COVID-19 Crisis – Radio Update.
3 helpful prayer points for global broadcasting.
Thank you for supporting Christian media outreach. Radio is getting through to record audiences! Here are 3 prayer points for your kind attention this week:
- Pray for the many church services currently offered through FEBC broadcasts, to provide people a way to engage in Sunday worship even when they can’t attend a local church. Pray that these services will touch many new hearts among the listeners, who will one day join a local community of believers.
- Radio is playing a critical role in keeping people informed during the pandemic. Pray for the many FEBC broadcasters putting in long hours to produce new programming that informs and comforts listeners during these difficult days, as well as points them to Jesus. As messengers of hope, FEBC staff are counselling people to put their trust in God. Pray that many will find peace and continue to follow Jesus, even after the disease dissipates. Pray, too, for wisdom and stamina for staff responding to the large volume of listener calls, texts and emails.
- Japan is known for having one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Less than 1% of the population is Christian. With the pandemic on the rise here, people without hope may choose to end their life. Pray that many will search for answers and find them through FEBC broadcasts. Pray that our Christ-centered programs will reach those who are broken and restore their hope.
Feeding body, mind & spirit in Indonesia.
During the Covid19 crisis one little FEBC broadcast in Jakarta came up with a really big idea – to feed thousands of out-of-work people.
Indonesia is a nation of over 260 million people, mostly Muslim. In the major cities many people live very simple lives, making only enough each day to provide for that day, possibly a little more. A recent FEBC programme asked listeners “What can we do together to help the people of our city who’ve lost their income due to Covid19?” HeartlineCare was the answer – a scheme to feed the thousands of ‘Online Drivers’ across Jakarta by providing a good daily meal. Online drivers deliver food by motorcycle, but if the city is locked down, they have no income. And there is no government subsidy like New Zealand.
What can we do together to help the people of our city who’ve lost their income due to Covid19?A simple question on the radio gave rise to numerous great ideas from listeners. Some of them are being worked out right now, and people are being helped to get through.
FEBC broadcasts an invitation to listeners to donate food and funds. Some listeners are cooks and have made themselves available to help. The gifts are turned into packaged lunches for giving away. Then each day, the station broadcasts where the teams are distributing the lunches, and hungry listeners can be in the right place, and enjoy a good meal.
Please pray for FEBC Indonesia / Heartline Radio today:
- For safety and courage for all the staff as they work with the restrictions that come when avoiding the virus;
- Praise God FEBC Indonesia is an ‘essential service’ as a media broadcaster – a valuable gift in large Muslim nations.
- For the generosity and sacrifice of listeners and supporters to continue as long as the lockdown does (and beyond).
- For an end to the virus and its dreadful spread and harm!
Noodles, Masks, Bibles, & Radios!
What do these things have in common? You are supplying them all to needy households in Southeast Asia during Lockdown. Thank you.
Our stations across the world are reporting similar situations among listeners. From Indonesia to Russia, many people are anxious and uncertain about what to expect. But we’re grateful to you that radio programmes and media broadcasts of all sorts are delivering life-giving information and good news to millions.
These station staff and volunteers (above) in Southeast Asia are visiting villages and families to deliver essential supplies. One of those supplies might be a new radio to ensure the whole household is encouraged, informed, and counselled through the lockdown.
Fear and anxiety is a key issue for many during the pandemic crisis, so many of our radio stations are including professional Christian counsellors on-air to care for people and lead them toward peaceful ideas in an unsettled season. Many of our broadcasters are severely challenged to get to the studios so have set up make-shift systems in their own homes.
Some of our stations (asked not to be identified) have set up freephone numbers for listeners to call in for counsel and care, as there simply isn’t enough time on-air to address every personal situation.
- for the safety and wellbeing of FEBC and Feba station staff around the world as they often must travel to studios to keep broadcasting;
- for the resourcefulness of announcers, pastors, counsellors and follow-up workers to speak life into the programmes, give good advice, and stay faithful and real;
- for listeners everywhere to experience the love of God, poured out on their lives as they turn to Him and search for answers;
- for the machinery and technology to remain operational as programmes are produced in often make-shift studios, and literally millions of people rely on the good news and companionship from their isolation.
- for those courageous follow-up staff and volunteers who venture into communities to deliver the essential supplies of food, PPE, Bibles and radios.
- for an end to the spread and harm of the virus!
30th March 2020
God is moving in the hearts of countless unreached people who are actively seeking Him for comfort, hope, and answers!
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause widespread unrest around the globe, I ask for your fervent prayers and support to sustain vital Gospel ministry. Asia has been hit especially hard and is home to most of the world’s unreached people.
Unprecedented numbers of people are tuning into FEBC and downloading Gospel programs . . . quite literally millions! We’ve never seen numbers like this before. A massive quantity of calls, emails, texts, and letters are pouring in from people who are desperate to hear the Truth that will give them hope for this life and for all eternity.
Our Head of Broadcasting in Russia & Ukraine is Dr Victor Akhterov. His words echo our other leaders all around the world when he said in an update recently:
“Our main focus, is not to contribute to the hysteria, but to be a source of hope, without denying the reality of the health and economic problems. We lead by example, showing our listeners how those who have their hope in Christ respond in tough times. We are there to serve and help others. This is also a great time to demonstrate to our listeners what it means to be full of Christian joy during the most difficult circumstances. “
Thank you New Zealand. We appreciate you and are praying for you too. Please support our front line stations as they deliver life-giving and sometimes life-saving information, hope, and promise to millions every day.
Matt Perry, Executive Director. FEBC New Zealand.
Unprecedented numbers of people are tuning into FEBC and downloading Gospel programs . . . quite literally millions! We’ve never seen numbers like this before.
Update 20th March 2020 – Massive listenership increases.
I don’t believe it is an overstatement to say that now is the time for radio and media outreach! With the real existent threat of a contagious virus, and unprecedented restrictions of peoples’ physical movement and interaction, radio and media information is one of the primary means of informing and comforting millions and millions of households.
FEBC stations from China to Kazakhstan, from Russia to Indonesia are producing new informative programmes while doing what we’ve done for decades – communicating Christ to the world by media. Isolated and anxious people need comfort, encouragement, information, and calm insightful voices in their lives.
As a result of the global and local movement and gathering restrictions, our listenership is growing dramatically. One of the special ministries that you support through FEBC New Zealand is our Chinese Bible College by Media. Checkout this listenership growth:
Huge increase in App downloads…
Since February as millions of Chinese people stayed home, our Liangyou Bible College by Media has experienced two massive increases: 1. Existing students have tuned-in to get on with their ministry assignments while they can’t leave the house; 2. NEW students have signed up in huge numbers to get ministry training and resources. Since February 38,717 people have installed the App! and the number of downloads of our audio on-demand for this one training programme, has increased by 46,424!
This means tens of thousands more Chinese people are getting equipped to understand the Bible and serve their communities and nations right now. Thank you, this is what you are making possible, and this is just one channel in one nation! More to come to stay encouraged. Matt
February 21, 2020
Our China Ministries team in Hong Kong have had their world turned upside down this year with the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), but they insist on doing what needs to be done to keep live broadcasts on-air, and to produce fresh helpful programmes. Here are a few of the special programmes FEBC is inserting into the broadcasting schedule right now.
- ‘Throne of Grace’ + ‘Radio Counselling Corner.’ Two existing programmes specially merged into one 1.5 hour special live prayer meeting on-air. This combo has attracted record high listenership and interaction.
- ‘Battling Epidemic – Settling Panic.’ A series of recorded counselling programmes designed to help people experiencing mental stress to navigate this time with healthy thinking.
- ‘One Heart with Wuhan.’ Short messages from pastors and leaders delivered over WeChat, reminding listeners and readers to look to God and pray.
- ‘What a Wonderful Life.’ A collection of heart-warming stories about compassion related to the epidemic, to encourage all those affected.
Please continue to pray for the end of this virus, for an antidote discovery, and for the healing and recovery of all those infected. May all those confined to their homes find real comfort, sound health advice, and the Peace of God, through the radio and media broadcasts above.
All support of FEBC China Ministries from New Zealand is currently going to resource 100 students through our Bible College by Media correspondence school. Directly related to the Coronavirus is the fact that many more students than normal are at home working on their Bible & Ministry study assignments while they are quarantined. Your support is greatly appreciated. Use any of the DONATE options on this site, and write “China” in the comments section. Thank you.
UPDATE Tuesday 11 February 2020:
Our special programmes and live broadcasting have attracted record listening audiences. We have had many callers from Wuhan and other parts of China, and they do report that life is indeed very difficult under many restrictions.
- that the coronavirus would weaken, stop spreading, and be overcome;
- that people would turn to God and find peace, comfort, and healing in Him;
- that our broadcast production teams will remain safe and well, and know the presence of the Holy Spirit as they labour to offer wisdom and care on-air;
- that listeners in Wuhan and all over China especially will listen to the health advice and take every reasonable step to avoid catching and spreading the virus.
- that fear would not prevail and that courage and faith will rise and strengthen many.
Original Update (Wednesday 5th February 2020):
Due to the current Coronavirus crisis in Wuhan China, people are stuck inside avoiding contact with others in an effort to halt the spread of the sickness. Therefore churches are not gathering together and many forms of corporate life are on hold.
But radio is reaching into households – thanks to you.
FEBC broadcasts by several methods across China, and right now programmes are attracting a particularly large audience as people search for information, comfort, assurance, and companionship.
FEBC broadcasters are working hard to keep programmes on-air, live, and helpful. What does this look like?
- Health Information – necessary health and hygiene reminders;
- Pastoral Care – Biblical focus on God’s love, faithfulness, and presence;
- Live Chat and Prayer – Every morning and evening we have live links with prayer times which include listeners’ input.
- Psychological comfort – people are stressed, so listening to wise and godly voices is therapeutic and hopeful. Hearing about what is actually happening and what to expect is helpful.
- Plus our regular programmes of teaching, music, outreach and companionship.
How can we pray for people in affected areas?
Our staff here in New Zealand turned to Psalm 91 recently. Why not take a few minutes to read that Psalm now, and below are some promises and prayer points to hold on to together as we pray especially for the households most affected:
1He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust. …
14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honour him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
We pray that people will find shelter, refuge and peace in God.
May listeners hold fast to God in love, and may they know his name (maybe for the first time).
May they call to God as they consider the trouble they are experiencing.
And let these promises be true for them – that God delivers, protects, answers, rescues, honours, satisfies, and shows his salvation. Amen.
Bible College by Media Update:
Students stuck at home in China during this crisis are getting on with their studies! FEBC staff are noticing an increase in listening and assignment work as our Bible College students across the Mainland make the most of this enforced isolation. (*FEBC Bible College by Media is a correspondence course in Bible and Ministry studies aimed at Mainland Chinese people of all ages.)
Please pray for students to make great insightful progress.
We will keep you up to date as relevant news comes to us about radio’s role in facing this virus. Thanks for your support and prayers.
To donate to FEBC China Ministries please click the donate button anywhere on this site.
Live. Local. Close to the Listener.