TWR Canada partners with a variety of other ministries. I’ve written about some of our ministry partnerships here and here. We are a media ministry and we stick fairly close to that, however we know that our listeners often require more than a good radio program to grow and mature in their faith so we partner with other ministries to deliver Bibles and media players to meet some of those spiritual needs.
What I have learned by personally being involved with these distributions, is that ministry is best facilitated when specific needs are stated. We don’t decide who needs Bibles, we consider requests we receive from those who state a specific need for Bibles. Often, when people came to Jesus for healing or advice, he would ask: What would you ask of me. Jesus was well aware of what the person needed and what they would ask for, but he insisted they state the need. This is important, because we don’t want to decide what help people need.
We wait until we receive a request for these materials. Further, we need to have a connection on-the-ground. This could be a Project Hannah group, or a listener group we are connected with.
Our partners on the ground can tell us not only how many Bibles they distributed, but how many went to a specific pastor, a specific church, and many times our partners know the names of the people who receive the material. This way we can follow up. This allows us to ask: How else can we help facilitate your spiritual growth or maturity in Christ?
We are not keen on parachute ministry where materials are dropped in and there is no follow up. Building relationships are very important and we want to make sure there are networks and connections in place first. I have written about that here. These steps not only ensure the people on the ground are being helped in meaningful ways, but that our resources are being used wisely and efficiently.
Some of the distributions that have stuck out in my mind over the years:
We distributed 3000 Bibles to house churches connected with TWR Cuba. This trip stands out for me because Paul Mercer from The Gideons International in Canada accompanied me. It was amazing to see trucks pull up to the churches brimming with people. The church would all arrive in one vehicle practically. One woman shared that she faithfully listened to TWR, but the programs came on very late at night so she would stand for the entire length of the program so she did not fall asleep.
In partnership with the Gideons International in Canada, we saw 900 Bibles distributed (in English, Taglog, and Ilocano) to the Philippines. What was neat about this distribution was that several distributions were delivered to children’s groups. They weren’t Vacation Bible Schools, but that is perhaps the closest equivalent.
Our on-the-ground partner was leading the teaching and worship at these children’s camps and requested Bibles.
Our team in Nepal had received written requests for 1000 Bibles, many destined for a group of Christians in Bkairahwa Prison. They wanted to study more outside of the radio programs and evangelize within the prison. Because we knew the names of the prisoners who had received Bibles in the prison, our team in Nepal was able to follow up with them. We received the following response to that Bible distribution:
“Our life in prison is like being in hell. It is very hard and difficult to pass the time. But the Bible you gifted to us not only helps us to pass our time, but by reading the Bible I came to know the real God and Saviour. We prisoners gather together in one place to study the Bible, pray, and have fellowship. One of the Christian inmates lead us in Bible study. Through this, I have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. I am so happy in the Lord.”
I had been to Ivory Coast in 2012 to distribute Bibles and media players with The Gideons International in Canada, but we had run out. I promised that everyone who wanted a Bible would be given one, so names were taken. When I returned the next year, all of those IOUs were filled.
Two volunteers came to us last year asking to deliver 80 media players to pastors and families in Cambodia during a short missions trip they were taking. The media players were very well received and the couple was asked for more players. Over the year, more pastors and families heard about the players. This couple is back in Cambodia now with a team. They are delivering 100 media players and 100 SD cards to those who asked for these resources and following up with those who received the players last year.
Islamic Republic in North Africa
Two years ago, through a personal contact, we sent 500 media players to Christians living in an Islamic Republic in North Africa. Delivery was difficult, but the believers rejoiced over these players. We have received a request for more material and we are working to fulfill this request.