Michael Amaral has a vision for using television.
Like most of us, Amaral wants to share Biblical insights with everyone in his hometown. However, it’s all but impossible to knock on every door and offer Bible studies. He also wants local church members to be better prepared for Sabbath school before they arrive at church.
Peering over the edge of “the box” we’re all supposed to think outside of, he was struck with inspiration. What he did next, though not radical, was profound.
First, Amaral visited his local cable company in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and met personally with the manager. It turns out that the manager was interested in offering a well-produced, straightforward Bible study program to his subscribers.
“Cable access is an underutilized resource. It’s an easy and free way to spread the gospel message quickly,” says Amaral. “All cable companies are required by law to offer a channel, and studio, for community members to use.”
Amaral then did what so many can and should do. He contacted his church’s global television network, Hope Channel, and asked for free programming to place on the cable access channel. His phone call led him to Frenita Buddy, producer of Hope Channel’s Hope Sabbath School, who was happy to help. She sent a month’s worth of DVDs from one of the network’s most responded-to programs.
“We were given the 5:30 pm slot on Sundays by the cable company,” says Amaral. “We get the DVDs free from Hope Channel in batches of several weeks at a time so we always have the right lesson for the right week so church members and community people can follow along. Hope Channel even has links at their website for the online quarterly lessons.”
“My biggest hope is that viewers will get interested in our message. Hope Sabbath School gives people an in-depth, not superficial, study. It is scholarly without being dry, and it’s down-to-earth. I think people here will like it,” says Amaral.
“We are delighted that Michael contacted Hope Channel about sponsoring Hope Sabbath School on the New Bedford public access channel,” says Buddy. “We support his efforts to spread the gospel. This is something others can duplicate around the country. We look forward to helping other church members who want to work with their local cable companies.”
Hope Channel offers several other programs so church members can choose a program they think will minister best to their community. By using the cable company’s free studio and equipment, local churches can add a local message, such as an invitation to church or an announcement of prophecy or healthy lifestyle seminars.
To obtain Hope Sabbath School or other Hope Channel programs for use on your cable access station, contact Hope Channel at 301.680.6689 or info@HopeTV.org. To reach Amaral for advice on working with your cable company, you may call him at 508.991.9023.