One Voice, One Message, Countless Lives Changed
June 27, 2016
One of the greatest privileges of ministry work is passing on to others what knowledge and resources have been gleaned over one’s years as a child of God, student of His Word, and worker in Christian service. So it was a joy and honor recently to find myself in upper Egypt, standing before a group of over one hundred brothers and sisters in the Lord who were there to learn how to disciple more effectively.
I didn’t know if anyone there would even know anything about TWR. But for those there who were over 30 years of age, as soon as I uttered the words “Trans World Radio” their eyes lit up. I could tell that they were listening to every word I said.
As I looked over the crowd, I could tell that there was one person more excited than all the rest. As soon as I finished speaking and we had a break, this woman made a beeline towards me. She hugged me and said, “My husband has to tell you his story. He is here today because of Trans World Radio.”
Kamal* was not as outgoing as his wife, but he did have a huge smile on his face. As he shared his story with me, I soon had one on my face as well.
In 1989, when he was still a boy in Sudan, Kamal was tuning across the dial when he heard a message—a message he had never heard before. He was intrigued, so he kept listening. On the radio was a man who read a portion of a book and then, like a father, he explained what that portion of the book said in terms that a young boy could understand. The book that the man was reading from was the Holy Bible, and you can probably guess that the program was Thru the Bible!
Kamal listened every day for months, and one day the speaker asked: “Now that you have heard the teaching, do you believe what is being taught? If you do believe, have you prayed the sinner’s prayer? Have you accepted Jesus into your heart? Have you come to the point where you want to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ”?
He went on to say, “If you haven’t, do you want to do it today?”
Young Kamal knelt that very day and asked Jesus into his heart. He was a new creation living in a country that is predominately Muslim and in the middle of a civil war. This young man’s father was not a Christian, nor did he listen to the programs. But he had convictions—he was not going to let his children be involved in a civil war where they would have to be armed and potentially kill their fellow countrymen. So Kamal’s father made the decision to leave Sudan with his family, which is how my new friend Kamal ended up living in Egypt.
The story does not end here. Kamal—no longer a boy, but now a man—got involved in a local church in Egypt, a church that didn’t have strong leadership or a trained pastor. Before long, the people in the church wanted Kamal to be their pastor. After all, he had the answers to their questions and more knowledge of the scripture than anyone else in the church. Why? Because of Thru the Bible!
It all came back to that pastor on the radio in Sudan reading a portion of scripture and then explaining it in such a way that a child could understand.
Kamal did eventually go to Bible school, but even this was not easy. He had minimal formal education, so he struggled to pass the courses. At one point the school even asked him to leave because he was failing, but he wouldn’t be deterred. He told them, “I will start again.” And he did. After a number of additional years of training, he finished Bible school. Today, he is the pastor of a Sudanese congregation in Egypt where he is teaching the wondrous truths of the Word of God, which he first learned about himself by listening to Thru the Bible.
It all started by hearing a voice come out of a box, speaking a timeless message he wasn’t expecting to hear. God spoke into this young man’s heart, and it changed him forever. You can see the joy of his faith in his face.
*not his real name
- Ray Alary, President of TWR-Canada
Middle East & North Africa