TWR’s new, 100,000-watt AM transmitter is on the air in southern Africa, beaming Bible-based programs in multiple languages to a significantly expanded area and audience.
Miracles were a prominent theme as the transmitter, twice as powerful as its predecessor, was dedicated in a ceremony Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016. Leaders and staff of TWR (also known as Trans World Radio) joined local guests at the Swaziland site where the international Christian broadcast ministry operates three 100,000-watt shortwave transmitters alongside the AM unit.
“This place was built on miracles,” TWR president Lauren Libby told the crowd gathered in the transmitter hall. “The very sand used to construct the site was provided after a huge rain and the ensuing flood, leaving enough sand to mix the concrete needed. The original transmitters were obtained though contacts of Dr. Paul Freed, the founder of TWR, at a time when shortwave transmitters were extremely hard to procure.”
There was even a miraculous aspect surrounding the newly installed AM transmitter, Libby added. Its availability seemed to come out of the blue, announced in a call from Werner Kroemer, then the TWR vice president of operations. He phoned from Europe to say the transmitter manufacturer had called to offer the 100,000-watt AM unit, which was being taken out of service in Germany, at about a tenth the price of a brand-new one.
This “big voice for Jesus from the kingdom of Swaziland,” as Libby dubbed it, will have a potential audience of 25 million. Broadcasting at 1170 on AM, better known in much of the world as medium wave, the transmitter will reach deeper into southern Africa, covering all of Zimbabwe and the southern tip of Malawi in the north and extending east toward Mozambique. Listeners in South Africa will be able to receive a clearer signal.
The launch of the stronger broadcast signal came as the result of months of efforts on at least three continents: raising funds in multiple countries, including the United States; procuring and shipping the equipment from Germany; and the preparation work and installation in Swaziland.
Libby left the audience with an inspirational thought about the potential significance of the enhanced technology that they had gathered to dedicate.
“Can you imagine if the last unreached person on earth were to hear and respond to the gospel because of a message transmitted from Swaziland? Now, wouldn’t that be special!”
Photo 1: Several of the participants in the transmitter dedication ceremony gather for a group portrait in the Swaziland transmitter hall.
Photo 2: TWR President Lauren Libby prepares to cut the ribbon as TWR Swaziland Chief Engineer Klaus Schiller, left, and TWR Ministry Vice President for Africa Branko Bjelajac, right, look on.