Sunday, September 06, 2009

On air

(seventh of a series)

On our first day at the radio station where we rented an unused studio for our project, I got to chat with the production manager, an old Themne man in his 60s. He was very eager to talk about Sierra Leone and to show me around town.

"You should come with me to town one day," he volunteered. Our staff house was in the outskirts so I had not seen the town center. Then he said something about me going on air. "Give an exhortation. Talk about a Bible passage and what you are doing here," he added. I thought he was joking.

"Sure," I replied smiling. I was riding along until I realized he was serious. He assured me that it was perfectly okay to talk about Jesus and the Bible in a government-operated radio station in their town which was 70% Muslim. There was religious tolerance in Makeni, as in most of Sierra Leone.

As much as I thought it was a wonderful opportunity, I realized I was unprepared and unqualified to expound on a Bible passage on such a short notice. I used to teach a College & Career Sunday School class for which I prepared for many, many hours within the week. I couldn't just wing it. It was a big responsibility.

But I had agreed to speak. Besides, when else will I be given the same opportunity? I have no idea what I'm going to say, God help me. I could talk about our project, and then what?

I remembered I had a pamphlet from work that talked about Jesus. It was a simple presentation of the gospel to which I could add my testimony. I could personalize it with my experiences and insights. I will share what I have and it's up to God to use it. That took the burden off my shoulders. I immediately worked on my piece. That was on Friday.

On Saturday, Mr. Production Manager told me my schedule was on Sunday morning. I didn't think it would be that soon. He introduced me to the Lady DJ that would host the show. I should be at the station at 9am.

Sunday came. While the rest of the recording team was taking a break from work and preparing for church, I was waiting for the young teen accompanying me to the station. He came five minutes before nine. There was no way I could hike up the hill in 5 minutes.

I arrived at the station a little late and sweating heavily as usual. Mr. Production Manager immediately ushered me to the booth and I was introduced by Lady DJ on air. Still catching my breath, I read through my material.

The announcer's booth is behind that door.

My talk was done in 15 minutes. The program was for 30. With time to use, I asked Lady DJ that if she had any questions. What am I thinking? What if she suddenly asks me some deep theological question?

Lady DJ leaned towards her mic and slightly turned her face to the right where I was seated facing her. She began to talk in her DJ accent and modulated voice.

"You said in your exhortation," she spoke slowly, "that you received Christ in your life when you were 15 years old... How long ago was that?"

LOL! I couldn't help laughing on air. I was caught off guard. Do you have any deep theological question?

"That was a loooong time ago," I chuckled, but gave her the number anyway. Oh, she's doing the math.

Oh well, I hope she remembers the other things I said.

See the big patch of sweat on my blouse.

(to be continued -- Papa)

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