I had a very satisfying and encouraging visit with the leadership staff of Voice of Love (FEBC) Cambodia in mid- June. There were a number of action items as part of the visit. My main goal was to continue in person a review of their progress against strategic plan goals that I had been working on via email with Field Director Makara. The strategic plan is aggressive and calls for reaching each locality of Cambodia with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They have made significant progress over the last 18 months.
To reach all of Cambodia a combination of media channels including radio, player boxes, streaming audio, audio on demand, social media and staff visits will be needed. In the coming months pray as the team seeks to expand their listener base through upgrade of a translator station in Kampong Thom, expanded player box distribution and an experimental effort to recruit new listeners to our on line platforms in several provincial cities.
In addition to the strategic plan review, I took the opportunity to train and work hand in hand with the management team on some basic project management skills in order to encourage deeper planning discipline and a more organized approach. This kind of short teaching combined with side by side work/coaching provides groundwork and practice in skills along with making progress in planning out areas of strategy that have not yet received a deep review.
Most organizations are able to execute project work and day to day operations but are challenged to do a good job of project definition. I encourage the question “what will this look like/include when it is done?” Training in the discipline of creating a work breakdown structure puts a tool for good definition in the hands of the staff. Teaching, coaching, encouraging and reinforcing all lead to slow steady uptake of business skills. This is one of the ways that I can add value to our project and strategic planning processes and the ability of our field staff to use them.
In addition to the work with strategic planning and coaching in planning methods I was able to work on the details of the Kampong Thom project and also did my part to hold another Amateur Radio Exam Session at National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia. We had an NPIC teach pass the test as a new technician class ham.
Talas, Kyrgyzstan is the location of FEBC’s newest FM station.
Thanks to the all our partners. Now your ministry reaches to the depth of Kyrgyzstan, TALAS. This region is very difficult and spiritually tense. There till now, there is shamanism, occultism, sacrifice for the spirits of dead people. Islam is spreading in the same place, and now the Truth of the Gospel will come there.
FEBC’s fourth station in Kyrgyzstan has officially been launched in the city of Talas, an important regional hub in the northwestern part of the country. The new station is set to reach a potential 250,000 people. This is the fourth station of six in a plan to spread the gospel via radio through all of Kyrgyzstan. The new station will be led by Rev. Ulanbek Karypov, a Talas local.
During a recent visit to Talas, Rev. Karypov met with some old friends to share the gospel and talk about FEBC’s goals for the new FM station.
“I could see a real hunger in their eyes for the Good News of salvation,” he said. “People need Jesus more than anything. We hope that our radio station will introduce Christ to these people who are drowning in darkness. They need to hear the Good News, believe in Jesus as their Savior and Lord, and follow Him.”
Guy and the rest of the Engineering Service Team have enjoyed their technical consulting role and their role in assisting with major purchases for the station expansion in Kyrgyzstan. The work they do, though vital to a well built station, isn’t something that regular people, even those who work in the studio will see. But the local engineer and the EST know what it takes to get a strong signal to people who need to hear about Jesus. As each person shares their faith, love for the Lord and God given skills the Kingdom grows.
With the retirement of the former director of FEBC Thailand your prayer support becomes critical. Transitions in leadership are always a challenge and give our enemy a chance to oppose the ministry. Please pray for new FEBC Thailand field director Noppakhun as he works to encourage the staff, stabilize funding and keep the many Transnational Ethnic Tribal Language broadcasts that he supervises going strong.
With your prayers and financial support behind me we are able to make a consistent effort to provide business advice, consulting, organizational help and especially friendship and encouragement to Noppakhun Prasobkiatkit the new Field Director of FEBC Thailand. It is an understatement to call this a bumpy transition and continued support including my presence physically and via today’s modern communication channels is making a difference. Nopp has a spectrum of problems to deal with urgently including encouraging the staff, growing the field’s financial support base, maintaining tribal language production in 16 different languages and meeting all the many partners of FEBC Thailand who he is expected to work with.
Nopp, a tribal ethnic language producer within FEBC Thailand for a number of years, is the best choice to ensure the ministry moves forward, but he faces a steep learning curve. FEBC International with your help has committed my help in providing business coaching, financial review and support, assistance with funding proposals and liaison with other funding partners that support the ministry.
In conjunction with Ed Cannon, FEBC USA President and FEBC International Chairman and Kevin Keegan, President of FEBC Australia and FEBC International Executive Committee point of contact for this work, I am spending a lot of time and travel making sure that this ministry continues strong. It is going to be a regular travel destination for me over the next few months.
Your prayer and financial support make you a significant partner in the ministry as FEBC broadcasts a number of languages into remote tribal areas using large transmitters and even larger antennas located in Iba and Bocuae, Philippines. Most of the programming broadcast is recorded secretly inside our creative access and closed countries by local pastors and programmers then sent to the Philippines by internet.
The pastors and programmers visit the remote areas where our listeners live, often traveling for days from village to village spreading the good news of the Gospel. On a recent visit the staff reported 2 new tribal language listeners received Jesus
“Yesterday. A new language listeners come to a small church in mountain. They want to see the radio programmer. Some of them requested to receive the Lord. The programmer said to me. There are many people listening a good news on radio. so he bought some radios to give.”
In this particular language and place our broadcaster’s life is in danger because he shares the Gospel in his own heart language to his own tribe. Pray for the safety of all our programmers and pastors working in dangerous areas and pray that FEBC will continue to see the harvest of fruit for the kingdom of God everywhere that listeners can hear our programming.
According to my records we are currently providing content to listeners in 109 languages reaching people in 49 different countries using AM, FM, Short Wave, audio on demand, mp3 player boxes, live streaming and via many social media channels all in order to communicate the Good News among the nations by media, to inspire people to follow Jesus Christ.
Your support of “Radio” ministry in the modern day is something much broader than AM, FM and ShortWave broadcasts. To quote a now somewhat dated commercial, “this isn’t your parent’s radio.” At FEBC most of our languages have a broadcast, a web stream, audio on demand download and increasingly an App for smartphone that lets listeners find the content they want and form relationships with our country/language ministries via social media. A good example of an on line web presence that will ask if you want to get the App for your phone is our new Cantonese local web radio offered by FEBC Hong Kong: SooRadio.net.
As of today, FEBC has more than 38 languages with streaming or audio on demand web services and at least 20 languages where the ministry has deployed a smart phone App. I use the word at least because this area of ministry development is happening so quickly and in so many countries that my information is always behind the times.
And it isn’t just the big languages with a web presence. With the ability to use templates provided by major app platforms even our tribal languages can mange to have Apps and a web presence. You know kids these days always have a smart phone in their hand and they can watch or listen to any content they want. We all work to promote professional content development by our fields and language teams so that they can compete with secular media for the clicks, likes and downloads that measure ministry effectiveness today.
FEBC is still committed to AM, FM and ShortWave radio too. Each of these different media channels is effective in its own right and when targeted to appropriate language and cultural groups. Even in the late 70’s, FEBC was focused on Short Wave radio as the only channel that was available in most of the areas where we work. Now the first step in planting a new radio/web/social media ministry is to do an on the ground survey to find out what where the target population goes in terms of media channels for their news, information and entertainment. Using that information we can target a mix of effective channels to use in reaching that group for the gospel. The goal is to be fruitful and efficient in ministry as we seek to reach people from every tribe and tongue and nation. Thank you for supporting Chris and I, and FEBC International, as we pursue that goal.
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The EMDC Conference is a private event, so pictures and names are limited. This year over 700 people attended from 63 countries. Many of the countries represented would include closed and creative access countries. The conference is held in alternate years either in Netherlands or in Chiangmai Thailand. Ahead of the actual EMDC is a Pre-EMDC training event.
Pre-EMDC is a Training Opportunity
The Content, Audience Relations, and Research (CAR) Team of the IST uses this event as a focal point for getting FEBC’s content creators together when the venue is Chaingmai. It is much cheaper for our teams to come to Thailand than to go to Western Europe. The CAR Team encourages our national staff to attend the pre-EMDC Training which included 19 training tracks this year. Some of the many tracks offered were:
Video Production/Radio Production for Beginners
Creating Bible Comics for your Culture
Advanced Audio/Radio Production
Hands-On Orality Training with ‘Simply The Story’
Scripture Engagement: New Insights in Missiology
Social Media and Digital Engagement: Discipleship and Development
And many more
Working with our field leaders, the CAR Team helps the staff select training tracks that align with their field’s needs and their roles within FEBC. Our many field staff don’t get together regularly, so these opportunities are priceless in providing the kind of interactions that lead to innovation and creativity, both of which are needed to conceive, write and produce the kind of content that will draw an audience and lead them to Jesus.
FEBC Field staff from Russia, Ukraine, Mongolia, Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia and India sent staff. The IST was represented by Bob, Jeff and Guy. Bob heads the CAR Team, Jeff is our newest CAR Team member and Guy was there to lend gravitas 🙂 ; Guy was also there for several other meetings with different mission organizations that were scheduled during Pre-EMDC training.
The four main goals of the EMDC are:
To provide a meeting place where those engaged in minority language work (whether in-country or displaced) can interact with communication and media specialists to develop media strategies, explore the use of ethno-arts, and assess and prioritize media products.
To network existing regional media organizations with minority language teams for present or future partnerships on actual, doable projects.
To help those with some material to be able to record, edit, mix, and finish their project in hands-on workshops (or at a minimum connect with those who will see them through to the end).
To provide a venue where minority language workers can express their media-related needs, learn from one another in areas of methodology and strategy, and explore ways in which they might share resources.
What takes place?
In addition to plenary sessions, workshops, and training, language-specific, country-specific, or ethnic group-specific working groups will be meeting. Specific ethnic groups will discuss language programs and language planning.
EMDC is a multi-agency consultation that meets alternately in Asia and Europe. Minority language workers in the greater Eurasia region meet with media specialists (radio, TV, Internet, mobile, social media), IT Technicians, recording specialists, graphic artists, digital publishers, and specialists in Orality and Ethno-Arts.
It was joy to be together, first, with so many of our creative and motivated content creation staff. I am humbled by how the Lord has blessed Chris and I through our obedience to his call to FEBC with opportunities to have so many friends from many countries who are passionate about Jesus. I love to give of my life in whatever way necessary to see them grow in their capacity to minister.
I came away from the EMDC Conference proper with some strong impressions:
FEBC should do more of the “lifting” to assist with this conference since it is very valuable to us and we bring a large contingent.
More of our fields and especially our minority language folks would be encouraged and their skills strengthened if they attended. I will be making a push to have these folks invited to attend in two years and possibly have a Transnational Ethnic Minority Language meeting of FEBC during the next conference in Chiangmai.
We have ministry partners who would benefit from attending. I will add them to the “secret” mailing list so they will be informed.
I appreciate Bob’s passion for coming along side our content teams and encouraging them to experiment and grow in their ability to be effective ministers to their audiences.
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Just returning from the FEBC International’s International Committee Conference (ICC) and the buzz is that it was one of the best ever. I think that is because of your prayer support. Whenever people from so many countries get together, it is prayer support, that makes sure relationships stay positive and ensures that real communication takes place among the participants.
Each year all of the Field Directors and Chairperson’s of the board gather as the official governing body of FEBC International Association. There are meetings where these representatives take up the business of FEBC, vote to elect new Association officers, review and vote on any proposed changes to the membership and have plenty of fellowship. Sharing stories of challenges, best practices and wisdom that comes from experience is a very important part of the gathering.
Accomplishments of Note
Your prayers had an impact on this year’s annual FEBC IC Conference. All the participants agreed that it was incredibly productive and that our field directors and board chairmen did a lot of relationship building. Key accomplishments to celebrate at the ICC were:
FEBC welcomed Kyrgyzstan as a new member field of FEBC Internatinal
FEBC welcomed new associate field Ukraine
To provide better accountability and to protect the name of FEBC, the IC delegated more authority to the Executive Committee to enforce the charter standards of FEBC International
Announced initial funding for and creation of a new International Growth Fund, administered by the Executive Committee to promote strategic efforts to expand the ministry of FEBC
International Service Team – FEBC International
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News
Left to right: Guy, Brigit, Mike, Jeff, Vicki, Owen, David, Barb, Vaughan, Bob, Jonathan
The International Service team attends the ICC each year. The team’s admin group, Barb, Vicki, Brigit and Vaughan along with International Service Coordinator Guy support the operation of the convention. The other team members attend because its very cost effective to be present when all of your “clients” are in the same place at the same time. Everyone was able to get together at the ICC this year except Eila, who stayed home to take care of her husband as he recovers from a difficult illness.