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The work of GRN in South Africa started under the name Gospel Recordings in 1961, while GR USA was under the direction of the founder, Joy Ridderhof. For many years, recording work and production of records continued with the help of many volunteers and some full time members based in Cape Town. Graham Edwards, with Royalene, from Australia, worked as Acting Director from 1988 until 1990. The work moved office four times until in 1996 a partnership was formed with Bible Media (BM), in Wellington, and the GRN ministry became known as Good News Media (GNM).
Bible Media develops products, and ministry and study materials in conjunction with churches of various denominations. In this partnership, Good News Media had access to a wider range of materials tailor-made for nonreaders, as well as the expertise to develop materials for oral communities. Bible Media had a growing passion to reach people with the message of Jesus, who cannot be reached by means of the written word.
In 2003, Dalene Joubert took over the role of Manager of GNM and in 2007 GNM became a division of Bible Media. Becoming a part of such a well-established, well-known and highly regarded ministry in South Africa, meant a lot for GNM's reputation and credibility, and also saved a lot of unnecessary duplication of expenses. Over 200 of the new Saber players made in Australia are now in service in Southern Africa, and the Bible picture charts and recordings continue to be much appreciated. GNM is now producing a series of Sunday School manuals based on the Look, Listen and Live picture charts.
GNM has continued to seek well-established ministries in neighbouring countries with which to partner in order to benefit the ministry to non-readers in Southern Africa. This ensures better monitoring of the use of materials, more effective follow-up in terms of discipleship and servicing of players, as well as better feedback to donors and sponsors.
In 2003 an agreement was signed between Good News Media and Christian Audio-Visual Action (CAVA) in Harare, Zimbabwe. Since then CAVA has fully accommodated the work of GRN/GNM in Zimbabwe. In spite of the humanitarian and financial crisis in Zimbabwe, CAVA continues to distribute GNM materials wherever possible. They constantly battle with power cuts and staff working under great pressure.
Since June 2008, 'Project Mozambique' based in Beira, Mozambique, has indicated that they are keen to facilitate the work of GNM in Mozambique. They travel into the remotest parts of Mozambique, planting churches and Bible study groups based on the GNM materials. (Refer to website and previous newsletter)
Since the beginning of April 2009, another organisation called Fishers, Trainers and Senders based in Lilongwe, Malawi, has begun to facilitate the work of GRN/GNM there. Negotiations to partner with another group in Zambia are also underway.
In coming months, Dalene will be kept busy recording programs, editing and converting sound files, attending the GRN Africa Regional conference in Ghana, translating AIDS teaching scripts in preparation for recording and negotiating with partner organizations. She desperately needs another full time helper, so please join her in prayer to this end - and thank God for all that He is accomplishing through the work of Good News Media and Bible Media in Southern Africa.