bible Stories Alive programs can be found on TWR360, updating every Saturday.