In his quest to preach the gospel, Paul recognized the opportunities placed before him. To the Corinthians he said that he would remain in Ephesus because a great and effective door had been opened to him (1 Cor. 16:9); and again: that while in Troas he had recognized an open door into Macedonia (2 Cor. 2:12, Acts 16:8-10). Yet, he was always looking for and praying that God might open up another door for the Word (Col. 4:3). Almost sixty years ago the Lord opened a door for us to begin preaching the Word through radio. Throughout that time we have continued to look and prayed for open doors for the message in different places. As we look and pray, the Lord answers.
Totonicapán, is one of the twenty-two departments in Guatemala. Its population of approximately 476,000 is over 90% indigenous. The ancient Mayan ceremonies remain a strong influence in the religious life of most of the inhabitants. Our missionary, Karel Golcher, went to this area looking for radio stations with an open door for the transmission of our programs. One of the main radio stations in the area is located at an altitude of 9,000 feet. He was able to drive up to a certain place, and then had to walk the rest of the way for an hour and half to reach the station. The owner heard a sample and immediately refused to broadcast the program, reasoninwe knowg that “radio listeners are not interested in spiritual matters”. In two other stations in other towns the owners were pleased with the programs but would not air them unless we pay for the air time. Going to still another town, Karel arrived in Tacajalvé. There, the owner of “Radio La Autentica”, heard a sample of the program and expressed her gratitude to Karel for taking the time to visit the radio station. She said: “Although we are a secular station, we know that our audience needs to hear about God. I have been looking for good quality Bible radio programs, but I have not been able to find anything”.
God opened the door in this radio station, and in two other stations. In San Francisco El Alto, one of the main towns in this department, every Friday there is a market that draws approximately 150,000 people to sell or buy products. The three stations that agreed to broadcast our programs have a large audience every Friday during “market day”. There are places that in Guatemala that we have not reached with the message, so we look, we pray for, and the Lord opens doors. Pray that His Word would fall in sensitive hearts.
For some time, HCJB and other five stations in Ecuador were broadcasting our programs, even though we had no missionary in that country. After several years of praying God answered, and last year Leopoldo Miño and his family joined our ministry. As it is with all of our missionaries, his top priority is to visit radio stations to introduce our programs. We had hoped that the Lord would open doors speedily. But as Leopoldo visited stations, some of the owners expressed their willingness to air the programs, but since our broadcasts had a Paraguay address, government regulations would not allow them to give free time to a “foreign broadcast”. The only way was for us to pay for the transmissions. Leopoldo proceeded to secure a PO Box in Guayaquil, and once a local address was added to the programs, a door was opened for their transmission in six radio stations.
In April, a 7.8 earthquake struck Ecuador. Close to 800 people were killed, and over 27,000 were injured. Three large provinces suffered severe damages; people were in total despair. In the midst of the catastrophe, another door was opened to Spanish World Ministries. With the support of local churches in Guayaquil, our missionary coordinated an effort to provide relief to many in need. Food, water, and clothing, were distributed in areas severely affected by the tragedy. Along with the material help, spiritual support was given to those that were going through the pain of having lost everything. There are now twenty five radio stations broadcasting the message over 250 times every week in different regions of Ecuador. Pray with us, that as Leopoldo looks for more open doors, many would listen and come to realize their need of Christ.
With severe food shortages, riots in the streets, and exploding inflation, Venezuela has entered a full humanitarian crisis, and there does not seem to be a solution in sight.
Eight years ago, the owners of several radio stations expected to have their broadcasting licenses revoked if they did not comply with the government’s political position. At that time we also thought that it would not be long before the doors for broadcasting the Gospel would shut down in this country. But the Lord desires that those doors remain open in Venezuela. Francisco Arellano joined our ministry about a year and a half ago. He and his family have experienced the same crisis as their neighbors, but in Christ they have an anchor that strengthens them. Thus they have looked for open doors to make this known to others. Francisco has methodically and strategically visited radio stations in different regions of the country. In a year the Lord has opened the doors in 34 new radio stations in Venezuela. Through a total of ninety seven stations the good news in Christ is aired almost 1,500 times every week in a country in the verge of collapse and with a desperate need of spiritual hope and assurance. May we continue to look, pray for, and walk through those open doors.
A radio listener recently sent an email saying:
“A few minutes ago, I heard one of your programs. It was about Psalm 22. Its teaching really made an impact on me. I am going through some trials, and at times I feel that God does not want to hear me. But listening to your program made me realize that I must learn to wait on the Lord. Thanks for helping me in my spiritual need”.
As we come to the end of this year, I want to thank you for your interest in our ministry and invite you to join us in facing the challenge of a new year together. Your monthly contribution during 2017 will enable us to invest in looking for more doors to effectively proclaim the Gospel. Would you prayerfully consider this invitation? We will continue to move forward reaching souls with the message of Christ. Help us to offer to many more souls the peace and hope that only Christ can provide. Your donation will enable to fulfill our call: https://spanishworld.org/help-us-spread-the-good-news/
Thankful to the Lord for you, and with our hope fixed on the living God (I Tim. 4:10),