November 3rd 2010
TWR Slovakia Celebrates Twentieth Anniversary
TWR Slovakia director Lubomir Vyhnanek points to a map on his office wall with big red stars scattered across it. Each star marks a city in Slovakia where he and his staff dream of broadcasting in the future.
TWR Slovakia celebrates its 20th anniversary this September. It is the only station in Slovakia that broadcasts a clearly evangelical message. Where 70 percent of the population claim to be Roman Catholic and only 0.2 percent claim to be evangelical, Rádio 7 is a beacon of light in Slovakia.
Four years ago, TWR Slovakia joined TWR Czech Republic to begin a conjunct radio station named Rádio 7. The station is made up of Slovak and Czech programs that air 24 hours a day with 12 hours of each language. Vyhnanek estimates that each day between 6.000 and 10.000 people listen through the Internet, but it is difficult to measure the number of people that listen through satellite and FM in central Slovakia.
The station would like to expand their broadcasts across the country, but they face many obstacles. These obstacles do not stop Rádio 7 from pursuing more opportunities for outreach. “We are dreaming to be on the TV information channel in the future using webcasting, like ERF Medien in Germany,” says Vyhnanek.
Rádio 7 broadcasts a variety of programs for everyone, from retirees to youth. The station is supported mainly by listeners, with only a small percentage of church support. “In the ministry, the challenge is always money. This year was very difficult for us because the world economy is down … and we are feeling it very deeply,” Vyhnanek said.
Rádio 7 is also working on getting a frequency license for Bratislava. This process is in its final stage and they are eagerly waiting their first FM broadcasting in the capital of Slovakia.
As they look into the future, TWR Slovakia remains reflective of the past: “We are thankful to be a part of the TWR family … they really helped us to start radio ministry,” Vyhnanek says. Together with TWR, Rádio 7 is wholly dedicated to bringing the light of the gospel to Slovakia. Every turn brings new challenges for the ministry, but the team knows that God’s hand is on them and they remain obedient to His leading.
By Claire Riss