Do you speak Bhadrawahi or Tok Pisin? Have you ever heard of these languages?
TWR can speak them and is now sharing the gospel with people in India and Papua New Guinea, respectively, who process information most thoroughly in these their mother tongues. With the addition of Bhadrawahi, Tok Pisin and several others, TWR has announced that its complement of languages and dialects has grown once again, this time to a total of more than 275.
Ever since its first broadcasts in French, Spanish and English 66 years ago, TWR has worked to fulfill Christ’s mandate to make disciples of all nations by sharing the gospel in the listeners’ own languages. Lots of feedback like this 2019 text message from a listener in Romania, once locked behind the Iron Curtain, attests to the importance of Bible study in one’s heart language.
“I have not heard the Bible explained in my native language until now,” he texted. “I am glad that we can listen to the Word of God in our Gypsy dialect. God bless you, TWR, for your ministry.”
This is why TWR places so much importance on continuing to expand its ministry into more languages, TWR President Lauren Libby said. He pointed to TWR’s calling: to reach the world for Christ by mass media so that lasting fruit is produced.
“Jesus said to go to the whole world with his good news, and that means every tribe, tongue and country,” Libby said. “With half the world under some kind of lockdown order today because of COVID-19, people in every culture need hope, they need assurance, they need God more than ever. TWR is positioned with the media and languages to meet those needs.”
Although a majority of the 275 languages are broadcast over TWR’s global network of high-powered transmitters and arrangements with local stations, some are used only in online programming or for audio recordings played on digital devices.
TWR India has been a leader in the latter category, organizing more than 4,000 Radio Home Groups in which neighbors gather to hear and discuss Thru the Bible (TTB) recordings. In fact, many of the recently added languages have been new translations of the late J. Vernon McGee’s Bible-teaching series, which is the foundation of TWR’s nearly 50-year strategic partnership with TTB.
As for TWR’s online programming, at its heart is the state-of-the-art web portal TWR360. Offering a wealth of Bible-based audio, video and text content for streaming and downloading, TWR360 has just added its 89th language.
“I recently entered your [TWR360] site, and I was surprised by so much information about the Word of God, especially in my language,” a listener wrote about the Spanish content. “… I was lost, but now I know that God loves me very much. Thank you very much for bringing to my life my dream of being able to hear the Word clearly and in my native language.”
In response to the global turmoil caused by the coronavirus, TWR360.org has gathered a number of audio resources, much of it prepared especially for this crisis, for easy access by users. Speakers address topics like “Coronavirus: What You Need to Know,” “How Can God Use a Virus?” and “Hope Through Suffering.”
“God is on the move, and now more than ever we need to give hope to a world that has been thrust into a seemingly hopeless situation,” Libby said.