“There were Christmas songs, poems, dances and the Word of God message from a pastor.” This is just one of many exciting things going on in South Asia this Christmas.
“The cultural minister was our chief guest. In his speech he wished all Christians a very warm Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2012,” says Vijay. “Today's event was called the Christmas cultural programme. The main attraction was Mr. Prashanta Tamang, winner of Indian Idol 3 [singing competition]. We received a token of love from the organising committee as we were actively involved in fund raising for the event, that was aired live on Good News FM in Kathmandu. Afterwards the youth from all churches started to sing Christmas carols and went on to sing in different houses.”
Prashanta grew up with a Christian background in Darjeeling, Nepal. He sang two Christian songs in this special event. Vijay says, “Later we also honoured him and his entire team for the Nepalese movie, Angalo Mayako, (The Hug of Love). This movie is banned in Nepal as it is directly talks about the Gospel.”
“Both of our community FM radio stations will be having week-long Christmas special programming,” says Vijay. “For an hour every morning we will be playing Christmas songs. On Christmas Day we will have the local pastor share the Christmas message and youth will sing a Christmas carol. We hope to broadcast live from a local church.” A special time for the community is to share Christmas greetings to one another over the radio. The Aafno FM team will record these special requests and play the greetings to the community by radio.
“At Shillong, just around Christmas, we will begin the broadcast of the first programme of a series of dramas based on the life of Christ,” says Kenneth Edward, Programme Coordinator, Feba India. “These programmes can be heard on short wave, FM and via DTH.” [DTH means “direct to home” allowing anyone around the country has a set top box can listen to the Feba India programmes through their television sets.]
“Our FM team at Kolkatta are planning to invite our listeners of Amar Bondu (My Friend) to a special musical Christmas event. This bilingual programme can be heard on FM every Friday at 8 pm.”
“Down south, Bibles and devotionals, Christian CDs will be gifted to our key listeners of our vernacular programmes. Recently, all our south Indian programmes have been moved from short wave to the medium wave. Our listeners can now enjoy their favourite programmes with more clarity. This Christmas season, our radio programmes will broadcast special talks, carols and many more surprises.
Kenneth asks for prayer for their new Hindi programme on social development and child health called Didi Ki Paatshala, translated Sisters School. On medium wave this programme started this season for the rural audiences in central India.
The Feba Delhi office has a staff celebration for Christmas at a nearby church. Benjamin James with Feba Delhi says: “This day starts with carols, messages and sharing testimonies. After that we spend time for games and we involve everyone. Then there is a gift ceremony and after lunch we close. There is lot of fun, jokes and smiles.”
During the Christmas season, Feba Delhi programming broadcasts special Christmas content. “Mera Parivar (My Family) usually includes a discussion on family issues and online counselling, using excerpts of listeners' letters on radio. Broadcast on Sunday mornings this programme airs over all India. During this month we are using different topics on the following dates and one Christmas song each day:
11 Dec – Purpose of his birth
18 Dec – Who is Jesus?
25 Dec – Saviour of the world
1 Jan – Who is a new creation?”
“Another programme Swasthya Varta (Discussion on Health) usually includes discussion on health issues and online counselling, using excerpts of listeners' letters on radio. Broadcast on Tuesday evenings this programme has special plans for Christmas with a Bible verse for their encouragement plus a Christmas song each day:
6 Dec – Safety from cold
13 Dec – Alzheimer's
20 Dec – Tips on how to stay fit -1
27 Dec – Tips on how to stay fit -2”