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Hearing the Gospel from an Unlikely Source

December 26, 2022

Hearing the Gospel from an Unlikely Source

December 26, 2022

Alfred and Bob work on setting up the multipurpose-pole that is declaring the Gospel in a small village in GhanaIt's 6 a.m. in Ghana, and people in this particular village are beginning their day by listening to a program of Scripture reading, a devotional, and Christian music.

They are hearing the Gospel from an unlikely source—a solar-powered light pole in the middle of their community!

This innovative ministry is meeting practical and spiritual needs thanks to the partnership between Reach Beyond New Zealand and Theovision International, with assistance from our Sub-Saharan team. Many rural villages in Ghana have no electricity. The solar panels mounted on the pole provide power for a streetlight at night and charging stations for mobile phones.

The multi-purpose pole also contains a Sheep Station—a small wifi server developed by Reach Beyond New Zealand that allows people to download a variety of Christian content directly to their mobile phones. Content includes Scripture, worship music, and discipleship resources as well as agricultural and community health materials.

The Sheep Station also serves as a mini “radio station” that speaks in the heart language of the community. About five hours of programming (produced by Theovision) are automatically played at set times each day through loudspeakers mounted on the pole. Content includes dramatized Bible readings, devotionals, Christian music, children’s programs, and a program designed specifically for women.

The initial rollout of the project began in August to install about a dozen of these multi-featured poles. Theovision would like to install 200 more in the next five years in villages where they have been sending evangelists.

Goats lie in the shade below cocoa beans drying on wooden racks in the sunRussell Grainger, CEO of Reach Beyond New Zealand, said the reaction of the villagers has been incredible. He explained, "The village chief is a Muslim, so we went into the village and talked to him. I said, 'Tell me about the pole and what it means to you.' The chief said, 'It's fantastic. We had a big problem. We would put our cocoa beans out to dry, but during the night, people from surrounding villages would come and steal our cocoa beans. But ever since the poles have been installed with the light, we haven't had any more cocoa beans stolen.' And so he just loved it. And he likes the Bible messages too!"Russell Grainger with the village chief and his wife.