The Kigoma Region of Tanzania has a population of over two-million people, and its central city of Kigoma is fertile ground for a message of hope. Missionaries Lowell and Claudia Wertz, from Joy in the Harvest, offer that hope through their station, Radio JOY. Since 2016, they have provided quality programming with gospel broadcasts interwoven throughout their schedule. Lowell explains, “We have a pastoral staff at Radio JOY … and they have devotional times every day [and] prayer times – people can call in prayer requests.” The pastors will personally meet with callers in their homes to pray for them.
Besides broadcasting hope, Radio JOY provides a unique service for its community. In a culture with busy marketplaces, children often get separated from their parents. After days of fruitless searching, parents will come to the radio station. Lowell relates, “We put it out over the air, and our average recovery time is two hours.”
Through the Lord’s provision, Radio JOY has been well-received by the Muslim community and actively supported by the local government. The Kigoma Regional Commissioner (Governor) who was instrumental in getting Radio JOY its license, and is a Muslim man, asked Lowell to gather leaders from all the churches and mosques in the area. At this momentous meeting – the first of its kind in the region – every representative was given a radio, and the commissioner explained, “The government is mandating that every mosque and every church monitor Radio JOY 24 hours a day, seven days a week, waiting for the emergency communications from the government.”
Currently, Joy in the Harvest is partnering with SonSet Solutions to expand their radio ministry to a new area. Lowell says, “The people in that area are begging for our signal.” God has used Radio JOY to offer hope in Jesus Christ to the residents of Kigoma, and the team looks forward to sharing the joy of the gospel with even more listeners.
Written by Lauren Williams, June 2021