How 'The Tide' Ministry Is Reaching Seekers During COVID-19

(Unsplash/Jonathan Velasquez)

The needs brought on by COVID-19 restrictions have opened multiple doors for The Tide® (thetide.org), a ministry that delivers the gospel to people in their native languages, to deepen relationships with people seeking hope in this life and the next. In Thailand, listeners of The Tide ministry's radio programs are helping to spread the gospel beyond the ordinary reach of its daily broadcasts.

When workers of The Tide ministry were looking for radio networks to expand daily coverage of the Life's Answers gospel broadcast in the city of Ubon Ratchathani, they turned to G. and A., a blind couple they have shared Christ with for 10 years. Their weekly visits to assist with routine tasks and applications for government assistance during the pandemic provided an opportunity for G. to give them some advice.

"We consulted with a friend [G.] who listens to the radio almost all day long—a blind man who is also a seeker—to find out what radio station is popular," one ministry worker reported. "He recommended a government station that has a broad reach covering the entire province and also into neighboring provinces."

As part of their regular visits, The Tide ministry workers gifted their friends with audio equipment and an invitation to listen to Life's Answers. In turn, this couple is sharing what they are discovering about the God of the Bible with their friends as well.

"We gave them an audio player, and they began listening to the 'Life's Answers' programs," the worker said. "G. then told us that he had talked to several people on the phone about what he was learning about God—mostly friends who know him from the times he did radio broadcasts."

God is using the long-term friendship between The Tide missionaries and G. and A. in powerful ways for the gospel. These seekers are watching the video series The Hope as they continue to explore Jesus, and even helping to communicate the gospel to others who need the Lord.

"We took G. to visit a bedridden friend, and he even helped us to share the gospel with this man and his wife," another worker said. "We are now meeting with G., A. and their fifth-grade daughter L. weekly to share The Hope video series to further explain about God and the gospel message. They also listen to the 'Life's Answers' programs during the week."

G.'s advice to purchase airtime from the government station proved profitable even though it is more expensive than other stations' airtime. Shortly after The Tide ministry expanded its new radio initiative, the gospel signal was landing on the ears of seekers throughout Ubon Ratchathani and other Thai provinces.

"Within two weeks of our beginning broadcasts on the radio station that G. recommended, he told us that he had received calls from four friends mentioning hearing this new program and asking if he knew anything about it—I guess because they know that he listens to this radio station," the worker said. "He told them that he is studying now to learn more about God and that we visit him weekly. These friends are from different areas of Ubon and two neighboring provinces."

God's providence in blazing a trail for the gospel in Thailand couldn't be more evident, says The Tide ministry Director Don Shenk.

"It is exciting and awe inspiring to realize that several years before God opened the door for The Tide ministry to broadcast the gospel in Thailand, He was already forming relationships and laying the groundwork for a ministry partnership," Shenk said. "It is also a great reminder of the importance of building long-term relationships and continuing to walk alongside of people we are striving to bring into relationship with Jesus."

For nearly 75 years, The Tide ministry has recorded and broadcast gospel programming in nine countries on three continents in 27 heart languages spoken by millions of people in multiple regions, including Albania, Bhutan, India, Kosovo, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand and Zimbabwe. With more than 7,000 languages spoken worldwide and more than 2,000 people groups yet unreached with the Good News of Jesus, the opportunities are tremendous.

For more information about The Tide broadcast projects, history, radio programs around the world, special yearlong campaigns, the weekly Global Update radio features or other news, visit its website at thetide.org or its Facebook page. Read more about The Tide ministry and The Tide Director Don Shenk here.

The Tide ministry is actively looking for people godly and manly enough to take up the 2021 Year Beard® challenge. Visit YearBeard.org for background and to meet some of the participants who are growing out their facial hair to raise awareness and financial support to help The Tide ministry reach an additional 1 million people with the name of Jesus next year.

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