January 29, 2016

Little Becomes Much, as The Tide® Global Radio Ministry Celebrates 70 Years

The Tide® radio ministry is celebrating 70 years of impacting people around the world with the good news of Jesus Christ, now offering programming in 23 languages. But that worldwide reach started from something very small. 

“Reflecting on the past 70 years of The Tide ministry, we marvel at the way God took a vision for a local radio ministry reaching one small town and transformed it into a global outreach that is bringing people around the world into relationship with Him,” said The Tide Director Don Shenk. “Discipleship activities and radio programs in 23 languages change thousands of lives. The song and saying is so true: ‘Little becomes much as you place it in the Master’s hand.’”

One example of a life changed is Edita, who wrote to The Tide ministry to say that the new Albanian-language radio program has been God’s answer to her hungry heart. “The programs have encouraged me to be obedient to God and walk in righteousness,” she wrote.

With almost a quarter of the world’s population living within the current range of The Tide radio programming, and nearly 7,000 languages spoken in the world today, the opportunities are tremendous.

The Tide ministry began in 1946 as a 30-minute local radio broadcast in Chambersburg, Pa., known as The Gospel Tide Hour.” Founded by Rev. Charlie Byers, pastor of a church in Chambersburg, the initial mission of “The Gospel Tide Hour” was to reach the Chambersburg community for Christ. Within a few years, the success of the program opened doors to expand into other communities in North America, and by 1963 it had grown into an independent ministry incorporated as the Gospel Tide Broadcasting Association.

In 1975, the ministry became international when it began airing across Southern Africa through short wave radio transmission. This expansion initiated a gradual shift in emphasis from domestic radio programming to a strong emphasis on global missions. In 1978, the Gospel Tide Broadcasting Association began producing programs in other languages in both Africa and India, using indigenous speakers to share the Gospel message in their own language. By the time Charlie Byers passed away in 1996, The Tide ministry was involved in the production and airing of Gospel radio programming in nine languages, and by 2009 that number had grown to 13.

Today, The Tide ministry’s vision for 2016 includes:

Add another day of programming in the Albanian language
Implement the Isaan language in Thailand
See the completion of a new studio in Zimbabwe
Establish a church planter in Bangladesh
Welcome a discipleship worker among the Tharu in Nepal
Initiate a Telugu language radio program in India

For more information about The Tide projects, the 70th anniversary, the Sponsor a Radio program, the “Have You Heard?” Campaign, the weekly Global Update radio features or other news, visit its web site at www.thetide.org or its Facebook page.

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