Border Station in Guatemala Reaching Mexicans with Christ’s Love
By Kenneth D. MacHarg
Villatoro says that thirty percent of Guatemala is considered to be evangelical, but in his town the number reaches thirty-five percent of the population. In contrast, the evangelical population in Chiapas is about nineteen percent.
He is grateful for the help provided to his station by HCJB Global Voice engineer Steve Sutherland from Quito. The missionary has visited the station three times in the last two years to help improve the technical quality of the signal. The station also uses several hours of programming, including special releases for women, men and children from ALAS-HCJB, the mission’s Christian Spanish programming satellite network with about ninety affiliates across Latin America. In addition, HCJB Global Voice’s radio development ministry recently provided a training workshop for Radio Impacto’s staff.
Despite all of the work involved with serving an active church, operating a school and running a missionary radio station, Villatoro is not done yet. “We need to increase our transmitter power,” he said. “We moved the antenna to a higher mountain a year ago, but now we need to go up to at least three thousand watts so that we can put a better signal into Mexico and reach farther into the country.”
The pastor indicated that the station has a strong signal in large cities such as Tuxtla Gutiérrez, but that there are pockets of Chiapas where the signal is spotty. “We need a new transmitter and we need some remote control equipment,” he explained.
Through Bible studies, music, on-air telephone conversations and other programs, the team at Radio Impacto is addressing serious problems among the Mexican audience. Drug addiction and the growing influence of gangs among youth are two concerns that drive many programming decisions.
(This article is edited from a news release by Missionary Journalist.)