Posted by: calloftheandes | January 28, 2010

HCJB Global Voice Stations, Partners Rally Behind Medical Response to Haiti

Sources: HCJB Global, Radio Lumière, World Gospel Mission (written by Ralph Kurtenbach)

Internet program streaming by HCJB Global Voice’s partner in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, is offering online users the station’s French, Creole and English programming to help listeners keep abreast of developments after a 7.0-magnitude quake struck the Caribbean island on Jan. 12.

World Gospel Mission (WGM) engineer Paul Shingledecker resurrected Radio Lumière’s (Radio Light) streaming after working with a local Internet service provider and shifting to a different tower. Tim Rickel, WGM’s vice president of communication, said the new tower “is not as reliable as what they had, but you should be able to get the programming intermittently on the radiolumiere.org site.”

A Jan. 22 program, monitored in Ecuador, was hosted by a male announcer. It streamed consistently for 45 minutes with a strong signal.

With announcers using a makeshift tent studio beside Radio Lumière’s only slightly damaged AM station, ambient sound added local color to the morning show—a pastors’ discussion around the microphones. Planes landed nearby during the show as the host and his guests talked, prayed and laughed together.

Relief flights loaded with reporters, rescue crews, health workers, international aid staff and supplies have clogged the Haitian capital’s besieged airport for more than a week after the quake devastated Port-au-Prince.

The temblor struck while engineer Alan Good from the HCJB Global Technology Center in Elkhart, Ind., and three others were at the ministry’s FM station, Stereo 92, to make repairs and hold radio training. All four escaped injury, but three of Radio Lumière’s employees were killed by the quake elsewhere in the city.

Radio Lumière’s program schedule “is constructed in such a way as to keep a balance between the spiritual and the physical,” according to the station’s website.

“This is consistent with Radio Lumière’s philosophy that the Creator God is interested in man in his entirety, body, soul and spirit,” the site stated. “To this end the program day includes evangelistic programs and programs to encourage Christians to grow in their walk with the Lord. However, it also has many programs designed to inform, teach and entertain. The belief is that all of these are important and part of God’s care for His people.”

“They are doing open microphone [programs], letting people come and tell about problems in their area and requests for help in various areas,” said Paul Shingledecker, who directs the Caribbean and Latin America for World Gospel Mission. “They are now also beginning to do news and announcements. One a few minutes ago was about the availability of buses provided by the aid organizations.”

“There was beginning to be a panic in this sense and local buses and trucks were being dangerously overloaded with people who wanted to get away,” Shingledecker added. “This way they can leave in a safe manner.”

Another HCJB Global cooperating ministry, Radio Station 4VEH, operated by One Mission Society (formerly OMS International) in Cap-Haitien, was undamaged.

At the other side of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, staff members at Radio Eternidad (Eternity Radio) in the Dominican Republic launched their own Haitian relief effort. Begun in early 2006, Eternity Radio hosted a training group from Radio Station HCJB a year later, with 25 people receiving personalized training in production and technical work.

In Ecuador, both Radio Station HCJB in Quito and HCJB-2 La Conexión (The Connection) in Guayaquil have appealed to listeners to pray for Haiti’s quake survivors and the aid workers assisting them. Both stations aired interviews with the HCJB Global Hands’ multi-skilled team working at Baptist Haiti Mission in Port-au-Prince.

Interviewing Dr. Eckehart Wolff via satellite phone, Radio Station HCJB newsman Edwin Chamorro asked, “Could you tell us a bit about your experience of donating blood for a patient?”

“Oh, that isn’t anything special,” the self-effacing German surgeon replied. “What is bad is how we do not have the blood bags or the blood. We have to do whatever is possible; that’s why we’re here. It’s incredible the way God gives us strength. We have 16 hours of work every day—a bit less now, 12 hours. God gives us strength and this [work] is the norm for us.”

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