As Miracle Channel celebrates 15 years on air this April it prepares to launch its fifth weekly live program next month.
It was in 1978 that God first spoke to Miracle Channel’s founder, the international visionary and evangelist Dr. Aril Edvardsen, to get ready for the coming media revolution across the world. State monopolies would fall, and unprecedented opportunities to broadcast the gospel on television would present themselves. After years of producing a single one hour program called Miracle that was broadcast in several languages on local stations across the world, the Arabic language Miracle Channel got ready to launch in 1997. During the first live broadcast to the Middle East and North Africa, thunderclouds gathered on an otherwise clear blue horizon and lightening struck the local satellite uplink repeatedly until the broadcast lost power and the transmission was cut. The dramatic launch was a reminder of the spiritual fight that would take place in the heavenlies. Thousands of unreached people would get to hear the gospel for the first time through Miracle Channel’s broadcasts in the coming years. Two days later the launch proceeded without further problems and Miracle Channel was a fact.
A new vision
As few producers had grasped the vision of reaching Muslims with television programs without patronizing their faith, most of the early programs had to be produced by Miracle Channel. But as the years progressed, more and more people understood the vision and started supporting Miracle Channel by making appropriate programming, donating funds, and covering the work in prayer.
Programs were tailored for youth, for children, dramas and sitcoms, bible studies, talk shows and educational programs were made. At the same time Miracle Channel helped train and support new media missionaries in the Arab world who could produce programs locally.
Reaping the fruit
Today Miracle Channel is reaping the fruit of this investment and most of our programming today is produced in the Arab world, by Arabs and for Arabs.
Miracle Channel has always tried to incorporate the latest technology in its broadcasts making the programs available to as many viewers as possible. Today viewers can watch the channel on television, on the internet, on a YouTube channel and on smart phones with or without an app. Yet media technology is only the medium, the message is always the bottom line. Over the years hundreds of thousands of viewers have contacted Miracle Channel. A vast number of them have had their lives changed by the gospel and are now followers of Christ in countries that are closed for traditional mission.
A brief history:
The channel is broadcasting 12 hours a day. Response numbers are increasing and this year we hear from 28 000 Arab viewers. The channel starts live streaming over the Internet, and new viewers from Australia, China and Russia join us.
Miracle Channel becomes a 24 hour satellite channel. Greetings immediately come from several Arab countries:
“We really like your channel and watch it all the time. I was very happy when you started broadcasting 24 hours a day, congratulations”, writes a viewer from Sudan.
And a young man from Tunisia sent us the following letter. “By watching Miracle Channel my eyes have been opened for Jesus. I have decided to search for the truth and would like to receive a bible and the correspondence course.”
The response is constantly increasing, and we hear from 58 739 viewers.
This year we hear from 119 234 viewers. At least 70 percent of them are from Muslims who ask for prayer and have sincere inquiries about the gospel.
On September the 25th Miracle Channel starts its first weekly live broadcast to the Arab world. Several hundred viewers immediately call in on air revealing the great need for direct communication with our viewers.
On December 12th Miracle Channel starts broadcasting on NileSat, the largest Arabic satellite network in the world, and the response literally explodes. By broadcasting on both Hotbird and NileSat, more than 330 million people are now able to watch our broadcasts 24 hour broadcasts.
On March 9th Miracle Channel launches live broadcasts on three satellites simultaneously reaching North America, Europe and North Africa at same time. Viewers from Israel, Kuwait, Syria and the US call in live on air.
This year the response on the channel reaches an all time high of 162 861 viewer inquiries.
Miracle Channel gets a unique opportunity to broadcast live under the Arab spring that starts in January and soon spreads to the Middle East and North Africa. Scared viewers call and ask for prayer for their families and countries. The broadcasts start using the social networks and become interactive.
The focus this year is discipleship and helping viewers become mature believers that can reproduce in their own communities. In less than four months a youth program generates over 30 000 followers on Facebook. During the first three months we hear from 50 513 viewers while gripping stories of life changing encounters with Jesus keep coming to the follow-up office.
Please consider making a donation to Miracle Channel and its daily broadcasts.