Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.2 Timothy 2:15
In these strange days as the world confronts Covid-19, our need for well trained Christians in China is as vital as ever.
But how do you train thousands of people during and after such a lockdown? By media. Radio and online broadcasting gets through to people wherever they are and delivers teaching content, health information, and companionship to millions.
FEBC is the Far East Broadcasting Company and has been communicating the good news of Jesus Christ to Chinese listeners for nearly 75 years. Through many challenging seasons radio signals have delivered life-giving messages to isolated, persecuted, and spiritually hungry people.
This current season of pandemic fallout comes hot on the heels of unrest in Hong Kong last year. This means our broadcasters are challenged on many sides as they produce and deliver programmes while themselves facing the trials of infrastructure and the virus.
“On top of all this FEBC listenership is reaching new heights each month!”
On top of all this FEBC listenership is reaching new heights each month! As people isolate they naturally seek comfort, information, and hope, and this is what FEBC has been delivering to China from the outset. The challenge is this – at a time when getting to the studios and operating the equipment is the most difficult, the programmes are in the highest demand!
Another offshoot of isolation is that many people are seeking Biblical learning, and many Bible College students are catching up on assignments. Since 1982 FEBC has been operating and developing a Bible College by Media. Today it is known as Liangyou Theological Seminary (LTS) and lessons are broadcast on the web, smartphone Apps, AM and shortwave radio.
FEBC’s Bible College by Media has experienced massive demand this year since the Coronavirus forced everyone inside. The good news is that students are finding the time to get their assignments done. Most are working and studying the Bible at the same time. But a 50% increase in assignment returns means FEBC staff are flooded with marking and pastoral care. Please pray as they long to care for the person as well as mark the work.
The other spinoff is that since the LTS App is available to anyone online, people can choose to enrol in the college or simply study the Bible and Ministry lessons without being tutored. During the Covid-19 crisis many thousands of people are informally using the resources of the LTS. In February alone the App was installed 38,717 times more than usual, and more than 46,424 extra lessons were downloaded!
In February alone the App was installed 38,717 times more than usual, and more than 46,424 extra lessons were downloaded!
Enrolments are also coming in at twice the usual rate, so all indications are that this is going to be a very busy year for FEBC’s Bible College by Media. FEBC New Zealand sponsors 100 students a year through the programme. While that may seem a small figure alongside these new realities, 100 ministry-trained Chinese Christians could give rise to 100 healthy churches. And that is something to be very grateful for.
By Matt Perry, Executive Director FEBC New Zealand. For more information visit febc.nz/lts