The recent realignment of territories among the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s three European divisions and the creation of the Greater Middle East Union Mission have impacted the structure and operations of AWR’s Europe region. In this region, the three main shortwave production studios are being relocated to other church entities, as follows:
- The studio in Collonges, France, produced programs in six languages for AWR, primarily for listeners in the Middle East. Responsibility for these programs has been transferred to the recently-built AWR studio in Beirut, Lebanon, where local staff will take up production under the administration of the Greater Middle East Union Mission.
- The studio in Arua, Uganda, has been serving the needs of listeners in Sudan with programs in seven languages and functioning as part of the Trans-European Division. Now that South Sudan has become an independent country, studio staff will move to the city of Juba at some point in the future and work under the East-Central Africa Division.
- The studio in Pakistan will remain in place, but the church’s operations there are now part of the Southern-Asia Pacific Division.
As a result of these changes, AWR’s Europe region has been left with considerably less shortwave production to oversee, and the restructured portfolio no longer warrants a full-time region director. Therefore, the Executive Committee of AWR’s Board voted to discontinue the Europe region director position. With regret, AWR has bid farewell to Tihomir Zestic, who has filled this role for the past five years, and granted him permanent return status to his native Croatia.
“We are very grateful to Tihomir for his many contributions to Adventist World Radio,” says AWR president Dowell Chow. “Significant developments during his tenure have included the creation of a new studio in the Israel Field, the establishment of a new studio in Lebanon, the launch of broadcasts in Moldova, and start-up of radio work in Albania that has the potential of expanding into full production. We appreciate Tihomir’s fine service and are confident that the Lord will continue to lead in his ministry.”
Commendations and thanks are also shared with the 10-member staff of the studio in Collonges, France. “Their work in producing programs for AWR over the years in languages such as Arabic, Farsi, French, Kabyle, Tachelit, and Turkish has been greatly appreciated,” Chow says. “Through their programs, many listeners in the Middle East and other territories have heard the name of Jesus for the first time and experienced hope from the message of His soon return. Although we are gratified that this production will continue at the new location, we are saddened to lose such valuable members of our worldwide team.”
With this territorial realignment, AWR will study how to best serve the studios and stations that remain in all three European divisions.
(Source : AWR)