UNICEF recently reported disturbing news out of Nigeria, where Boko Haram insurgents are using children as “human bombs” in the northeast part of the country.
According to UNICEF, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, the past year has seen a four-fold increase in the number of children, especially girls, used as suicide bombers. A UNICEF spokesperson told the Voice of America news outlet that 83 children were forced into these missions—55 girls under the age of 15 and 27 boys—that target markets, schools, universities and displacement camps.
In 2009, The Tide® global radio ministry began broadcasting Gospel programming in Nigeria in the Efik language. Since then, programs in more languages have been steadily added, and listeners can currently hear broadcasts from The Tide in 11 different languages, with the potential to be heard by millions of people who do not yet know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
“The level of human suffering in our world today can seem overwhelming and insurmountable,” said Director Don Shenk. “And while we are instruments used by God, only He can change the hearts of those inflicting this terrible pain. In difficult times like these, God’s Word is needed more than ever in places of turmoil. We are honored to be able to share Gospel programming in Nigeria, which has brought joy to new Christians. In fact, one Nigerian listener compared the joy of Tide radio broadcasts to new wine. This listener feedback illustrates how wonderful life can be when we place trust in Jesus.”
With a population of almost 115 million, Shenk added, Nigeria is the most highly populated country in Africa and has an incredibly diverse population. More than 470 languages are spoken in Nigeria, and many don’t have the opportunity to hear about Jesus in their own language.
An important aspect of our ministry in Nigeria is the “Radios for Nigeria” project. Although the country is rich in agricultural land, mineral resources and oil reserves, a third of the population lives below the poverty level and are too poor to buy a radio. Generous donors who give just $40 to The Tide allow villagers to have a radio through which they can learn more about the saving grace of Jesus—in the languages they were born to speak.
Later this year, The Tide will offer programming in its 25th heart language—Isaan, spoken by 19 million people in Thailand. That initiative joins Thailand to multiple regions of Albania, Bhutan, India, Kosovo, Nepal, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, where The Tide is already active in broadcasting Gospel radio programming—in the languages people were born to speak.
The Tide is also planning several local events this month, including the following:
- September 21: The Tide Promotional Dinner, 6 to 8 p.m. at Mechanicsburg Brethren in Christ Church, 1050 South York Street, Mechanicsburg, PA. Attendees at the free event will have the opportunity to learn more about The Tide and hear music from By the Way. Learn more or register here.
- September 28: The Tide 3rd Annual Fall Golf Benefit, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Bridges, 6729 York Road in Abbottstown, PA. Cost is $90 and registrations may be made online here.