Migrants are longing for familiarity and acceptance. And what is more familiar than hearing something in the language of your heart? Hearing something in your mother tongue catches your attention if you are living in a foreign country. And that is what “Migrant Media Ministry” is about; giving migrants the opportunity to easily access Christian programs in their mother tongue.
Even if migrants are illiterate, they quite often own a (mobile) phone and know how to make a call. They may not be able to surf the Internet because they cannot read or because it is not available or not affordable, but they can dial a local phone number. That is why the telephone, whether mobile or fixed, is an ideal media (technology) to reach migrants.
A colleague of mine, Robert Rothrock, recently wrote a MMM (Migrant Media Ministry) summary: “In the period after the Second World War, European countries responded to labor shortages by encouraging immigration from other lands. At first the intent was for these immigrants to reside in these countries on a temporary basis, but in the course of time they became a permanent presence.
Many immigrants share a common culture and even language with the host country, but many come from completely different backgrounds. In many cases, though, the immigrant groups have not assimilated or integrated very well to the host country culture. They sometimes don’t learn the host country language, and remain isolated in communities of fellow immigrants of like background.
This very isolation provides great opportunities to share about the gospel of Jesus Christ. When you live in another culture, you become quite alert to communication in your mother tongue. Books, newspapers, radio and television broadcasts often catch your attention for no other reason than that they are in your own language.
Beginnings. From the earliest days of TWR’s ministry in Europe, TWR and its partners have provided medium wave radio programs in languages such as Turkish, to minister to large groups of Turkish speaking people in Germany and other countries.
Last year, our German partner, ERF Medien Germany, celebrated ten years of ministry to migrant groups using short telephone devotions. They started out in 2000 in three languages (German, English and Russian) and have since expanded to 25 languages, and receive more than 12,000 calls per month. A recent development is a one minute program called A Minute with God, which presents a Bible passage in the context of challenges from day-to-day life.”
There is a great 2.5 minutes animation on Migrant Media Ministry at this site!