Writings of Branko's Blog

All around Central Europe

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What Do You Do When You Are 16

The Ukrainian TWR recently received an interesting response to their youth programs, from a girl of 16.

I enjoy your programs for the youth. It was a very good idea to create such a program. I recently heard about the correspondence course you send out. I would like to do it, because it is very important to not start making mistakes at my age. Most of the time we, young people, think of ourselves as adults, knowing and understanding everything. My parents are believers, but that does not make me a better person in comparison to my peers.

“It is important not to lose my faith, and the good things my parents taught me and put into my thoughts. Some of my schoolmates exaggerate the problems they have at home or with young boyfriends they love. They look for comfort in drinking alcohol, living loosely, and taking drugs. This is a real problem among my peers. It hurts to see my friends “bath” their joys and “drown” their sorrows in alcohol. And this is going on constantly.

“There was a time when I too tried alcohol. Of course it was in secret so my parents would not know about it. But I sensed such emptiness after the fact. There was a vacuum in my soul that was filled only after I made peace with God… I would not want to become a victim of sin, neither do I want my friends to become victims of sin either…

For more information on the Children ministries in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, visit www.twr.org\projekt\812

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Dinner in Kiev

Dinner was very good (or Why do I always eat well when traveling?)

During our stay in Kiev, Ukraine, we paid a visit to the Chernobyl museum. We learned how ill equipped and not prepared the people were at the instance of core melt down, and when the robots and machines failed, the Soviet army sent soldiers! Humans were not showing signs of malfunctioning, at least not for the time they needed them to clean the mess. And the documentation is still not disclosed to the public. As in the case of the starvation museum, that was opened last year in Kiev, we saw that the human suffering did not play a large role in the Soviet philosophy or political system. The explosion at the atomic plant in Chernobyl occurred on 26 April 1986, and the system kept people affected going on as if nothing happened – even having a 1 May parade in Kiev, just 100 km south from the site. City next to the plant, 1.5 km away, was evacuated only the next day, when the inhabitants were exposed to the radiation for 24 hours already. A city of 55,000 souls, of which 17,000 were kids. I did not dare to ask for the statistics, if they are known at all nowadays…

Gruesome photos and the fact that the ‘sarcophagus’ placed atop of the 4-th block of the plant is full of cracks and holes, and that the rain water is washing out the radiation to the soil every single time rain falls, left us all with a bitter and solemn feeling that the science and humans have no answer to this ‘mistake,’ as they call it. Can TWR bring hope to this nation of 48 million? I saw right there the importance of having our programs at the Ukrainian national radio, even only 3 times 15 minutes per week, as it is now. Praise the Lord for our MW broadcasts from Estonia, they do bring hope. We saw proof – thousands of letters and contacts arrive every year to our studios in Kiev and Kharkov.

And the dinner later that evening was more than good. Well prepared, excellent taste, good price. What else can I expect in this world of today? Ah, yes, we prayed the blessings for the food. Then I cleaned the plate, and it was already time to pay the bill…


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Travel Notes (Ukraine) and TWR work

Notes on TWR Ukraine (from a recent trip)

The TWR ministry work in Ukraine started in 1992. Today they have two studios: in Kiev and in Kharkov, producing hours of Christian programs every week. They have audience of 5-10 million people via wired radio on the national channel that was made by the Communists to spread the propaganda into every house, every official office, hospital, police station…50 years ago it was forbidden in churches to listen to the radio and TV because they denied God’s existence, but one pastor proclaimed in faith: it will come a day that through this wire radio system they all had to have at home, God’s word will be spoken.

  • They have 5 programs aired on the national channel and they have an average of 1 million listeners.
  • They challenged listeners to support them financially so they can continue broadcasting on the national channel; if listeners would contribute with a grivna (local currency) value of 20 US cents every month for the ministry, they could continue to broadcast TWR programs. They did it generously.
  • Radio broadcast is literally a “radio church” to some of their listeners.
  • They prepare TTB program, program for kids and teenagers, they made internet Forum for youth to share their opinion on certain subject (example: http://www.twr-ua.org/forum/viewtopic.php?id=222). They do follow up in churched about their youth programs. They also make programs for women and people with disabilities.
  • They made questionnaire for the listeners to get to know who they are and sent it to them to 13,000. They made special PC software to analyze all the answers. 2,000 people answered them.
  • Some statistics: if there were 100 listeners, 34 people would be from 45-65 years old, 25 people would be older than 65 (23% of the listeners), 25 people would be from 22-25 years old, 16 people would be from 12-22 years old. = Their goal is to reach people in all ages.
    • Listeners by religious background (in percentages): 29 Baptist, 26 Pentecostal, 16 Adventist, 10 Eastern Orthodox, 8 charismatic’s, 6 Jehovah Witnesses, 3 other Protestants, 2 evangelical Christians.
    • How people learned about their programs: 52 by accident, 33 from someone else, 9 from their parents, 4 from the Church, 2 from the press.
    • Statistics on how long they listen to the programs (example from No of 100): 37 listeners not more than 5 years, 29 listeners around 10years, 20 listeners around 20 years, 14 listeners around 10-20 years.
  • Their goal is to proclaim Jesus, not church or denomination; they challenge listeners to be active in Christian life and in their church.
  • They asked listeners about the topics they would like to hear in the program and then contacted local pastors to help in the production. TWR Ukraine desires to make a Bible course for the whole family and to offer it to listeners. Other topics: spiritual growth, repentance, personal relationship with God, Eschatology, Trinity, spiritual gifts, testimonies, how to fight with a cult, alcohol and drug addictions, ministry of the Church to the world, prayer, active Christian life.
  • 200 people who answered questionnaire said that they know 700 other Christians that came to know the Lord through TWR ministry.

Go check www.twr-ua.org for more information


Red Square and twrradio.ru

I was in Russia in March. First time ever. And I was amazed every day: snow, ice, endless traffic jams, expensive souvenirs, phenomenally colored Orthodox cathedrals, 11 time zones, gasoline for 50 eurocents for liter, excellent food, Moscow – 1 city of 15 million people, fast waking around, no public litter boxes, city trains every 2.5 minutes, (Red square isn’t actually red), this list is large.

One night I was particularly amazed. The Russian TWR team held a ‘live in studio’ broadcast on choir music use in Evangelical churches with several guests and a host, Natalia. They let listeners call in via a regular phone, Skype in their chat questions, send e-mails. The subject was hot, there were plenty of comments and questions. What amazed me was that the signal was transferred via Internet lines to another country where the classical AM/MW broadcast was done for the European part of Russia, and also an Internet transmission for whomever was listening via their PC’s. So, at one moment we had a contact from the Voronjez region (500 km south of Moscow)  who was listening on MW and the next was a phone call from a person who was listening on-line in Sacramento, USA. And the program was good, debate heated, arguments were flying left and right. “Nota Bene” is the program’s name.

So, how is your Russian, lately? Why don’t you check Trans Mirovnoe internet Radio at www.twrradio.ru and refresh it, or try the following link http://www.erf.de/1288-Russisch.html?reset=1