On this day in 1948, the first radio station of the Far East Broadcasting Company went on the air.
By the end of World War II, many of the America soldiers had seen first hand the great spiritual need in Asia. Two of these soldiers decided to do something about it. John Broger and Bob Bowman, even before the war was over, began to make plans to set up a radio station that would have the capacity to broadcast the gospel message to millions of people.
The two men first tried to put their station in China, but the new Chinese government was slowly pushing out all missionary work and the station was never able to be established. While searching for a new spot, they decided upon the newly liberated islands of the Philippines. It was here, in Manila, that they built their radio station and the first broadcast went out.
Today, FEBC broadcasts in nearly 150 languages. Every single week, hundreds respond to the stations with salvation decisions, whether by letter, e-mail, or visits.
On this day in 1833, Franz Michael Zahn was born in Moerss, Germany.
For four decades, Zahn lead a small German mission society called the Bremen Mission, which focused all of its work along the “Slave Coast”, which is today Togo and Ghana. While he was in charge of the work of the Bremen Mission in West Africa, he helped shift the focus onto training up African leaders to fill the roles in the churches.
Zahn’s philosophy of training up African leaders was revolutionary for his time and day. The area of Western Africa, as many other parts of the World, was under the tight colonial control. The Colonial government strongly suppressed any attempts to educate the local inhabitants of their colony, fearing that education would cause them to become on “equal” footing with the Colonial power. This attitude of treating the Africans as inferior had begun to rub off on many missionaries and one even wrote to Zahn and warned him of the danger of telling them “that they are our brothers in Christ.” Appalled and angered by this attitude, Zahn vowed to be different.
Gathering the missionaries from his society, Zahn taught them that the new philosophy on which they were working was to “lead the emerging African Christianity out of missionary tutelage and into manhood in Christ.” The workers of the Bremen Mission, using education and discipleship, worked to do just that.
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