The world’s best athletes are gathered in Tokyo to compete before a global audience. This week, as we think about the sports we hold in common, let’s take a minute to consider the way our belief in Jesus binds people together in all nations. Join Ed and Wayne as we feature a parade of the redeemed. Find out how these people have run the race of faith…Until All Have Heard.
[Female Listener]: My life has changed because I listen to your programs. All of your programs are like a good meal that I want to eat every day.
[Ed]: “It’s not our programs that have changed your life, it’s the content that is built into the program.” That’s one of our broadcasters from Thailand who read that letter from a listener. She works so very hard to put the word of God into our broadcast every day for the purpose of changing people’s lives just like that listener said. Today, we’re going to reflect a little bit on what’s going on in Tokyo and the Olympics, and how we can run a parallel to the way our ministry works around the world with people from different countries in a way competing, but rather how are their lives changed. How has redemption entered into their life much like competing in the Olympics? Is that a stretch too far for you, Wayne?
[Wayne]:No, not at all. That’s Ed Cannon. I am Wayne Shepherd. This is Until All Have Heard from the Far East Broadcasting Company. I like that a lot. Our producer, Joe Carlson, suggested this topic and context here today. So, let’s run with this. I think this can be interesting because much of the world’s attention is on the Olympics in Japan, where, by the way, we have a ministry. That parade of nations that takes place, I think of – with Joe’s help here, or the parade of the redeemed here today, we’re going to hear listeners around the world talk about their faith.
[Ed]: Someday, the glory of the gold medals will fade and everything will go back to what’s important in life, and we know what that is. That’s the gospel of Jesus Christ, our acceptance of that and our gratitude to God for providing the sacrifice that allows us to live in eternity in heaven with him.
[Wayne]: Right. Well, we don’t have the flags on display here, on the podcast Ed, but we do have this procession of the redeemed. So, let’s begin in the country of Russia.
[Russian Listener]: I began listening to your programs in the beginning of this year when I was a complete Atheist. I’m a professional. Life is good when it comes to money and my job, but I always felt like life was about more than that. After listening to you for several months, I could not call myself an Atheist. I began thinking about God every day. Is it really possible to believe in God in the 21st century, for someone like me aged 32? Recently, I began praying just by myself, and those are the best times of my day now.
[Ed]: Interestingly, I’m going to turn to a verse that everyone knows and quotes quite often after hearing that testimony. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but should have eternal life,” but we kind of neglect the fact that if you read on down in that same paragraph, it wraps up by Christ saying, “But whoever lives by the truth, comes to the light,” so that it may be seen plainly that what He has done has been done through God. I hear that in the testimony of this Russian listener who was an Atheist, but as he listens to God’s word, the truth, he comes to the light, and it’s made a difference in his life that only the gospel can. It’s not because of the competence of the broadcaster or even that he’s listening to a radio program. He’s listening to God’s word, and as God’s word reveals its truth in his heart, this man’s life has changed from being an Atheist to being someone who prays and that’s the best part of his day.
[Wayne]: Yes. I understand where he’s coming from when he says, “Is it possible for me to believe in God?” Well, the verse that you read, John 3:16, answers that question, doesn’t it? It is possible because God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, so I think that’s a great verse to bring up here, Ed. All right, let’s continue our parade of the redeemed now. Where are we headed around the world next?
[Wayne]: Well, we’re going to hear from a listener in Southeast Asia, and this is a very creative listener who uses her hair salon as an evangelical outreach as she has her customers captive in the chair and she’s working on their hair. She plays the radio broadcast with the hope that it will inspire them to ask questions. I know this technique. I used to use this in my own car when I would turn on Moody Radio to have the guest that was sitting with me ask me, “What are you listening to,” which opens the conversation. So, it’s a practical tool and it works great, but she uses it very effectively. Let’s listen.
[SE Asia Listener]: FEBC’s broadcasts have been a great help to me. I need God to lead my life in all matters regardless of their importance, and I pray to him every day. The Bible verses quoted in my programs, and just like God’s message, to help me deal with life circumstances. I own a hair salon on a university campus. It is not easy for teachers and the students to accept a religious belief. I therefore decided that the best thing to do was to have them listen unintentionally to your programs while I’m doing their hair. If they want to know more, I share my beliefs with them. Many of my customers are now asking me faith-based questions. I can only explain what I know as I’m a new believer myself. I tried to listen to various kinds of programs, and then share touching episodes and encourage them to listen to FEBC themselves.
[Ed]: What an inspiration, a humble hairdresser in Southeast Asia giving us instructions about the importance of sharing what she has experienced through her faith in Christ with others. She’s dedicated, she’s committed, she’s got a plan, and I love that. How much of an inspiration that is for me and could be for you? Are we so intentional about our love for Christ that we obey His command to share the good news with others? We talk about loving our neighbors, and if we don’t love them enough to be concerned about their eternity and their relationship with Christ, how can we truly say we’re in love with our neighbors and we care for them? So, what a great opportunity for us to learn from this lady, and I can just envision the kind of place where she’s working. Possibly outdoors, probably very hot, probably filled with mosquitoes and other things, but yet, those don’t play into her passion to share the good news of Christ with those people that she’s serving.
[Wayne]: Something very powerful and meaningful about hearing just the raw testimony of actual people who have put their faith in Christ, largely because of the Far East Broadcasting Company’s ministry. It just touches my heart, Ed. We’re going to continue jumping around the globe. By the way, these are actual listener comments, and we haven’t chosen the best of the best, these are just typical comments that we receive, right?
[Ed]: Well, we receive millions of these every year, Wayne; written, text messages, email messages, cell phone calls. So yes, this is not something that we have one or two and are reading them to you. We stick our hand in the giant barrel of testimonies we have and pull out a handful, we read them and they’re always encouraging.
[Wayne]: Yes. Well, let’s continue moving around the world now. Our parade of the redeemed continues. We’re going to go from Southeast Asia all the way up to Mongolia.
[Mongolian Listener]: Since my job doesn’t allow me to watch TV during my late-night hours, I usually listen to the radio. One night, while listening, I heard a song, and then a Bible teacher began to talk about the Bible. Two days later, I turned on the radio again to the same program called Thru the Bible…I was interested in learning about Jesus and His life. I never attended a Christian church. From then on, Thru the Bible became my powered program. I listen to it whenever I was at work. I really wanted to talk to someone about Jesus Christ because none of my family knew anything about him. I wanted to know much more about Jesus and to receive him as my savior. I’m still listening to FEBC’s radio station, especially Thru the Bible that encourages me in my faith. I became a real Christian by listening to your station and I want to express my appreciation. Thank you all. May God richly bless your ministry.
[Wayne]: Once again, that comes to us from Mongolia. Ed, when someone comes to Christ and has questions in a country like Mongolia, whether or not a lot of Christians, there’s a growing number, but not a lot right now. Where did people turn to accept the people on the radio?
[Ed]: Obviously, our radio stations get a number of phone calls, questions, and people wanting to seek more information. Sometimes, coming in and actually visiting. We have several celebrations during the year around Christian holidays where we gather listeners together, hand out tracks, talk to them, pray with them, encourage them, and encourage them to be a part of a body of believers. You know in Mongolia; the Christian faith is just one or two generations old. Within our lifetime, Mongolia was a nation untouched by the gospel. Yet now, many believers live in the country of Mongolia. Now, we need to turn to another country.
[Wayne]: Just like in the Olympics, the parade of participants continues to march along. Since the Olympics are in Tokyo, we’re going to turn to a testimony now that comes from that country, Japan.
[Ed]: And it’s voiced by our own Keiko who’s been on the air there for over 50 years.
[Keiko]: Edo is a Japanese man in his 50s with not many people in his life. After encountering internet broadcasts from FEBC Japan, he felt he had to contact the office. He said, “To tell the truth, I have been depressed these past few years, not being able to really be myself. It was a great surprise that Jesus visited me saying, ‘I am with you.’ Through my experience, I think the human voice that comes through FEBC radio is very special because you are focused on the voice. The message comes to you stronger than with the picture. FEBC is powerful. I will keep listening to your program carefully. Thank you.”
[Wayne]: Isn’t that amazing? We’re all learning so much about Japan because of the attention on the Olympics this summer, Ed. Just to hear that the gospel is penetrating in a way there in Japan, through Keiko and her ministry, is outstanding.
[Ed]: Yes. She says FEBC is powerful, but it’s only because the gospel of Jesus Christ is powerful. Our broadcasters, just like Keiko, all around the world are faithful to proclaim that gospel.
[Wayne]: Yes. Well, I know these Olympics have not been without controversy, but we’re putting all that aside just to focus on the parade of the redeemed here for the Far East Broadcasting Company. We’ve got at least one more to share, maybe a couple more to share as time permits. Where are we going next?
[Ed]: Well, I think we’re going to hear from a listener who’s commenting on our ministry in Mandarin. He talks about Liangyou Radio. In Mandarin, the word Liangyou means a good friend, and that speaks directly to the strategy that FEBC has with our broadcast. We want to be a good friend to our listeners, a friend that can be trusted. This testimony comes as a result of those broadcasts.
[Chinese Listener]: My parents became Christian before me. They told me about the gospel and I thought it was some kind of superstition. I did not believe. After my mother passed away, I began to look into Christianity, but found it hard to understand the Bible my mother left behind. Casually, I discovered FEBC radio Liangyou. I listened for a long time, and then my faith gradually increased. Then, I told my coworker about it. She said she was also a believer and had brought me into her church. Now, I am preaching in the church and have become [Unintelligible]
there. I’m very thankful for FEBC for helping me come to know Jesus. Thank you.
[Ed]: So many of the testimonies we hear, particularly in the Mandarin language, sound like this. Someone who had no faith, no knowledge of Christ, listens to the radio for a very long time, because it often takes a long time for the word of God to sink in and make a change in someone’s life, but what a change it’s made. He’s gone from a non-believer to preaching in his church and sharing the good news with other people. We are so grateful that the Lord allows FEBC and other ministries to proclaim the good news in very difficult places, like this testimony we heard.
[Wayne]: Ed, you know, if we had hours and hours for this parade, we could continue telling stories of the redeemed here on Until All Have Heard, our podcast today, but we’re going to draw to a close in a moment with one final voice. I just want to say that the image that comes to my mind when I think about this parade of the redeemed is that day they come in heaven when there’s a parade of nations there. Every tribe and nation, every knee shall bow, every tongue profess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Do you have that image in your mind as well?
[Ed]: I do, and to take it one step further, those standing on the podium receiving the gold, silver, and bronze medal will be those celebrating eternity in heaven with Christ, except instead of three, there will be billions, Wayne. Billions singing praise to God because of what Christ has done for them.
[Wayne]: Amen to that. Well again, we’re going to hear one final voice in a moment, but let me urge you to go to our website, FEBC.org, and sign up for our International Prayer Guide. If this parade has brought to mind these nations and others that you’d like to pray for, you can learn how to pray effectively when you download and sign up for the International Prayer Guide at FEBC.org. All right, Ed, you want to introduce our final clip here?
[Kyrgyzstan Director]: This is the Director of FEBC’s ministry in Kyrgyzstan, a primarily Muslim country with a great expansion of six FM stations. If I could only show you the passion in the faces, you would be able to connect that powerfully [Laughter] with the way he speaks about their ministry for Christ.
[Wayne]: The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son.” In the country I live in, this is still news. Every day, we share the good message of Jesus over the air. We know that the power of prayer is at work when someone believes. Thank you for praying as we keep broadcasting that good news.