Over the past few weeks I have tried to write this newsletter, without results. It wasn’t for a lack of need for prayer for those who serve the Lord through Christian media. Call it writer’s block, busyness, the urgent pushing out the important. It’s probably a little bit of all that.
There is another factor, too. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the pain, hurt, and need in our world. Whether it is bombings in the Middle East, fighting along the Ukraine-Russia border, or the pain of sickness and death here in our land. I, like many others, begin to long for that day when the wrong will be set right, the sickness will be healed, and the tears wiped away.
And then Easter comes.
Understanding the dramatic changes Jesus went through, from accolades on Palm Sunday, to betrayal by one of His disciples, to the rejection of many of His followers. Of course…His scourging, humiliation, and crucifixion on the Roman cross. Yet, all that was wiped away by his resurrection from the grave. Death conquered. Sin defeated. Hope established for all who put their trust in the Savior. Hope. Assurance. No matter what happens in this life. We have His hope for eternal life with Christ, with God. Good News!
My friend Nik Ripken shared a post on Facebook recently about a young lady who has terminal cancer. It is an amazing account of assurance in the midst of uncertainty. Upon hearing of the terminal nature of her disease, this young Christian lady said:
I continually pray, maybe even harder now, with as much hope that I can in my feeble human brain muster that the same God that raised Jesus from the dead, kept King Hezekiah from death, who redeemed Job from his trials, who redeemed Israel from the slavery of Egypt, and the One who sent His son to walk in our human flesh and perform many works and miracles, can work in my body and put an end to this leukemia and prolong my life.
But, even if He does not, and that is not part of His plan, He is good and He remains more than faithful and true. Only in Him can I find comfort as I wrestle with the unknown, the hardships to come, and find peace in what His will may be. The Lord has blessed me immeasurably through this cancer journey.
I also recently received a message from a young lady I met in Ukraine a few years ago. We originally talked about her potential career as a journalist. But last year, she told me God was leading her in another direction. With great excitement and joy, Eugenia told me the Lord was leading her to go near the front line of the conflict in Ukraine to minister to the people there. Some of the places where she is serving have been shelled. She has faced hardship, danger, and even the death of her father while there. Yet, her joy remains. In her message to me, Eugenia writes:
My goal is to bring the gospel to people. Here, very many have lost hope and are particularly in need of the faith and love of Christ. Therefore, there is a need for ministers. Most pastors and ministers left this region a long time ago, but praise God not everyone. There are those who have remained faithful, who have made the decision to be with God’s people and serve until the end. Such people inspire me…. I go where my Lord leads me. He is my Love, my Beloved, He is my whole life. The knowledge of His depths and His will is worth any price, it’s worth the whole world. Eugenia from Ukraine
Life here is not easy and especially dangerous for a Ukrainian journalist, even a former one. But I believe that this is God’s will for me at this time. By my own will, I would never have come back here. My life is in His hands and I trust Him…
My goal is to bring the gospel to people. Here, very many have lost hope and are particularly in need of the faith and love of Christ. Therefore, there is a need for ministers. Most pastors and ministers left this region a long time ago, but praise God not everyone. There are those who have remained faithful, who have made the decision to be with God’s people and serve until the end. Such people inspire me….
I go where my Lord leads me. He is my Love, my Beloved, He is my whole life. The knowledge of His depths and His will is worth any price, it’s worth the whole world.
Eugenia from Ukraine
Worth the whole world.
Do you get the picture? Are you seeing what God is showing me? There is nothing more important than knowing Jesus, loving Him, and following His will…even if it means hardship, pain, yes…even death.
In Nik Ripken’s post, he reminded me that God doesn’t waste anything, even the pain and hardship in our lives, if we give these things…everything…to Him. I’m working at it. I have a long way to go. But I am inspired by these ahead of me on this journey.
Prayer Needs and Ministry Opportunities
National Religious Broadcasters
The 2017 NRB Convention in Orlando, Florida, gave MEDIAlliance the opportunity to connect with many of our international friends and ministry partners. We welcomed some 30 guests to our small suite during the convention, and visited with many more at the conference. We were especially moved by the presentation brought by Rita El Mounayer of SAT-7, a Christian television ministry that reaches the Middle East and North Africa. The topic, “Is There Hope for the Middle East,” was answered in the speech with a resounding “yes!” We are blessed each time we have the opportunity to fellowship with these great servants of Christ who have such a heart for their people and the Gospel.
I am excited for two broadcast ministries in Albania. Radio 7, based in Tirana, will mark their 15th anniversary in May, and I will have the privilege of being there with them to celebrate and honor the faithfulness and goodness of our Lord. Radio 7 continues to grow in reach and impact. Their five radio stations in Albania and two stations in Kosovo reach most of these two countries with God’s Good News. In addition, they have been placing Christian television programs on secular stations for several years. Now they have begun programming their own Christian TV channel. Their faithfulness is being rewarded as the Lord enlarges their opportunities to take His message of hope to the people of these countries.
Radio Emanuel, in Korce in the central part of Albania, has programming that reaches into Macedonia and Greece. For many years, they have produced programs in those languages as well as Albanian in order to reach as many as possible in their area of influence. They have done this in facilities that have been very small, very humble. Now, by God’s grace, Radio Emanuel will be moving into a new broadcast center very soon. Judy and I will have the joy of being in Korce for the dedication of this beautiful new building that will house ministry offices and adequate studios to produce the various local programs done in the different languages of the region. Again, a faithful ministry, rewarded by the Lord for increased service.
Pray for both of these ministries. At times, there is pressure from the government and from the mostly Muslim culture. Yet they remain strong and at the task of telling their world about the saving hope found in Jesus Christ.
Our recent media training conference in Kyiv was a great blessing. We had the largest attendance in the three years MEDIAlliance has assisted Novomedia with this media training.
Over 170 people registered from four countries. Many from outside Kyiv drove or came by train, often traveling eight or more hours to be at the conference. God is blessing us with great friends who desire to be more and more effective in sharing the Gospel with people who need His hope.
In addition, we have had outstanding instructors who invest of themselves in the lives of those attending. In the picture are Gary Longenecker, Lee Ann Jackson, myself, Bernie McPartland, and John McKinnon.
Our thanks to Ruslan Kukharchuk and his team at Novomedia. Please pray for them as they continue to build up the influence of Christian media in Ukraine, and bring the Lord’s Truth to the people of that land.
Last year at our training conference we learned that the government had granted nine more radio licenses for Christian broadcasting in Ukraine. Most of those stations are now on the air. Pray for the financial and programming needs of these ministries.
This year, we learned of the strong possibility of a new television channel that covers virtually all of Ukraine. The current owners want to sell, and it looks like a strong Christian ministry will be able to take over the channel. It is now reaching out through 400 cable channels and by satellite. There are lots of needs for this to become a reality. Pray for the financial needs and the wisdom needed to program the station in a way that attracts viewers and presents the hope of Christ to all who watch.
For the seventh year, MEDIAlliance will be assisting our friends in India with media training, September 27-29. This year, the conference returns to New Delhi, and it is anticipated that close to 500 will attend the media training and general sessions. This has grown into a major event in the India evangelical world, and is helping to prepare media professionals and ministry leaders to use all the media tools available today for God’s purpose and His glory.
Be in prayer for the Indian Christian Media Association and their leadership team, along with the many partners who will take part in this amazing gathering.
International Media Leadership Summit
In October, MEDIAlliance will again bring over 40 Christian media leaders from all over the world to Dallas to a media summit designed to encourage, refresh, enrich, and enable these leaders to better proclaim the Gospel in their cultures and countries. This ministry, through generous donors, will cover the costs of the event, and our friends at Dallas Baptist University will again host the sessions. Pray for the right people to commit to come, and that those who need visas from the US government will not have a barrier to attending.
We are currently seeking the needed funding for the Summit and other MEDIAlliance ministry work. Pray for donors to partner with us in this work, and to meet the needs of MEDIAlliance in the various training events this year.
Someone asked me the other day if MEDIAlliance was a “consultant” to those in Christian media around the world. In a sense, we are. But, realistically, I never think of it that way. First, it sounds like a business, that we get paid by the ministries to come in and train them and help them in their media work. MEDIAlliance actually takes on the “business plan” of the Apostle Paul. In his letters to the people he served, he often mentioned that he was not a “burden” to them, but provided for his own needs while he was with them.
God has led us to do that as well. With gracious friends and donors, we are able to help contribute to the costs of the events we help with, often covering the expenses of the venues where the events are held. Our instructors pay for their own transportation, and MEDIAlliance takes care of their housing and meals while serving and teaching. Over these years, it has been our joy to serve this way.
However, we can only do this as God’s people respond to His prompting to give to MEDIAlliance International for this work. If He speaks to you, I hope you will respond. Our website is set up to securely receive credit card donations, and has information on other ways to respond.
You can find out more information by clicking HERE.
Thank you for your prayers, your encouragement, your interest, and your support. The Lord is at work. And it is worth the whole world to serve Him.