Various broadcasting ministries in Russia are making a coordinated effort to encourage survivors of the horrific terrorist attack on a middle school in Beslan, Russia, in early September that shocked the world and left more than 350 people dead. Radio ministries represented in the outreach include HCJB World Radio, Trans World Radio, Russian Christian Radio, the Russian Baptist Union, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Russia and a local studio that was developed with HCJB World Radio's help in nearby Nalchik.
"We have produced a series of Christian responses to the Beslan tragedy," said Mark Irwin, director of HCJB World Radio's sub-regional office in Moscow.
Olga Meltinis, a graduate of HCJB World Radio's broadcast training program held in 2002, is among those producing special broadcasts designed to encourage the traumatized people of Beslan. Working with a colleague from her team in Voronezh, Meltinis went to Beslan to interview numerous witnesses and others whose lives were shattered by the tragedy.
"Then she returned to Voronezh and has produced various programs that reflect God's power to change lives and to encourage forgiveness," Irwin explained. "These programs have aired internationally via shortwave and on a local Christian FM station in Vladikavkaz, Russia, which also reaches Beslan."
Meltiniss weekly program, "Eternity in Miniature," spotlights testimonies of those whose lives have been transformed by God. The programs air on short-wave across Russia as part of HCJB World Radio's Russian language programming as well as on the New Life Radio satellite network and on local outlets.
Meltinis will also take part in a mass media evangelism campaign set for Petrozavodsk, Russia, in November. HCJB World Radio's Moscow staff helped prepare some materials for the media campaign, including special radio programs.
Another HCJB graduate, Nadya Arxipova, will help with the Petrozavodsk campaign, a media outreach coordinated by Campus Crusade for Christ and International Russian Radio and TV.
Earlier this year, HCJB World Radio's Moscow staff, along with Arxipova and a fellow graduate named Dima from the 2000 school, produced programs for a similar outreach held in Ufa, Russia (capital of the Bashkir republic).
In early October the Moscow staff completed a two-week training course in the Siberian city of Surgut as 10 students came from various cities and cultures to learn Christian broadcasting.
"Among them were three pastors, two former policemen who served during the Soviet era, and a former drug addict," Irwin said.
More training courses are planned for 2005, including radio program production and Christian music recording and production.