BROADCASTING from the port town of Pemba in northern Mozambique, Radio Wimbe is playing an important role as a Christian FM community radio station in an area marked by sharp contrasts. Over 60 per cent of the people living in this region are Muslim, which is markedly different to the rest of Mozambique that is predominantly Christian. Sadly, tensions and conflicts between different ethnic and faith groups are not uncommon across this diverse community.

Before Radio Wimbe started broadcasting, people in the local community felt they had very little say in the issues that were having an impact on their lives and wellbeing. And with illiteracy very high and most people in Pemba unable to speak the national language, Portuguese, many have been excluded from listening or engaging with the country’s national media.

Summing up the importance of Radio Wimbe, station manager Farida says,

“There is no other radio station here that does what Radio Wimbe does. We work differently. God is meeting people through the radio. The radio is in the right place here in Pemba. Things are changing and our radio ministry is part of this change.”

Farida goes on to say, “Every week I hear from listeners who find God’s peace through this radio. Many who didn’t know peace or were unhappy are now drinking from the living water because of Radio Wimbe. The people here don’t have money or material things, but hearing Jesus’ good news empowers them and gives them satisfaction in their hearts. Programmes, gospel music, the Word of God – it satisfies their hearts.”

Programmes are highly interactive and broadcast in the three main local languages, Mwani, Makonde and Makua. The presenters encourage listeners, along with leaders and key decision-makers from churches and the wider community to call in, text or come on air and let their voices be heard and their views shared on radio. Although the station is set up to broadcast within a 10km radius, the team receive calls and messages from listeners who are much further afield.

As the following story illustrates, the radio programmes are helping people to understand and respond to the good news of Jesus and see significant changes in their lives.

Armando Francisco was a hardened drug addict. He couldn’t work or find the strength to get through a day without taking drugs. But the drugs also caused serious side effects which meant he became a danger to himself and others around him. They made him so angry that even his wife and children were frightened to go anywhere near him. One day Armando was searching for a radio station when he suddenly came across Radio Wimbe and the Listening to God’s Word programme. Through hearing “the word about Christ”, Armando said he “met Jesus in his heart”. At that moment, Jesus gave him the strength to break his drug addiction. Since then his life has changed for the better. His relationships, especially with his wife and children are improving each day. Armando is always the first to say it is Jesus who is enabling him to make the changes in his life. While he was originally a Muslim, he has recently been baptised and now he and his family are active in their local church. With your support, Feba UK is helping the people of Pemba to hear the good news of Jesus and is addressing the pressing social and health issues they face every day. Radio is a trusted and accessible source of information for Mozambicans and is proving to be the most effective way to reach Pemba’s diverse population with the gospel. In this oral culture, faith and belief are passed on by word of mouth and it is very heartening to hear of families regularly coming together to hear more about Jesus on Radio Wimbe. 

Please pray:

• For God’s protection and blessing over Armando and his family. Pray that Armando’s testimony would speak to friends and neighbours and cause them to put their faith and trust in Jesus.
• For the people in the shanty towns in Pemba who are struggling to survive with minimal healthcare, poor education, increasing crime, ethnic divisions, HIV, cholera and malaria.
• For the team at Radio Wimbe, especially the presenters who face many challenges when interacting with listeners each day. Pray that God’s wisdom, patience and love will be evident to all who tune in to listen to the daily live broadcasts that reach up to 150,000 people.