Here’s a piece of trivia you may not know.
In March of 1977, Dr. Dobson aired his first radio broadcast called, “Let’s Get Acquainted.” Unlike the daily 30-minute format we syndicate today, Dr. Dobson’s original broadcast was a snappy, 15 minute weekly family advice show. Today, thirty-one years later, the Focus on the Family broadcast is heard in 155 countries with an estimated global audience of 220 million listeners.
What’s more, we broadcast in 26 different languages: Albanian, Arabic, Afrikaans, Armenian, Cantonese, Croatian, English, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Mongolian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Tamil, Telugu, and Zulu. Whew!
As the Focus on the Family broadcast blanketed the earth, the demand for printed resources swelled. Which is why we now have 38 publications in 12 countries, including newspaper columns and magazines printed in a number of languages. Among the native tongues represented are English, Chinese, French, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, and Slovenian.
I’m sure when Dr. Dobson sat before the microphone to record his first show that he never dreamed there would be a global audience one day tuning in to hear his marriage and parenting advice. Here’s the interesting part for me.
I’ve been working at Focus on the Family for almost twenty years. Along the way, I helped in expanding Focus’s resources to our friends around the world. Our approach has been to only go where we’ve been invited to partner with the local folks. I’ll never forget a conversation I had with Dr. Lillian Wahome. She and I first met during an exploratory trip to Africa. Over lunch I asked her whether she thought our message would connect with families in Africa.
Dr. Wahome, who had been trained in psychology at the Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya, offered me whimsical smile. She said, “It’s just like Americans to think you invented families, because you invent everything! But, if you talk to people about keeping their marriages together and raising healthy kids, you will be relevant in every culture because every culture deals with these issues.”
I share this with you to let you know how much I appreciate each and every person who stands with us as we seek to minister to families, both here in the United States and beyond. As Dr. Dobson is so fond of saying, this isn’t his ministry, it’s God’s ministry. Pray for us as we continue to take the Good News of the gospel to the far corners of the earth.