Since Jan. 2, the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan has seen some of its worst violent unrest and unrest since gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
However, amid these troubles, hope shines.
Trans World Radio (TWR) broadcasts uplifting gospel-centered programs that can be heard via a medium wave (AM) signal without skipping a beat.
Blackouts, nationwide blackouts, blockages of mobile phone services and social media suspensions highlight the strategic relevance of radio.
Fourteen different program series with a total of more than 21 hours of content per week are broadcast to young and old across Kazakhstan. They have been translated and produced by Kazakh speakers and in other regional languages.
TWR seeks to be the voice of a friend who is also there when needed so that the seeds of the Good News of Jesus Christ can be planted and grow.
Over the past two years, TWR teams in Central Asia have diligently distributed radios, players and SD cards with their programs.
Now that the citizens of Kazakhstan have not had access to the Internet for almost a week, it is still possible to listen to the hope of the gospel through these radio stations scattered throughout the country.
A letter from a sister: “Greetings to you people of God. I am very happy that God is working through you. I am Christian; I like to praise God. My family is against my faith in Jesus, I can’t go to church and no one visits me. I hear the Word of God through your radio broadcast and glorify Him. Be blessed in him.
A listener recently responded by sharing with TWR, “Hello, got the radio. You have no idea what gift you gave me. Thanks very much. I am so happy; I can’t even hold back my tears. Thank you.”
A testimony: We were in a city visiting our brothers and sisters, and in the evening the owner of the house invited his relatives. We communicated and our brothers preached the gospel to them.
There was a young man among them, when everyone left, he stayed and listened to the Word of God, and when they offered him to accept Jesus as his Lord and Saviour, he said that there would think.
Then I remembered the program: Now is the time to make a decision. I told him about this topic, after the story they again asked, “Well, do you still think about it?” He immediately replied that he had already thought about it and that he had accepted Jesus into his life, that he had repented of his sins and that he had become a believer.
Another listener asked, “Can I share these programs with others?” I have friends who live in the villages; I want them to know Jesus too.
While the barriers to holding religious events away from state-registered places of worship seem to be increasing, the availability of radio programs is very important.
For many Protestant churches and groups, gospel content on the radio may well be one of the few reliable sources for answering seekers’ questions and nurturing the faith of local believers.
The scope of TWR’s various programs in Kazakhstan can be found here.
After days of uncertainty with unstable communication connections, TWR’s Ministry Director for Central Asia shared with gratitude that TWR’s local friends are all safe and doing well, given the circumstances.
He added, “Please also join us in praying to the Lord for stability and peace to return to Kazakhstan soon.”
Written by Becky C. Matthews – Becky has been a volunteer writer and editor for TWR Europe and CAMENA since 2013. This story originally appeared to Evangelical Focus and is republished here with permission.