The religious folk seem to have understood the power of the media in informing, educating and captivating the public taking their message beyond their worship places and reaching out to millions of souls. It could be against this background that Ankole Diocese in collaboration with Words of Hope International ministry started a radio ministry and opened a revival radio station.
Last week, hundreds of Christians and a host of bishops from Anglican Church thronged Mbarara town streets chanting worship and praise songs for the grand opening of this ministry.
Describing this as one of his long-awaited vision, Ankole diocese Bishop Dr Sheldon Mwesigwa, says the purpose of the ministry and radio station is to preach the word of God, whose slogan is life in full.
“The ministry focuses on preaching the word of God, touching hearts and lives of many masses out there who are hopeless, heartbroken, in despair and misery beyond just in church ,” says Bishop Mwesigwa.
He adds that with a radio ministry you can change and impact on very many lives unlike just preaching and bringing out you messages in church.
The bishop also notes that the radio ministry and a Christian radio station can give Christians an alternative menu to a host of radio stations that just air secular and uncensored messages. These messages have become a thorn in the lives of many Christians and met out much suffering on innocent souls.
“Some of the radio stations have been taken over by witch doctors and traditional healers to advertise their claims of supernatural powers such as healing, giving riches and a host of people have fallen victim, including human sacrifices. So, the launch of this ministry and radio station offers an alternative,” adds Bishop Mwesigwa. Their programming will have aspects of education, health, development, entertainment. All this will be anchored in the word of God.
Why the radio?
“God who does great things makes a way where there is no way and today is indicative of this,” Mityana Diocese Bishop Stephen Kazimba, who is also a board chairman of Words of Hope Ministry, Uganda, said at the launch before adding it has been a long journey of patience and sacrifice to have this ministry, and starting their first radio in Uganda.
“The Holy Spirit is here but we need gadgets to ensure the gospel reaches far, that’s our mission. The radio ministry is key in spreading the gospel beyond boundaries,” Bishop Kazimba says.
He also adds that while radio is a good project, if not carefully used, it can be a monster as it is being used by a section of criminal-minded Ugandans to hoodwink, corrupt minds of others even killing them using false claims.
Bishop Kazimba said Words of Hope had a vision of having a radio ministry in the region and radio station. This was fulfilled through their partnership with Ankole Diocese.
He warns stakeholders that this ministry and radio is not for self-glorification but preaching the gospel.
“The purpose of this ministry and radio is making Jesus known, reviving families, promoting education, ensuring people can work, but not using it for people to converse and talk about themselves,” says Bishop Kazimba.
Lee De Young, the vice president of Words of Hope International Ministries, says Words of Hope Ministry focuses on spreading the gospel in areas that are hard to reach either because of poverty, geography or social antagonism towards Christianity.
Many Christians and leaders welcomed this ministry as a sign of hope and revival of Christians especially the youth who are entangled in many temptations.
“We have high expectations in this ministry, this is the best substitute to radio stations I have been listening to, especially that programmes will be hinged on the word of God,” says Mbarara town clerk Edward Lwanga.