A Christian radio station in North Sumatra wins a license to operate, in spite of the pessimism of its owners over the prospects of doing so.
Back to the Bible, an American based evangelical group, operates the station in North Sumatra. Mark Blowers of the group told Mission Network News on 10th October that the station is located in a mainly Muslim area and has been broadcasting on an FM band for one year.
Blowers said that it had "limited approval" from the government, presumably either the national or the provincial government, but, he goes on, the station now needed to get local government approval.
It's critical that they get this approval from the local council, or they cannot continue broadcasting.
Pessimism reigned however:
The interesting thing is that because it's such a heavily Muslim area these council members are almost all Muslim and so the chance of this being approved from a human perspective is almost nil.
Blowers said local people are very enthusiastic about Christian radio:
We have received over 10,000 letters in our first year, and it's critical that people pray that we can stay on the air because God's Word is having an impact and people's lives are being changed.
Radio staff were said to be busily preparing a presentation for the local council and, it seems, the local chief of police needed to be wooed as well:
Pray for them as they meet with the chief of police in the local area to tell him what's going on before the meeting. They're hoping to win his support and we need God to sway his heart because that will make a large difference with the other council members.
By 16th October the day of the meeting with the radio station approving committee had come but the local police chief was nowhere to be found. The head of the station was advised to try to "negotiate" with the committee, but he declined, preferring to, it is said, put his trust in God. Good news was forthcoming, however, and Back to the Bible was one of three new radio stations to be granted a license. A happy ending.
A small yet very promising progress.