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Listeners Find Christ During Radio Fundraising Initiative in Ecuador

December 19, 2013

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A sign reading 'Prayer' in Spanish directs visitors to the prayer and counseling room at Radio Station HCJB in Quito.
(Dec. 19, 2013 - by Ruth Pike) "It's not just about the economic results, it's about what the Lord has done," said Anabella Cabezas, director of media at Radio Station HCJB in Quito, Ecuador.

Her comment was a reflection on this year's Misión Compartida (Sharing the Mission) sharathon for the ministry's two principal radio stations in Ecuador Dec. 11-15. At the time of publication, Quito-based HCJB-FM and AM was closing in on its goal with $316,000 pledged while Guayaquil-based HCJB-2 had received nearly $150,000 in gifts and promised support, surpassing its goal.

"The event was also the opportunity to see the results of the new programming through our FM frequency aimed to a younger audience," Cabezas added. "There were many new donors, most of them young families who are now supporting the ministry."

Countless stories of listeners coming to know Jesus and growing in faith emerged from the event. "Many people are blessed by the radio programs, by the testimonies, by what God is doing in their lives," said one listener. "[Sharing the Mission] is an opportunity to give and not just to receive."

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A listener gladly donates to Radio Station HCJB.
Listeners in both cities went to great lengths to take part in the fundraising events that featured live broadcasts, children's activities and sales of items donated by listeners.

A family from Ambato- about 2½ hours south of Quito- was said to have left in the early-morning hours to arrive at 8 a.m. because the children were begging to go. Another listener had asked to come to the event as a Christmas present.

Representatives of Joy FM, a radio station in St. Louis, Mo., traveled to Quito to make a generous contribution to the ministry and help with preparations for the event.

"All of our listeners [in St. Louis] call in or pledge online," said Sandi Brown, general manager of Joy FM. "So being here … seeing face-to-face the people who are being blessed by your ministry and then giving is pretty rich and rewarding."

"What impressed me is just how many people-groups of people-are behind this station," remarked Jon Fugler, HCJB Global's vice president of advancement visiting from Colorado Springs, Colo., who helped with the event in Quito. "They love it so much, they are receiving so much benefit that they want to give back to HCJB."

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Allen Graham takes part in the open house at Misión Compartida at HCJB-2 in Guayaquil.
In Guayaquil the sharathon began with a day of praise and thanksgiving. Listeners shared how God had touched them through music or messages that they had heard on the radio station. In the following days, they called in to pledge donations while radio staff broadcasted a special series of programs in Quichua and Spanish.

During the day, a young couple came with questions for HCJB-2 co-producer Jorge Muñoz, asking about what evangelical Christians believe. He was able to share the good news of Jesus Christ with them, and they gave their lives to the Lord.

As the open house drew to a close in Guayaquil, events were just gearing up in Quito where there was a pledge drive based around the theme, Súmate por los que Amas (Join in for Those You Love).

The fundraising efforts culminated with a three-day event in Quito attended by an estimated 700 people. Listeners received tours of the facilities and talked to radio producers on air while children enjoyed their own show and played on large inflatable slides.

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Children in Quito enjoy an open-air activities program.
Children's faces smiled behind painted butterflies and super heroes against a backdrop of brightly colored balloons, bunting and bouncy castles. Enthusiastic audiences listened and sang along to programs featuring live music broadcast in Quichua and Spanish. Outside in the hot sun, volunteers sold everything from mangos to secondhand shoes and live rabbits.

Meanwhile, listeners struggling with issues such as alcoholism and suicidal thoughts found support in the prayer and counseling room. A 63-year-old woman said she was thinking about taking her life after her husband had left her and was living with another woman. She didn't know what to do.

Ofelia Díaz, who was serving in the donation area during the event, recounted the story of a young woman who came to make a cash donation to the station. The woman shared that she had attempted to commit suicide three times in the past three years, but each time she abandoned her plans after hearing God speaking to her through the broadcasts.

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Family counselors Paul and Ximena Manosalvas pray with listeners.
"The first time, she had intended to overdose on drugs and alcohol, but she stopped when she heard a Christian message on the radio," Díaz said. "The second time she had a loaded gun and was ready to take her life when she heard God's Word on the radio. The third time she was about to throw herself off a bridge. She was listening to some heavy-metal music, but somehow her phone got knocked, it changed to HCJB. … and God spoke to her again." Realizing the Lord had saved her life three times, the woman said, "God must have a purpose for me life.'"

Pastor Antonio Torres, a chaplain at Hospital Vozandes-Quito, talked with her about forgiving her husband and she gave her life to the Lord. She agreed to return for weekly counseling sessions and has a Christian daughter who is going to take her to church.

Radio announcer Mauricio Patiño met another woman who had brought her son along because he was addicted to alcohol. "The boy was impacted so much that he received Jesus," shared Patiño. "He said that he is not going to go back to drinking."

"We can see that there is really an aim in all of this," added a listener. "We know that this aim is eternal."

Source: HCJB Global




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