Short videos on the RiverCross website present remarks by participants during testing of the Holding Esther program in Africa.

RiverCross is joining forces with TWR to use audio drama to help train caregivers of sexually exploited children in Africa and beyond.  

By coming under the umbrella of TWR (also known as Trans World Radio), RiverCross will have access to a worldwide network of radio and Internet outlets and distribution in 160 countries and more than 230 languages. The Clayton, North Carolina-based ministry founded by Susan Vonolszewski seeks to equip caregivers to help children work through their emotional trauma and become free to receive God’s love.

“I can’t think of a more strategic partnership than for RiverCross to come under TWR,” Vonolszewski said. “This will open doors of opportunity for multiple distribution channels, facilitating crucial training for those in oral cultures. With TWR’s oversight and experience in the international arena, the future efforts of RiverCross are assured the appropriate guidance and oversight.”

Working with leading professionals in radio drama and with experts on issues of sex trafficking and trauma care, RiverCross is developing the six-episode audio series Holding Esther. It tells the story of two sexually abused orphan girls and features acting by Cathy Sara, who appeared in the wildly popular Downton Abbey TV series; scriptwriting by Kathy Buchanan of Focus on the Family’s Adventures in Odyssey; and production in London by Todd Busteed of Gap Digital, producer of the Amazing Grace and Narnia audio series.     

Consultants contributing to Holding Esther include children-at-risk specialist Christa Foster Crawford and trauma-care specialist Dr. Lyn Westman. Dr. Charles Madinger of the International Orality Network is overseeing the extensive field-testing of the audio program in Southern Africa.

Lauren Libby, TWR president, announced that the media ministry’s board of directors unanimously approved the integration of RiverCross into TWR’s global structure.

“The initial focus is Africa, and RiverCross expressed the need for TWR's expertise to help move the project forward by translating and producing the content in a number of languages and distributing it via radio and other media platforms,” Libby said. “The leadership of TWR Africa was brought into the loop early on and has strongly endorsed RiverCross's content and vision for the future.”

Visit to hear episodes of Holding Esther and to learn more about the ministry.