To get to one of his jobs, Nurpu Lama must travel for three days. That’s in the dry season; when the rains begin, the journey can stretch to six days—one way. Many of Adventist World Radio’s program producers work within very limited resources, but Lama’s routine requires particular tenacity.
Lama is one of AWR’s newest producers. He lives in Tibet, a mountainous province in China with no organized Seventh-day Adventist Church structure and very few church members.
He received training from AWR’s long-time producers and technicians in the neighboring country of Nepal, where he learned the equipment and voice announcing skills. The Nepali team provides him with a supply of their scripts, which he translates by hand and contextualizes for the Tibetan people. He must travel back to the AWR Nepal studio to record his programs, an exhausting trip that involves a long walk (from Lama’s hillside home to a larger town), a bus ride, a full-day walk to the Nepali border, and a day-long bus ride to Kathmandu.
The rest of Lama’s life is not easy either. Although his home does have electricity and he is able to use the laptop computer provided by AWR to access e-mail, he must hike down the mountainside to a lower village to visit an Internet café. His days are very full as he raises some animals and food for his family, and also works as a Gospel Outreach pioneer.
“After a two-year search for a producer, we are thrilled to have started our first shortwave programs in Tibetan,” says AWR president Dowell Chow. “Nurpu’s voice can be heard across Tibet, as well as in nearby countries, through one of the best shortwave signals on our entire schedule. Tibetan listeners worldwide can also access the programs online, through awr.org and iTunes.”
AWR is working to make its shortwave signals in Asia even better by undertaking a multi-million-dollar upgrade of its shortwave station on the Pacific island of Guam. When that is completed, listeners in more key countries will simultaneously receive programs in their own languages during prime-listening times. For more on this project, please see awr.org.
Shelley Nolan Freesland is AWR communication director at the General Conference world headquarters