Institute member, Tenkir Teni, is based in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa where he works for Feba Radio alongside SIM International. We wanted to get to know him a bit better...
How did you first get into training?
I started producing radio messages in one of the Horn of Africa languages with the zeal to reach them with the gospel, but I had no any training and experience. I was really searching for a help from someone who can help me know the skill of communication and media. Then Mr. Norman Brierley informed me and also invited me to the training in Arusha and that opened my eye.
Why did you feel this was the career for you?
I feel God has called me to be in full time for the mission of the gospel, reaching unreached groups in the region and beyond. I felt media specially radio can reach many millions with the gospel message and wanted to use this for God’s glory. My passion is to bring the gospel message through different media to those who have no privilege to hear the gospel and to those who are outside the influence of evangelical church. The good news is that, there are different media and media people who have a zeal to reach un reached people groups in the region, but with a huge gap in media skills and knowledge. My passion is to equip media people to be effective in reaching unreached groups. I strongly feel that I am called to equip media workers and my passion is to help Christian media people to be effective and successful in reaching people who are living in deep darkness and without hope. I think training is my gift as I heard it many times from my trainees and also I enjoy it.
Where has training as a career taken you so far?
I am so joyful when I see people are using media in an effective way. Some of the young people whom they started training with me are now using different media for the spread of the gospel. I was able to help many people and influenced them to use media in an effective and relevant way that affects the outcome of their ministry. Now I am responsible for the Horn of Africa.
What is your current role?
Now I am responsible for the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti and South Sudan) media work. Coaching and enabling media people in those countries through training, counselling and learning together.
Can you describe a typical day for you at the moment?
Early in the morning I post short audio messages on Telegram channel, which has about 3500 members. Then in the office, we have daily devotion with SIM media people who produce in three languages. I check programs are uploaded to the broadcast station. If anything is missing, I follow up to be uploaded or I upload. Write or translate and record and edit one or two short messages that can be used for radio program and social media. Communicate with other media staffs through phone or in person and discuss any new things. Give advice to producers as different questions come in different day. Check emails from partners and supports and answer questions. Check my social media if there are any feedback. Check our partners social media to see what is posted.
What's the strangest request or experience you've had from or with a student?
Once one of my trainees asked me to pay him per-diem otherwise he would leave.
What is the biggest challenge you face?
Biggest challenges are sensitivity and security issues with different projects and partners. In some places I cannot openly advertise training because that can hamper our partners ministries. Some times the challenges that our partners have like financial shortage. There are good projects but suffer financially. Some languages can not find mature believers who can produce audio content and in some languages, lack of committed and innovative staffs are challenges.
What characteristics do you feel make a good trainer?
A good trainer is a good learner. Be friend, humble and teachable are qualities of a good trainer.
What one piece of advice would you give to your younger-self looking backwards?
Be a learner every day. Try what you have learnt in practice, Trust in the Lord.
What do you most love about training?
When I see my trainees are growing, and the opportunity I have to impact them.
What do you get up to outside work?
Church and family are other areas that I want to invest my time. (if I am correct to the question).