The debut two years ago of a powerful AM transmitter at TWR’s station on Bonaire continues to make an audible impact more than 1,000 miles away in Cuba.
On Jan. 30, 2018, TWR friends and family, local guests and dignitaries gathered on the small Caribbean island to dedicate and launch the new 450,000-watt transmitter. The plan and prayer for the campaign known as the Power Up Project was to expand the ministry’s reach across the region and bring biblically sound gospel programming to roughly 100 million potential listeners.
One country that TWR especially wanted to reach was Cuba, where previous Bonaire broadcasts were received mainly in the south and sporadically elsewhere. As the second anniversary of the Power Up dedication approached, pastor and broadcaster Alberto Gonzalez confirmed that the upgraded signal has been a blessing for Cubans.
“We are receiving letters from listeners in places that we have never reached before,” said Gonzalez, who is TWR’s representative in the island nation. “Driving in my car at night across Havana City or heading to Pinar del Rio, the most western province of Cuba, the signal is sound and clear. This means that all Cuban people can listen to TWR. In a country like ours, where we don't have media access to preach the gospel, it means a lot! … I strongly believe that only in eternity will we know the real impact of this project and how many people are saved inside Cuba because of the ministry of TWR!”
Like a Local Station
Messages from listeners in Cuba, as well as in other countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, also provide evidence that the Bible broadcasts of Shine 800 AM are reaching their intended recipients. Some say the radio signal is as loud and clear as those from their local stations.
“I often feel lonely,” a Cuban woman wrote. “I am physically disabled, and my left leg is amputated. I study the Bible, but because of my handicap, I cannot go to church. I like your program a lot. It is very inviting, and every night I look out for it. I want to be a person who loves Christ. But I need tools to help me with this. Can you send me a Bible?”
Because of a shortage of Christian materials in Cuba, TWR ministry partner Haven Today had been helping to distribute Bibles there and then decided to take advantage of the boosted Bonaire signal to air its program El Faro de Redención (Redemption Lighthouse).
“We are so grateful we can be a voice for Cuba thanks to the powerful towers of TWR near the coast of South America,” said Charles Morris, Haven Today president. “They are like a blowtorch for Cuba!”
New Listeners Discover Shine 800
Besides covering all of Cuba, the powered-up radio signal reaches southward to Colombia, Venezuela and northern Brazil, westward to the Yucatan Peninsula and across many Caribbean islands.
Steve Shantz, TWR’s vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean, said, “It is very exciting and gratifying to receive reports that Shine 800 AM Bonaire can now be heard in places where the reception was not possible before the power-up. We have also received reports from listeners who discovered the broadcasts only after January 2018 in places like Mexico, where Bonaire broadcasting wasn’t heard before.”
Can you be a part of this ministry, reaching out from the most powerful radio station in the Western Hemisphere to make a difference in countless lives? Please pray about it, and let us know here if you can help.
Photos: [top] Shurna van der Heijden-Win, left, a member of the TWR Women of Hope team for Bonaire, and Richandro Emeranciana, formerly a radio host and leader with the Bonaire Youth Outreach Foundation, chat in the TWR Bonaire studio; [middle] left to right, TWR’s representative in Cuba, Alberto Gonzalez, Boanire Gov. Edison Rijna and TWR President Lauren Libby cut the ribbon at the Power Up dedication; [bottom] the tropical mural on the side of the TWR building on Bonaire.