Tuning into the “God Channel”


When  Vladimir (Ulyanov) Lenin returned from political exile to lead the  Russian Revolution in 1917, one of his first objectives was to seize  control of all media. Lenin envisioned newspapers and radio as the  primary tools for communicating Bolshevik propaganda. If he could  “educate” the masses through media, he knew he would have control of  their minds and souls. During  the Stalin era the Soviets built a radio system with a network of  transmitter towers for the sole purpose of disseminating Communist  propaganda throughout the USSR. Small transistor radios were a fixture  in Ukrainian homes. In schools, hospitals, prisons, and government  buildings, citizens were forced to tune in to the “Voice from Moscow”  with its latest glorification of the Communist system. 

All  a person had to do was turn a radio on—any radio, at any location—and  there was the voice. They didn’t have any options. There was only one  station with one channel. 

News  reports heralded the latest industrial development project or brilliant  scientific discoveries that outshone anything the capitalist West could  produce. They spoke of homeless people in New York City sleeping on the  streets, but boasted that such deplorable living conditions were not  seen in Russia.

What citizens did not hear was religious programming. The airwaves were silent in regards to any mention of God or the Bible.

Freedom came to Ukraine in 1987, and with it arose the first opportunities in 70 years to openly worship God. Slavik,  a Ukrainian Christian, caught the vision to do something no one would  have dreamed of a few short years before. If the Soviets could use radio  to spread Communist and atheist ideology, he could make use of the same  system to proclaim salvation through Jesus Christ. Slavik knew the odds were against him, but God was for him.

‘We want to use radio time for preaching’

For  the past three years the energetic young evangelist already had been  doing the unthinkable. In 1988 when Soviet Union celebrated 1,000 years  of Christianity, because King Vladimir in Kiev Russia baptized in  Dnieper river new believers, he asked for government to get permission  for first opened crusade in his home land. Over 20,000 Ukrainians showed  up and over 500 people received Christ as Savior. 

His  ministry branched out to include outreach to prisoners, the  distribution of Bibles from Western Europe and the United States, and  the startup of a children’s home.

Then Slavik  contacted the president of a radio and television broadcasting company  and made a 200-mile trip across the country to Kiev to present his  carefully thought out vision.

“We want to use radio time for preaching,” he explained.

Persuading  officials to convert the government channel into the “God channel” was  not easy. To Slavik’s surprise, the president authorized the radio  program under two conditions. First, Slavik could not preach against the  Ukrainian government. Second, he had to apply for official recognition  as a Christian radio and television company. 

Remarkably the paperwork was approved, and in 1991 mission made the first radio broadcast.

At  the time he operated the only licensed Christian radio and TV Company  in Ukraine, and perhaps in the entire former Soviet Union.

In the  early years our radio ministry received some 8,000-9,000 letters from  listeners per month. People expressed thanks for the programs, some  saying they accepted Christ as a result or they received an answer to  prayers for physical healing or reconciliation in a strained  relationship.

At  one point Slavik was told the program would be canceled due to a  shortage of funds. “Faith, Hope, and Love” was off the air for four  weeks. After government radio station received 3,000 letters of  complaint for pulling the program, the radio station owner said he would  return it to the airwaves.

“He said he would work out a deal with us,” recalled Slavik. “So he gave us a lower price, and I kept preaching.”

Loyal listeners Now  through 1,000 towers his radio programs are transmitted from Kiev to an  area encompassing 100 million people in Ukraine, Moldova, Belorussia,  Western Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, and many other  countries. And  the letters keep coming. Petrova from Kbmelnitskiy recently wrote:  “Thank you for your programs. We are always waiting for your messages to  be preached. Our neighbors come over to our house when your programs  are on the air, because they do not have a radio at their house. After  your programs we pray together.”

Many  listeners request New Testaments. Others ask for copies of messages on  CD so they can pass them along to family members and friends.

Slavik said,  he was very moved by the story of one Christian couple. It was 9 p.m.  that night and he was worn out after completing an evangelistic crusade,  but a friend of the family pressed him to go visit the couple. “They  really want to see you,” he was told. 

They  drove to the couple’s apartment and knocked on the door. A voice from  inside asked, “Who is with you?” The friend replied, “The man you like  to hear on the radio whose ministry led you to be saved.”  When Slavik entered the room, he realized immediately that the husband and wife were blind. 

“This  is a wonderful moment to have the radio preacher come visit us,” the  husband said. “We hear your voice by radio, but now you are blessing us  with your presence in our home.” In  addition to radio broadcasts, he proclaims the gospel through  television programming that reaches over 135 nations in the former USSR,  Europe, China, India, and the Middle East, parts of Africa, and North  and South America.  “My  message is simple; I use only scripture of God” said Slavik. “I don’t  promote a certain church or denomination. I preach massage of salvation,  deliverance, healing broken hearts and families, I just invite people  to read the Bible and follow Jesus.”

Testimony’s from Slavik radio programs

Yuriy Malchenko from Vinnitsa Greeting  to you radio program Faith, Hope and Love. My wife and my self are  retired seniors; we listen to your radio programs because through your  programs I accepted Christ. We would listen to your programs every day.  Thank you for your hard work, you have very interesting radio programs. 

Lidia Marishin from L’viv Thank  you very much for your great Christian radio programs which helped me  understood Lord Christ as a saver and as well growing spiritually. To  all my neighbors I started to witness about Lord our Christ. I would  also ask them to listen to your radio program Faith, Hope and Love. Kalenik Melnik from Rivne Praise  the Lord Brothers and sisters from Radio Program Faith, Hope and Love.  With all the joy, I listen to your radio programs. Thank you that you  are delivering the Word of God to our broken hearts. I and my wife are  saved, but we also asking if you can please pray for our son are which  are dying through alcohol.

Peace  to you Slavik and Natasha from God. Thank you very much from the bottom  of my heart for your live Gospel messages, I and my wife accepted the  Lord. Please pray for our children and grandchild so they would also  praise His name. Oleksey Bolbot from Dnipropetrovsk Dear  Slavik, we are very thankful for your wonderful programs. We remember  your programs since we lived in Rivne, Ukraine. Right now we moved to  Central of Ukraine and continue to joyfully listen to your programs.  Ivan and Olena Redchits – Zhitomir city

Good  day to you radio program Faith, Hope and Love. For a while I have been  thinking to send you a thanks letter for grateful program that brings  brightness to each home. Through your program I accepted Christ in my  heart with my 3 children. I truly thank you for your radio pragmas that  encourage me each time. Nadia Yakivna – Lugansk city



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