HISTORY – Strategic World Evangelism began in 1971, with the intention of spreading the Good News of Jesus to those who do not know Him, and focusing mostly on those who belong to the educated and upper classes who are often overlooked in this regard. The means to do this concentrated on the available media, which then was centered around print and radio, and tape and cassette recordings. Hence, the WAY OF GOD BROADCASTS, began airing on Radio Sri Lanka in 1972, and later also on the FAR EAST BROADCASTING ASSOCIATION. Fifteen and thirty minute programmes were broadcast 5 days a week, and were in a conversation/music format, with a follow up via the WAY OF GOD CORRESPONDENCE COURSES and direct contact through phone calls, etc. The lessons were designed for personal and private study.
BIBLE COLLEGE - Other past developments of Strategic World Evangelism that are still ongoing include a Bible College, in Kilpauk, Chennai, and called MADRAS SCHOOL OF EVANGELISM. This was begun in 1975, and soon grew, both in reputation and enrolment, and affiliated with the AETEI (Association of Evangelical Theological Educational Institutions in India). Later it became known as the Madras College of Evangelism, and after handing the school over to a person specifically trained, in the USA, to lead the institution, it became the Lakeview Bible College and Seminary, run independently from SWE. A close relationship still continues with each other.
TELEVISION – Shortwave’s influence slowly declined, the world over, and FM’s popularity increased. Meanwhile, the rules for TV broadcasting were made more accessible and many religious programmes were aired on independent TV Channels. After much prayer and deliberation, the Way of God broadcast radio programmes on Radio Sri Lanka, and FEBA were terminated, and a TV broadcast called the DIVINE CONNECTION was aired by Good News TV, our of Chennai, on Saturdays at 9.30 p.m., prime time. Initially, Good News TV served as an agent for other channels and the Divine Connection appeared on a local Tamil station. The format was conversational and music, in English (by Leonard Thompson), with simultaneous translation in Tamil with an on cameral translator. Soon, Good News opted to have the same programme translated into Telegu and English, and aired on their own TV channels, SUBHAVAARHA TV (Telegu – Sundays) and SHUBSANDESH TV (Hindi – Fridays). Hence, due to the multiple lab translations, only the voice of the translator is heard.
LITERATURE - The Way of God Correspondence Courses were the immediate follow-up response, but that soon was developed into a learning website called messagesfromtheguru.org. This website is Free, Private, all hours and with no limitations of any kind. Also, phone callers can receive immediate responses, answers/prayers from qualified people in English, Tamil, Telegu, Hindi, and Nepali. Other literature pointing to Jesus is also freely distributed. In addition through the writings of Dr. Thompson, THREE books have been published – BASIC BELIEFS (Gospel Literature Service, Mumbai), ANGELS/DEMONS (Co- written with Knofel Staton who wrote ANGELS, College Press, USA) and DEALING WITH DOCTRINE – A to Z (Self-published).
TEACHING and PREACHING - Mostly through the invitations received by Dr. Thompson, revivals, seminars, college courses, and varied preaching and teaching assignments were held all over India and in several other countries, including the USA, UK, St. Vincent, Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, Brazil, Australia, Myanmar, Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines, and elsewhere. For about 10 years this included being an annual adjunct professor at Ozark Christian College in the USA.
PRESENT ACTIVITIES – The TV programmes (DIVINE CONNECTION) continue with Dr. Solomon Yesudoss preaching on NAMBIKKAI TV every Saturday, and Leonard Thompson, three times a week on GOOD NEWS TELEVISION. The Saturday program is English with Tamil translation and the same is also translated into Telegu and Hindi. Exact timings at present are:
ENGLISH/TAMIL - NAMBIKKAI TV, Saturdays, 9.30 p.m.
ENGLISH/TELEGU – SUBHAVAARTHA TV, Sundays, 8.30 p.m.
ENGLISH/HINDI – SHUBSANDESH TV, Fridays, 8.00 p.m.
ENGLISH ONLY – GOOD NEWS TV, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 8.30 p.m.
The follow-up of these broadcasts are via the WEBSITE, messagesfromtheguru.org, and phone answering directly.
OTHER ACTIVITIES include preaching at the Annanagar Church of Christ, teaching at Lakeview Bible College and Seminary, holding meetings and teachings as when invited and assigned – all by Dr. Thompson