The needs brought on by COVID-19 restrictions have opened multiple doors for The Tide, a ministry that delivers the gospel to people in their native languages, to deepen relationships with people seeking hope in this life and the next. The organization is an international Christian outreach committed to worldwide evangelism and discipleship. Through Christian radio broadcasts in multiple languages around the world, they hope to lead as many people as possible into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.
In 2020, people everywhere are facing isolation. In countries such as Albania, Kosovo, Nepal and Thailand, The Tide works to reach people groups in areas that are already isolated by distance and poverty. Their goal is to build lasting relationships and foster communities of believers and those who are willing to hear the Word of God.
Less than two percent of people in northeastern Thailand are professing Christians, a fact that recently prompted the ministry to pray that God would create new pathways for expanding the reach of its radio programs.
Already broadcasting twice daily from Muang Sam Sip, a district in the province of Ubon Ratchathani about 335 km west of Thailand’s border with Laos, The Tide was looking for another radio station in the province to carry its “Life’s Answers” broadcast in Isaan, a language spoken by 19 million people.
Tide leaders asked supporters to pray “that God will direct us to the most effective methods to move forward.”
“We consulted with a friend [G.] who listens to the radio almost all day long — a blind man who is also a seeker — to find out what radio station is popular,” one ministry worker reported. “He recommended a government station that has a broad reach covering the entire province and also into neighboring provinces.”
Workers with The Tide have been sharing the Gospel with G. and his wife A. for years. As part of their regular visits, the workers gifted their friends with audio equipment and an invitation to listen to “Life’s Answers.” In turn, this couple is sharing what they are discovering about the God of the Bible with their friends.
G.’s advice to purchase airtime from the government station proved profitable. The broadcast signal is more expansive, reaching individuals in this largely Buddhist region with the gospel for a total of 30 minutes per day, five days per week.
“Within two weeks of our beginning broadcasts on the radio station that G. recommended, he told us that he had received calls from four friends mentioning hearing this new program and asking if he knew anything about it — I guess because they know that he listens to this radio station,” the worker said. “He told them that he is studying now to learn more about God and that we visit him weekly. These friends are from different areas of Ubon and two neighboring provinces.”
“The importance of delivering the gospel in the language that people were born to speak is why The Tide exists,” said Don Shenk, Director of The Tide. “We will take whatever measures are necessary to reach people across the globe, including a radio station owned by the government and that costs a bit more. A life that is eternally saved is priceless, and The Tide will walk through the open doors that God provides so that His Word may be heard and lives may be changed.”
“It is exciting and awe inspiring to realize that several years before God opened the door for The Tide ministry to broadcast the gospel in Thailand, He was already forming relationships and laying the groundwork for a ministry partnership,” Shenk said. “It is also a great reminder of the importance of building long-term relationships and continuing to walk alongside of people we are striving to bring into relationship with Jesus.”
Getting the “Life’s Answers” broadcast to more people required some retooling. The new broadcast has been distilled into a shorter format — a 15-minute study of the New Testament book of Acts with a few points of application, and one worship song in Isaan. This initiative, which began in June, has already recorded seven broadcasts and will continue at least through the end of the year.
For more information about The Tide broadcast projects, history, radio programs around the world, special yearlong campaigns, the weekly Global Update radio features or other news, visit its website at www.thetide.org or its Facebook page. Read more about The Tide ministry and Director Don Shenk here.)