March 2015 Newsletter

dibbun

One of the first pictures of “Dibbun”

When Elyse announced her pregnancy, I’m not sure I really believed her. When we got the first ultrasound… well hearing our baby’s heartbeat for the first time was thrilling!  In that moment we knew our lives were about to get interesting!  We’ve decided to affectionately call our baby “Dibbun” while he/she is in the womb.  Elyse is due July 2nd.

Meanwhile Elyse’s Ebola programs are out and broadcasting in 6 languages, including English and French from Nigeria to the Ivory Coast on our medium wave transmitter. We are also broadcasting on local FM stations in the affected countries. One broadcaster told Elyse he especially wants to get the message out about Ebola since kids in Liberia are allowed back to school this month.

jway_kids

Kids and a fellow leader J-Way

Elyse also started using Friday nights to volunteer for J-way, our church’s children’s ministry. Many of these kids are from the neighborhood and are un-churched.  She has 10 to 15 grade 6 and 7 kids at J-way (the second biggest group!) They are discovering who is God, what is sin and why do we need a Savior? The kids are throwing good questions at Elyse thick and fast. One girl, Lynn, told Elyse that she wondered what test we will have to get into heaven. Elyse was able to share the gospel with the whole class. Please pray for these students that they would come to salvation. We even have a boy, Danial, who is Muslim. He has had a rough start in life and has quite an attitude. Please pray that he will experience God’s perfect love here and for Elyse and her helpers to have patience.

We had the privilege of seeing one of my (Ryan) cousins on her way passing through Johannesburg.  It was a fresh reminder of home and family.  We had a great time catching up and talking about all of South Africa’s idiosyncrasies that make us American’s look twice.  Thanks Brittany for taking some time to spoil us with a little bit of home.

How Social Media Impacts African Communities

One of the things you learn in another culture is how some differences are very subtle, but extremely important. One of the things I’ve noticed in Africa is just how important being able to talk to someone is.  This became clear during a lunch conversation I had with a a South African colleague who is working on our social media pilot project: “Tools for Wise Leadership.”

Social media in Africa may be one of the most important parts of media ministry.  Africans love to talk, they love to say hello.  When we broadcast a facebook page or WhatsApp number to contact someone, they respond.  In only 3 weeks, my colleague has had 250 people message him on WhatsApp. While some of the conversations go deep, he told me some of the people will simply  say good morning and if he hasn’t responded by nighttime, they say “good evening.”  Sometimes ministry in Africa is just being willing to say hello and be open to friendship.

As part of my LinguaDMS role, I’ve been helping get Tools for Wise Leadership online and available on TWR360.  It’s been a great encouragement to play a small part in this project and to see the ministry grow.  If you’d like to check it out, you can view it online at http://www.twr360.org/ministry/116/

 

As always, we appreciate your time and support.  Please take the time to read the listener letter this month:  What Bible Over the Radio Really Means

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