Traveling with Saints

Traveling with Saints
By Edward M. Dougherty, M.M.

Maryknoll Superior General reflects on how two popes to be canonized this spring have influenced his life.

Few people ever get the chance to travel with a saint. I did! In September 1988 I was in the contingent of international church people and journalists that accompanied Pope John Paul II on his fourth pastoral visit to Africa.

When Pope Francis recently announced that he would canonize Pope John Paul along with Pope John XXIII on April 27, I was elated and relived my up close and personal encounter with Pope John Paul.

I can still recall the plane ride to southern Africa when we members of the pope’s entourage were given the opportunity to ask him questions. The questions came rapid-fire in many languages — French, Italian, Polish, English — and he replied in the language of each speaker. I was really impressed.

When my turn came, as a missioner I naturally asked, “Do you have a word for missionaries in Africa?” I waited anxiously for the answer. I will always remember his deep, strong voice bestowing a blessing on the missionaries in Africa and saying how he and the entire Church are grateful for the missioners’ tremendous efforts to share the Gospel. Then he paused and added how encouraged he was to see the African church becoming missionary itself.

Having served in Africa as a Maryknoll priest, I felt proud. Here was the pope affirming not only missioners’ work of evangelization but also the faith of the people in receiving it and handing it on.

Throughout our visit — to Zimbabwe, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique — I could tell this pope felt the love of the people and loved them in return. Reserved but warm, he seemed to enjoy the lively African singing and dancing that marked every liturgy he celebrated wherever we went.

In Mozambique, then embroiled in a violent civil war, the warring parties issued a ceasefire for the duration of the pope’s visit. That was miraculous. But he reminded the priests and religious in this country of their role in promoting a lasting peace. He asked them rhetorically, “How can one give witness and preach to the people the new commandment (of love) without promoting, through paths of peace and justice, their authentic progress?” Peace did not come immediately but the pope’s presence certainly planted seeds of hope for a future free from fear and conflict.

John Paul II was pope for over 25 years and, in my opinion, succeeded in presenting the global face of the Church and, by his numerous trips to countries throughout the world, strengthening the ties of Rome with the local churches he visited.

I never, of course, had the privilege of meeting Pope John XXIII personally. I was only in the fourth grade when he became pope in 1958. I thought he was a courageous man, inspired by the Holy Spirit to bring the Church into the modern world. His convening of the Second Vatican Council in 1962 had far-reaching effects on countless lives, including mine.

Like other Catholics who remember a time when the Mass was totally in Latin, I was happy to participate in the liturgy in my own language following Vatican II. As a diocesan seminarian in my native Philadelphia before transferring to Maryknoll in 1974, I experienced the influence of this future saint in “opening the windows” of the Church and urging priests and religious to leave the confines of their rectories and convents and take the Gospel into the streets. Because of this unprecedented papal exhortation, every Thursday we seminarians were required to leave our desks and go out to do field work in parishes to get hands-on preparation for our future work as priests.

A few years ago a former Maryknoll priest associate, Father Don Larmore, with whom I served in Tanzania, gave a retreat on the life and times of John XXIII. It prompted me to recall the powerful hope that John inspired as well as the welcoming and compassionate style that marked his papal leadership. Father Larmore reminded us of how as papal nuncio in Bulgaria, the future pontiff promoted interreligious dialogue and even as pope remained a simple pastor, concerned with ordinary people’s needs and the run of the mill things of life.

John XXIII died in 1963, mourned throughout the world and remembered as “good Pope John.” He was buried in Saint Peter’s Basilica. Following his beatification by Pope John Paul II, in 2001 John’s body was moved from its original place to the altar of Saint Jerome, where it could be seen by all the faithful. At that time I was serving as Procurator General for the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers in Rome, and I can attest that the grave of Pope John XXIII is one of the most visited sites there.

So, I am excited about the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. They inspire me in my own role as Superior General of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. They are great role models for the Church today, John XXIII for his openness and desire to make the message of Christ relevant to the modern world and John Paul II for being an ambassador of Christ to that world.

Last year at a meeting of religious superiors in Rome, I had the privilege of meeting the man who now walks in the footsteps of John XXIII and John Paul II, Pope Francis. I came home encouraged by this spiritual father, who reaches out to all. He truly continues the legacy of the two he will canonize as saints, that is, people who had a call to holiness and acted on it. May we all follow their example.

Kingdom Racing Finishes Fifth Place, Spreads God’s Word at Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

LONG BEACH, Calif., April 15, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Kingdom Racing, along with Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports, finished fifth place in the VERIZON INDYCAR Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach with Simon Pagenaud behind the wheel of the No. 77 car. Pagenaud started in sixth place and after an on-track incident landed him in 21st place, he fought his way back to the top. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. This was the scripture verse (Jeremiah 29:11) given to Simon before the race. It was prophetic for KR both on and off the track in Long Beach this weekend,” said George Del Canto, Kingdom Racing’s Founder and Co-owner.

Kingdom Racing also ministered and hosted two Miles of Smiles guests at the race track giving them a VIP race experience, and most importantly, sharing God’s Word with them. “The smiles on the faces of our Miles of Smiles guests was a good indicator they truly enjoyed fellowship with other followers of Christ at the race track. Lord willing they were encouraged to continue to courageously live their lives for Christ and share with others the joy that can only be found by a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ,” said Tim Carrie, Director of Miles of Smiles.

About Kingdom Racing: Kingdom Racing’s mission is to Deliver God’s Word Through Motorsports. This year marks Kingdom Racing’s third full season of INDYCAR competition partnering with Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports and seventh appearance at the Indianapolis 500. This season, Kingdom Racing will continue to reach thousands of people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Trackside Fan Festivals, Infield Ambassadors, Miles of Smiles ministries, and other events in partnership with churches and ministries. For more information, visit www.KingdomRacing.net.

CONGRESSIONAL STAFFER TURNED CHRISTIAN EVANGELIST LAUNCHES NEW BOOK TO INSPIRE GREATNESS IN OTHERS

From the pulpit to Capitol Hill Frank Shelton has seen people in a variety of fields rise to levels they never imagined. He has heard from many of them and in some cases witnessed first hand the role their Christian Faith played in their success.On April 29th. His book hits the shelves. The book is packed with fifteen chapters and powerful examples of the greatness that God desposited in each of us. GOD MAKES NO JUNK and we are made in His image! Shelton tells his readers. The book’s powerful illustrations of patriotism, prayer and perseverance will help you find your purpose and personal worth. “from homeless to Hollywood and from paupers to presidents he paints in vivid detail the responsibility of carrying greatness”says the books back cover. “Carrying Greatness is a message of hope for this generation!” says Dave Sterrett author of I Am Second.

 

Who is Frank Shelton ? Frank is an ordained minster who travel all over the country commonly leading dozens to hundreds to answer the alter call and make decisions for Christ. He was Evangelism Chairman of 2012 Olympics outreach in London, England and also White House Press Correspondent for a Christian media outlet and frequent Fox News Contributor. He is a delight to audiences and shares HUMOR, celebrity impressions and Gospel Truth. Frank was a guest last month on “HANNITY” and lives to exalt Christ and encourage people.

I know Frank Shelton. I speak to him on a fairly regular basis. I have know many busy important people. I have know far fewer busy, important people who will take the time Frank does to encourage others in their faith. Sheila Walsh former co-host of the 700 Club, and author of The Storm Inside had this to say about Frank, “The first thing that is apparent about Frank Shelton is his passion for Christ. The second thing is that he really cares about people and wants us to understand the life-changing mysteries of the Kingdom of God. When a seemingly insignificant life is surrendered wholly to our great God, then the so-called impossible becomes a way of life. Welcome to the great adventure! Frank rocks for Jesus!!”

As Frank travels around the country speaking for Jesus, and helping grow churches he is already promoting Carrying Greatness through appearances on T.V. radio, and elsewhere. The book will launch of April 29th. Learn more at http://www.frankshelton.com.

Viguerie Book TAKEOVER Rockets to #1 on Amazon Political Parties List

Maps Battle Plan for Conservative Victory in GOP Civil War It’s the Primaries, Stupid! Argues Viguerie.

 

MANASSAS, Va., April 9, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ – TAKEOVER, the latest book by conservative direct marketing pioneer and author Richard A. Viguerie was released April 8 and within hours hit #1 on Amazon’s Political Parties list.

In TAKEOVER Viguerie makes the case that the most important battle in politics today isn’t between Democrats and Republicans – it is the civil war within the Republican Party between limited government constitutional conservatives and the establishment proponents of Big Government Republicanism.

“If you read today’s political news and opinion pages you would think the ‘civil war’ in the Republican Party between limited government constitutional conservatives and big government progressive Republicans started in 2009 with the rise of the TEA Party movement, or maybe after Mitt Romney gave away the 2012 presidential election,” said Viguerie. “The fact of the matter is this civil war for the soul of the Republican Party has been going on for over 100 years.”

Viguerie argues in TAKEOVER that the civil war in the GOP started in 1912 when Teddy Roosevelt split the Republican Party in the pursuit of his personal political agenda and made progressivism the governing philosophy of the Republican establishment.

Even though conservative ideas about how to govern tend to be the majority opinion in America, the Democratic Party is now the political home of secular liberals says Viguerie. In TAKEOVER Viguerie argues that the present leadership of the GOP is a progressive elite that sees big government as often inefficient, but not wrong.

Conservatives must take control of the Republican Party if it is to be a real alternative to the big government secularism of the Democratic Party.

“One can’t really understand today’s battles in the Republican civil war, and the rise of the TEA Party movement,” claims Viguerie, “unless one understands that the TEA Party is as much or more a rebellion against the entrenched leadership of the Republican Party who have accepted big government, as it is a reaction to specific policies of President Obama, such as Obamacare or the growth of spending, the deficit, and the $17 trillion federal debt.”

The lesson for conservatives? For over a century we conservatives have been pointing our political guns at the wrong target Mr. Viguerie argues.

“It’s the Primaries, stupid,” says Viguerie. “The greatest impediment to conservative governance is not the Democrats, it is big government progressive Republicans.”

“Like the Biblical Jews wandering in the wilderness, conservatives are not going to get to the political Promised Land and be able to govern America according to conservative principles until the flawed, big government Republican leaders, such as Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Reince Priebus pass from the scene and are replaced with limited government constitutional conservatives.”

“The fierce reaction of the Republican establishment to the rise of the TEA Party movement and the millions of new troops the TEA Party brings to the field on the conservative side is a sure sign that the GOP elite fears the civil war they started is beginning to turn,” concluded Viguerie. “I wrote TAKEOVER to give grassroots limited government constitutional conservatives the history, the tools and a plan to make sure that when the battle does turn, it turns in favor of conservatives.”

RICHARD A. VIGUERIE, called the “Funding Father of the conservative movement,” transformed American politics in the 1960s and ’70s by pioneering the use of direct mail as the first means for conservatives to bypass the main stream media. The author of a number of books on politics and the conservative movement Viguerie’s latest book TAKEOVER was released to booksellers April 8.

Chrisagis Brothers Bringing Love & Laughter to the World

YORKVILLE, Ohio, April 2, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Brian & Shawn Chrisagis known as the Dynamic Duo in Christian circles bring love and laughter to everyone they touch. The internationally known twins are not only working with David Leepson, an award winning reality TV producer, but working with Burton Gaar a booking agent and manager to help get them on tour in the year ahead.

The brothers have caught the eye of several TV producers who tried to turn them into reality TV stars. The Chrisagis Brothers have pursued their dream and calling from the Lord since they were young and now at 46 years old they are still going strong. Brian & Shawn have both dated and talked about each of them getting married in the future but many wives wouldn’t understand their commitment to their call. Now folks may get to see the true hearts of two men who are passionate about their Lord, Jesus Christ and about the goals they have for their lives.

The brothers have a toy line for children and have written many children’s books and one of their major goals is to bring back the variety shows like Carol Burnett, Donny & Marie and the Barbara Mandrell & Mandrell Sisters type format. The brothers hope this reality show will branch them off to do just that.

Terrorists Kill Six Christians in Church Attack in Kenya

SANTA ANA, Calif., March 24, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — On Sunday, a hooded gunman stormed into a Joy in Jesus Church service and indiscriminately fired at worshippers. Screams of pain and terror filled the air; some fell to the ground. Others tried to flee, only to meet with gunfire from two other attackers stationed outside the church, located near the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa.
Many children, men and women fell and were trampled upon, while others were shot and immobilized. Two died on the spot. The attackers then calmly walked away, disappearing into the surrounding slums. Police later found a box containing 36 rounds of ammunition.
This morning the death toll had risen to six killed while 18 people, including 12 women and four children, are receiving treatment in a hospital. Of those admitted, two are in intensive care unit. Many have gunshot wounds while others are suffering from soft tissue injuries caused in the panicked attempts to escape. Those injured include 12-month-old Santrine, who has a bullet lodged in his head. As of last night, doctors were unable to remove the bullet.
“They (the terrorists) forced their way through the rear door and shot the watchman, who staggered into the church before falling down. One attacker shouted ‘Allah akbar’ (God is great) and started shooting in every direction,” one survivor told the media.
At the same time, two other attacks were attempted at nearby churches, but were deterred by armed policemen who were on guard duty.
“We are saddened, but not surprised, as we have been hearing Muslim preachers promise over their loudspeakers that they will revenge the Masjid Musa incident (Feb. 2 in Mombasa) when security agents stormed the mosque and arrested approximately 200 people,” reported an Open Doors contact who remains anonymous for security reasons.
“Actually, the terrorists targeted three churches, but fortunately were unsuccessful after being repulsed at the other two. We are resolute and will not be intimidated. This is the message we are sending to those that are against the gospel being preached in this area.
“We will not leave the area because we know that Satan only arises against the Church like this when it is making an impact. This is confirmation that we are doing something right for the Kingdom of God. This is the reassurance we are trying to pass on to our congregants, also.”
The Open Doors contact added: “Please pray with us as we now move to make funeral arrangements and other plans. Our brothers and sisters need God’s comfort, healing and strength.”
Open Doors is on the ground helping support spiritual, emotional and relief efforts for the affected Christian community.
Kenya is ranked No. 43 on the Open Doors 2014 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.
For almost 60 years Open Doors has worked in the world’s most oppressive and restrictive countries, strengthening Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution and equipping them to shine Christ’s light in these places. Open Doors empowers persecuted Christians in the areas of Bible and gospel development, women and children’s advancement and Christian community restoration. Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.

WHO OR WHAT IS PROGRAMING YOUR CHILDREN ?

By Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield

There ‘s an old saying in computers, “Garbage in, Garbage out!” What that means is your result depends on what you put in and the quality of what you put in. In truth computers only mimic what we as people do. This is a prime example.

Many parents wonder what difference does it make if my child plays this video game ? What difference does it make if he watches a certain T.V. Show ? After all, all his friends do. In moderation I’m not sure it does make that much difference. The question to ask is are you getting the right output. In computers if you are not getting the right output or result the first thing you do is check the input.

In terms of our children, are they growing into the kind of people who want them to ? If not then we need to check their input or in other words the influences around them that are affecting who they are growing into.

Moderation is a key factor. Are they passing up quality time with the rest of the family to play those video games ? If so how are they going to learn to be husbands, fathers, wives and mothers ? Call of Duty 1-5 ? Are they falling asleep in church because they stayed up watching some show Saturday night ? How are they going to feed a faith that will see them through the many challenges of life ? How much of their day/week is spent on each activity ? Does this show the right mix of priorities ? Childhood is in many ways an apprenticeship. Living a successful, fulfilling life is a craft that must be learned. Parents are the masters, who must teach and mentor children to become what they should.

Even the best parents must be wary lest their children fall victim to the ever present influence of friends, pop culture etc. This is an ongoing challenge, not one that is met and then you move on.

If your children are not turning into the kind of people you expect examine closely what they are being influenced by on a daily basis. What are they studying in school ? What kind of friends do they have ? What video games do they play ? What TV shows do they watch ? What are THEIR goals ?

In spite of today’s busy, busy world, you also have to look at how much time you are spending with them. Even if its just minutes a day it can make a big difference. You also have to be careful not to be too heavy handed. Moderation is a key here too. In our thinking we have to take into consideration that our children are experimenting at who they are as individuals. Our goal is to guide this exploration not stifle it.

Each of us is a combination of everything we have seen, felt and experienced. It is up to us as parents to make sure our children end up with the right mix.

Free Live Webcast to Offer Thousands of Church Leaders Access to Evangelism Conversation at Exponential East 2014

ORLANDO, March 18, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — To help as many as possible church leaders “rethink” evangelism, Exponential has announced plans for a high-quality live webcast from the upcoming Exponential East 2014 conference in Orlando. The webcast is free to anyone who registers for it.
Featuring 25 leading voices in the Church today, the live webcast will include 10 sessions streamed live over three days from Tuesday, April 29, to Thursday, May 1.
Exponential is continuing last year’s discipleship conversation, this year focusing on what Jesus said was His core mission on earth: “…to seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10)–and how we as Jesus’ disciples can look to His example to join Him in that mission. The webcast’s sessions will focus on five key areas: ReThinking Evangelism; ReThinking Outreach; ReThinking Witness; ReThinking Preaching; and ReThinking the Commission.
“This webcast offers leaders who can’t make it to Orlando, or are leaving a spouse or team members at home, a solid solution for encouraging and equipping them through what we believe are critical conversations for the church as we focus on helping awaken an evangelistic impulse,” says Exponential Director Todd Wilson. “It’s the second best thing to being onsite.”
Collectively, webcast viewers will hear from 25 key leaders: Andy Stanley, Bill Hybels, Nicky Gumbel, Dave Gibbons, James Meeks, Greg Nettle, Matt Chandler Jeanne Stevens, Oscar Muriu, Choco De Jesus, Michael Frost, Larry Osborne, Alan Hirsch, Danielle Strickland, Damien Boyd, Dave Travis, Dave Ferguson, Vince Antonucci, John Teter, Jim Burgen, Hugh Halter and via video Tim Keller, Craig Groeschel, Louie Giglio and Ed Stetzer.
For the last two years, Exponential has partnered with LifeWay Christian Resources to present the high-quality webcast. In 2013, the Exponential Orlando webcast drew an estimated 40,000 viewers in 93 countries while the Exponential West 2013 webcast featuring programming similar to Orlando’s drew 15,000-plus viewers worldwide. Exponential believes this year’s webcast from Orlando has greater potential to reach many more.
“The cross-section of speakers we’ve enlisted to lead these main sessions is possibly the strongest in the conference’s seven-year history,” Wilson says. “We’re thrilled to offer this caliber of teaching on evangelism to a global audience.”
The webcast will again feature DVR functionality, allowing for flexible viewing times. The DVR functionality and free access offer church and ministry leaders prime opportunities to host the webcast for their launch teams, small group leaders, staff, network and even their church.
“The Seek + Save theme and rediscovering these five biblical truths are of critical importance to every church planter,” says Exponential President Dave Ferguson.
“Recent research tells us that only 18 percent of Americans will set foot in a church this weekend, but Gallup reports that 92 percent of the U.S. population says they believe in God. We have to come to grips with the reality that many churches have lost their ability to connect with people who actually believe in God. We have to rethink evangelism because we have to rethink how we reach this group of people who believe in God but have not found a safe place in our churches.
“I believe the webcast will be an important equipping tool to challenge and inspire everyone in the church to help people find their way back to God.”
Exponential East speaker Hugh Halter adds, “If God could change the world through men and women who traveled by land and sea just to share the story of Christ, imagine what can happen when countless thousands of people around the world share the story of Christ through a webcast!”
“New technology is going to help take powerful ideas that are changing the game in the United States and make them accessible across the globe,” says author Alan Hirsch, a thought leader and key mission strategist for churches across the Western world. “It’s all about movement. Very exciting.”
For a detailed schedule of the webcast and a full list and description of the five key areas that Exponential 2014 will explore, go to exponential.org/webcast.
Anyone wanting to participate in the webcast experience can register for free at exponential.org/webcast. During the live webcast, participants will receive periodic emails alerting them to upcoming sessions and speakers.
MEDIA REQUESTS: Exponential Director Todd Wilson, Exponential President Dave Ferguson and select webcast speakers are available for media interviews. Photos available on request.
Founded in 2008, Exponential is a growing movement of leaders committed to accelerating the multiplication of healthy, reproducing churches. Providing a national platform and distribution channels for championing church planting, Exponential spotlights and spreads actionable thought leadership (principles, ideas and solutions) through conferences, magazines, books, digital media and learning communities. Exponential is one of the premiere distribution channels of church planting resources for hundreds of national influence leaders, including Francis Chan, Alan Hirsch, Rick Warren, Matt Chandler and Mike Breen. For more information, visit exponential.org.

CHILDREN,TIME AND PATIENCE

 

We all become aware of how fast time flies as we get older. At the same time we often wonder why children seem so impatient. The fact is the two things are related. It all boils down to the concepts of perception and perspective. Perception is the way we see something. Perspective has to do with using our knowledge and life experience to make sense of what our senses are telling us. Perception is of course reality at least to the one holding the perception. This holds true for that person even if the perception later turns out to be false.

Now lets look at how this applies to children, time, and patience. First of all we need to remember that time is only a figment of our mutual imaginations. Time was created thousands of years ago as part of man’s effort to understand the world around him. You cannot see time. You cannot taste time. You cannot even feel time. It has no existence in the natural world. Time exists only because it is a mutually accepted way of perceiving the motions of the Earth and other planets.

In fact to the smallest children time doesn’t exist ! They know nothing of lunch being at 12, only that they are hungry. They know nothing about bedtime being at 7 or 8 o’clock only that they are sleepy. Once children become old enough to grasp time as a way to understand their daily routine perception begins to come into play.

For instance a 24 year old parent is about 210,240 hours old. A two year old on the other hand is 17,520 hours old. The effect of this is that the two year old perceives an hour to be 12 times longer than the parent ! Know wonder kids raise such a fuss about waiting an hour for something ! Lets look at another example . You are a 35 year old parent, you tell your 13 year old you will do something next week. You are about 1820 weeks old. Your teen on the other hand is about 676 weeks old. So from your teen’s perspective the wait seems almost 3 times longer than it does for you. One more example, as adults we have to do many things every 30 days. A 22 year old parent is 8,030 days old, a 9 year old is 3,285 days old. So to the 9 year old each day is over twice as long as it is for the parent.

This also shows the value of perspective when dealing with such a situation. The key is to look at it from the child’s perspective. It also helps to bear in mind that the additional maturity you have gained over the years makes it easier for you to be patient. Your life experience has given you a perspective on the priorities of daily life that your teen simply cannot have yet. They have not yet been an adult fortunately you were once a teen !

This is were the leadership part of being a parent comes in. Any leader benefits by looking at things from the perspective of those they are trying to lead. Working with children cam be very much the same. It is not always easy. As adults in this modern world we often feel rushed. Our kids get impatient, we get frustrated, and everything gets harder for everybody than it needs to be. So when you feel yourself getting frustrated because your child is getting impatient, take a breath. Reconsider how the length of time involved looks to the child instead of how it looks to you. Remember what it was like when you were young.

100th Radio Station Goes On-Air in Largely Unreached Asia-Pacific Region

Thousands Come to Christ Each Year through Innovative Reach Beyond Radio Plant Ministry   
NASHVILLE, Feb. 24, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Reach Beyond (www.reachbeyond.org), formerly HCJB Global, announced today at the National Religious Broadcasters convention that it has planted its 100th radio station in the highly populated but largely unreached Asia Pacific region.
Photo: Missionary Lisa Balzer trains a pastor on the various aspects of producing a community radio broadcast at Reach Beyond’s 100th radio station in the highly populated but largely unreached Asia-Pacific region.
In the last 10 years, the mass media and healthcare ministry has launched radio stations across the region, including in Indonesia, Thailand, Nepal and Cambodia; the 100th station is located in Thailand. The effort is part of the ministry’s renewed plans to reach the unreached with the gospel, and is part of its work to help provide medical care, church planting, discipleship, evangelism and community development to needy communities.
“While the Asia Pacific region is highly populated, with more than half the world’s population, the gospel has barely penetrated the area,” said Wayne Pederson, president and CEO of Reach Beyond. “We’ve made this part of the world a special focus for our renewed efforts to reach the unreached, and Christian radio is one of the most effective and economical ways to do that.”
Reach Beyond forms radio planting partnerships with local people, which empowers them to reach their communities through FM radios. The radio ministry provides the broadcast equipment, training and technical support, while the local partner owns and operates the radio station. Since the station is locally owned and operated, it is better equipped to understand the audience and determine the most effective approach to programming.
“Our radio partners conservatively estimate that more than 10,000 people come to Christ each year through the radio station plants,” said Ty Stakes, executive director of Reach Beyond-Asia Pacific. “This means more than 100,000 people have come to Christ in just the last decade. We have adopted aggressive plans to expedite the number of radio stations across the region, which will hopefully result in hundreds of thousands more coming to know Jesus.”
Reach Beyond partners already have a deep commitment and passion for outreach and a proven record in terms of ministry. Since FM radio is still the most important communication medium in this area, the radio stations serve as amplifiers for their message. Each station fits the broadcasts around its unique context, and many of the programs are pre-evangelistic, meaning the deeper presentation of the gospel often happens off-air.
A dressmaker in Thailand tuned into “Happy FM” one day and heard the announcer, who is also a pastor, talk about love. Encouraged by the topic, the dressmaker called the station and talked with the pastor on the air. The pastor then invited her to church, where she found the love of Christ and a body of believers. She now helps others find Christ’s love through radio.
In Thailand, only 0.5 percent of the population is Christian. Most people do not even know what a Christian is and have great reluctance to visit a church, even if it’s within walking distance of their home. The radio stations have allowed local Christians and churches to engage the population in ways they couldn’t without radio.
As part of its overall mission, Reach Beyond hopes to plant an additional 100 stations in the next five years, moving at double the pace of the previous decade. In addition, partners in Thailand aim to start 100 community stations in the country by 2020. Nepalese partners have a vision for an additional 25 to 30 stations, with Reach Beyond playing critical roles in both endeavors.
“The Asia Pacific region is home to nearly one billion unreached people and hundreds of unreached people groups,” Pederson said. “Our strategy puts us right in the midst of these communities and gives us the best opportunity yet to share the hope found in Jesus. The last 10 years have seen incredible progress; the next 10 years will put us even closer to reaching the unreached.”
More about Reach Beyond’s ministry, including Pederson’s new book, “Reach Beyond – Comfort, Compassion and the Cause of Christ,” can be found at www.reachbeyond.org.
For 81 years the passion of Reach Beyond (formerly HCJB Global) (www.reachbeyond.org) has been to make disciples of Christ. Using mass media, healthcare and education and working with partners around the world, Reach Beyond has ministries in more than 100 countries. The gospel is aired in more than 120 languages and dialects. Thousands of healthcare patients are meeting Jesus. Local believers are being trained as missionaries, pastors, broadcasters and healthcare providers.
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