TWR’s Alberto González received donations from Cuban radio listeners eager to support the ministry’s upgrade of its AM broadcasts from Bonaire.
Listeners of TWR broadcasts in Cuba have long called for a stronger, clearer signal, and now they have reinforced that appeal with an inspirational financial contribution.
Reaching the people of Cuba with messages about the gospel and discipleship is a big part of the reason for the ongoing massive upgrade of the TWR AM transmitter facility on the Caribbean island of Bonaire. Boosting the wattage by nearly five times, the Power Up project is aimed at covering all of Cuba with a consistent signal while also expanding the ministry’s programming reach to Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, the Yucatán Peninsula and other parts of Latin America.
When TWR national partners gathered recently in Bolivia for the Americas Region annual conference, Cuba Ministry Director Alberto González presented a check for $500 to Joe Barker, the international media ministry’s regional technical coordinator. The generosity of that amount may not be apparent until you factor in the country’s pay scale. Although figures vary depending on the statistics used, the monthly wage in Cuba is less than 1 percent of the monthly wage in the United States.
Barker recounted a story told by González, who is also an author and broadcaster, about one of his many trips to visit with local believers and listeners of his program, Messages of Faith and Hope, which is aired from Bonaire to Cuba and other parts of the Caribbean. On this trip, he met with people in an area of Cuba from which he had received no response to the program, and he asked TWR listeners to TWR raise their hands.
“About 10 hands went up,” Barker reported. “He [González] mentioned the TWR Bonaire Transmitter Power Upgrade Project and asked people to pray. After the meeting, a humble farmer came to Alberto and asked if he could make a contribution to the project and handed Alberto the equivalent of 10 U.S. dollars. Alberto looked at the offering in amazement, knowing that this may represent up to a full month’s take-home pay for the man.”
The Cuban donation to the Bonaire upgrade is not the only one to have both a practical and inspirational impact on the $3.8 million fundraising effort. One of the very first contributions came from the other side of the planet, a network of Christian radio stations in Papua New Guinea. In an island-to-island gesture, Wantok Radio Light gave $3,000 as a demonstration of gratitude for the donations that helped set up the first Wantok station 13 years ago.
As of March 2015, $1.3 million had been given or pledged for the Bonaire upgrade. To learn more about the campaign and how to get involved, visit the Power Up page.