In this National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration image from late Oct. 3, 2016, Haiti is outlined on the upper right and Jamaica is visible just left of center.
As Hurricane Matthew slices through the Caribbean, TWR’s worldwide staff, partners and supporters are being urged to stay focused on prayer for this region of such active ministry.
The representative of TWR (also known as Trans World Radio) in Cuba, which is directly in the forecast track of the immensely powerful storm, called on his colleagues across the globe to remember the people of his country.
“Please, join with us in praying for it, and check your weather channels if possible to keep you posted,” wrote Pastor Alberto Gonzalez. “Our brothers and sisters need our prayers. May God decrease the power of the storm!!!”
Coincidentally, Gonzalez and Steve Shantz, TWR ministry vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean, are scheduled to travel in a little over a week from Havana to the island country’s eastern end, where Matthew is expected to strike in the next couple of days (Oct. 4-5). Long before the storm arrived on the scene, the two men had planned to travel with members of the ministry’s Visual Media team to meet with Cuban program producers and listeners and to shoot video in the area, where the country’s second-largest city and the Guantanamo U.S. Naval Base are located.
Shantz said the group will have to wait to see what impact Matthew has before knowing if the trip is still on. He cited several specific ways that believers can pray for as they think about their brothers and sisters in the Caribbean.
“That listeners receive enough information as to where they can go to ride out storm, such as government facilities,” he said. “That people get the sense of urgency and evacuate. That no lives be lost because of storm. And that the winds subside quickly and move on through. The longer it hangs around, the more damage it does.”
Also directly in the storm track is Haiti, where TWR has long had a large listener base and a strong broadcast ministry. TWR has close working relationships with Christian broadcasters 4VEH in Cap-Haïtien and Radio Lumiere in the nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
News reports indicate that Haiti is especially vulnerable to the potential hurricane strike as it continues a slow recovery from a devastating earthquake in 2010. TWR lent a hand in the aftermath of that quake by collaborating with 4VEH and Radio Lumiere to keep Christian programs on the air and by helping to develop programming providing trauma counseling to survivors.
Shantz pointed out that there already had been some good news as Matthew swept through the region. Bonaire, the little island off the coast of Venezuela where TWR maintains a major AM transmitting station, had been spared. This means not only that programs proclaiming the peace and assurance of Jesus Christ have continued going out to those facing the danger of the storm but also that the $3.8 million boost of the station’s power can proceed as planned.
The Bonaire Power Up project to double the potential listening audience across much of the Caribbean and Latin America is entering its final phase. Shantz praised the Lord that none of the new guy wires and insulators put on the antennas to handle the higher voltage was affected by the passing storm.
If you want to know more about the Bonaire station and the Power Up project, take a look at a video and details at twr.org/powerup.