TWR Europe’s “Epic Story” from Russia, Ukraine & Belarus
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For the last 25 years, the governments of many former Soviet countries have been attempting to deal with the changing social and economic landscape of the family. Many children living in countries such as Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus must deal with broken families, substance abuse, and neglectful situations. In Kiev, Ukraine, more than 50,000 children live on the streets. Poor economic conditions and the erosion of the family leave little hope for many of these children.
For those same 25 years, Trans World Radio has been broadcasting a message of love and hope to the spiritually impoverished people of the former USSR. At a time when missionaries were forbidden to carry the Word of God across the boundaries of the Iron Curtain, TWR was using the airwaves to bypass the restrictions of Communist governments. And thanks to one woman’s dedication, the children of past and present generations can hear about God’s love.
Susanna Tielmann began producing a children’s program for TWR’s Russian Ministries department in 1981. For the first three years of the broadcasts, Susanna received absolutely no response from listeners. “So it was like getting into the studio, sitting in this little room, and talking to four walls that were listening to you, just imagining that there were these kids who were listening,” she remembers.
Finally, letters and children’s drawings started to arrive. Last year, the Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian Ministries (RUBM) department received more than 2,000 letters from children. TWR’s Partner ministries in these countries have now taken over the production of programs for children. They know the importance of reaching children at a young age. As Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Will you consider joining TWR in its passion for reaching out to the children of the former USSR with God’s love and grace?
““I would like to tell you that I did a lot of bad things in my life, but through your letters I understood a lot. Now my life has changed. I have become kind and do not think about all those bad things that I used to do. You know I never felt as happy as now. Thank you for your help. I thank you and the Lord God... ”—A Child from the Ukraine
“I love the book you sent me. Thank you so much. I used to think that a boy that I know is my best friend, but this book has told me about a far greater Friend than that boy. That is Jesus Christ. He is my best friend. But it does not work – to obey Him always. I constantly get into situations that I cannot easily get out afterwards. And that makes me discouraged. Pray for me please.” —A Child from Belarus
“Dear friends! I am writing to you on behalf of children from a Children’s Home in our city. They are here because their parents are alcoholics, some children have lived on a street before, looking for food in the garbage, some have never known their parents. Most do not know what it means to be cherished by a mother. I am working with them the second year. With great joy I listen to your programs…and then I try to do something for the theological upbringing of these children. I desire for their souls not to remain empty… ”—A Listener in Russia
- Over 50,000 children live alone on the streets of Kiev without a family. What is so important about having a family? How important is your family to you, especially in light of the statistics in this part of the world?
- Over the years, Susanna produced 2,000 programs. For three of those years, however, she received no sign that anyone was listening. Could you work for three years without receiving any tangible results or even a sign that you were accomplishing anything?
- "African Proverb: It takes a village to raise a child." What does this proverb mean? What can your church or group do for your community?
- "Louis Pasteur: When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments; tenderness for what he is, and respect for what he may become." Have you ever thought that the child in your life that you find most difficult might become the most influential in society? Does this have any relation to Proverbs 22:6 - "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it"?
- Chinese Proverb: One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade. Although in the context of children's radio ministry this proverb is not meant literally, is ecology something that Christian communities should be actively involved in and concerned about today?
- "Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted." Lenin spoke these words, accurately describing the power children have over the future. What they learn early on provides the foundation the rest of their life is built on. How much importance do you put on children's ministry? How can we better reach this group with the Gospel?
- Ukraine - "Little Spring"
- Per week - USD $745
- Russian - "Light in the Window"
- Per week - USD $62
- Russian - "Together with God"
- Per week - USD $62
- Russian - "Visits with the Bookworm"
- Per week - USD $62
- Russian - "Interesting RU"
- Per week - USD $125 This program alternates with "Rainbow"
- Russian - "The Little Seed"
- Per week - USD $199
- Russian - "Rainbow"
Per week - USD $75
This program alternates with "Interesting RU"
- Ukraine - "The Little Path"
- Per week - USD $315
- Ukraine - "Visits to the Doctor"
- Per week - USD $745
- Ukraine - "Multipliers" (Summer Camp)
- Per week - USD $100
- Ukraine - "Web Radio"
- Per week - USD $115
Please contact us regarding specific countries or languages for which you would like information. Call us in the U.S. at 1-800-456-7897 Or, find an Area Director or country office nearest you: www.twr.org
Further Information and Resources
c/o TWR Central Europe
PO Box 12
Websites on the RUBM Region
- BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/country_profiles/1102303.stm
- Current Events: http://english.pravda.ru/russia/
- Iron Curtain: http://www.answers.com/main/ntquery?s=iron+curtain&gwp=13
- Street Children: http://www.gvnet.com/streetchildren/Ukraine.htm