Radio in Colombia

Colombia is a country that is only slightly larger than the state of Texas, yet civil war has been raging there for 40 years and thousands have lost their lives in the conflict. It is the most intense fighting that Latin America has ever seen.

Russell Stendal, a missionary to Colombia, has partnered closely with Galcom International. His parents became Colombian missionaries when Russell was eight; he later branched out with his own ministry – often a dangerous undertaking. Stendal has been kidnapped five times by guerrillas and also has been jailed; but instead of letting this intimidate him, Stendal has come to believe that his captors are more imprisoned by fear and hopelessness than he ever was during his captivity. Now Stendal’s goal is to distribute radios to one in ten of the guerrillas and the para-military, in order to saturate this group with the Gospel and its message of hope. Even the president of Colombia has a little Galcom radio sitting on his desk.

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The ministry of Colombia Para Christo, which is run by Stendal, has two radio stations. Russell also has his pilot’s license and drops packages by plane into areas of Colombia that cannot be reached by vehicle, as well as dangerous places where most would not dare to go. These packages contain a bible and a Galcom radio, along with other faith-based material. He turns on each radio before he tosses it out of his plane in order to make the radio audible to the people seeking the package as it lands. Some on the ground at first think it is a bomb that is being dropped, but then they hear the radio, speaking to them in their own language.

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These radios deliver a clear message about God and His love.

Over the years that Galcom has been associated with Russell Stendal, he has given out more than 1,000 solar-powered radios to Colombians. The ones propagating the violence are facing increasing opposition because so many are becoming Christians through Galcom’s radios.

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Russell has written several books. Among them is Rescue the Captors, which recounts his personal story.  If you are interested in receiving a copy, contact our Galcom office at 905-574-4626.

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A Story from South Sudan

Here in the office, we get a number of testimonies, such as the one below from Every Village in South Sudan.

This story is about a man in the Mvolo area in South Sudan, where we began broadcasting last October.

“This man was a nonbeliever whose son woke up one morning with a high fever. The man turned on his radio to hear our (Every Village) station and heard one of our radio staff about to pray. Our radio staff member asked anyone around a sick person to lay their hand on the part that was sick. This non-believing man put his hand on his sick son’s head. Our radio staff member prayed and the boy was healed. The man was saved and is now composing songs going out over the airwaves. Praise God for His power and grace on display in South Sudan.”

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Radios in Nicaragua

Several years ago, Allan from Galcom International spoke at the church of a man named Sean Grant and gave a presentation about the radios which Galcom produces and sends all over the world. This introduction was the first time that Sean heard about Galcom. Sean had also remembered that his father-in-law had told him that he went on a mission trip a couple of years ago and had brought along 500 Galcom radios to Bolivia. These radios made a big impact on the people that received them.

So, not long ago, Sean came into the office and purchased 15 Galcom radios to take with him to Nicaragua. He was appreciative that we were able to program them to the frequencies of the Christian radio stations in the area he was visiting.  He also gave us a report of his trip:

“Most of the radios I gave to Pastors in the area, as they knew where the radios could most effectively be distributed.

A Pastor named Carlos actually has a radio program in the area so I gave him several of the radios to hand out.

Near the end of my trip, I had one radio left in my backpack.  I was walking through a market and a guy approached me, he was trying to sell me something.  We had a bit of a chat and he mentioned to me that he had pain in his left arm.  I asked if I could pray for him.  He said yes.  I placed a hand on him and prayed the prayer of faith.  He was quite excited that all his pain left immediately.

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This led us to a discussion about Jesus and the price that He paid.  I asked him if he wanted to receive Jesus as his Savior.  He was very sincere and he said that he did.  We prayed together and he confessed with his mouth that Jesus Christ was Lord and he expressed that he believed that Jesus died and rose from dead for his sins.

I knew I would probably never see this brother again on this earth and I didn’t want to leave him with no means of discipleship so I left him with the last Galcom radio that I had.  I am excited that he can receive a form of discipleship through the radio programs as well as the built-in audio Bible“.

Sean Grant is just one individual who has a heart for the lost and has used Galcom radios to reach people with the Gospel.  Because of people like Sean, many radios have been distributed throughout the world and many have heard the Good News!

The Franklin Graham Festival

A couple of years ago, Franklin Graham held a Festival of Hope crusade in Toronto, Canada. His office contacted Galcom International regarding our speech translation units and how they could be used for the event.

For those of you who are not familiar with the city of Toronto, it is the largest city in Canada, is culturally diverse, and there are many languages spoken there. This also means for many people who live in Toronto that English is not their first language. Galcom was able to assist Franklin Graham’s organization by allowing those who may have difficulty following his message in English to hear a real-time translation in their own language. Galcom was asked if they could provide a number of different speech translation units for Mandarin, Cantonese, Russian, Spanish, Farsi and Arabic.

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Essentially, a speech translation unit is a little radio station on its own. Galcom International’s Cornerstone unit is the main processing system that controls the radio station so that the message could be heard in one specific language. It is a low-powered radio, not more than 2 mW (less than 1 watt). During the crusade in Toronto, each radio (language) station was found between 72 and 75 on the FM dial. For instance, the Russian language for the crusade was found on 73.5 FM and Cantonese on 75.9 FM.

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Each person who wanted to use this system to hear what was being said in their native language was given a radio, tuned to the station that broadcasts their language, and a set of headphones. The Cornerstone units for these languages were located inconspicuously in another area of the conference hall. A translator spoke into a microphone and the chosen language was broadcast on a particular frequency. In fact, during the crusade in Toronto, one translator was giving a “play by play” as to what was happening even before the crusade began.

With the crusade in Toronto, six people on six transmitters were translating during the event. These six people were separated only by a few sheets of cardboard in a “radio booth,” and they had no problems with the working of the Cornerstone system. The translators were also watching through a closed-circuit TV so that they could see what was happening. There were three staff members from Galcom monitoring the Cornerstone devices, with one of the three checking that everything could be heard and seen properly.

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Galcom has been involved in this important ministry since 1992, when they started manufacturing the speech translation units.  Since then, many groups have asked to use them – from church groups to organizations as large as Franklin Graham’s. Because of these units and the Christian message in their heart language, many people have come to know Jesus as their Savior.

Franklin Graham’s Festival of Hope will be taking place in Vancouver in March 2017 and again will be using Galcom’s speech translation units with 4 languages. Pray that all goes well with the speech translation units and that many souls will be saved!

Christian Radio in Albania

Pastor Cimi Baraku and his wife established a church called Emmanuel Mission Church in Korce, Albania, of which he was the pastor. Korce is one of the larger cities in Albania and has a population of nearly 80,000 people.

In the late 1990s, Emmanuel Mission Church started a Christian radio station named, Radio Emmanuel. In 2003, while raising funds in America for the radio station, Pastor Cimi suffered a fatal heart attack.  His son, Tani, took over managing the radio station; although young, Tani had many Christian radio professionals from around the word come alongside him to mentor him and help him lead the radio station.

 Pastor Cimi contacted Galcom International for help with their new station. After he passed away, Tani and his mother contacted Galcom again, and a team was sent over to help with the tower assembly for Radio Emmanuel, as the station was having trouble. The problem was that their tower was set on top of an apartment building and was being interfered with by radiation. A team from Galcom travelled to Albania in order to raise the tower so the broadcast area would be larger.

Since then, teams have travelled to Albania from Galcom to distribute radios.

Near the beginning of 2016, Tani was able to purchase a new building to house the radio station; however, the building sure needed a lot of work! Again, a team from Galcom went over to Albania to assist with cleaning up the new building and handing out radios. There will be more teams heading to Albania in 2017 to design and complete the studios and distribute more radios to people living in remote villages.