For many years, we had a radio program as a means of preaching the Gospel to many people in places we could not easily reach. But as prices for radio time soared, we had to drop the program as we could not longer afford the air time. We have often longed for the capacity to once again use radio as a means for preaching the Gospel. Yet with the falling dollar and very tight budgets, that seemed to be an impossible dream. That is, until I received an invitation to teach on the radio because of my work teaching with the Bible College. God has opened many doors for preaching and teaching, including this exciting invitation to teach thousands of Christians on the radio each week.
This opportunity appeared when the university received a request from one of the local Christian radio stations to develop a program to train leaders using the radio as a classroom. A set of basic classes was selected as the courses to be offered over the air. People could just listen in for their own enrichment with no charge. But those interested it taking the class for college credit at either the bachelorâ€™s level or for a masterâ€™s degree could write in or call for the text books.
While there was a cost to taking the class for credit, they could make progress towards a college degree by listening to the programs and following along with the teaching. After listening to the radio class they submit the homework and take the tests to finish the material and earn the credit. We had never done anything like this in Colombia before, so we were not sure the response we would get. But to our surprise, the response was massive.
I began teaching last semester in this manner and have continued to teach one radio class at a time each week. The radio station does a market survey to get an idea of the size of the audience. They use this as a means of rating programs and deciding whether it is worth continuing a program. After the first class I taught, the market survey indicated an estimated audience of around ten thousand here in BogotÃ¡. The program is linked to radios stations all over the country but marketing data is not generally available for those markets.
The program was pulling very good ratings and so we were encouraged, as was the radio station. As a result, I was asked to teach another class this semester, which I agreed to do. The classes have proven so popular that another DJ asked me to come on his program as well as a special guest. That further extended the opportunities I had to teach large numbers of Colombian Christians.
As the class was to have ended this week, the number of calls and requests for an extension led the producer to ask for additional time, which I agreed to add to the class schedule. This was an indication of the effect the teaching was having. While all of the preparation for teaching these classes has added to my work load, the opportunity has been so great and the results so satisfying that I have willing added to my already busy schedule.
To have the opportunity to teach ten thousand students in my weekly classroom has been a special blessing in the educational ministry here in Colombia. I teach clear Biblical doctrine with a focus on the restoration of New Testament Christianity. Truly God has blessed the work and opened many doors for drawing many people closer to simple, Biblical Christianity here in Colombia by providing for the radio program we could no longer afford on our own. Rejoice with me at this great blessing and opportunity!