We’re racing through the jungle on the back of a motorcycle, my driver expertly guiding us along a track of dirt that is sometimes no wider than our motorcycle tire. Twigs, banana leaves and low-hanging branches whip at our legs, arms and faces—we have to duck to avoid getting hit.
I’m traveling through this remote area of Indonesia to film the distribution of radios to people who likely have never heard of Jesus Christ.
Our small, two-man media team finally arrives in a village with a few homes and maybe 20-30 people. We’ve driven for 2 ½ hours by car, and 2 ½ hours by motorcycle just to get here.
This truly is the middle of nowhere, and these people are some of the hardest to reach…
The villagers are excited to see us, and we walk around the village getting a tour by several excited kids. We walk past groves of coffee and banana trees and goat pens to their homes made of bamboo, with floors of hard-packed earth.
Until then, I hadn’t been able to picture villages like this still existing in today’s world. These are communities of 20-30 people living hours from the nearest city and miles from the next village. There is no running water, no cell phone reception—not even paved roads.
As the daylight began to fade, we started to distribute the radios we had brought. The villagers’ faces lit up with smiles—until that moment, these people were truly unreached, with no access to the Gospel.
Preparing to leave the village as the day gave way to night, I realized I had never fully understood the dramatic impact that just one radio could have on a community like this. Completely cut off from the outside world, these people live in silence, never hearing the Word of God. Yet, when one person turns on their radio, the Gospel cuts through the silence.
When one person turns on their radio and tunes in to FEBC programs, villagers walking by stop to listen. Kids playing outside get curious and come inside to hear what’s being said, while neighbors ask to listen too.
In these tightly-knit communities, one person listening to the radio becomes a communal act. You gather together as a village and listen. There are no pastors, no churches and very few, if any, local believers to teach you about Jesus. The one tool you have is this radio.
It’s why we hear story after story of entire villages being saved by the Gospel because of one radio, and why many remote areas treasure their radios, wrapping them in cloth and storing them in a safe place until they need to tune in again.
I was blessed to be able to witness a moment like this, to see people receive a radio that can give them the life-changing knowledge of Jesus Christ. What a rarity that is in today’s world, and what a prime example of the work we still have to do until all have heard.
–Ethan Froelich, FEBC USA
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