As we approach the end of this year, we are thankful to the Lord for expanding the opportunities for Spanish World Ministries to reach more people with the powerful message of the Gospel. We are mindful of the words of our Lord Jesus to his disciples on the night before his crucifixion: “You did not choose Me but I chose you that you should go and bear fruit” (John 15:16). Being His disciple to bear His fruit is no one’s meritorious accomplishment but His. This fruit is borne as He, in His sovereignty, opens up new places for us to preach the Good News of salvation in Latin America. At this time, when we remember the birth of our Savior, we would like to share with you some of the ways that He has enabled us this year to reach hearts with the message of salvation.
There still many places in Latin America where it is not easy to preach the Gospel. Each new outlet that becomes available for our ministry opens up an opportunity for fruit bearing. Bolivia is an example of a difficult place, but one where He has brought about such opportunities. The region known as Sinahota, located 200 miles east of the city of Santa Cruz, is known for its vast plantations of cocaine. Our missionary, Pedro Salces, visited several towns in this area. As a result, three radio stations agreed to air our programs. The owners recognized the potential in each broadcast to provide the listeners with the opportunity for a change in their lives. Several pastors also were visited by brother Salces and were given samples of the programs. Four of them agreed to use them to offer those programs to other radio stations in other towns in Sinahota. The pastors expressed their gratitude for the programs and their conviction that radio is an effective way to announce the Gospel to thousands of people that are heavily involved in the production and distribution of cocaine. Currently 128 radio stations in Bolivia are sowing the seed with our broadcasts. Praise the Lord! At least three of them in an area where the cocaine business is a way of life for many who have never heard of Christ the Savior as the true way of life.
Guatemala is struggling with a weak judicial system that has fostered the growth of corruption and high criminal activity. The drug traffickers have taken advantage of this and other situations such as the lack of a real law enforcement presence. This country is a minor producer of opium poppy and the amount of marijuana harvested for domestic consumption have been increasing dramatically. In the department (state) of Santa Rosa, with a population of 300,000, the authorities are constantly dealing with the problem of the distribution and consumption of drugs by people of all ages, especially young people who not only produce illegal drugs, but also become suppliers in the area. In this context, God is allowing us to plant the seed as our missionary Karel Golcher visits radio stations in Santa Rosa. Most recently, eight of them agreed to air our programs! There are now 85 radio stations in Guatemala proclaiming the good news of salvation as they broadcast our programs. Would you pray with us that as the seed is planted, the fruit bearing would result on the salvation of many?
For decades, radio has been the instrument that God has provided for us to go and bear fruit, but in the last two years, God has given us greater opportunities to share the Gospel using our free App for smart devices. Broadcasting the programs that we produce on radio stations or using them with newer technology, our goal is not only for us to plant the seed, but to enable believers all over Latin America to bear fruit making use of our programs. Such was the case in Honduras with Blanca, who works at a veterinary supply store and has a deep passion for sharing the Gospel. She heard our programs in a local radio station and sent an email requesting evangelistic material. Our missionary Melvin Zelaya and I visited Blanca to provide her with Cd’s and booklets. She was very excited for the material that we gave her. We also explained to her that our App for smart devices was a powerful tool to share the message of salvation. She immediately downloaded our App. As we explained to Blanca how to use the App, a client needing some products came into the store. While he waited for the medicine that he requested, and seeing the evangelistic material on the counter, he asked Blanca if this material was for free. This provided the opportunity to put a booklet and a CD in his hands. Praise the Lord for 3,715 smart devices into which our app has been downloaded and for the more than 75,000 times that our programs have been heard in this way.
This year, the Board of Directors approved a new tool of ministry that will enable us to keep sowing the seed through the translation of our programs to Quechua and Guarani. The project has begun, although the lack of an available recording studio in Paraguay has delayed the launching of the Guarani broadcasts. However, the need for a place to record has been met. Missionary Roberto Acuña reports that a Christian ministry has offered the use of their studio without cost to us. Roberto is in the process of producing enough programs to supply ten stations that are ready to begin their broadcasts as soon as they are ready. Valentin Quispe, our missionary in Peru in charge of the production of programs in Quechua, has already produced and distributed 2 Cd’s with 40 programs each. More than 20 radio stations are airing our fifteen minute programs. We are convinced that God has called us to sow the seed among the Quechua and Guarani people, and we are thankful because He is using Roberto and Valentin in this endeavor. Our conviction is that He will bear fruit for His own glory as we remain faithfully planting the seed.
As we end 2015, we are grateful to God because through the radio waves, through newer technologies related to Internet, and now through the production of our programs in Quechua and Guarani, millions of people are having the opportunity to come to Christ. He has chosen Spanish World Ministries to bear fruit, as He also has chosen you to be part of this ministry through your continued spiritual and faithful financial support. On Behalf of our missionaries, the Board of Directors, and the staff, I thank you for being part of this ministry. I also want to take the opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas to you and your family. May the celebration of the birth of our Savior, be a reminder of the wonderful gift of salvation that we have received through Christ. As we look toward 2016, may our ministry continue to bear fruit as we keep preaching the Word in the Spanish speaking world.
Thankful to the Lord for you, and with our hope fixed on the living God (I Tim. 4:10)