In Malawi, the radio is used by 90 per cent of the population. People are used to turning on the radio, tuning in and listening to the airwaves. Radio can bring people more information, discovery, teaching, pleasure and comfort in one year than most rural people normally receive in a lifetime.
OM Malawi had a vision to establish and maintain a local FM radio station, proclaiming the Word of God, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This was not to be typical ‘Christian’ radio. Instead, the team aimed to creatively address all sorts of life issues, giving solutions and answers, with uncompromising faithfulness to the values and message of the Bible.
There to help
Since the first broadcasts began, people have come to the station with a variety of requests. A young man, who had lost his driving license, asked, “Can you please announce the loss and ask if anyone has seen it around the hospital yesterday?”
One of the most intense station visits was when a family showed up to ask if the station could report that a woman with a mental disturbance and a small child were missing. Thankfully, the women and the child were seen and brought back to the family.
The young man’s driving license has not yet been recovered, but the staff at Radio Lilanguka will continue to help people in whatever ways they can.
In addition to the six full time staff, there are six volunteers, who come almost every day tohelp produce the different programmes. With many hours of air time to cover, their dedication is of great value.
Unstable electricity and frequent black outs are potential issues for the station, but solar powered equipment saves a lot of trouble and money. On sunny days, the station can run from 6:00 to 18:00 without any input from the power grid. This means that when other stations are off the air, Radio Lilanguka can still broadcast.
Official grand opening
On 2 March 2018, after many years of prayer and labour, and as God painted a beautiful circle through the clouds around the sun, Radio Lilanguka celebrated its official grand opening. The celebration included worship and praise led by the station choir and other talented individuals as well as prayers and speeches offered by clergy, government officials and OM representatives from Malawi and Germany, who had all worked hard to see this vision come to life.
At various times during the ceremony, joyful prompts from the programme emcee of, “Lilanguka!” (Light) drew an instant response of, “Kulangwiche!” (Let there be light) from the gathered crowd.
The afternoon ended with a tour of the new facility and a tasty meal of goat and nsima, Malawi’s staple food.
That happy cry of “Kulangwiche” lingered long after the station opened and continues to drive OM’s prayers for the country: ''Let there be light!''
Please pray that God will provide workers and funds to expand the effectiveness of this new venture.