In a world dominated by a rapid flow of visual images, listening to a radio program is still a remarkably powerful experience, and it remains the mass media that continues to reach the widest audience. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designed February 13 as World Radio Day, to celebrate the unique ability of radio to “touch lives and bring people together across every corner of the globe.
The messages Adventist World Radio (AWR) receives from its listeners demonstrate this diversity and impact:
“I am a student in the Middle East ….”
“I come from a poor family in Vietnam ….”
“More neighbors in my Maasai community are listening with me every day ….”
“Your program has reached us in our remote but beautiful village. It has been able to touch many hearts and helped people to walk with hope. We had never heard about Jesus before, never knew about church and another God. Now we need your help and your guidance to grow in our newfound faith.”
Adventist World Radio is the official global radio ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its mission is to broadcast the Adventist hope in Christ to the unreached people groups of the world in their own languages.
Around the world, God is using AWR’s broadcasts to carry His love directly into people’s homes and hearts. Radio can reach more people, for less money, than nearly any other form of outreach. AWR brings the gospel to places on earth that missionaries and other methods cannot, bypassing government restrictions, geographic barriers, and hostile cultures.
AWR began broadcasting on shortwave radio in 1971; since then, the methods of delivering content and engaging with listeners has greatly expanded. Today, AWR’s programs can be heard in more than 100 languages – not just through AM/FM/shortwave radio and now DAB+, but also online streaming, on demand, social media, apps, and solar players.
Some of its many ministry highlights include:
• The “AWR360º” approach to outreach encompasses the entire journey of listeners, from broadcast to baptism.
• AWR’s AM/FM/SW radio programs can potentially be heard by three quarters of the world’s population.
• Podcasts, streaming, and on demand can be accessed worldwide, anywhere there is Internet service. Listeners download millions of AWR podcasts every year.
• AWR broadcasts to at least 40 of the 50 countries in the world with the highest persecution of Christians.
• AWR’s highest-volume language is Mandarin, which is broadcast 10 hours each day across China.
• At the Hong Kong Media Center, full-time Internet evangelists communicate with listeners through e-mail, instant messages, and video chats.
• More AWR partners are actively building communities on social media platforms, such as WhatsApp and We Chat.
• AWR also distributes solar/hand-crank radios and solar audio players (“godpods”) in countries such as South Sudan, the Philippines, Nepal, Mexico, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, and more.
Across these varied audiences, AWR is making a tangible difference in people’s lives. An AWR listener in the Middle East wrote:
“For a few months now, my family and I have been listening to each one of your programs. They make our hearts come alive again. In our city and country that has been torn apart by war, where there is no peace or trust among the people, where everyone is worried if they can keep themselves alive for one more day, the message of Jesus Christ is our only light. I have sincerely trusted in His Word, and I am following Him.”