Scripture —

Bible On The Box

Broadcasting the gospel across Sri Lanka.

We peer over the shoulders of a small team of sound engineers and video editors, all busy producing gospel media which will be broadcast all over Sri Lanka. As we tour the studios, the Director of the ministry explains, “Our vision is to serve the people of Sri Lanka by helping to build up a Bible–believing, Scripture–centred community of faith, through a series of ministries and services, using media and technology strategically to teach the Word of God to new and growing believers”.

editing suite
editing suite

Bible teaching remains a huge need here today, and a quick history lesson helps us understand why.

Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948 after a long history of colonisation – first under the Portuguese, then the Dutch, and finally the British. Each of these occupying forces introduced their own brand of Christianity, the traces of which remain evident today. The countryside is dotted not only with Buddhist temples and Hindu shrines, but also with statues of Catholic saints and ornate church buildings. Sri Lanka is a deeply religious place.

Against such a background, there is a vital need for outreach which has the Bible at its heart. And this outreach is required not just among the Buddhist majority or the Hindu and Muslim minorities, but also among the many nominal Christians who have no understanding of the gospel and thus no vital faith in Jesus Christ.

Each morning, many Sri Lankans switch on their radios and are greeted with a short gospel presentation which goes out over the airwaves at 5.45am. Another key opportunity is during the evening commute, when a testimony is shared daily by someone who has found new life in Jesus. These recordings are broadcast in Sinhala, the heart language of the country’s 15 million Buddhists who make up 70% of the population. Phone calls and written correspondence have been received from listeners all over the island, many of whom are eager to find out more about Christ.


Mass Media

As we watch, our friends are working on some final edits to a video recorded last week, when a local Bible teacher was invited to the studio. Eager to get people reading God’s Word, the leaders here are committed to producing high–quality programmes which are biblically sound and gospel–centred. Today’s message is being prepared as a TV broadcast for Tamil speakers, most of whom are Hindu, Muslim or nominally Christian. Working in this darkened, sound–proofed room, the engineers may appear distant and removed from the work of evangelism, but they are serving the Lord faithfully where he has placed them. Each of them is heartened in the knowledge that many Sri Lankans have found Christ through their radio and TV ministry over the years.


Providing for Pastors

The organisation’s three–fold vision of evangelism, discipleship and training also incorporates work among pastors. The team encourage and equip leaders to teach the Bible faithfully and to be good role models as husbands and fathers alongside. Over the years, they have discovered that many church leaders lack a biblical understanding of marriage and family and serve with little or no accountability in this regard. Last year, 300 pastors attended a conference addressing this subject, and a network of small groups is being developed through which church leaders will have new access to opportunities for regular fellowship and mutual accountability.


Childhood Challenges

Leaving the studio, we pay a quick visit to the bookshop. The shelves are well–stocked with a range of Bibles, devotionals and study materials for adults and children alike. In speaking to the team, we discover that the work among children is vital amid the many strains on family life. Fathers often travel away for work and, with mothers also working long hours, children are often neglected. This leaves them facing many challenges. Our friends tell us of outreach programmes designed to address those needs, with children not only enjoying nutritious meals but also receive Bible teaching. Through this work, many have heard of Jesus for the first time.

Finishing our visit, we ask our host how we can pray for the team. He replies, “Please pray that each of the workers would be well equipped, be creative and stay personally close to the Lord”.


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