Monday, April 20, 2015

Cell Phones Are Radios?

The average income of a person living in Uganda, otherwise known as the Pearl of Africa, is less than $46 a month.

Less than 15% have access to electricity!

Less than 17% of the residents of the capital city of Kampala have access to piped water!

However, the nation is filled with people who are passionate about some MUST HAVES!

While most adults will do anything to get school fees for their children, there is one item that every person will pursue until they get it!

If you connected the above words to the photo on the right then you already know that even some of the poorest people of Uganda have CELL PHONES!  But, these are not your usual phones.

Phones are very important here in Uganda.  And it is not just about status.  A phone is

  • A means of communication.
  • A doorway into the internet
  • Meaning email, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
  • But, many phones also include a RADIO!

The initial program for GENERATION 784 aired the first Sunday evening of January 2014.  The name of the program was curious to all listeners, as we assumed it would be.  A contest was given with the prize given to the first person to figure out where the name came from.  The award was a cool half million shillings!

The radio program has aired for an hour every Sunday evening since then until now.  It is a live call in program addressing issues peculiar to Uganda.  The host radio station is VOB FM 89.8 or as it is know, The Voice of Busoga!

Lillian Bulamu in the broadcasting studio
Hi!  My name is Lillian Bulamu and I am the girl with the headset on you see to the left. I have been the host of GENERATION 784 from the beginning.  I am married with three children and have been an associate of Next Generation Ministries for almost 10 year.  Our radio program is an arm of NGM which gives us a voice to many, many listeners we could never reach otherwise.

Recently, GENERATION 784 has taken the lead position as the best program on the station.  I think my passion for the subjects we deal with on the program has contributed to its popularity. Subjects we have address have been identity, character, shame, attitude, hope, jealousy, purpose, guilt, forgiveness, goal setting, value of women, among many others.  I believe that God has commissioned me, personally, to

  • Find a hurt and heal it
  • Find a problem and solve it
  • Find a need and meet it

One of our listeners, named Sam, called the station when we addressed the issue of shame.  He was a crippled man and never left his home because he was ashamed of his physical condition. But, GENERATION 784 went to where he was.  From inside his home he heard us giving hope to people like him.  He is now free of that shame and is able to allow people to observe his physical handicap because he is aware of who he is.

My co-host Ezra is a huge asset
Two female listeners confessed that they were HIV positive after listening to our program on hope. They realized that living without hope caused them to be among the walking dead.  I scheduled a one on one session with one of these ladies which resulted in a changed and happy life.

What has fascinated my cohost, Ezra, and me is that the vast majority of our listeners are Muslims.  It is obvious from our content that we are a faith based program and view Jesus Christ as the ultimate program solver and the perfect, pattern Son.

Ezra is also responsible for providing access to Facebook, chatting with listeners when the program is live and live streaming of the program for worldwide access!  We have had callers from as far away as Tanzania and Idaho in the United States.  Because of improvements in the transmitters at the station we now receive calls from Kampala, the capital city of Uganda which is 90 minutes away.

I am quite amazed that I have ended up with such a responsibility that I love so much.  I grew up in an extended family with my step dad after my biological father rejected my mother and me. I failed to have a sense of belonging as I grew. From young childhood I had a strong desire to read the daily news on radio or television.  But, shyness was my companion. Were it not for the equipping and empowerment of Next Generation Ministries through Paul & Pam Hunter I wouldn't be doing what I am with this radio program.  They believed in me.  They encouraged me.  They provided opportunities for me that challenged me, stretched me, and grew me.

"Let the young lions roar!" This is the heart cry of the director of Next Generation Ministries.  He has the heart of a father.  He is always pushing us to be the generation that brings change to Uganda. He believes in the motto of GENERATION 784 - Changing Uganda ... One Person At A Time!  By the way, the name of our radio program comes from the book of Psalms.
We will not hide these truths from our children.
We will tell the NEXT GENERATION about the glorious deeds of the Lord,
About His power and His mighty wonders. 
Recently, the Hunters increased my responsibility to be the primary fund raiser for the finances required to continue this program.  I have accepted this challenging opportunity.  In fact, I can't keep silent about the impact this program is making  every week in the lives of hundreds of people.  This is why I am writing this blog as Paul Hunter's guest.  I would love to have you be a part of making this impact.  Our program requires just over $500 every month to remain on the air to offer hope, dignity, purpose, and vision to the thousands of my countrymen who need it.

Please send your tax deductible donation to Next Generation Ministries, 29940 South Dhooghe Road, Colton, OR 97017 or use the PayPal button available on this blog.  Please make sure you designate your donation for GENERATION 784 or the radio program.


2 comments:

  1. Great work Paul! Sounds like you now doing the similar things as FEBC International in Asia and FEBA in some African countries - community radio with participation!

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    1. This is SO encouraging ... especially from you and your husband who have worked in broadcasting for decades. And, yes, we are seeing some amazing results from the format we have adopted. Didn't realize it was called "Community Radio with Participation!" Thanks so much.

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