In Burundi, the Adventist radio program IJWI RY’INZAMBA Y’IHEREZO, or the Voice of Final Trumpet, that airs on the national radio station has gone viral through the phone app WhatsApp. It is especially popular among people who understand the Kirundi language.
The program, hosted by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Burundi through its communication department, airs once a week on Sabbath and has gained an international appeal from radio listeners around the world.
It all began about a year ago when due to consistent requests from listeners, the presenter decided to make the audio of past radio programs available for free download on WhatsApp. The new initiative made it possible for audience members to tune in even if a radio program had already aired or if they missed the live broadcast. More and more listeners started downloading the radio show from their phones and mobile devices.
Calls came from all over the world to express appreciation to the host and solid biblical content of the program. The host realized he needed to create a WhatsApp group for the listeners of the program. However, to his surprise, one group could no longer hold the numbers of those requesting to join. So, a second group was born, followed by a third and now a fourth group has launched.
Now, people who are in Australia, the United States, Europe, Asia and all over Africa are not only downloading the radio program, but they are even getting copies of the Sabbath School Lesson study guide in the Kirundi language. They are sharing the program's audios with friends and family members who belong to other WhatsApp groups.
As a result of this program going viral, a member from the far south of Burundi can invite someone to a church service from Bujumbura, which is about 60 miles or 97 kilometers apart. Or someone from Dubai, U.A.E can fellowship together on Sabbath with someone in South Africa.
Regular program listeners shared they enjoy the programs practical teaching of Bible truths, along with the answers given to different and very controversial questions raised by listeners from various backgrounds and religions.