Meeting People Where They Are in Albania
The Tide® Ministry Relies on New Media and New Technology to Introduce Christ to the People of Albania
HARRISBURG, Pa.—The Tide®(www.thetide.org) global radio ministry works in diverse regions all over the world, which means that in some villages, multiple families share a traditional radio to learn more about the saving grace of Jesus.
But in other areas, young residents on busy streets are regularly seen with earbuds and tiny devices in their back pockets. Therefore, The Tide ministry adapts to these different wants and needs in order to introduce Christ to the masses—wherever they might be.
Such is the case in Albania, where The Tideministry began working with a radio partner in 2015 to offer the “Sipas Fjales” program, which translated from Albanian means “According to the Word.” But instead of using only radios, The Tide ministry is also putting to good use solar-powered media players, online live-streaming links and apps such as WhatsApp.
“Through these technologically advanced tools, pastors are planting churches and making disciples of listeners who respond to the Gospel,” said The Tide Director Don Shenk. “These means, coupled with a new television program that will begin airing in Albania this month, will allow The Tide ministry and our partners in Albania to reach a new generation of people who are hungry to learn more about Christ and His plan for their lives.”
Recording for the new television program, which is called “Koha Për Të Folur,” or “Time to Talk,” began in June, with editing and producing taking place in July and August, and the first two episodes airing this month. The Tide television program aims to reach a younger audience, with the TV setting resembling a coffee shop. Local live music will accompany a local, well-known pastor who has built relationships with Albanian Christians. As he leads discussions on various topics that young people face in Albania, the episodes will conclude with an opportunity to respond to the Gospel.
Plans are for two seasons of the show to air on 12 cable networks reaching northern and southern Albania and parts of Kosovo. Additionally, programs will be streamed online—a platform already being used by The Tide radio pastor partners.
Radio, television and other media efforts in Albania will help The Tide ministry effectively reach people like Gentian from the city of Tirana.
“Pastor H is my favorite preacher on the radio,” Gentian said. “I listen to him weekly and have learned a lot. The teachings of the Bible on ‘Sipas Fjales’ make you think. I love the way Pastor H engages with his audience. His teaching really saved our marriage. I learned from the show how to let go (of) my ego and love my wife unconditionally. Thank you for reaching out to every corner of Albania and helping young believers grow in their faith.”
The Tide ministry currently offers audio programming in 25 heart languages spoken by millions of people in multiple regions of Albania, Bhutan, India, Kosovo, Nepal, Nigeria, Thailand and Zimbabwe, making it possible for multiple people groups to hear the Gospel in the languages they were born to speak.
For more information about The Tide broadcast projects, history, radio programs around the world, the “Every Knee, Every Tongue” campaign, the “Have You Heard?” initiative, the weekly Global Update radio features or other news, visit its web site at www.thetide.org or its Facebook page. Read more about The Tide ministry and Don Shenk here.