In 2015, The Tide ministry entered in local partnership with Radio 7 Albania and some local pastors to produce and air Christian radio programs in the Albanian language. These programs, titled ‘Sipas Fjales’ (According to the Word), are being used as church planting tools as pastors make disciples of listeners who respond to the Gospel. The Gospel is clearly being preached and listeners are eagerly responding.
During January, February, and March this year our radio pastors in Albania received 412 phone calls, 323 text messages, and 621 WhatsApp contacts from listeners. Additionally, 285 listeners responded through email, and between our two Albanian radio pastors they were able to meet individually with 96 listeners. The effective outreach and discipleship that The Tide ministry has experienced using radio has prompted us to press on in Albania using television to reach a younger audience.
Pastor Klodi often meets with listeners at the coffee shop operated by his congregation, where he can answer their questions and lead many of them into a saving relationship with Jesus. This cof- fee shop atmosphere was chosen as the setting for the new television show and a suitable set has been constructed in the television studio in Tirana. During the show, which will also feature live music, Pastor Klodi will lead a discussion on different topics that young people are facing in Albania. Each program will be set in a cultural context that today’s youth in Albania will recognize as their own.
Our goal is that the Good News of Jesus Christ will be creatively shared to a media-focused generation of young Albanians that they may have an authentic encounter with the living God. Each episode will conclude with an opportunity to respond to the Gospel and a way for viewers to follow up. Filming for the TV program will take place throughout June. It will then take July and most of August to complete post production before the program can begin airing in September.
We are currently planning for two TV seasons with a break in between recordings. The break will allow for a careful review of the format, content, and to take viewer input into account before recording the second season. The Radio 7 television channel reaches all of Albania and Kosovo through 12 cable networks and 3 digital terrestrial broadcasting companies. The program will also be available in Europe and North America through IPTV and can essentially be watched anywhere there is an internet connection, so that Albanians living abroad will be able to benefit spiritually from this culturally relevant TV program in their own language. This fresh opportunity to share the Good News in Albania is exciting and has the ability to reach thousands of young people for Christ.