Over the festive season I attended a reunion and was talking to a friend who I had not seen for a year. We spent the time filling each other in on what we had been doing and our experiences since our last conversation. It is a typical topic that happens at these gatherings and as I looked around there were huddles of people “catching-up”.
Quickly the topic turned to work and he asked me what HopeChannel had done in the past year. I started listing off the achievements of 2011 and as the list got longer and longer I realised that the past year heralded a major accomplishment for the Adventist Church, for 2011 was the year that “Hope went to the world”. Here are some of the most significant highlights from 2011:
These blessings come because our church members support the ministry through donations and prayer.
In February, HopeChannel launched its North Africa and Middle East channel ‘Al Waad’, which broadcasts in Arabic to this highly sensitive region. The media centre, which is in Beirut, Lebanon, has received thousands of emails and requests for Bibles and Bible studies, and many people have since accepted the Gospel and Jesus. You can visit <www.al-waad.tv/en> to see samples of the programs.
In May, HopeChannel launched into India where the local production team has already produced more than 1000 programs in local languages. The broadcast has been picked up by many of the cable TV providers across the country.
In July, HopeChannel launched into China which has a population of over 1 billion. Chinese speaking expatriates around the world and a local Chinese production team have been preparing local language programs ready for the launch and have currently produced over 2500 original programs. The response has been amazing and has been coming in from across the country.
Also in July, HopeChannel opened its studios in Indonesia and has obtained a national broadcast licence in the world’s largest Muslim country. With programs in local languages and respecting the local culture, the TV programs have been highly popular. One program , A talk show for families, was rated as one of the most popular shows by audiences.
These four new HopeChannels represent a huge initiative to penetrate this vast region known as the 10/40 window where there are few Christians and very few Adventists. Television media in local languages and cultures is one of the most effective ways to share the Gospel with the billions of people living in these countries. Additionally, HopeChannel extended its ability to reach the population:
◗ HopeChannel now broadcasts online in over 15 languages.
◗ Anyone in the world with a smart phone can watch HopeChannel live.
◗ HopeChannel Radio is bringing people into churches in Australia and New Zealand
◗ Solomon Islands switched on HopeChannel TV free-to-air broadcasting
◗ Regionally HopeChannel created nearly 200 new original programs
◗ Many Pacific Islands are broadcasting free-to-air HopeChannel TV and Radio
It’s been said that “no matter where you go in the world you can find Coke and Adventists”. Well, since 2011, that saying can change to “Coke, Adventists and HopeChannel”.
HopeChannel is a unique media ministry amongst all the Christian faiths: there is no other channel that reaches so many people across the globe with programs in their own language and culture.
HopeChannel international president Brad Thorpe, recently confided in me that to date more than two million people have been baptised through HopeChannel broadcasts and associated world wide HopeChannel NET events, and we pray. that this is only the beginning of the ministry of sharing the Gospel to the world.
Obviously the work and ministry of HopeChannel is not the work of one or two people. It is not even the work of a small group of leaders.
These blessings come because our church members support the ministry through donations and prayer, enabling the HopeChannel team to use the talents God has entrusted to us to further this ministry. Ministry for Jesus is not an obligation or a right, it is a privilege. And ministry with HopeChannel is a great privilege for all of us.
2011 was an amazing year, a year that hope went to the world, but this is just the start, for in 2012 HopeChannel will redefine Adventist broadcasting and launch a new era of Christian TV.