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.
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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.