Trans World Radio (TWR) is working on an exciting end of year project — the Silk Road Transmitter. At the beginning of 2017, TWR was forced to reduce its program airings in Central Asia when its 150,000-watt AM transmitter was taken out of services.
“It’s really left a gap in the programming for the people there to have access to biblical programming in their heart language,” TWR’s Brandon Neal says.
Broadcasts were taken from three hours a day down to only two. However, TWR says God has given the organization the vision to install an even larger transmitter in the region. Enter: the 200,000-watt AM signal called the Silk Road Transmitter.
The installation of this transmitter would increase overall coverage area and provide the opportunity to air more programs to reach around 60 million people throughout Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and even Northwest China.
Transmitter: an Urgent Need
TWR feels an urgency to install the Silk Road Transmitter because it would impact an area known for the persecution of Christians.
“There are so many people [whom] maybe missionaries on the ground are reaching…now. But with political climates,…there may come a time in the near future where those missionaries have to pull out of those countries. At that point, if the indigenous Church, if the local Church is not strong enough to grow on its own, it would be extremely beneficial to them to have God’s Word available over the radio,” Neal explains.
While some of these countries may have tight legislation regarding anti-conversion and religious restrictions, radio is strategic since it can be listened to during a car ride with friends or at home with family. It can be a private or group experience.
Neal has heard stories through TWR of Christians in Central Asia purposefully getting together to listen to biblical broadcasts on the radio during a car ride. It is a “workaround” which almost resembles a mobile house church.
“It’s basically an opportunity for people to hear God’s Word in their heart language and then discuss, ‘How do I obey this? How do I apply this to my life today? What does this mean?’ It gives that opportunity for people to grow in their faith — not in isolation, but even in concert with other believers who are like-minded,” Neal says.
Partnership to Reach Millions
TWR works with hundreds of ministries around the world to provide content in the local heart languages of the people hearing their broadcasts. Together, TWR and other ministries “create and implement a media strategy to use their content in that language or work together with someone in the country to create content to reach the people.” Sometimes it’s as easy as using material already indigenously produced.
Some of the programs are specific to men, women, children, teens, pastoral training, and even provide basic Bible teaching. TWR strives to meet the needs of their listeners, regardless of age or spiritual maturity.
Will you be a part of TWR’s work in Central Asia?
TWR is working to raise $593,000 by the end of 2018. These funds will cover the cost to install and commission this new transmitter. It will also provide for the cost of airtime during the first year. Will you support TWR’s vision by giving to the Silk Road Transmitter?
Also, pray. Pray for the Holy Spirit to open the hearts and minds of people listening to TWR’s broadcasts. Ask God to open the eyes and ears of all those who hear His word through TWR. Finally, pray for God’s hand in raising funds to inaugurate and run the Silk Road Transmitter.