Christ said: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”. From the time when my wife and I joined Spanish World Ministries ten years ago, we had the conviction that the Lord was bringing us to a ministry that faithfully and effectively goes allover the Spanish speaking world proclaiming the message of salvation. In January of this year, after twenty years as Director, Cornelius Rivera passed on to me the responsibility of leading this ministry. As it was with its founder, Florent Toirac, and with Cornelius Rivera, my foremost desire is that people all over Latin America might hear a clear exposition of the good news of salvation in Christ.
During our time with this ministry, the Lord has greatly increased the number of radio stations transmitting our programs. In 2002 there were some 500 stations in our data base. Today, our broadcasts are being aired 12,000 times per week in over 1500 stations! This translates into a tremendous increase in the number of people that are being confronted with their need of salvation, and many are surrendering their hearts to Christ. Emigdio is an example. He came to know the Lord through a local Christian station that broadcasts our programs in the city of Trujillo, Peru.
Born into a Catholic home, he had the concept that all that he had to do was to keep his religious traditions to obtain salvation. Hearing our programs, he realized that the teachings and traditions that he believed did not have any biblical support. At the end of one of the programs, he was confronted with his need to accept Christ, and while alone in his house, he confessed Jesus as his personal savior. After a time of discipleship, Emigdio was baptized by Rene Hurtado, our missionary in Peru. In Emigdio’s own words: “I have now found true happiness in Christ”. Pray for the many others who, like Emigdio, hear the message and need to come to terms with their spiritual standing before the Lord.
The proclamation of the gospel through radio in Asuncion, Paraguay, was the instrument that the Lord used to bring a transformation in Edgar’s life. Convinced of his need to learn more about God, he wrote to our missionary Roberto Acuña telling him how the message had touched his heart. Roberto offered him to have a weekly Bible study, and he accepted. Eventually other members of his family opened their hearts to the Lord. As he grew in his spiritual life, he felt the call to serve the Lord in a greater way, thus he started his theological training. Now he is serving part time at the church where he attends with his family. Edgar, knowing firsthand how effective the proclamation of the Gospel through radio is, decided to sponsor our programs in a local station. We rejoice seeing how God uses this ministry as a instrument to change a life, which in turn can become another instrument of His.
The command to preach the Gospel to every creature takes a special relevance as people all over Latin America are living in despair. In the last four years, Mexicohas been decimated by a war against, and among, the drug lords. Recent figures released by the government indicate that 34,612 people have been killed since December 2006, including suspected drug gang members, members of the security forces and those considered innocent bystanders. As the map shows, the drug cartels are spread all over the territory.
Under these circumstances our missionaries Aland Guillen (San Luis Potosí) and David Franco (México City) are visiting radio stations to introduce our programs. But for all the spiritual need that is so apparent in the country, stations are reluctant to open the air waves to the only message that can possible bring about change and hope to its citizens. Please, pray with us that the Lord would touch the hearts of the owners of the radio stations visited, and that more people would be exposed to the message of hope in Jesus.
Just as in México, in several regions of Honduras, the drug cartels are making their presence quite evident with a noticeable number of addicts as well as with the violence that they generate. In Catacamas our missionary Melvin Zelaya visited 16 stations that already transmit the programs, and four other new stations that agreed to transmit them. As he was heading back to the house where he was staying, the owner of a station offered him a ride. Since Melvin would have to walk several blocks he accepted, and he got off at a restaurant. While he was eating he heard gun shots and explosions of grenades. Vehicles and bullets began wheezing by. For four hours the police had an intense confrontation with a drug cartel that was trying to land an aircraft with drugs. Later Melvin found out that the shootings began on the road where he was coming back from the radio station. Six drug dealers were killed and other seven apprehended. The Lord protected him by sending the man who offered him a ride, and got him off the road where he would have been caught in the cross fire. Pray that the Lord will use our programs to transform the hearts of many people in Catacamas.
For over fifty years, Spanish World Ministries has been preaching the Gospel and the Lord has touched hearts like those of Emigdio in Perú, and Edgar in Paraguay. Many others must hear this message! We need your spiritual and financial support to continue to fulfill the great commission. To those of you who already support our ministry, I want to thank you for your part in the salvation of many souls. Those of you who would like to join us, I invite you to fill out the enclosed flier. Your contributions will enable us to carry the message of salvation to México, Honduras, and many other places where people must hear it before going into eternity. Radio has proven to be an efficient way of doing this!
Fixing our hope in the living God (1 Tim. 4:10)