Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: South America (02/05/09)
TITLE: God has a place here
By Ruth DESBOROUGH
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When you look at a map of South America you see so many different countries. To name them all would take too long, but glancing at some of the names brings recollections from memory. Take Brazil for example — coffee in Brazil, or you might think of a famous football player named Pele. Then there is Argentina with vast forests and lands for cattle, making it famous for its beef; Chile, rich in copper and iron; Venezuela rich in oil. Peru has lots of land for agriculture and forestry, and a large fishing industry. Ecuador is mostly agriculture and cattle rearing; Colombia is another coffee producing country, but today is noted for its drug trade and hostage taking.
The military rule in most of these countries and often cause unrest. However whites, South American Indians and Negroes have mixed harmoniously, so that racial problems are rare.
There are vast unexplored forest areas in South America and it has some great rivers, not least being the famous Amazon river.
However, there is a site in South America which exclusively belongs to God. High up in the Andes mountains in Quito, Ecuador is a worldwide gospel broadcasting station, HCJB, Heralding Christ Jesus’ Blessings, begun by the World Radio Missionary Fellowship.
HCJB, “The Voice of the Andes”, aired its first program from Quito, Ecuador on December 25th, 1931. It was the first missionary radio station in the world, as well as the first radio station in Ecuador with daily programs. It had a rather humble beginning since there were perhaps as few as 13 radios capable of receiving its first broadcasts.
In 1940, with an additional 10,000 watt transmitter, designed and built by Clarence Moore, HCJB’s transmitter power was able to send the station’s English and Spanish programs far beyond Latin America. Letters from listeners around the world were soon arriving in Quito.
Situated on the equator, high in the Andes mountains, proved to be a fantastic place for HCJB to broadcast to the world. A place prepared by God.
By 1944 a number of other major languages had been added to its outreach.
Radio was the primary tool used by HCJB to share Jesus Christ, but it certainly was not the only tool. In ‘the ‘Gospel Sound Truck’ HCJB staff travelled throughout the country telling people about Jesus Christ in city squares and markets. They held evangelistic rallies and events in theatres, bullrings and large tents. Local Bible studies and children’s programs were started.
As the mission grew there was need for missionary doctors and nurses to care for the staff, and this was the beginning of medical outreach and the building and manning of a hospital.
Today, there is a large medical program, as doctors and nurses are trained in Quito and given a challenge to help others across the world. They are prepared not only to treat patients medically, but also to give spiritual help. HCJB believes radio and health care go hand in hand and so be the voice and hands of Christ.
Television was another tool used to bring the gospel to Ecuador. Started in 1959, HCJB-TV was the first television station to go on the air in Ecuador. It was also the world’s first missionary television station.
As the years passed, the vision to reach people across the world in their own language began to be fulfilled, and by 1944 a number of programs in major international languages had been added. Today there are HCJB staff across the world working with languages and spreading the gospel. Recently newly elected president Wayne Pederson said “Radio is changing. We now have more than 340 stations planted around the world. National indigenous staff members have been trained to operate those stations in more than 100 countries, broadcasting in more than 120 languages. And our health care ministries provide not just physical but emotional and spiritual care.”
The mission is now called HCJB Global and is committed to reaching people everywhere for Christ. They give their vision as “To see people everywhere transformed in Christ, engaged in the growing church, and empowered to ignite reproducing ministries that bring His light to their communities.”
South America — noted for its drugs, music, hostage taking, agriculture, fishing, beef, coffee, minerals, oil and some football 'greats'.
South America — home of HCJB in Quito, Ecuador, sending the gospel across the airwaves, using every modern technology to be more efficient.
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