n 1971 Adventist World Radio (AWR) began airing programs for the first time from a rented shortwave station in Portugal. The main focus was to carry the gospel into Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Shortwave signals travel thousands of miles, penetrating deep into restricted areas that otherwise would not be reached.
Later the Adventist Church decided to build its own shortwave station on the island of Guam. In 1987 broadcasts began from KSDA-SW, covering the entire Pacific Rim: North and South Korea, Japan, China, and other neighboring countries. Today AWR’s ministry spans the globe through:
By carrying the Advent message of hope to the unreached people groups of the world in their own languages, AWR is filling a unique role in the church’s global outreach efforts. Radio has the power to:
AWR’s operations have continued to expand in the five years since the 2010 General Conference session in several ways:
AWR provides content in select languages on self-contained digital audio players called MegaVoice Ambassadors or Envoys. They are preloaded with up to 500 hours of recordings, including portions of the Bible, sermons, Bible studies, stories, health messages, other topics of community interest, and hymns.
These players have been distributed among the Huichol indigenous people of the Sierra Madre Mountains in Mexico, the Yemba-speaking Bamileke people of Cameroon, as well as Nepal, Myanmar, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and others.
In 2011 AWR embarked on a pilot project to air Telugu programs in Hyderabad, India. After several months of negotiations, permission was obtained to air programs on an FM network under the scrutinizing eye of the Indian regulatory entity.
More languages and cities were steadily added. Today these programs can be heard by nearly 17 million people in seven languages, covering 15 major cities and 300 towns. This successful outreach has just expanded again, to the Maldives islands, Andaman Islands, and Kashmir.
Elsewhere in Asia there is a growing number of stations now spreading the message in their communities, including Australia, East Timor, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, and Thailand.
In South America about 200 AWR affiliate FM stations cover every country except Colombia, where it has not been possible to acquire a license. In Central America and the Caribbean scores of AWR affiliate stations air the gospel in Spanish, English, French, and Creole.
Several new FM stations were developed in Africa during the past five years, and today the number stands at more than 20 in sub-Saharan Africa. License applications have been submitted in additional countries, and producers who have already been trained are eager to get on the air. The challenging territories of North Africa are also hearing the gospel through FM, thanks to a partnership with the Spanish Union of Churches.
The ever-expanding online world has made it possible to reach new groups of listeners, from big-city residents to migrant workers. AWR’s podcasts—in more than 100 languages, through awr.org and iTunes—are serving listeners where we do not traditionally broadcast, including North America. Churches and members are also using the podcasts as a valuable tool for ministering to their foreign-language neighbors and communities.
AWR’s analytics show more than 9 million daily podcast downloads; the top languages are Mandarin, Arabic, Amharic, and French.
AWR is greatly blessed with committed supporters, strategic partnerships, and demonstrable results. Building on these strengths and looking to God for guidance, the next five years will bring even more opportunities:
To learn more about Adventist World Radio, go to awr.org.