West Africa: Out of the Spotlight, But in the Heart of God
by Gregg Harris, TTB International Director & C.O.O.
Thru the Bible’s commitment to take the whole Word to the whole world means that we go to places on earth that others seem to have forgotten. The region of West Africa is one such place.
We don’t often hear about countries like Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, or Gambia. But just because we don’t hear much about them doesn’t mean God has forgotten them. There are millions of precious souls in these countries who need to hear the gospel, and TTB is there for them every day.
In recent months, we’ve been telling you about many exciting new technologies that are allowing us to cost effectively bring Dr. McGee’s teaching to the world. While Africa is the world’s fastest growing market for mobile phones, only about 10% of the population has smartphones that can potentially receive our programs. So there we continue to use radio as the most cost effective means to deliver our programming, even while developing new delivery systems.
A report from this region just crossed my desk, and it encouraged me so much that I wanted to share some of these wonderful responses with you.
We received this phone call from an African French listener in the Congo:
I listen to A Travers la Bible on the radio. I don’t know how to thank you enough for this program, because while listening to it I became a Christian. Not only that, but God encourages us to announce the good news to others. I would like to know how I can have the support to testify better, because I’m in a village far from the city and to go to the church is difficult because of the distances. Please help me; I have need to be taught more and more.
This man’s story reminds us that there are billions on earth just like him. Almost half of the world’s population lives in rural areas. This listener lives in the heart of the African continent. He didn’t know Jesus Christ as his savior, but he heard about Him on the radio. Because his remote village is so far away, it’s difficult for him to get to a church. Yet in spite of these barriers, he is growing and has a natural desire to share this great news with those around him. He relies on the daily teaching of Thru the Bible in African French to help him grow. This is a perfect example of the way God uses our ministry to touch people in remote and isolated places!
Here’s another great testimony from the Ivory Coast. This man writes:
I’m a Muslim and I’ve listened to your programs for some months along with my wife. I want to give my life to Jesus, but before I do it I need you to explain to me how I can do it myself so that I’m sure of the place where I’ll go when I die. My wife is unsure about believing because of pressure from her parents, but I believe that she will follow my decision since I’m her husband. Help me, please.
How exciting it is to know that God is using His Word to reach into the lives and homes of Muslims. One reliable source indicates that there are more than 400 million Muslims in Africa. That is more than the entire population of the United States! It often takes many months – and sometimes even years – of listening before they are ready to turn to Christ, and that’s why we broadcast our programs every weekday.
In my research for this article, I came across a headline that asked: “Who will pay to save West Africa’s lions?” Now I think lions are beautiful creatures, and I’ve had the privilege of seeing them up close in my travels to Africa. But there are men and women, made in the image of God, who need to be saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. That is a far higher priority.
So my question is this: Who will pay to save West Africa’s people? Well, praise God that the faithful friends and supporters of Thru the Bible are answering this call. Modern society and the media may have forgotten the hundreds of millions of souls living in West Africa, but God has not.
By His grace, you and I are participating in His eternal purpose to call men and women, boys and girls, from some of the most remote places on our planet!