Centuries of rich Christian heritage trampled on by decades of communist control have left post-communist Hungary in a state of disillusion, dissatisfaction and upheaval. The people of Hungary have been close to the heart of TWR since day one: our founder, Dr Paul Freed, came from a family descended from Hungarian Jews and some of TWR’s earliest broadcasts were in Hungarian.
For over 10 years, we at TWR-UK have had a close partnership with TWR in Hungary (known locally as MERA), working together on many projects in Hungary over the years. Our CEO Rev Dr Russell Farnworth visited MERA recently to spend time with the team and find out about the opportunities and challenges facing the ministry.
MERA’s main radio outlet is a daily radio programme broadcast nationally on MW. The programme is speech radio including Bible teaching and testimony, but delivered as a panel discussion. Russell was able to sit in on some recordings of the programme during his visit.
The programme is also broadcast on FM to the whole of the capital city. Budapest is home to nearly a fifth of the country’s population, making these broadcasts a powerful tool for the Gospel in Hungary.
MERA has insufficient resources to employ many people. The team consists of 3 part time members of staff, plus a strong team of volunteers who run a wide range of ministry activities, including MERA’s entire social media presence. Even the National Director is a church pastor by profession, running MERA in his spare time. The team really need at least one full time paid member of staff to co-ordinate the ministry.
There are question marks over the viability of the medium wave transmissions. Loss of this service would be a terrible blow to MERA, so please pray for the resources to enable that platform to remain available to them.
The studio and premises are in need of development. In the last year the team have suffered a couple of setbacks including a ceiling fall in a studio, which the insurance would not cover. This has placed a terrible burden on their already stretched finances.
MERA run an annual project in which they distribute a CD of Christian teaching and music to the Roma population (around 13% of Hungarians are Roma). In previous years this has had a huge impact, so please pray for this year’s efforts. Distribution of the CDs is due to start imminently.
Prepared using information from Operation World 2010