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Radio Gospel: An Unexpected Response to COVID-19

Radio Gospel: An Unexpected Response to COVID-19

FALL/WINTER 2020    |    2.5 MINUTE READ
BILLY AND JOANNA COPPEDGE, MISSIONARIES IN UGANDA


We had a problem.

Our ministry partners in Uganda, the leaders and pastors of Africa Gospel Church (AGC), were grounded at home under COVID-19 restrictions. With limited (or more often, no) access to online technology and resources, the AGC pastors were struggling to know how to tend to their flocks. How could they shepherd their sheep, feed their people, and encourage families if no one was allowed to meet together in person or able to connect online?


How could they shepherd their sheep, feed their people, and encourage families if no one was allowed to meet together in person or able to connect online?


Remember the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000? How did Jesus respond when the disciples recommended sending the hungry crowds away to get food?

“You give them something to eat,” Jesus said (Mark 6:37 NIV).

With those words, Jesus was inviting his disciples to change their ministry paradigm. Rather than do what they had planned or what might have been expected, Jesus was proposing an alternative solution—a solution that involved the disciples partnering alongside Him and a generous young boy.

A husband and wife sitting in a radio studio, smiling

Reverend David Dhikusooka and his wife, Judith

In similar ways, Jesus has invited us as the missionaries alongside the leaders of AGC to re-think our ministry paradigm amidst the COVID-19 lockdown realities. The solution to AGC’s shepherding challenge has come in the form of radio broadcasting. For many years, Jonathan Mayo, the WGM Uganda Area Team Leader, and the AGC leaders have dreamed of getting the Good News of Jesus Christ and the message of wholistic transformation on radio. For while limited internet access remains a real challenge in Uganda, radio has long been a favorite form of media in the country. But the timing of getting AGC on air has never been quite right—until now.

In faith that God would provide as we ventured forward, we began exploring ways to get several of the key AGC leaders on radio every weekend. Just like with the disciples, we needed partners, and God provided. Kenneth and Delight Hopson, also WGM Uganda missionaries, manage The Print Shop in Uganda. And when they heard about the possibility of reaching AGC communities via radio, God touched their hearts to get involved by helping to provide some of the initial funding.

A husband and wife reading from the Bible on a radio broadcast

Bishop Joseph Ogweyo and his wife, Evelyn

To our amazement, just like the loaves and fish, God has multiplied our working together. By listening to the questions and comments that have been called in each week after the broadcasts, our church leaders have been able to adjust and adapt their messages to address real needs in the community. For example, they had decided to devote two broadcasts to the issue of marriage during COVID-19, but after the response from the first week, they realized it was such a hot topic that we planned a whole month of episodes on helping husbands and wives learn how to love each other and God better during these stress-filled days.

The continued response has been more than we anticipated. Each week we receive reports of how God has used the radio preaching over the weekend to touch lives, draw people to Himself, reconcile marriages, and bring transformation to families that are struggling with hard questions and unprecedented circumstances.

A husband and wife broadcasting in a radio studio.

Reverend Martin Owor and his wife, Rose

This is certainly not the ministry strategy that we had planned for 2020, but we are praising Jesus for a paradigm-changing partnership that has allowed people in Ugandan communities to hear and experience the transforming grace of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah! Praise God Forever!

WHAT NOW?

PRAY: Ask God to anoint these Africa Gospel Church leaders as they preach on the radio each week. Join us in praying that Jesus would give us wisdom in developing this radio ministry in ways that could contribute to God reviving Uganda through his Holy Spirit.

GIVE: Through partnership with allies such as Kenneth and Delight Hopson at The Print Shop, and others, this radio outreach has become a reality. Is God inviting you to join this radio partnership? Be a part of Jesus’ radio solution to Uganda’s COVID-19 challenges!


Author Bio: Billy and Joanna Coppedge, along with their five children, have served with WGM in Uganda since 2006. Their passion is the use of biblical storytelling to bring about heart transformation. You can follow their journey on Facebook.

The Call (Fall/Winter 2020)

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