When Hope Channel began in 2003, our mission was very clear: to spread the gospel message to the entire world through the use of television. But how we were going to accomplish this mission was not quite as a clear. How would one channel producing shows in the United States reach a multitude of cultures and language groups in a cost effective way that makes a huge impact?
Prayers for godly wisdom were answered with a formidable plan. God showed us that the only way to effectively reach the unreached was for Hope Channel to broadcast directly to the myriad of the world’s people groups by producing programs locally in the local language by people of the local culture. With that plan, we understood why Hope Channel could not to be a single channel broadcasting from a single place—we needed to be a network of many channels, each focusing on the needs unique to the people and culture it serves.
Faithful to His plan, God has grown Hope Channel from one English channel to a network of 43 regional channels, reaching millions across the globe with the gospel message of God’s love and salvation. For many of our viewers, if it were not for stumbling upon a Hope Channel broadcast they may never have heard about Jesus. Local churches in areas served by a local Hope Channel broadcast report seeing more and more strangers come through their doors for the first time because of what they’ve come to learn about God and Christian living on Hope Channel.
But creating so many networks has been a strain, not only financially, but also in terms of personnel. Finding professionals in the television industry is often difficult in many of our regions. While we never have a shortage of passionate, driven people ready to work in media ministry, we realized Hope Channel would have to go to each region to help set up and train workers to create effective Spirit filled shows. And that is how “Project Hope” began—it was an initiative to train television professionals for every new channel that joins the network, but requires assistance in building a television production team.
The latest Project Hope took place in Fiji to create programs specifically for viewers in the South Pacific region. Over 28 days, about 70 television professionals from 10 countries camped at Suvavou, Fiji to train a brand new team at Hope Channel Fiji and help them produce a fresh new inventory of over 400 programs relevant to their needs and culture, and in their own local languages. At the rate of almost 15 half-hour shows per day, it was both an exhausting and fulfilling experience. Ultimately the project would grow to include health programming produced in cooperation with the Fiji Ministry of Health, and a personal visit by the Fiji President George Konrote who enthusiastically participated in handing out participation certificates to every participant, and even being a guest in one series of health programs.
I was there, and I was in awe of what I saw. I witnessed the incredible commitment of a team focused on increasing their talents to reach the people of their own islands. During our time together we developed a strong bond that broke cultural and language barriers because of a shared mission to explore creative ways to share the gospel message and the love of Jesus. It is a bond that had grown men hugging and tearing up over goodbyes. While the days were long, and the schedule demanding, a spirit of harmony and peace prevailed throughout—a sort of “upper-room” experience where all were in one accord to the common cause of serving Christ.
-Joe Sloan, Director of TV Network Distribution
Hope Channel, Inc.
Enjoy the beautiful photographs taken by Joe of the Fiji islands: hopetv.org/fiji