Global Answers Satellite Broadcast: A New Mission Field
Missionary work has always been a central part of Believers Christian Fellowship. For more than thirty years Brother Lonnie Jenkins traveled the world introducing the Message in nations such as Pakistan, Malawi, Korea, and Russia. Then, as the churches in those countries became more established, Brother Lonnie began to feel the burden for them lift as the Lord placed another group of people on his heart: those in Muslim lands.
However, sharing the Gospel with people in such extreme societies would be difficult, even dangerous; but the Lord opened the perfect avenue to reach not only the Islamic community, but also a world-wide missionary field.
Since 1997, the local services here at BCF have been broadcast on Scandinavian television from the island nation of Iceland. Gradually station owner, Brother Erik Erikson, expanded the coverage, and by 2003 he was broadcasting via satellite into Europe. At that time Brother Erik approached Brother Lonnie about the possibility of BCF producing a new program for his satellite Gospel Channel.
Church services are common on all Christian stations, and often when people are looking for something to watch they will pass up a man standing behind a pulpit. But when, in channel surfing, they come across two people having a discussion, they will often stop and listen in on the conversation. It was this format that Brother Erik proposed we use.
As we considered this new venture we were amazed to discover that the people with the experience necessary for this undertaking were already sitting in our assembly. BCF has been sending videos out since the early nineties, so equipment and an experienced crew were already in place. In addition, Brother Rick Johns, who does professional stage lighting, and his wife, Deb, formerly a producer and host on national television, had recently begun attending BCF. At the same time, Brother Russ Terry, who is gifted in initiating projects, research and organization, moved to Lima from Arizona. When asked to help all of these people enthusiastically agreed.
The first meeting about the new program took place in November 2003 and by its end the format, set design, and program name, Global Answers, had been discussed. Over the next few months, the set was built and furnished, and by March 19, 2004 the first four programs, entitled “What is God Doing Today?” were recorded.
For the next year, the Global Answers team got together to produce programs, and in the spring of 2005 they began to air on local stations throughout the United States. By the time Brother Erik began to broadcast Global Answers on the Gospel Channel, he was using three satellites to reach forty-five million homes from Western Europe all the way to the Chinese border.
Since the first broadcast we have produced more than fifty programs have received responses from viewers in nations such as Germany, Greece, Kazkhstan, Norway, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, the United Kindom, and here in the United States.
We are so grateful for the opportunity God has given us. The satellite broadcast is a vehicle which enables us to reach a vast mission field in a way that we never could if we attempted to visit them in person. Ultimately, our focus is not on the broadcast itself, but on the commission to go into all the world and preach the Gospel.