For the past several years it has been a wonderful privilege to host the Angel Tree radio special on behalf of Prison Fellowship. Angel Tree was started by the late Chuck Colson as a means of ministry to the families of incarcerated men and women. The encouraging stories that have come from both the volunteers as well as the recipients have been extremely heartwarming testimonies of God at work.
In addition to this year’s radio special to be heard on many stations, I asked that I might interview someone on FIRST PERSON to tell a single Angel Tree story and illustrate the power of this ongoing ministry. So, coming up on the weekend of December 19 on FIRST PERSON, you’ll hear the story of Judy Mills who has led an Angel Tree ministry at her church in Oklahoma City now for several years. Joining Judy will be Michelle Rainey who, as a young teenager, took care of her younger siblings while her mother served a prison term. The intersection of Michelle’s life with Judy and Angel Tree has made all the difference in the world to Michelle and you’ll hear her dramatically tell the story.
If you would like to contribute to Angel Tree this year, please follow this link. And on behalf of the children who will receive a gift from their mom or dad in prison, thank you for your generosity.
Over the summer I completed narration of 3 new business books, all available at Audible.com.
The complete list of books I’ve narrated for Audible can be found here. Check these books out at Audible and let me know if you find any of them to be helpful.
I am very pleased and excited to recommend our new iPhone app for FIRST PERSON, allowing you to stream any interview or download any past interview for listening at your convenience. An Android version is in the works, so watch for that announcement.
A very special word of thanks to Nick Longinow for developing this app. Let me know if you’d like to contact Nick.
You can download the new iPhone app for free in the Apple App Store here.
Ever since I joined the Board of the Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC) 3 years ago, it has been my hope that we might again use Christian radio to tell the stories that come from the ministry of FEBC. I say again because when I started in radio many years ago, the Founder of FEBC, Dr. Bob Bowman, had a program called The Bowman Report which I remember well as it told stories of FEBC’s ministry in some far-off places of the world.
Now, in a world where those places seem closer than ever, that dream has come true through the start of a new, 2 minute, daily radio feature called FEBC TODAY. Starting Monday, April 6, my friend and FEBC President Ed Cannon and I will be on the air everyday with a new story from the millions of lives touched by FEBC across a huge swath of the earth’s real estate. The radio programs of FEBC are heard in over 100 local languages in nearly 50 countries of the world– countries throughout Asia, Central Asia, SE Asia, and Eurasia. FEBC received over 2 million listener responses last year, so we have just a few to choose from!
FEBC TODAY will be available to radio stations at no charge, distributed through the Amb-OS satellite service. The program contains no financial appeals– just stories of lives transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
(Photo: Ed Cannon receives 2015 National Religious Broadcasters Milestone award on behalf of FEBC)
We have received commitments from some key stations and networks to air FEBC TODAY, and will be happy to share the program with others. You can email me at Wayne@WayneShepherd.net for more information on how to add FEBC TODAY to your station or programming service.
Here’s a sample of the new program: https://soundcloud.com/wayneshepherd/febc-today-radio
When the radio program, FIRST PERSON, started over 4 years ago, we didn’t know what to expect. We just knew that to do anything less than follow God’s leading to begin would have been disobedient. With no guarantee that we would be heard on any radio station, we launched FIRST PERSON on faith in the Fall of 2010. I say “we” because Producer Joe Carlson has volunteered countless hours to produce the program, and Dale Davis of Pre-Eminent Media has been a great help as well.
Today, FIRST PERSON is heard on some 240 radio stations and we are very grateful to God for the growth in listenership as we continue to tell stories of transforming lives spiritually and calling people into His service.
Now, a new partner has come alongside FIRST PERSON. My friends at the Far East Broadcasting Company have decided to lend their support to ensure that the program continues on the same path. The mix of guests from all walks of life sharing their stories of life transformation in Christ and describing their calling will continue without any changes.
Please join me in thanking the Far East Broadcasting Company for their generous support! And if you are unfamiliar with FEBC, please take the time to learn more at FEBC.org.
A recent assignment for me was to travel to Nampa, Idaho and spend some time visiting with and interviewing several members of Mission Aviation Fellowship. I’ve long admired the work of MAF and welcomed the opportunity to see the headquarters and meet some of the people behind this effective and vital global ministry. I was amazed at the scope and size of the operation as I met and visited with several regional directors from around the world. I also had the chance to sit down with MAF President and CEO, John Boyd, and record his story for FIRST PERSON which you can listen to here.
For an overview of MAF’s tremendous service to Christ around the world, check out this video.
Connected with my visit to MAF was the invitation to narrate the story of martyred missionary pilot Nate Saint, an early MAF pilot. The classic book Jungle Pilot tells Nate’s story in detail, but it’s never before been available as an audiobook. Now, you can download a free audio copy of Jungle Pilot by visiting FIRST PERSON here and clicking on the banner offering Jungle Pilot as an audiobook.
As always, to leave comments, please visit the Facebook page for FIRST PERSON at Facebook.com/FirstPersonInterview.
I’ve just returned from a trip to Hungary, Moldova, and Ukraine– a trip to 3 countries for 3 different reasons. Each experience was remarkable to me in several ways. Let me say a brief word about Hungary and Moldova, and then a bit more about Ukraine which is experiencing a severe crisis at the hand of Russian aggressors and separatists.
In Budapest, Hungary, I was invited by Trans World Radio to give a seminar on story-telling and broadcast interviewing. I throughly enjoyed spending 2 days with TWR staff from several countries. TWR has a tremendous ministry in many parts of the world and it was a privilege to meet and spend time with a few from around both Western and Eastern Europe. It was actually a chance to renew a few friendships with some I had met previously.
In Moldova, I connected with our team from Mission Eurasia (the new name for Russian Ministries of Wheaton, IL on whose Board I sit). The School Without Walls project called together 500 young, Moldovan professionals for the purpose of encouraging them to live for Christ through their profession, whatever that might be. The event was a tremendous success. My appreciation for the scope of what Mission Eurasia does has expanded once again.
While in Chisinau, Moldova, I was able to also connect with the ministry Stella’s Voice whose story I told in an interview with Philip Cameron recently on FIRST PERSON. What a treat to see some of the young women again whom I met in the recording studio in Wheaton, not long ago. I won’t tell more of their story here, but it’s worth checking out: www.stellasvoice.org.
From Moldova, the Mission Eurasia team and a few guests piled into vans for the long trip to Kiev in Ukraine, stopping in historic Odessa on the Black Sea on the way. Mission Eurasia’s headquarters in this part of the world is located in Irpin, just outside of Kiev. From there, a side trip for 2 days on a high-speed train took us into Eastern Ukraine to the city of Slavyansk where Russian separatists first began the fight for control of Ukraine in February of 2014.
As a kid, I use to lay in bed at night with a transistor radio and earphone (yes, just one mono earphone in those days) and listen to radio stations. My favorite was WJR in Detroit and one or two other stations that featured great talk shows. I could only dream that someday I would get on the other side of the mic and be the host of shows like the ones I listened to lying in bed in a rural farmhouse.
Now, looking back over several decades of hosting shows on Christian radio stations from coast to coast and beyond, it still amazes me that I have the privilege of doing what I do.
For almost 4 years now, we’ve been producing FIRST PERSON, a weekly interview show which has the simple formula of people telling their story of God working in and through them. I happened to look at the list of programs today in the archive and saw that there have been over 200 FIRST PERSON interviews to date.
From the beginning we have placed those conversations on the website FirstPersonInterview.com in the audio archive where you can stream any program online. You can also use the smartphone app Stitcher to listen each week.
What you may not know is that FIRST PERSON is also available as a weekly podcast on iTunes. You can subscribe at no cost and have each week’s program downloaded automatically to your device. You can choose 1 or all 200 shows to download and take with you anywhere you go. Subscribe via iTunes here.
Let me know how you choose to listen to FIRST PERSON– and whether you prefer to listen in just one ear, or two.
While I have traveled in Eastern Europe and Russia, I have never visited Ukraine. However, I have many Ukrainian friends and my heart aches for their country which seems to be on the verge of civil war spurred on by Russia. I also have many Russian friends and this puts everyone in a very difficult, but prayerful situation.
I work closely with two wonderful organizations which are deeply involved in ministry in both Russia and Ukraine, Peter Deyneka Russian Ministries (which despite its name serves the church in all corners of the former Soviet Union), and Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC) which has radio stations in both countries. Let me bring you up-to-date with what they tell me about the situation.
First, Victor Akhterov of FEBC writes:
The FEBC station in Slavyansk, Ukraine, was shut down by the rebels two weeks ago. We were told that “this Biblical nonsense in not needed here.” On Sunday, May 4, after the government forces of Ukraine re-captured the tower, FEBC station resumed broadcasting to people who are distressed and scared. Dozens of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk residents lost their lives in recent days. FEBC does not take sides and is staying out of politics altogether, instead bringing hope for people of Ukraine by helping them meet the Lord.
I know your prayers and financial support of FEBC during this crisis would be appreciated. You can give a gift here.
Then, Sergey Rakhuba of Russian Ministries has an urgent appeal for Ukraine:
A couple of years ago, I was privileged to join the Board of the Far East Broadcasting Company. By then, Dr. Robert Bowman had long since retired but I got to meet him on at least two occasions and express my appreciation for his pioneer work in establishing FEBC, starting in 1945. Dr. Bob Bowman was a giant in my mind who never lost his heart desire to “Reach the World for Christ through Radio”. Since joining this ministry, I’ve met many of the men and women who serve Christ today in dozens of countries through FEBC and I have profound respect for their ministry which reaches deep into people’s lives. Dr. Bowman died last week, at nearly 99 years of age. Thank you, Lord, for gifting this man and equipping him for Your service in the Kingdom.