Talking to Children Heart to Heart

Young Russian Listening Audience

Meet Chipchik, the piglet -- an interesting character who regularly causes problems for himself. That's why children like him, because they see themselves in him.

Now meet "Aunt" Ludmila -- Far East Broadcasting's Russian radio producer, who loves talking to children by using Chipchik (and other animal characters) to present the Gospel at the level of understanding of 6 to 10-year-olds.

"Children are transparent, and their hearts are so open," says Ludmila. "They're receptive to whatever I share.

"I try to treat them as Jesus would -- with respect, love, and understanding. When they feel this love, they respond by telling me what they're really thinking and feeling."

Nine-year-old Alexander from Siberia writes, "Dear Aunt Ludmila, my father almost died recently when he got really drunk. The doctors saved his life, but I think it was God who saved him. Your programs help me know Jesus ... I listen to you and pray with you. It helps to know that God knows what's going on in my life, and now you do, too."

Ludmila says she talks openly and directly about God, and the children in her stories deal with many of the same situations that real children grapple with.

"When my characters turn to God for help, they do so in a way that seems natural," adds Ludmila, "so that the children in my radio audience can feel that they, too, can go to God whenever faced with difficulties."

Bible stories are included, to show the children that the people in the Bible were just as real as they are ... and songs and poems are fitted with specific Bible stories, which the children really enjoy.

"I love receiving their letters," continues Ludmila, "especially the ones that tell me they've accepted Jesus into their heart, after listening to my program."

Ludmila often receives letters from parents. A Russian policeman recently wrote to say that his daughter and wife listen to her programs, and often ask him to join them.

"Being an atheist, I told them I had no time for such foolishness," the policeman writes, "but one day I secretly took a radio to work with me, and listened to your program in my office. I never fully understood the Bible before -- but your explanation was so easy to understand, and I told my co-workers about it. We're now all listening to you."

A number of Sunday school teachers have informed Ludmila that they use her radio programs in their classes.

Ludmila has been the program's "unseen voice behind the microphone" since 1989, when she began producing Morning of Life for young children.

Morning of Life is aired on Far East Broadcasting's AM stations in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Khabarovsk -- as well as by shortwave from Saipan, which covers the entire country.

Raised in the former Soviet Union, Ludmila knows about persecution -- her father spent 10½ years in prison because of his faith.

"I love children, and I receive so much love in return," says Ludmila. "Reaching children for Christ is the most rewarding experience ... and to tell you the truth, I never dreamt that thousands of little ones would one day call me Aunt Ludmila."

In every city throughout Russia, Ludmila says she has young disciples who are learning about Jesus' love for them through the Morning of Life radio program. "I'm so blessed," she concludes.

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FEBC has been my constant companion. It's hard to imagine my day without listening to God's word and gospel songs through your beautiful program indeed! - Philippines