English is a first language to more than 375 million people worldwide, and an additional 375 million people use it as a second language.
“In international mission work, it doesn’t take long to appreciate how many people speak English,” says Mike Procter. He developed a specialized English language ministry called Spotlight for Feba Radio, a gospel network based in the United Kingdom.
The Back to God Hour has joined forces with Feba and Words of Hope (the radio broadcast ministry of the Reformed Church of America) to expand the unique international ministry of Spotlight.
Feba broadcasts in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. “By pooling our resources, we have opportunities to reach more people,” explained Rev. Robert Heerspink, director of The Back to God Hour.
“The amazing fact is that we can produce programming in English here at home, and yet it can be heard and understood by one out of five people worldwide,” said Steven Koster, BTGH English ministry leader.
In August, Koster and new team members Courtney Schutt and Michael Geertsma traveled to England for a training conference in specialized English broadcasting. They met with Procter and Feba staff to discuss how to expand Spotlight to reach English-speaking teens and children throughout the world with English programming.
They also discussed strategies for reaching Muslim audiences, noting that the Koran says many positive things about Jesus. “Spotlight is just the first aspect of our vision for expanding English ministries,” Koster said. “We are evaluating which audiences we are not yet reaching and looking at ways we can reach them through additional programming, even while continuing the programs we already do well.”
“We will continue to produce ‘The Back to God Hour’ as our flagship program,” affirmed Heerspink.
Likewise, BTGH Kids Corner staff continues to research ways to reach more children worldwide and has just entered into an alliance with several children’s radio ministries through www.HisKids.net.
About the Author
Nancy Vander Meer is a staff writer with Back to God Ministries International in Grand Rapids, Mich.