Writings of Branko's Blog

All around Central Europe

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Media Ministry to Migrants in Europe [blog]

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.

This is just a photo of an animation at http://www.twreurope.org site

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!

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Can a Friend be also a Leader? [blog]

Today’s world is mostly consisted of people who are more in tune with ‘doing’ than ‘being,’ just like myself, although when challenged I would admit this is wrong. So, for those among us who are on the ‘doing’ side, here are some action points a friendship leader can take in relation to friendship:

1. Make your followers friends. This is a simple action of calling, of making someone a friend and initiates the process of changing the leader-follower relationship.

2. Treat followers, peers and supervisors with love. If a leader begins to act in love, he will begin to feel loving. A helping question here is: How can I help (as a first instance response).

3. Another step to follow is in the steps of Jesus, who opened his heart to friends and told them everything, being real.

4. Make a commitment to these friends (now) to be true, to trust, to listen to, to support, and to be available.

Friendship leadership does not reject authority. Apostle Paul wrote: But this authority is to build you up, not to tear you down”: in 2 Corinthians 10:8a. Paul uses his God given power and authority, not to lord it over others, but for building up people.

Adopted from George D. Cooper’s Friendship Leadership book (ISBN 80-969417-5-5).

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Latest Touch Tablet Model [blog]

There is another tech-wiz-freak-week this week in the Sin City (somewhere in Arizona) and all existing gadget producers are up for sales and promotion. Western world is rapidly approaching reading tablet news edition during the breakfast time at every home. At least these are the sales plans.

And this is the same picture for the last 100 years. It was a radio set, and then better radio set, black & white TV, then color TV, transistor radio for FM, satellite distribution, cable TVs, digital signal, Internet distribution, downloads, MP3 mobile phones, laptops and what not, and now smart phones and tablets. And in the next 20 years there will be another long list of gadgets solar-powered, eco-friendly, running on water or air, helium touch, reading our minds, and so on.

Media is changing, it is ever changing, while the Gospel message remains the same – an unchanging message for the ever changing media world, as it is often said in www.twr.org The packing is different, content is adjusted and culturalized, all is well set together and digitalized, but we cannot deny the following – human nature is still the same, and the need also, and the Gospel message is still the same.

Jesus came to bring peace, the Master Reconciler himself paid his way to us and our way to Him. Whether we hear this by watching the fresco paintings in the XII century Serbian monasteries, or by looking at the X century Christmas time church procession in Zagreb, or you read about it in the just printed XV century Gutenberg Bible, or listening about it on an MP3 downloads on your mobile phone, the message is the same.

So, what is your latest gadget?

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An SMS from a Friend [blog]

During the last day of 2010 I received several nice SMS messages. Some were funny, others formal, while one was just great, so I am repeating it here:

A very happy New 2011 Year to you and the best wishes with John 14:19: “But you will see me. Because I live, you will live also.” What a joy and what a hope for the uncertainties of 2011 knowing that He has gone before us – He is already there!

A great encouragement indeed – knowing that the Lord of the Universe is already in the future where He has gone before us.

Thank you, Friend, for this encouragement.