As we approach the end of the year and a time of celebrating the birth of the Messiah - our Redeemer, Master, Lord and Savior – The Tide radio ministry wishes you a wonderful and blessed Christmas celebration! 2015 has been a busy year for The Tide ministry, pursuing our mission to creatively share the Good News of Jesus Christ worldwide through media and partnerships.
As I write this Christmas greeting, I have some exciting news to report, and some equally thrilling opportunities that God has opened for us and I’m praying that you will continue joining hands with us to share Christ with many more people who are lost. I’m also happy to announce that 2016 will be The Tide ministry’s 70th anniversary! We are so blessed to have friends like you who make it possible to perpetuate this longstanding effective ministry of reaching people with the truth of salvation, hope and peace in Jesus. As we reach this milestone year, I want to unveil some incredible opportunities God has opened for us to initiate new efforts and expand our ministry so we may share the gospel with even more people in their own language.
Additional Day of Programming in the Albanian Language
Last December, I reported that Radio 7 in Albania had approached The Tide for assistance in establishing a radio-based church planting ministry there. At the time, Radio 7 was broadcasting in some highly populated areas, but the majority of its programs were translations of North American ministries that primarily focused on believers. The Tide had the amazing opportunity to produce programs in the native language of Albanians that would reach out to many unbelievers in that nation.
Through the power of God, and the prayers and support of faithful saints like you, this opportunity has become a reality! This year we began working with three Albanian pastors to produce and air radio programs in two major cities in Albania, and also in one city in neighboring Kosovo, where Albanian is the official language. The letters from our Albanian listeners have been emotionally overwhelming as we see God using the radio messages of these faithful pastors to meet the spiritual needs of their own people!
Here are just a couple of the testimonies we’ve received from Albania:
Andi, a police officer, said he listens to the Albanian-language radio program at work and at home. One time there was a big family problem, and he and his wife were desperate for a solution. God spoke to him while listening to the radio, so he talked to the local pastor and God answered his family’s prayers. He said, “It was only a miracle that God saved us. Now we have started to believe as a family and we pray when we are together. Thanks to the programs we are blessed. God is good.”
Another Albanian listener, Edita, said she loves listening to The Tide messages, which are very clear and easy for her to understand. She said, “The programs have encouraged me to be obedient to God and walk in righteousness. I loved the one preaching about listening to God and understanding His call for our lives. I can feel the love of God and His compassion flowing from the program. This program has been God’s answer to my hungry heart.”
While our one program in Shkoder, Albania airs two days a week, our current budget only provides for one day per week for each of the other pastors in their respective cities. Our goal is to provide the resources for the pastors in Tirana, Albania and Kosovo to each add a second day of programming every week. This will provide additional support for new believers and potentially increase the number of people who tune in and hear the Gospel message!
Implement Isaan Language Media Ministry in Thailand
In the beautiful country of Thailand, Christians make up less than two percent of the population. But God has opened doors for The Tide ministry to share God’s Word in this predominantly Buddhist nation! We have entered into an agreement with a ministry partner in Thailand to produce and air Gospel messages in the Isaan language, which is spoken by 19 million people in the country. Our goal is to begin airing the Isaan programs in 2016. This will greatly assist the work of our partner agency that is working to raise up disciples and plant house churches among the Isaan people, who may have never before heard of Jesus Christ.
Completion of the New Studio in Zimbabwe
As you may have read in The Tide newsletter, plans are on track to complete a new studio in Zimbabwe that will provide the facility for additional heart language programming to be produced and broadcast there so that more people in that region can hear about Jesus. It will also enable our partner ministry in that region to become a self-sustaining indigenous ministry. However, due to the high rate of inflation in Zimbabwe, we still need an additional $60,000 to complete the studio.
We praise God for the opportunity to assist our brothers and sisters in Southern Africa with this studio, and pray that you will help financially to complete this task!
Establish a Church Planter in Bangladesh
One of the 22 languages officially recognized by the government in India is Bengali, which makes up the fourth largest people group in India. While The Tide ministry has been working with the Bengali people of Northern India for almost 20 years, there are over 100 million additional Bengali people in neighboring Bangladesh as well, who up until this point can only hear the Bengali radio program via shortwave.
Our vision is to support a full-time Christian worker there to disciple Bengali listeners and plant churches. This is a great opportunity to change lives and plant churches in Bangladesh!
Add a Discipleship Worker Among the Tharu in Nepal
Since 2004, The Tide ministry has distributed a weekly Christian radio program in the Asian country of Nepal, and in 2013 added a second Christian program in the Tharu language. Currently the pastor who preaches on our Tharu language radio program is attempting to keep up with the volume of listener response, while also shepherding his own congregation. In the coming year, we hope to support a dedicated discipleship worker who would have greater freedom to travel throughout the Tharu region to disciple listeners and plant more churches among them.
Unfortunately, Nepal’s strained relationship with neighboring India has put The Tide work in danger. There is great tension with India because, among other grievances, Nepal’s new constitution declares Nepal a secular state and not a Hindu nation. To voice its disapproval, India has imposed travel and trade restrictions between the two countries. Consequently, it has become very difficult for The Tide ministry workers in India to travel to Nepal to begin to recruit and train a new discipleship worker.
Please help us pray for peace between India and Nepal, and for The Tide ministry’s ability to continue reaching people with the good news of Jesus Christ there.
The people of Nepal remain spiritually hungry, despite dedication to numerous Gods, and are more open to the Gospel than ever before. We pray for peace so that we can safely enter Nepal and fulfill our vision to reach them with the Gospel. Please help us share the truth that God loves each and every one of us—and He is waiting with open arms to accept all those who come to Him.
In addition to reaching more people internationally, I am happy to report that The Tide ministry has partnered with The Stand Strong Tour, hosted by Alex McFarland and Jason Jimenez of Stand Strong Ministries. The U.S. tour is firmly intended to embolden Christians to stand strong in knowing, believing and proclaiming the truth of Christianity.
The Tide is working with the Stand Strong Tour as a means of reaching out specifically to young people, to educate them about our work and how they can become involved in helping us reach the lost around the world, and in their own neighborhoods. With a booth and video message at each event, we are encouraging youth to sign up for The Tide “Have You Heard?” challenge. The challenge is to ask at least ten people during the coming year if they have heard what Jesus did for them. If someone responds that they have not heard, the door is then opened for them to share God’s plan of salvation or their own testimony and invite the person to church. Hundreds of teens and young adults have already accepted the challenge!
Truly, The Tide mission is not only an effort of our ministry staff and volunteers, but also depends on you, as well as every indigenous partner who faithfully labors for the cause of Christ.
Here is a recap and details of The Tide ministry's needs for 2016:
Additional day of programming in Albania $2,600
Additional day of programming in Kosovo $3,640
Implement Isaan broadcast in Thailand $6,000
Completion of the new studio in Zimbabwe $60,000
Establish a church planter in Bangladesh $1,200
Add a discipleship worker in Nepal $600
As you have been faithful to support The Tide ministry, God has been faithful to reach thousands upon thousands of lost people and provide indigenous partners working on the ground around the world in the most difficult to reach places. These precious believers work with The Tide ministry to bring the love of Jesus to their nations through radio programming, Bible and literature distribution, discipleship activities, and continual follow-up with the local pastors.
You are a critical part of The Tide global outreach team, and I deeply appreciate your friendship and support. Thank you so much for your encouraging partnership, prayers and provision!
We continue to be in awe of God’s power to change the hearts of people worldwide. Nothing is too hard for our God. Would you join with us today to bring the hope of the Gospel to even more people who live in the shadow of darkness? We are so grateful for your support!