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Changed By The Word

OCTOBER 11, 2012

Digital radioAdventist World Radio is mostly known for its wide coverage of some of the hardest-to-reach corners of the world on short wave. But, our AM/FM affiliate radio stations around the world are also reaching many people in towns and cities where it is possible to air programs on these bands.

This is the case with our affiliate FM station in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda—Radio Ijwi Ry’Ibyiringiro, meaning the Voice of Hope in the Kinyarwanda language. One of the reasons for this is because of the many volunteers who give their time and talents to the station; among these volunteers is First Lady Madam Jeannette Kagame. Madame Kagame hosts a signature program where she speaks to her people on social issues, fostering reconciliation in a country needing much healing after a horrible tribal war that claimed the lives of nearly one million people.

Radio Ijwi Ry’Ibyiringiro is popular not only among listeners in Rwanda but also in the neighboring countries of Burundi, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda.

In Rwanda many individuals find their way into Seventh-day Adventists churches after hearing the messages and hymns on Radio Ijwi Ry’Ibyiringiro. One such convert is Genero Grifode. Though Grifode thought he would never change his church because he was feeling well in it, he now thanks the Lord for having led him to a new church. This is his testimony:

“I am 29 years-old and married. Both my wife and I are members of Kabusunzu
SDA church Kigali, Rwanda. God has blessed us with two children.

“I was born in Rwanda and grew up in an Anglican Christian family. I did not enjoy
attending my parent’s church. Instead, I chose to go to a Pentecostal church where I was baptized when I was 15 years-old. As a young person, being a member of the Pentecostal church was something I was proud of. I never thought I would change my church.”

However, prior to his baptism, Grifode asked to meet with his pastor because he wanted to know why they worshipped on Sundays while other groups worshipped on Saturday. His pastor convinced him that Sunday worship had an important history. The pastor asked, “How can you rejoice on a Saturday when your best friend, Jesus, is in the tomb? He resurrected on Sunday.” Grifode accepted this as truth because his pastor said so. But, he was not too sure!

Grifode knew that Adventists went to church on Saturdays because he would see them each Friday evening when they were welcoming the Sabbath. The Adventists met for their Sabbath worship at his parent’s church, but he had never stopped to talk to them or prayed with them.

Time for the Truth

One morning Grifode woke up as usual and went to work. In the afternoon he was not feeling well. He decided to come home earlier. At home, while he was lying in bed, his wife tuned in to the Voice of Hope (Ijwi Ry’Ibyiringiro). Though this was not first time they listened to this station, the program made him change his mind about the Sabbath. The sermon was about why we should keep the 7th day Sabbath. The preacher taught how God created everything in six days and rested on the seventh. Says Grifode:

“That day, I found out that the Sabbath day is peculiar compared to other days because not only did God rest on it, but also He made it holy and blessed it.”

From that day onward, Grifode decided to study the scriptures with his wife, first by searching the Bible for the verses the preacher cited in the sermon. The next Sabbath, they went to church service at the nearby Seventh-day Adventist church.

Eventually, he and his wife moved to a town where Seventh-day Adventists were conducting an evangelistic campaign. It was there Grifode met and introduced himself to Joel, the technician at the Voice of Hope station in Kigali; he told Joel that he and his wife came to the saving knowledge of the truth through the radio station.

Before getting baptized in the truth, members of his former church visited him often and asked him why he has abandoned the church. Grifode always answered, “I got changed by the word of God.” He also invites his friends to listen to the Voice of Hope so they, too, can learn greater truth from God’s word.

Today, Grifode serves as a deacon in his church and he sings in the choir. At home, he enjoys studying the Word of God with his family. When asked what his life would be like if he had not listened to the Voice of Hope he replied, “I would [still] hold the same position I was holding before.”

Grifode’s story is repeated many times; everywhere people listen to AWR. It is the power of the Word, as Grifode said.

“So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11, KJV).

Your continued prayers and financial support are vital to keeping AWR on the air. Grifode’s transformation happened because the Holy Spirit is using radio in a powerful way to speak to hearts. Yes, radio reaches people everywhere…in the deserts, on the mountains, in the valleys and even in the noisy cities where yearning hearts are also seeking for hope.

Thank you for your faithfulness. We will meet many people in heaven who will tell their stories of how they were rescued from hopelessness because you enabled them to hear the message of salvation through the airwaves of AWR.

In His service,

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Dowell Chow

AWR President

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