HCJB Global Voice Moves Up End Date of Shortwave Broadcasts from Ecuador
The end date for international broadcasts from Radio Station HCJB in Ecuador has been moved up as the missionary radio ministry defines new strategies for future outreach.
Anticipating the opening of the new Quito airport near the station’s international transmitter site in Pifo, staff member have already dismantled all but 14 antennas and towers. Present shortwave broadcasts in Portuguese, Spanish, German and indigenous languages, including Quichua, had earlier been announced to end no later than April 1, 2010. These international broadcasts will cease between September and November 2009.
Announcing the earlier closure date of Pifo, Graham Bulmer, HCJB Global’s director for the Latin America Region, said, “These times stretch us, causing us both to doubt and to grow in faith and hopefully drive us to confess our dependence on God. We believe He is guiding us. We hold all things with open hands and pursue understanding of what God expects of us as stewards of the resources of His kingdom.”
The Pifo closure will impact Radio Station HCJB’s Quichua Language Service with some programming moving from the shortwave frequencies to local AM and FM channels. Investigations are also being made regarding the possibility of transferring HCJB-2, the ministry’s 37-year-old FM station in Guayaquil (Ecuador’s largest city), into the hands of local partners.
The mission’s newer strategy, begun in the 1990s, has been to reduce its emphasis on shortwave in Latin America while focusing on “radio planting” or assisting local ministries realize their dream of beginning a Christian radio ministry. More than 300 local stations have been helped in these endeavors worldwide, including about 60 in Latin America. HCJB Global also continues to expand its training ministries across the region.
“The way people consume media has changed,” said HCJB Global President Wayne Pederson. “So we have the opportunity to change to delivery systems such as satellite, FM Internet and podcasting. The closing of shortwave in Latin America is strategic because of the planting of local FM radio stations across the region and around the world. These stations are staffed and programmed by local believers who can speak to the culture in their own communities.”
Pederson recently told the staff that a high priority for the mission is its initiative for Latin America called Corrientes that launches in October. The coalition of more than 10 Christian organizations involves training Latin Americans for bi-vocational mission work around the world.