In recognition of National Radio Day, international media ministry TWR is emphasizing its continued commitment to broadcasting in U.S. markets.
TWR, also known as Trans World Radio, is primarily recognized for its gospel broadcasts to 160 countries in more than 230 languages. But in light of the special focus on noncommercial broadcasting for National Radio Day 2015 – which is observed on Thursday, Aug. 20 – TWR is reminding its supporters and the public that the 61-year-old ministry also provides 734 hours of programming to nearly 100 stations across the country each week.
“The bulk of our outreach is, of course, outside U.S. borders, and we are always working to introduce Christ to unreached people at the ends of the earth,” said Tim Klingbeil, who as international director of the Americas Region is based in the TWR global administrative hub in Cary, North Carolina. “But increasingly, the whole world is at our doorstep, and we want to respond wherever needs emerge.”
Most TWR radio programs broadcast in the U.S. are in Spanish – hardly surprising considering the significant growth of that community. Programs produced in Latin America, such as Alimento para el Alma and Tierra Firme, along with translated programs, such as Thru the Bible and Women of Hope, are well-established on many U.S. stations. But two recent additions are unique in that they are produced by and for Latina immigrants in the U.S.
Produced and presented by Maria Burton and Annabel Torrealba, the 15-minute weekly Restauradas (Restored) and the four-minute daily Tecito de Manzanilla (A Cup of Chamomile Tea) are aired on six and eight U.S. stations, respectively, and on more than 40 stations throughout the hemisphere. Both programs are steadfastly Bible-centered but aim for a fresh, easy-to-understand style. Subjects range from social issues such as abortion and domestic violence to discipleship and conducting a personal Bible study.
“Latina ladies’ style of living is very hard,” said Burton, who is also a conference speaker and makes her home in Tennessee. “They work all the time. We think radio is a big tool because they can hear us rather than just sitting separately and reading. They can hear somebody who thinks like them. They can be working at the same time that they can be listening to the messages.”
Many Latina women in the U.S. who do not have jobs stay home, closed off from others, Torrealba said.
“They live here, but the culture is different,” Torrealba said. “We are more like a feeling people. Everything is about feeling. Some of them are still learning English, so they need a program that they can understand what we are saying and that is targeting their needs.”
Two books, Mothers Who Edify and Sandals on the Road, have already grown out of the programs, which aren’t even a year old. Restauradas and Tecito de Manzanilla are also available on the Web portal TWR360.
Footsteps and Get Hope are two other TWR-produced programs aimed primarily at U.S. audiences and aired on a combined total of about 125 stations nationally. Andy Napier is host of the daily two-minute feature Footsteps, which seeks to inform and inspire listeners with interviews about how God is working through missions globally. TWR President Lauren Libby is host of Get Hope, a daily 60-second devotional feature.