(Aug. 10, 2012 - by Ty Mays) When Joy FM listeners in the St. Louis, Mo., area raised more than $91,000 in a single day for two Christian radio stations in Ecuador, they thought their donation was complete. But for 31 people, that was just the beginning.
Just nine days later, these donors were on a plane to Quito, Ecuador, to engage in a hands-on application of their gift.
The mission began when more than 1,000 Joy FM listeners responded to a special call to help HCJB Global keep its two Ecuador stations on the air. The 37-year-old transmitter at HCJB-FM in Quito was failing, and the deteriorating antenna tower at HCJB-2 in Guayaquil caused urgent concern. Signals broadcasting the gospel from the two stations can be heard by 9 million people, nearly two-thirds of the country’s population.
When the sharathon’s goal was reached, Joy FM General Manager Sandi Brown knew this was an opportunity for the travelers to further explore, experience and express their Christian faith.
Soon 31 Joy FM listeners and station staff members were leaving St. Louis for a further commitment on the ground in Ecuador. This was the first missions trip for many of them, and all raised or covered their own expenses. As radio listeners, most of them did not know one another until they went to Ecuador.
The team undertook work at three main locations: the radio station, a local church and an orphanage. Working alongside staff members at Radio Station HCJB in Quito, they relocated the station’s master control to a better room within the building. The team effort, saving the local staff an estimated two years of labor in just three days.
Other team members tackled a two-day project painting a local church alongside the pastor and members and served in the church’s soup kitchen, Pan de Vida (Bread of Life).
|Serving a hot meal to needy Ecuadorians through a ministry called Pan de Vida (Bread of Life).|
But the Joy FM team expressed their deepest impression as their half-day at an orphanage for physically and mentally challenged children and adults. Many of those residents were unable to walk, talk or feed themselves. Team members fed them, brushed their teeth, communicated with smiles and laughter and read to them as simple acts of demonstrating the love of Jesus.
“I like to have all the answers or access to Google to look them up. I had none,” said Joy FM air personality Kelly Corday. “My heart was so broken for them that I am still piecing things together.”
From running electrical wires for the radio station, to holding babies in the orphanage, to chopping onions for the church’s soup kitchen, the mission of Joy FM listeners to Ecuador combined the two focuses of HCJB Global: HCJB Global Voice, the mission’s worldwide media ministries largely concentrated in radio evangelism and discipleship, and HCJB Global Hands, a growing array of healthcare and community development ministries worldwide.
“Lasting memories of joy and hope were created for each of the Joy FM listeners as they explored what it means to be the voice and hands of Jesus,” said Steve Hodgson, executive director of development at HCJB Global.
Source: InChrist Communications