Absolutely 24/7 | Reaching Out to Children and Youth in the Philippines
February 20, 2009
Young people in the Philippines are deeply interested in spiritual things, but they often lack the opportunity to find a sympathetic friend who will listen to their questions and provide caring guidance.
Like youth from around the world, they confront peer pressure from all sides, such as pressure to adapt, to try drugs, and to experiment with sexuality. This leaves their hearts broken and their minds confused.
Despite the increase of evangelical Christian ministry in the Philippines, little has been done to help these young people deal with real issues in biblical ways.
TWR-Philippines aims to encourage youth to commit themselves to Christ, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Absolutely 24/7 is a weekly 30-minute radio program for Filipino youth designed to challenge them to live their lives to the fullest for Christ. The program combines segments about Christian thoughts, family values and helpful tips with contemporary Christian music. Topics are carefully selected to offer biblical insights into daily problems in a way that will touch listeners’ hearts.
Absolutely 24/7 is aired primarily in English with some Tagalog, which is most comfortable with the younger generation. Plans are underway to partner 800 local churches throughout the Philippines in order to reach a potential audience of approximately 20 million youth. The programme also encourages two-way communication between listeners and staff, and invites them to write in via text messages to share their problems with counsellors and trained staff who are on hand to help.
The following is a true story that the staff from Absolutely 24/7 received from one of their listeners. Due to certain sensitivities, the names and locations have been changed or omitted.
“F” is a second year student at a university in the Philippines, and loves listening to Absolutely 24/7. She is like any other young woman her age, except that she is of noble birth. Her parents descended from royalty, and as part of her family’s cultural and religious tradition, her father has arranged for her to marry someone belonging to the same faith. However, ‘F’ is struggling as she is now a Christian, and she is afraid of what her parents would do if they found out about it. She secretly attends an evangelical church near where she lives, even though her parents are also taking her to their place of worship. ‘F’ responded to the Absolutely 24/7 programme via text message and asked for counselling about During Free casino Games , the reels are spun automatically using the same number of lines and bets per line as on the spin that won the Free casino Games . her problem.
A programme counsellor from Absolutely 24/7 responded immediately to her request and counselled ‘F’. The following are excerpts from her text messages to the counsellor. They have been edited for continuity and flow.
I am planning to let my parents know [that I am a Christian] as soon as I finish my studies and get a job, so that I can support myself in case they disown me. What I feel right now is fear. I am fearful of what my parents will do to me if they come to know that I am a Christian, but I am determined to continue being a Christian.
I hate this because it seems very unfair, and because I have to pretend even though I want to show them that I am a Christian. I even have to hide my Bible and Christian CDs. I had a Christian boyfriend previously, and my parents got mad at him and almost killed him. They also asked him to pay a certain amount of money as a penalty.
“F” was thankful for the counselling session and for our programme. The programme counsellor from Absolutely 24/7 is still following-up with her, to help her with the issues she is facing.
Prayer and Praise
- Pray for “F”, that she will continue to honour her parents even though they object to her being a Christian, and that God will grant her strength as she struggles with the issues.
- Thank God for sponsors for our youth programmes. This is an indication that our programmes have an impact on the lives of our listeners. This is a great encouragement for the team.
- Campus Radio 92.7FM has given Absolutely 24/7 youth program three hours of free airing. This allows us to broadcast one hour each week for free to air the programme! Praise the Lord for this blessing.
- Praise God for the fifteen-year-old girl who is an avid listener of Absolutely 24/7. She was touched by the Lord to give 100 pesos a month for our youth programme. Pray that God will also bless her in return.