TWR’s Silk Road Transmitter Project
02 Jul

TWR’s Silk Road Transmitter Project

Featured

 

 

 

 

Leading people from doubt to decision to discipleship

Speaking fluently in more than 230 languages and dialects, TWR exists to reach the world for Jesus Christ. Our global media outreach engages millions in 190 countries with biblical truth. Since 1952, God has enabled TWR to help lead people from doubt to decision to discipleship.

Together with international partners, local churches and other ministries, TWR provides relevant programming, discipleship resources and dedicated workers to spread hope to individuals and communities around the globe. Whether using high-powered radio to reach people in the Middle East and Latin America, streaming content to Internet users in Asia and Europe or visiting face-to-face with listeners in Africa, TWR leaves a lasting spiritual footprint.

 

Our Calling

To reach the world for Christ by mass media so that lasting fruit is produced

 

Mission Statement

To assist the church to fulfill the command of Jesus Christ to make disciples of all peoples by using and making available mass media to:

  1. Proclaim the Gospel of salvation to as many people as possible,
  2. Instruct believers in biblical doctrine and daily Christ-like living,
  3. Model our message through our corporate and cooperative relationships.

 

Fast facts about TWR

  • Founded by Dr. Paul E. Freed, TWR began broadcasting in 1954
  • Major transmitting locations include Bonaire, West Africa, Central Asia (3 locations), Moldova, Guam, the Middle East, Monte Carlo, Sri Lanka, Estonia, Swaziland, and Uruguay.
  • TWR programs are aired on 2,000 media platforms including, AM, FM, shortwave, satellite, and our digital app called TWR360.
  • TWR is heard in 230 languages. Potentially over 4 billion people can turn on their radios and hear TWR in a language they can understand.
  • With offices, partners or studios in over 80 countries, TWR logged more than 18 million interactions with audience members last year.
  • TWR is headquartered in Cary, North Carolina, a southwest suburb of Raleigh, the state capital.
  • As a 501(c)(3), gifts are tax-deductible and TWR is a member of ECFA and NRB.

A 200,000 watt transmitter in the middle of Asia!  Are you crazy?

We did a short interview with our TWR team working on this incredible project.  Due to the sensitivity and security concerns, the interview has been sanitized to protect you from saying something on air we all might later regret.  In the TWR world of acronyms, PANI stands for Pakistan, Afghanistan and North India, a 500,000 watt AM transmitter.  And the acronym CAMENA stands for Central Asia, Middle East, and North Africa.

Q: Why is replacing this transmitter so imperative?

“In January 2017, our regional ministry was forced to reduce many of our programs being broadcast into Central Asia due to a 150,000 watt AM transmitter being taken out of service.  As a result we placed many of the programs onto the PANI transmitter, but at later listening times, and we went from broadcasting 3 hours per day down to 2 hours of programs per day into Central Asia.  This change meant that if people wanted to hear the programs they would need to stay up late into the night, and many of the programs they were dependent upon were no longer accessible.  Now, God is leading our ministry to install a powerful 200,000 watt AM transmitter that we are calling the “Silk Road Transmitter”, which will increase our coverage area to Central Asia during prime time and provide increased capacity for more programs that listeners want to hear.” – Nathan Anderson, International Director – TWR CAMENA

 

Q: What is the spiritual condition of this region and how critical is it for TWR to be the voice of Jesus to this part of the world?   

“Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the countries that gained their independence in Central Asia, there have been many opened doors for ministries to work in some of the Central Asian countries.  In recent years however, there has been a tightening of regulations and new restrictions placed on churches and their activities.  Islam is the predominant religion people adhere to in these countries and with this comes increased oppression from the community and even from within families.  For many believers, especially in rural areas, one of the only ways for them to receive biblical teaching and spiritual direction for their lives is through listening to radio programs.  The programs that are planned for broadcast from the Silk Road Transmitter will bring messages of hope and life-saving truth from the Word of God – truth that transforms and strengthens those who hear Him.” – Nathan Anderson, International Director – TWR CAMENA

Q:  What spiritual markers has the Lord revealed?

March 30, 2003, TWR started broadcasting on a 150,000 watt AM transmitter into Central Asia.   At the time, when TWR purchased in Germany the transmitter for the PANI project, several used 100,000 watt AM transmitters were offered for sale by German state-owned broadcast companies.  TWR purchased 3 of them at a very good price. One of those transmitters was installed at our transmitting site in Swaziland, Africa about 2 years ago.

 

At the end of 2016, the 150,000 watt transmitter in Central Asian was taken out of operation.

 

From TWR’s ministry point of view, we need a 200,000 watt transmitter.  That would cover the most populated areas in Central Asia with a strong signal.  This would only be possible by combining the two 100,000 watt transmitters (with a combiner) into one 200,000 watt transmitter.

 

We praise the Lord that the owner of the transmitting site accepted the concept we suggested for the replacement of the old transmitter.  We see this as nothing less than a miracle from our Lord and a major breakthrough after years of negotiations to renew the Silk Road Transmitter.

 

Another spiritual marker is the additional demand for airtime on the PANI transmitter for Afghanistan.  In recent months other ministries approached us requesting airtime.  After completing the Silk Road Transmitter project it will be possible to transfer Central Asian programs from PANI to the Silk Road Transmitter freeing airtime on PANI to be used for Afghanistan.  An additional advantage is that the Central Asian programs will then be aired at prime time in the Central Asia countries resulting in greater spiritual impact.

 

 

Q:  AM radio gets bad press in the US.  Is AM a good investment? 

It’s the best investment.  Radio Free Europe broadcasts currently on AM into the Eastern part of Central Asia.  This confirms the medium continues to be viable to reach intended target audiences in that part of the world.  In addition, AM radio has the ability to travel vast distances on the nighttime sky wave making it much more conducive to use than FM, especially with the rugged terrain.

 

 

 Q:  Can you tell us a little about the ministry target? 

The 200,000 watt AM transmitter covers the major parts of Central Asia including Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, large parts of Uzbekistan, large parts of Kazakhstan, and northwestern China.  We plan to put programs in the following languages on the Silk Road Transmitter:

 

  • Kazakh
  • Uzbek
  • Kyrgyz
  • Uyghur
  • Tajik
  • Central Asia Russian

 

 

 

Q:  What has been some of the strategical thinking moving forward? 

Reaching Central Asia with the Gospel is very difficult.  The people are scattered in the vast steppes of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan as well as in the valleys of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, as well as in Northwest China.  In all, about 60 million people are living in the coverage area of the Silk Road transmitter.

 

Kazakhstan has the highest percentage of urban people, 56.5%.  The Lord is giving us a strategic opportunity where 10 of the 12 largest cities of Central Asia are located in the coverage area of this transmitter.  Tajikistan has the lowest percentage of urban people with 25.9%.  Interestingly, most of the population of Central Asia lives in rural areas.  Through the radio we are able to bring the Good News of Jesus, even to the remotest farms and villages.

 

The Muslim countries of Central Asia could not be reached with the Gospel for centuries. The Bible has been translated into those languages only in the last 20 years. The Kazakhs received their Bible in 2010.  The Uzbek Bible was completed in 2017 but it is not possible to legally bring the Uzbek Bible into the country.  Radio makes the perfect tool.  Radio is able to proclaim the truth about God and the salvation through Jesus to the people of Central Asia.

 

The Church is quite young.  In 1990, there were only about 100 known followers of Jesus throughout Central Asia.  Then God gave a revival resulting in churches being established in all countries of Central Asia.  Often they are small house churches.  Today, it is estimated that there are about 20,000 to 30,000 believers.  This first generation of Christians experience rejection and persecution.  According to the world persecution index from Open Doors, the countries of Central Asia are ranked as follows:

 

Uzbekistan – 16

Kazakhstan – 28

Tajikistan – 22

Turkmenistan – 19

 

In addition to those extremely difficult to reach countries, the Silk Road Transmitter gives us the possibility of ministering to the Uyghurs, the Kazakhs and the Kyrgyz living in Northwest China.

 

 

Q:  What 10 countries will the 200,000 watt signal cross into? 

Afghanistan

China

India

Kazakhstan

Kyrgyzstan

Pakistan

Russia

Tajikistan

Uzbekistan

Mongolia

About the Author

Comments are closed.