When TWR360 recently added Portuguese, Swahili and Afrikaans, it meant the online portal for Christian media resources had doubled its language complement in less than a year of operation. Only a few days later, two more joined the list – Telugu and Bengali from India and Bangladesh – bringing the total on the site to 12.
The expansion means that even more people around the world can go to www.twr360.org and in their native languages search for and gain access to available Gospel-based content. Still more languages are on the way, with about a dozen being readied for rollout in the next few months and a goal for the site total to hit 20 to 25 sometime in the summer.
“TWR [also known as Trans World Radio] broadcasts via high-power radio in 230 languages and in over 160 countries,” said Ralf Stores, U.S. director of Media Development, the department that administers TWR360. “The eventual goal is to have the same programs that we’re providing on the radio on TWR360 – and maybe even have more.”
Stores said he expects TWR360 to come to serve as an effective channel for taking the Gospel to unreached people groups that have smaller populations and therefore aren’t likely to be the focus of larger-scale broadcasting efforts.
The recent language expansion also encompasses another milestone for TWR360.org: The debut of Rota 66 (Route 66) is the first instance on the website of a program having been produced and then translated for another culture by one of TWR’s national partners. RTM Brazil (RTM is TWR’s name in Latin America) provides the program, which is a “road trip” of the 66 books of Bible with seminary professor Luiz Sayão as host, in both Portuguese and Mandarin.
“They’ve actually taken the vision beyond just Portuguese, Brazil’s national language, and have said, ‘This is the type of content we want available in other languages as well,’” Stores said. “But the fact that they had the vision as a national partner in a language that’s actually outside their region is a fairly significant event.”
The addition of Rota 66 and Footsteps, a brand-new two-minute daily radio feature with TWR’s Andy Napier, raises the number of ministry partners represented on the site from the original 46 to 72 today. As the number of languages and content providers has increased, so has the site’s reach across the globe: TWR360 received visits from 200 countries or territories from February through March. For context, the United Nations comprises 193 member states.