Hope for Yemen –
Sharing the Light of the Gospel in the Land of Sheba
The year 2021 will mark a big milestone for TWR. We will celebrate 60 years of Arabic broadcasts to the Middle East where the local department has been continuously sharing the message of hope and redemption to the Arabic people.
TWR has been a key voice in bringing the Good News into closed areas across the Arab world utilizing radio waves that can cross borders and reach people where they are. Recently, Yemen was added to the list of countries that are being reached by our local teams in the Middle East. Why Yemen?
Yemen is a mountainous, arid desert country with a tumultuous history located on the southeastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula. Some archeologists even suggest that present-day Yemen is the location of the biblical land of Sheba.
For centuries, it was known to be one of the most prosperous places in the Middle East. However, the fate of the country has since changed and for all of the oil riches that have benefited the region in the 20th century, Yemen was left out.
Today, it is by far the poorest state in the Middle East, suffering from an ongoing civil war pitting various deeply rooted clans from the northern and southern regions against each other, which are in turn backed by regional Sunni and Shiite powers. As if this weren’t enough, a humanitarian crisis of massive proportions is adding to the turmoil. If there is a place on the Arabian Peninsula that defines hopelessness, it is Yemen.
However, true hope can still be found. Rays of light can still pierce the darkness. One of these rays of light is a program series called Hope for Yemen that is being produced, broadcast, and distributed by the TWR Arabic Ministry department.
This program series aims to provide practical, psychological, and spiritual help to the local population. It is a comprehensive media project focusing on Yemeni people speaking to them with their mother tongue dialect.
Various digital outlets such as online radio, mobile phone apps, social media platforms, and SD cards, are being used to reach the audience, be it in their home areas or refugee camps.
As the director for TWR Arabic Ministry shares, “the Hope for Yemen radio program is born to share with Yemenis, youth and adults, the message of hope that can give them a better future through their reconciliation with a sovereign God who can provide peace amidst storms.”
Content includes devotions with an emphasis on God’s love. It shares spiritual hope and comfort through Scripture and prayer. It also provides practical, helpful information focusing on providing relief to their physical and emotional needs. Each program is hosted by a warm, friendly voice who is there to demonstrate understanding and compassion combined with uplifting instrumental, popular Christian songs.
Nevertheless, it is extremely challenging, even life-threatening for seekers to ask questions about Jesus Christ and for believers in Yemen to live out their Christian faith. When seeking to guide people on their journey of faith, a long-term view is needed. It takes time for the seeds of the gospel to grow. But when God stirs hearts, change happens!
For the most part, it is Yemeni men who contact the Hope for Yemen follow-up team through social media, and we receive the entire spectrum of responses and emotions. Some are offended hearing the name of Jesus, especially coming from a Yemeni voice. Others attach words and quotes from the Quran. However, we also receive questions by people that reveal that they are wholeheartedly seeking the truth.
One listener of Hope for Yemen, Mahmoud, sent all sorts of aggressive wordings against Christ and Christianity! Our follow-up contact explained in a caring and understanding way why we have a need of a Savior, sharing about the broken relationship between God and Adam, how we all are sinners, and requiring the grace of God. This respectful response resonated with Mahmoud who then replied, “In God’s name, why has no one ever explained this to me like that! Why don’t we know in Yemen about this grace, hope, and eternal life that we can have in Jesus? I’m eager to know more, I’m eager to really know the real God. I don’t want to be fooled again!
Another listener from Yemen named Jameel wrote to us, “I am a new Christian; I’ve found your program Hope for Yemen and felt so happy listening to a Christian program in my own dialect! As in Yemen, almost everyone is a Muslim. I’m not sure if there is anyone but me here. It feels lonely sometimes to not being able to declare my faith out loud and also difficult to grow, but with your programs, I feel so much better and I’m starting to understand how to live as a Christian. Thank you so much.”
- Praise the Lord for those who are communicating from Yemen. Pray that they will learn more about Christ. And pray for those who send aggressive messages to be touched by the Holy Spirit and that the Spirit works in their hearts for His glory.
The Way of Righteousness Brings Biblical Content to the Kabyle People
We are excited to announce that The Way of Righteousness began airing in the Kabyle language on October 25, 2020. The Kabyle ministry team shared, “People in the Kabylia region of Algeria are eager to have new programs such as The Way of Righteousness in their language. The listeners often express the desire for more biblical content in a way that speaks to their heart. The program is a high-quality production with a clear panoramic view of the key stories from Scripture. We are thankful for the start of this new broadcast.”
TWR added The Way of Righteousness to their list of programs in the Kabyle language to answer the many questions that arise when people begin to doubt their local religion. They want to know who Jesus is and what is written in the Bible. This program provides answers to many of their questions. The Way of Righteousness is expanding rapidly around the TWR world because of its proven ability to explain the Scriptures to Muslims and we are delighted to add the Kabyle language to the list of 20 languages currently airing this program throughout the Muslim world.
The Way of Righteousness began in Senegal as a way for missionary Paul Bramsen of ROCK International to build a bridge between the prophets of the Old Testament that Muslims are familiar with and the coming of Jesus Christ. He developed a series of 100 radio programs, 15 minutes each, that takes the listener on a journey through the Scriptures of the prophets to view God’s unchangeable purpose for mankind and to hear God’s thrilling answer to Job’s four-thousand-year-old question, “How can a man be righteous before God?” (Job 9:2) Through The Way of Righteousness, non-Christians realize that Jesus Christ is more than just a prophet. He is the Son of God who gave His life for our salvation.
The program was translated and produced in North Africa by a godly and dedicated husband and wife team. The weekly program began airing Sunday evenings in October and is also available at radiokabyle.com. The team continues to diligently produce the programs in the midst of strict coronavirus measures in the country.
"We admire your courage and perseverance in the work of the Lord. The Holy Spirit of God has done great things in our village. People transform their houses into places of worship to God and biblical studies. There are many house churches. We, my family and I, used to be fervent believers in our other faith. We discovered, thanks to your broadcasts, that the true God is the Father in Jesus Christ. Please continue to send us the word of Jesus."
"Your broadcasts are of great importance. All our township, with a population of more than 20,000 inhabitants, are fed spiritually only through the broadcasts of TWR. Only the radio waves can feed these multitudes spiritually."
- Pray for the Lord’s guidance and blessing upon our Kabyle follow-up team in North Africa as they engage with listeners to the program; pray for wisdom and sensitivity as they interact with listeners and respond to questions and concerns that are raised. Pray for protection and encouragement for the producer and her husband.
- Pray for the producer to be able to keep up with her production schedule for the programs that are supplied to the broadcast outlet.
- Pray for the overall health and protection of our Kabyle ministry team as this has been a difficult season of illness and restrictions due to the COVID pandemic while operating in the midst of a restrictive religious environment.
- Please pray for the couple (family) who leads our Kabyle ministry team, whose father/grandfather passed away recently.
Manifesting God’s Love in Practical Ways
In Central Asia, many elderly people in the neighborhood were greatly affected by the COVID-19 lockdowns and were unable to get basic food items as prices have increased dramatically. Often people living in nursing homes are marginalized or forgotten. Additionally, many people have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus. Our team in Central Asia loves their neighbors and has compassion for the ones who are in need and decided to help those who were struggling or had hardships.
The team is very socially active in their community and have a desire to help people in need, so they raised a small amount of money to specifically use for this project. They provided 50 food packages with oil, flour, sugar, rice, and canned foods. In addition to these essential items, they included small radios and SD cards. These were distributed to very poor families in the village and the elderly living in nursing homes. What a difference this act of love and kindness made in the lives of the people they visited!
This opens hearts and doors for our ministry in Central Asia. The men and women who received the food packages and radios were overjoyed. By meeting the needs of people living in difficult situations, our TWR team provided hope. They manifested God’s love through their love for others.
“We discovered your YouTube channel. We share the link with many people, including unbelievers. The channel impacts them very positively! Thank you very much!” — Dinara
An Instagram message: “Great words, when you read you get strength for life.”
A Facebook response: ”God’s Word is great. It influences my heart and motivates me.”
A listener shared, “Jesus Christ is gracious and merciful. With no one can we compare His Love. He is eternal and the only God. I praise You that You’ve chosen me.”
- Please pray for Kyrgyzstan. The political situation is still ambiguous. Praise the Lord, it did not come to a civil war or major conflicts but pray for peace until the new government is built and a new president and parliament are elected. Pray for the presidential election on 10 Jan. 2021. Pray that there will be a government that will allow us to continue our work!
- Pray for protection for our teams throughout Central Asia as the COVID-19 wave rises again.