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There are a multitude of mass media Christian ministries that span the globe today. Many of these ministries use messages and programming that are developed in the western world and simply translated into local languages. Often, even if translated, those messages do not touch the hearts of the people from other cultures because they are not contextually appropriate. The people often cannot relate to the examples and stories used, meaning the issues or problems they are dealing with are not appropriately addressed.

Lutheran Hour Ministries' global ministry model is different from most mass communications ministries. LHM uses locally established ministry centers to share the Gospel with people around the world more than 150 million times each week. Each ministry center is a center of operation placed in strategic locations around the world and staffed with local, indigenous staff members and volunteers who have a passion for sharing the Gospel and a willingness to proclaim it throughout their community.

LHM's programming and resources are created locally, ensuring maximum impact and accuracy of the message of the Gospel. Our staff members grew up speaking the languages they do outreach in and know the culture intimately as an insider. As local people, they are particularly well qualified to know how to communicate the Gospel effectively in their context. They understand the linguistic and cultural nuances that are essential to effective and accurate communication, especially when it comes to something as important as the life-transforming message of the Gospel.

Since the staff members are from that culture and understand the local needs, LHM can customize our outreach to the particular issues that people are facing and begin establishing a more personal relationship. By identifying, developing, and using resources in local languages that are culturally relevant and attractive, LHM staff seeks to proclaim the hope and salvation found in the Word of God by reaching out to people of all nations and building trust with those individuals to connect them in fellowship to a local Christian community.

In carrying out its mission statement of Bringing Christ to the Nations-and the Nations to the Church, LHM employs a variety of methods and programs.

Radio and Television Broadcasts
Many of LHM's ministry centers provide locally produced radio and television programming on topics of interest. These programs attract a wide variety of audiences and invite listeners and viewers to contact the local ministry center to receive resources that address the topic from a Christian perspective, along with opportunities to take a Bible Correspondence Course (BCC) and connect with a local Christian community. The staff member may also offer to pray with the new contact.

Impact of Radio and Television Broadcasts
Gaew is a 41-year-old seamstress who lives in Bangkok, Thailand. A mother of four and grandmother of two, she spends much of her life caring for others. Oftentimes, her life leaves her feeling drained and discouraged.

One Saturday afternoon, Gaew turned on her radio and heard "Home for Love," one of LHM's radio broadcasts in Thailand. The information and content variety drew her in. Yet the program offered something even more precious: encouragement in her hour of need. Gaew contacted ministry staff to receive the free Bible Correspondence Course she heard about on the air. The material ignited such happiness in her heart, Gaew believes the Lord used it to provide His leading in her life. Now she prays regularly.

"My life is not chaos like before, because I know that God is here to take care of my life," she says. "I know God and trust in Him, so I'm happy now." Ministry staff introduced her to a nearby congregation, where she could attend services and receive spiritual nourishment as she grew in her faith. Today, Gaew's faith is growing stronger as she continues her BCCs. She craves to know the Lord better-and desires Him to bring her family members to faith in Jesus, too.

Bible Correspondence Courses
Over the past year, more than 50,000 people registered to participate in LHM's Bible Correspondence Courses and nearly 33,000 internationally completed their first course. These Bible-based studies enable people of all ages, faiths, and educational levels to explore the Bible's teachings and the Christian faith from the security and comfort of their own homes. LHM's ministry centers present BCC content according to the needs and characteristics of their local cultures and typically offer multiple courses under a variety of titles. Many centers offer courses for both adults and children.

Impact of Bible Correspondence Courses
Brigita teaches kindergarten in Latvia, where she enjoys answering children's questions. Yet unanswered questions tugged at her own heart. As a child, Brigita had visited church, but that was the extent of her experience. She got married and had children. Life grew hectic. "I always felt like there was something missing in my life," she says. "I always said I believe in God, but I'm not the person who will attend church on Sundays. I felt I don't belong there."

One day, while with a Christian friend, their conversation turned to religion. Brigita shared her lingering questions. Her friend encouraged her to seek answers. Since Brigita didn't feel comfortable visiting a church, her friend recommended signing up for LHM's Bible Correspondence Courses. This would allow her to explore Christianity at her own pace. The teacher became like a student. Brigita enrolled in the BCC program, and the Lord worked in her heart and brought her to faith in Jesus. Brigita found a local congregation, which she continues to attend today. In receiving the answers to her questions, she learned one of the greatest lessons of all: "Only God can fill your soul," she says.

Digital Outreach
As technology rapidly evolves and becomes widely available around the world, LHM constantly utilizes new media to spread the Gospel. Most LHM ministry centers use websites and social media to share biblical messages, provide video and audio clips, offer links to downloadable resources, and provide information about the ministry center and events. In North America, Latin America, Europe, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa, digital platforms are used to establish online relationships with individuals and provide biblically based answers to their lives. Eventually, as God opens their hearts, trained staff and volunteers share the Gospel with them and guide them to a Christian community. Where cell phones are common, ministry centers invite people to subscribe to receive daily Christ-centered text messages or to send text messages in response to radio and television programs.

Impact of Digital Outreach
Elina was going through a difficult time in her life and had suicidal thoughts. When she was scrolling through Facebook one day, she saw an ad from LHM-Guatemala for an upcoming Facebook Live event. She decided to watch it and found hope in the messaging. She is thankful for LHM-Guatemala's programs and knows that she can always reach out to the staff with any questions she has about Christianity. Elina is continuing to learn more about Jesus through conversations with LHM staff and reading their materials.

Holistic Ministry
During His ministry on earth, Jesus not only taught and preached but also healed the sick and fed the hungry. Our ministry centers follow His example, often incorporating "holistic" approaches to sharing the Gospel by attending to people's physical and emotional needs as well as their spiritual needs.

In some communities where people may be struggling against the effects of poverty, our ministry centers often assist families by providing vocational training, educational materials, nutritional supplements, or hygiene supplies. When disaster strikes, ministry center staff and volunteers frequently work with partner organizations to distribute emergency supplies of food and clothing and share booklets like Why Do Bad Things Happen? to try to help people process their feelings following the disaster. By working with smaller groups of individuals and families, we can build a relationship over time to share the Gospel with them.

Often the recipients of these holistic efforts desire to learn more about the God who motivates these Christians to reach out in love. This opens doors for staff and volunteers to share LHM resources and invite people to participate in our BCCs and other programs.

Impact of Holistic Ministry
Ana participated in a financial training course hosted by LHM staff in Mongolia. The purpose of this training is to provide financial education to families, youth, and single parents to teach them how to manage their finances wisely and sustainably. It encourages them to apply what they learn during the training into their daily lives to result in stronger families, in-depth financial knowledge, and a stable financial outlook where they can overcome debt and avoid a budgetary crisis. The weekly training sessions take place over two months and are focused on Christian perspectives regarding specific topics each time. After she completed the financial training, Ana continued to meet with LHM staff and enrolled in the ministry's BCCs to learn more about Jesus. Ana shared that she had a difficult childhood and struggled with anxiety. LHM staff talked with her and shared that she can find her worth in Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Ana became a Christian. She and her husband were connected to a local church where she can continue learning about Jesus and she is growing in her faith.

Programs
In many countries today, more than 70 percent of the population is under 25 years of age. Because of realities such as broken families and secularism, many of these young people receive little moral or spiritual education in their homes, their values often being shaped instead by potentially negative influences such as the media, music, or their peers.

As part of a global strategy for reaching out to youth, Lutheran Hour Ministries offers Project JOEL in a growing number of countries. The name JOEL stands for Jóvenes con Espíritu Libre, or "youth with a free spirit," and the program is designed to provide biblically based guidance in making healthy lifestyle choices. Project JOEL has been integrated into school curricula in some countries-particularly in Latin America-but it also supplements its educational content by incorporating opportunities for holding sporting and cultural events.

Impact of Youth Programs
Miguel is in the fifth grade. He lives in a less-privileged area of a large Panamanian city, but he takes part in a program that allows him to attend school in a more stable area. Many children like Miguel come from dangerous places. Oftentimes, exposure to violence at such young ages leads to harassment and other behavioral issues in school. Because of their divergent home lives, children like Miguel struggle to build healthy relationships with other students.

LHM staff first met Miguel when he was in kindergarten. LHM brings its popular Project JOEL program to his school, a program whereby we promote positive values among youth that will set them up for a safe, successful future. Starting at an early age, Miguel began to participate in LHM's puppet shows, songs, games, and readings. He also participated in presentations for the students and staff every Monday.

Today, LHM and Project JOEL have made a difference in Miguel's life. His confidence has grown as he learns how to make responsible choices. One step at a time, he is learning how to escape the background into which he was born. By God's grace, we celebrate with Miguel as he prepares to enter a bright, more hopeful future.

Performing Arts Ministry
In many countries where LHM has established ministry centers, Christianity is a minority religion. In other places it is often considered a relic of a bygone culture. LHM ministry centers respond to the challenge of spreading the Gospel in these countries by presenting it through music, storytelling, dance, dramas, and puppet theatre. From Russia to Ghana to Thailand, ministry center-hosted concerts attract crowds of people, both young and old-and ministry volunteers boldly share Gospel messages through both the music and spoken testimony. From Sri Lanka to India to Vietnam, street dramas and puppet shows depicting parables, Bible stories, or everyday spiritual struggles cross cultural barriers and proclaim God's love to multigenerational audiences. Schools, hospitals, and prisons also regularly invite LHM staff and volunteers to provide spiritual education through these kinds of performances.

Frequently ministry center staff and volunteers will host weekend rallies that combine performance arts with other culturally relevant presentations of God's Word-for example, film showings, testimonies, and sermons. Often some of those who attend respond to the Holy Spirit's call to faith in Jesus Christ; many others- sometimes hundreds-ask to learn more or sign up for the BCCs.

Impact of Performing Arts Ministry
Mealea is 62 years old and lives in a village where she is a farmer. Like most Cambodians, her family had followed another religion for generations. Mealea's family members struggled with sickness for a long time, so the family sought advice from fortune tellers. They told the family they had displeased an ancestor's spirit, who then sent the illness upon them. The recommended solution was to sacrifice something-a chicken, a pig, a banana-to return the family to favor with the spirit. Yet the sickness remained, year after year. The experiences left Mealea in despair. Without resolution, she felt helpless.

Mealea first heard about Jesus several years ago. However, because she did not understand the Good News or have faith in Him, she mocked the Christians she met ... but God had planted the Gospel's seeds in her heart. Years later, LHM held a film showing in her village, which proclaimed the salvation available to everyone in Christ. The Holy Spirit brought Mealea to faith in Jesus. Finally, she had answers. She had a resolution. "That is why I turn to God, Jesus Christ, now," she says.

LHM staff referred Mealea to a local congregation, where she continues to grow in her faith today. She attends Bible studies and prayer meetings. But best of all, she has the Savior's peace that surpasses understanding.

Equipping the Saints Workshops
Around the world, LHM encourages and equips laypeople to help spread the Gospel. Equipping the Saints (ETS) evangelism workshops heighten volunteers' interest in witnessing and provide them with the practical tools they need to reach out to family, friends, and neighbors who need to hear the Gospel and experience God's love. These ETS workshops have equipped lay evangelists in every region of the world.

Impact of Equipping the Saints Workshops
Yenupan is 25 years old and recently attended an ETS program led by LHM-Ghana. Since completing the program, Yenupan has become the youth president at a local Lutheran church. He made a presentation on how beneficial the ETS program was for him, especially since he sometimes finds personal outreach difficult. Yenupan shared his story on how he plans to share the Word of God with people in his community, using the skills and knowledge he gained during the ETS program. Yenupan knows that he can share the Gospel with others, but it is the work of the Holy Spirit that brings people to faith in Jesus. He is eager to share the Gospel with those around him.

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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