French Seventh-day Adventists can now tune in to programming in their mother tongue, with the help of a new Internet broadcast called Télévision de la Famille -- Television for the Family.
"This is the contribution of businessmen, businesswomen, professionals to the evangelism in the world," said Tania Francois-Haugrin, who helped launch and oversees the Internet channel.
The broadcast, which is believed to be a first, serves to provide the French-speaking Adventist world with what English and Spanish speakers already have: programs about education, health, nature and other subjects -- grounded in Scripture, said Francois-Haugrin, who is from the Caribbean island of Martinique.
Television de la Famille is the result of years of prayer and work, said the independent journalist, who also works as an assistant to one of her country's senators.
The broadcast "is really to help family," said Francois-Haugrin, who served as president of Adventist-laymen's Services and Industries (ASI) in Martinique, as well as vice president of the Inter-American region's ASI. ASI is an organization of business professionals who support ministries and outreach programs -- involving such areas as health, education, evangelism and community services -- to further the mission of the Adventist Church.
"All the programs are based on the word of God, the Bible," she said. "In the center of these programs is the Adventist message."
Francois-Haugrin said her country's ASI began thinking about doing a local television program in 2003 but soon realized "it would be a little difficult." But during an ASI meeting in the Dominican Republic later that year, she said, they were encouraged to think even bigger, creating Adventist television for French speakers worldwide.
After that, "we pray, we work," for seven years, asking God to give them strength to make the project possible, she said, adding that they wanted "absolutely that God manages this program, this television."
By the end of 2010, Francois-Haugrin said, the broadcast should be available via cable in some French-speaking countries, including her homeland, fellow Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, and parts of Europe and Africa.
Broadcasts are available at www.tvfamille.com.