Last year more than 1.3 million people responded to the broadcast ministry of The Back to God Hour by visiting one of the ministry websites or by e-mail, phone, or letter.
That’s more than a statistic. It represents people who are hearing and responding to the gospel.
One of these people was a Japanese woman named Sachiko. One morning Sachiko turned on the radio and her life changed forever. She wanted to become a nurse, but a disability caused her to drop out of school. Discouraged, she found support in a cult group, but no real answers.
The program Sachiko heard was a BTGH broadcast called Asa no Kotoba (The Morning Word). The message intrigued her and she wanted to know more. She wrote to Rev. Masao Yamashita, BTGH Japanese ministry leader, who put Sachiko in touch with a church near her home.
Through worship and Bible study, Sachiko found Jesus and committed her life to serving him. She brought her husband to church, and they were baptized together.
Those doing media ministry rarely get to meet face-to-face the people whose lives they are touching. Yet through e-mail, phone, and 40 follow-up centers around the world, the BTGH hears some of the stories of grace at work. And meetings do happen as believers get connected into communities of faith.
Dona Gema, a volunteer in Campinas, Brazil, had a vision to plant a church. She began with the people who had phoned Disquepaz, the BTGH Portuguese-language telephone ministry.
Disquepaz business cards are displayed in strategic places. People who call the phone number hear a Bible passage and a short devotional. They also receive information for contacting a follow-up center to ask for prayer, Christian literature, or the name of a church in their area.
Gema gathered a list of phone numbers and addresses of people who had contacted the ministry in the last few years and called or visited them. Five people immediately welcomed her. She began to disciple them, and together they started a new church. It wasn’t long before the small church had 120 members, had called a pastor, and had organized as a new congregation.
Christians in Yemen felt isolated and hungry for spiritual encouragement. An Egyptian Christian trained in follow-up ministry traveled to Yemen on business. He met privately with listeners who had contacted the BTGH’s Cairo follow-up office.
Through these meetings, he quietly helped connect the listeners to one another. Now this group of Christians, no longer isolated, meets in secret for Bible study and worship, although they have to whisper their songs of praise.
God is working in the hearts of people around the globe. The Back to God Hour doesn’t always hear their stories. But the ones we do hear encourage us that God is using our broadcasts to bring millions of people into contact with the gospel—one by one.
Changes for English Broadcast Ministry
What does the future look like for BTGH English language ministries?
We will continue to produce The Back to God Hour flagship radio program. Beginning in December, BTGH director Rev. Robert Heerspink will share broadcast responsibilites.
“Kids Corner” staff just joined an alliance with other children’s radio ministries through www.HisKids.net, which will enable us to reach more children.
A new partnership with Feba and Words of Hope will help us expand our international English outreach with a simplified English ministry called Spotlight.
We are also evaluating which audiences we are not reaching and exploring ways to touch their lives through Christian media.
Because of your prayers and financial support, The Back to God Hour is able to expand opportunities to share the gospel that never changes in a world that is changing more and more rapidly.
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