Words of Hope’s Tibetan partner, Gaweylon, produces shortwave radio programs that touch on many aspects of the lives of native Tibetan people. “In Tibet and rural areas of India where Tibetans live, people still depend on radio for news, entertainment, and learning because there are few alternatives,” explains our Gaweylon director.
The radio programs take a holistic approach with topics such as health, Tibetan culture, Bible messages, traditional and modern Tibetan music, Christian music, care for the environment, and nutrition.
Because communication and travel into and out of Tibet is limited, it can be difficult to know if our broadcasts are being received. The Gaweylon team relies on reception reports from listeners from many countries around the world.
And we know that the programs are being heard. In fact, the broadcasts generate more than ten thousand responses each year from Tibetans living in India, Nepal, and Bhutan—many from Buddhist monasteries where thousands of monks hunger for a better understanding of God. Listeners reach out by phone, personal visits, text messages, email, and letters to let us know that the signal is clear, or to share words of encouragement.
“People send us regular reports, and this is a good way to build a relationship with them,” says the director at Gaweylon. “A few ask us questions and request Christian and health literature.” Our team works hard to stay in contact with these people, even though by nature Tibetans are not a letter writing people and many are nomads, shifting from one place to another.
When we receive a reception report from a listener, we always reply with a letter and a bookmark with a Bible verse on it. “Our prayer is that his word will speak to people and bear fruit,” says the director.
Sometimes, listeners end up volunteering to help the team reach further with ministry resources as well. Geshe, a senior monk from a monastery in Northern India, has been listening to the programs since 2002. He distributes Gaweylon literature and CDs when he visits other monasteries across the country. Geshe recently wrote a letter to the Tibetan team.
“Thank you for the literature and CDs that you sent me by parcel,” he wrote. “They are very informative and useful to all of us. I have distributed them to the people around me. I am always happy to hear from you all at Gaweylon. We appreciate the good work that you all do.”