Adventist World Radio (AWR) recently gathered more than 90 radio producers from nearly 30 countries of Africa in the city of Arusha, Tanzania. For two weeks, each one of them had the opportunity of preaching to people outside of the studio.
Each morning, the AWR team coached the producers. Sessions included sermons about Adventist prophetic messages and how to preach them. In the afternoon, participants were deployed at a variety of sites to engage in preaching. Some of them had never preached before, but they all agreed that they had a powerful experience.
“I was terrified at first, but when I saw people responding to the call, I soon became bold and more confident as I experienced the mighty work that God was doing through me,” said one participant, a woman from Uganda.
According to AWR vice president Ray Allen, the idea was born at a meeting of AWR leaders, who suggested that radio producers in Africa and Asia could be blessed by preaching at a regular two-week Total Member Involvement (TMI) series. TMI is an initiative of the world church that seeks to get every church member involved in sharing Jesus with his or her neighbors, colleagues, and friends.
Radio producers at the Tanzania event also received training on how to combine FM radio broadcasts with TMI, AWR leaders said.
Allen added that the testimonies from the various fields touched him. One delegate told him, “We did not come expecting to preach, but now our life has been changed. I’ll be a changed person when I return home.” Others seconded this thought, adding that they were fired up and are looking to implement the program as soon as possible in their own territory.
“We are expecting them to return to their home countries and implement the AWR ‘From Broadcast to Baptism’ formula that they learned here,” Allen said.
Producers came from countries in the East-Central Africa Division (ECD), Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division, (SID), and West-Central Africa Division (WAD), the three church regions in the African continent.
Despite some language barriers, the initiative proved to be successful, AWR leaders concluded. Some of the participants helped as language interpreters for others, and the meetings resulted in nearly 1,500 baptisms.
In the spirit of TMI and “From Broadcast to Baptism,” AWR is establishing many FM radio stations across Africa. Despite the high rate of Adventists in some regions of the continent, there are still many unentered territories where radio is still the best medium available for people, leaders said.
On behalf of the church leadership, Northern Tanzania Union Conference executive secretary David Makoye congratulated the AWR team: “You have kindled the gospel fire here, and we will always remember that this is love in action.”
The original version of this story was posted on the East-Central Africa Division news site.