The Things We Do
Last week was Volunteer Week. While thinking about this it occurred to me that Eleanor and I spend most of our time in our office supporting Online Bible users and manufacturing and shipping software but like many of you we are involved in other ministries as well.
For example, we usually spend Thursdays at the offices of Galcom International in Hamilton, Canada, whose mission is to supply fixed tuned radios and audio players to missionaries who are reaching people in places where it is difficult to physically go and live with the people full time.
When working in Galcom’s production department we do many things including programming and testing the circuit boards, soldering the connections for the antennas and the speakers, screwing the radios together, installing solar panels, labeling and many other tasks right up to testing the units before shipping. This is Eleanor programming the motherboards.
Galcom International – Missionary Radios
In 1985, Harold Kent, a businessman in Tampa, Florida, USA, with his wife, Jo Ann, had a vision to reach the unreached of the world with the Gospel. God impressed upon him that by using fixed tuned radios, more people could be reached.
At the same time in Tiberias, Israel, Ken and Margie Crowell had an established tentmaking mission called Galtronics, manufacturing cell phone antennas. God asked Ken to design a fixed tuned radio.
Meanwhile, Allan T. McGuirl, then Canadian Director of Gospel Recordings in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, made a trip to a remote area of Kenya where God gave him the vision to build a solar powered fix-tuned radio to reach remote villages around the world.
By His providence, God brought the three men together. At the IFMA conference in February 1989, Harold, Ken and Allan put together a plan. The concept was for Ken to make the radios in Israel, Harold would sponsor the funds needed and Allan would determine needs, liaise with evangelical organizations and arrange distribution.
On August 15, 1989, Galcom International officially began in Canada and the US. The solar powered fixed tuned radios were named the “Go-Ye” radio.
Matthew 28:19 says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…”
The first 40,000 radios were fix-tuned to Voice of Hope, AM 945 broadcasting from Lebanon. The radios were sent into Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. 25 years later, more than a million radios have been distributed in 126 countries. Millions of people are able to hear God’s word daily through the Galcom ministry. Go Ye Radio
In 1988, God gave three men in different circumstances, the desire to bring His message of Salvation and Love to unreached people through radio. God does miraculous things when people listen and follow His leading … even building little solar powered fix-tuned radios.
If there is a Christian station broadcasting in the area, Galcom provides high quality, solar-powered radio receivers that are fix-tuned only to that station. If there is not a Christian radio station in the area, Galcom International will work with a local church or mission agency in the target area and help them install a low-powered Christian station. Then Galcom supplies Go-Ye radio receivers tuned to that station to be distributed to potential listeners who have never heard the good news, can’t read or do not have electricity.
Many times people in these mission areas are so poor that they can not even afford batteries for a radio. Our generous God supplies solar power free of charge to everyone. Galcom’s solar-powered radios equipped with rechargeable batteries will operate for years in these remote areas of the world.
Colombia – Russell Stendal
Russell Stendal at the age of four saw sad pictures of Indians in Colombia, South America. He was “moved with compassion” and wanted to go there and help. His father told Russell that, when he grew up he could go there as a missionary. Russell got on his knees and asked God to let him go there sooner. Within a short time Wycliffe Bible Translators called his parents to serve in Colombia. So, at age 8, Russell was on the mission field in Colombia. The Stendal family has celebrated more than 50 years of serving Jesus as Colombian missionaries.
His missionary service includes being a pilot, establishing many Christian radio stations, recording and broadcasting from those stations, and seeing more than 100,000 solar powered radios distributed. Russel, Patricia and Chad have also written many books that you can check out here.
The radios each contain computer “chips” which that contain the entire Bible recorded by Russell and his daughter, all of J. Vernon McGee’s “Through The Bible” broadcasts, and much more. In the most dangerous areas they have been distributed from small planes by parachutes.
In 1983, Russell was kidnapped by Marxist guerrilla’s in Colombia. Upon his release 5 months later, he was convinced that Jesus Christ was the only one who could bring and end to decades of bloodshed. His life mission since then has been to share the Gospel message in that land and he finds radio to be the most effective way to get that message to the guerrillas, the para-military, and the official government soldiers. Russell has assembled a team of Christian radio broadcasters that operate a dozen AM, FM and Short Wave radio stations throughout Colombia.
Haiti – Men for Missions – Radio 4VEH
Men for Missions International has been distributing Galcom radios in Haiti tuned to 4VEH Christian radio in Cap Haitian as part of Operation Saturation Haiti. During one trip to Haiti they decided to follow the steps of just one radio to access the results of the Galcom Go-Ye radio outreach. Here is what was reported by Gene Bertolet, OpSat Prayer Coordinator:
“One of the outstanding events during a recent trip to Haiti by a Men for Missions group was to follow the steps of one radio which had been given to an EE technician, who in turn had given the solar powered radio to her father. After listening to Radio 4VEH for about three months, her father accepted Jesus as his Savior. He then gave the radio to his friend, a witch doctor. The witch doctor, too, accepted the Lord.
“One morning this young EE technician took our team to the home of her father, about 45 minutes away. As the father gave his clear testimony others gathered around. After two hours 17 more people had accepted the Lord.
“Then they went to the witch doctor’s home, which was a fifteen minute walk through the countryside into a valley. As they came up to his home, there was a white cloth covered table with a Galcom solar-powered radio in the middle of it.
“When the witch doctor came out of the house, he graciously seated his guests. Once again they heard a clear testimony of salvation. He said, ‘No one comes to me as a witch doctor anymore, for they know I have accepted Jesus.’ Twelve of his thirteen children had accepted Christ, but not his wife. As people gathered around, one of our team walked over to the witch doctor’s wife who was shelling corn. In a caring manner he talked to her and others nearby. At the close of their time together, five more had accepted the Lord, including the witch doctor’s wife. “One of the team members said, ‘As I think about Operation Saturation – from this one radio, 36 people accepted the Lord. What an investment.’ And this all happened within the space of four months. ”
Waves of Hope – An Autobiography
Two years ago, Allan McGuirl wrote an autobiography that will keep you reading non-stop. It is a compelling story of how God took a country boy, gave him a worldwide vision and then used him to impact the world through radio. From steamy jungles to clattering cities, from wind swept deserts to frozen tundra Galcom solar-powered, fix-tuned radios and the accompanying radio stations are
being used to transform lives in amazing ways. Filled with remarkable events, this book will keep you riveted page after page. It can be ordered by phone for just $10 from the Canadian office at 1-877-242-5266
My Take Away
When I hear stories like this it makes me wish there was more I could be doing to spread the gospel but each of us needs to focus on what God has prompted us to do and not be envious of the ministry of others. Some of us have been given the opportunity of helping with our local food bank, Samaritan Purse, singing and ministering to folks in our local seniors home and I’m sure you could list dozens of more places. Let’s step out of our comfort zone and share the good
Another place Eleanor and I volunteer is our local Performing Arts Theater. We try to schedule one evening a week ushering, greeting etc. It’s not a ministry as such but it does get us out of our Holy Huddle and helps build relationships with people outside of our church and ministry communities.