Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Jammin' - Jamming

People often ask us if anyone ever tries to "jam" the broadcasts of Trans World Radio. It can be done, of course. It doesn't take a very strong local transmitter to block the signals from a distant radio station.

Although TWR has and still does transmit programming to countries where either religion in general, or Christianity in particular, is not welcome, as far as I know, our broadcasts have not been and still are not jammed. We audition all our programs before they are aired and make sure that they stick to a positive presentation of the core elements of the Cristian belief system, as opposed to political, economic, or sectarian distinctives. This may help keep us off the jammers hit list.

Believe it or not, Albert Dosti, one of the leaders of the "department of jamming" in Albania, back when it was arguably the most hard line atheistic country in the world, heard the broadcasts of TWR, had a personal encounter with the risen Christ, and is now a leader of the TWR ministry in that country. Here is his story, as it was published in "info Serv", the news journal of Trans World Radio's European region:

In the 1980s, Albania - a small poverty-stricken country on the coast of the Adriatic Sea - was being run by a Communist dictator. "My job in the military was to intercept radio signals that came from other countries," Dosti recalls. It was also his duty to teach other soldiers how to recognize "enemy" radio signals.
"At the end of the 1980s, I heard some signals that were coming from a Monte Carlo station (in the Albanian language). These messages spoke about God," Dosti says. These messages were the first of their kind he'd ever heard - because the atheistic government of Albania had outlawed all religion. "Believing in God was forbidden," Dosti states.
Yet through Trans World Radio's Bible studies that were transmitted from Monte Carlo, Albert was able to listen and study God's Word for two years. Eventually, he responded to an invitation at the end of one of the programs; when he did so, a correspondence with TWR began.
This interaction led to Albert and his wife attending a Bible study camp after Albania's dictatorship fell. Soon after, the couple made a decision of faith to follow Jesus... and Albert's new life of leadership soon began.
Now, this former Communist army radio interceptor is receiving revelation from God's Word and transmitting it to the congregation of the Way of Peace Church, where he is pastor. He is also influencing for good those who attend Victory School, an educational program located in six places throughout Albania. The staff teaches children English and other job skills. In addition, Albert is now the chairman of the board of Gospel Waves, TWR's Partner ministry in Albania.

You can read more about the current state of Christianity in Albania in a report filed by Barbara Shantz, TWR-Europe ministry development director. My estimation of Barb skyrocketed when she bought her husband a nice Specialized road bike for his birthday one year! What's that got to do with anything, not much, unless you are a bikie. Then it needs no explanation. :)

And here is an inspirational story about bringing Christmas back to the country of Albania.

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