Mobile phone usage is the largest growing avenue of communication for people in Uganda between the age of 13 and 35 years. Out of more than six million mobile users in the country, young people use cell phones for more than just sending and receiving text messages (also known as SMS). They share pictures, listen to music, and exchange emails. A few even surf the Internet or hear radio broadcasts directly on their phones.
Recognizing this importance of mobile phones, Lutheran Hour Ministries in Uganda has begun using this new avenue of communication to reach out to young people and expand ministry outreach into different communities. For example, at the end of each radio program, listeners are encouraged to respond via SMS with questions or comments.
“Text messaging is a great way of enhancing response from recipients as it’s less intrusive than a phone call,” said Charles Bameka, the director of LHM—Uganda. “Plus by using a web-based text messaging interface, we have a detailed record of our SMS ministry.”
Bameka reports that the SMS ministry yields about 40 responses for every message sent to a thousand individuals.
“Many of the respondents appreciate receiving a reassuring Christian message in the midst of life’s daily challenges,” he observed.
To read more news and updates from Uganda please visit the LHM—Uganda blog.