“We are bringing our programs to places that we were only dreaming of before!” said Favio Soliz, operations manager of RTM* Bolivia.
TWR’s national partner in Bolivia recently installed a satellite system with the help of another of the global ministry’s national partners, TWR Canada. The new satellite system makes it possible for radio stations across Bolivia to rebroadcast the Christian programs of RTM Bolivia, including daily live radio programs in the Quechua language.
Before RTM Bolivia started using a satellite system, its programs were being distributed to radio stations by bus. In addition to the 80 Christian and secular stations, RTM Bolivia airs its programs over four FM transmitters that it owns.
The upgraded distribution system makes it easier for RTM Bolivia to reply affirmatively to requests like this one: “I write to you from Oruro. Recently we started a radio station with our church, Hebron. We would like to retransmit your signal to our town.”
Interaction with listeners
The highly popular radio program in Quechua airs live every morning and includes weather reports, news headlines, music and daily reflections on the Bible. Thanks to the new satellite system, the program’s hosts can now interact with listeners from across the country. Without the satellite system, the live radio program was broadcast over only four local radio stations.
“Having a satellite signal in place has helped us to overcome our biggest barrier – distance,” Soliz said. “The satellite signal carries a message of hope all throughout Bolivia, proclaiming Jesus as Savior. Our audience is growing daily. We are reaching cities that could otherwise not be reached by Christian media because of the very peculiar and dangerous roads. Also, we can now bring the gospel to areas where there are cocaine plantations and where churches do not have the possibility or the access to present the gospel.”
RTM Bolivia was founded in November 1998. Of the stations that broadcast RTM programs, four are owned by the ministry, while about 40 percent of the other 80 are secular. RTM Bolivia broadcasts programs in Spanish, Quechua and Low German, which is spoken in the country’s sizable Mennonite communities. The work among Quechua people started in 2003 and has grown significantly. In addition to Thru the Bible, RTM Bolivia produces Quechua programs for women, children and youths.
* RTM is the Spanish equivalent of TWR.
Photo: On the right in the foreground, Pastor Diego Davila, director of Quechua ministries for RTM Bolivia, speaks to residents of a Quechua community.