A day at FM95.2

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The Voice of Chageen was built with a very specific purpose in mind - to expose the Kwong people and other tribes in our listening area to the Gospel. That being the purpose, we hardly need to broadcast all day every day, nor do we need go to great lengths to entertain our listeners (even if we do try to please them). As it turns out, we broadcast only 15 minutes each morning at 6 am, and for an hour each evening at 6pm.  

The morning broadcast is really an abbreviated version of the evening broadcast and is intended especially for Christian families. It consists of a shortened version of the evening Bible study and two Christian songs. This morning broadcast was motivated by the desire to encourage the Kwong Christian tradition of having morning family devotions. As it is, families will typically pray and sing a song, but since few know how to read, that part of their devotions is missing. We have the privilege of filling that gap with our broadcast and it is much appreciated. Unfortunately, it also means that Mark and Theodore, neither of whom are morning people by nature, have probably seen the sun come up more times in 2006 already than in the entirety of their lives.  

Monday through Friday at 6 pm, we have our main 45 minute broadcast which is divided into two parts - our regular Kwong broadcast of a half hour followed by a special broadcast of 15 minutes. (Though since the departure of Theodore at the end of March we have suspended our Tuesday and Thursday broadcasts in the interests of time.)  On Saturday evening we have a "request show" which several of the Kwong guys run, and on Sunday morning one of the local pastors preaches a short (in principle) sermon. 

Our regular Kwong broadcast is built around a 10 minute Bible study which Mark and the translation committee men adapt and produce from the Kingdom of God materials that they have worked on for many years. The first couple months have been on the life of Christ. A few Kwong Christian hymns or choruses precede and follow the Bible study. Also included in the broadcast are local announcements concerning the public school (bring your contribution for the teachers' salaries) the clinic (measles vaccinations in Gila tomorrow - nobody in Gila should go to their fields), and personal notices (you folks in Ngam tell my son to get his buns home NOW). We also have at least one folk song each day (which on one occasion almost proved to our undoing when it included unfavorable references to another village) and occasionally a folk story or fable told by one of our local story tellers (in which the plot is invariably the same: some small animal - the squirrel seems most popular - outwits the wily, clumsy antagonist, who is invariably the hyena). 

Following our main Kwong broadcast, we have a special broadcast of 15 minutes each day which changes depending on the day of the week. On Mondays this is a women's program developed by Diane and her ladies. It deals with issues such as raising children, breast feeding, nutrition and hygiene (read her thoughts on this). On Tuesday we have a round-table discussion on some subject of interest to the entire community such as what kind of crops to grow, how to clamp down on the loan sharks in the community (100+% after 6 months - when you are starving, what do you do?), and how to manage your harvest so it lasts until the next harvest.  

As far as our special broadcasts go, Wednesday's special program is in Arabic. The only other Christian radio station in Chad (in N'Djamena) produces this broadcast and graciously allows us to use it.  As we have several hundred Arab speakers from other parts of Chad who live in Chageen, and as the Marba and Gabri peoples to the south and east of Chageen don't understand Kwong, this is a much appreciated part of our broadcast week. Finally, on Friday's we have a special broadcast in the Fulani language. The Fulani are Muslim nomads who range across the entire width of the African continent along the southern edges of the Sahara desert. We have a large population of them 10 miles to the west of Chageen who got tired of nomading and settled in the area 42 years ago. We have very cordial relations with them and they are thrilled to hear our broadcasts in their language each Friday (as well as the Arabic broadcasts on Thursdays). These broadcasts are furnished by a Christian radio station in Cameroon. 

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Last modified: May 25, 2011