Each Wednesday, TWR Canada provides a brief update on a project or ministry from around the world. Learn about many different aspects of our global ministry, and be encouraged by stories of lives that have been transformed by the power of the gospel.
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Steve Shantz, TWR International VP Latin America and the Caribbean, is a Canadian with a heart for Latin America! He travels extensively in this region and sees first-hand the impact that mass media has there. And he is especially excited about the opportunities that are available at this time in history.
Steve will be with our TWR Canada team in London and Kitchener, Ontario, October 26 and 28 respectively and will be sharing exciting stories and updates. You will be encouraged by what God is doing, so plan on attending!
If you are not able to make the event due to geography or timing, we invite you to join us on Facebook live on Friday, October 26, at 7pm EST to learn more about this important and compelling work.
You can get a glimpse of TWR’s ministry in Latin America and the Caribbean by what Steve shares below as a guest writer on our weekly e-update.
At a recent event, my region’s marketing director was asked, “Why is TWR doing ministry in Latin America? Hasn’t it already been reached?!” It’s true, missions have been active in the region for over 200 years, and the evangelical church there is well established. It’s also true that much of TWR’s ministry is focused on bringing the gospel to unreached people groups and ministering to closed countries; however, we are also seeing a fruitful harvest for the Kingdom with our programming and ministry efforts in places where there is religious freedom and where the church has been established.
When I was in Costa Rica last year, I met a business woman from El Salvador in Central America who is also active in evangelical ministry. She told me, “In my small country, there are around 130,000 churches, yet we are home to M-18, one of the most violent and ruthless gangs in the world. Many in my country need Jesus.” Recently, I met a young man from Honduras who was evangelizing young gang members in the jails. He had to flee the country along with his family when a contract was put out on him because the converts were trying to leave the gang. Many in this part of the world need Jesus!
In Cuba, Alexeidi became a believer in Jesus by listening to TWR Bonaire’s Spanish programming. During those days in Cuba, Christianity was considered anti-revolutionary. When Alexeidi declared his faith, he was fired from his job. He said to his wife, “Since we cannot work, we now have time to preach the gospel!” With no seminary or Bible school training, the TWR broadcasts provided the material for his messages, and he eventually started a church in the southwest part of the country. Soon he began making mission trips into the surrounding mountains by donkey cart, establishing Bible study groups. During the rainy season, it is too wet for the donkey to travel over the muddy trails. Alexeidi instructs his dispersed congregation to listen to programming from the Bonaire transmitter so they remain spiritually fed during the times he cannot visit them.
In January 2018, TWR completed a five-year project to upgrade the power of our 800am transmitter on Bonaire from 100,000 to 450,000 watts. This has made Alexeidi very happy since his people can hear the signal strong and clear year-round.
A new broadcast that started airing from Bonaire along with the power-up in January is “El Faro” – The Light House. The program is produced by Haven Ministries, known for their Haven Today radio broadcast in North America, and the Spanish on-air teacher is Dan Warne. Dan informs us that during his visits to Cuba, they meet with churches and listen together to El Faro during the live broadcasts. Many people are contacting our office in Havana to say they have discovered the broadcasts and are listening. The higher power levels from Bonaire are bringing our signal to a new audience who have never been able to hear us before!
Further south in Maracai, Venezuela, Gabriel Fernandez trudges his way through the darkness up nine flights of stairs to the TWR, or Radio Trans Mundial Venezuela, offices and studios. In each hand he lugs a jerry can of gasoline. The complex where the office and production studios are located has been without electricity since March after the power transformer that supplies energy to the building failed. The power utility does not have the resources or parts to repair the power transformer; therefore, the gasoline Gabriel carries is to fuel a generator he managed to install on the roof of the building. The dire economic and hyperinflation situation in Venezuela has produced many hardships for its people. Many have fled the country in the largest refugee migration Latin America, or the world, has ever seen.
RTM Venezuela is a radio program production centre, and Gabriel is the host of a popular morning magazine show called, “Despertar” or “Wake Up!” By running the generator, he is able to record the programs; however, it does not supply enough power to run both the recording equipment and the air conditioning at the same time. The recordings take place in the heat and humidity.