November of last year my bible study teacher Jerry Denman asked if I would consider an interview with World Christian Broadcasting. I remember thinking – me? My first thought was I am so not qualified to talk on Christian radio. I have just only begun my study and trying to apply its principles more in my life. Brother Jerry told me he thought I had a story to tell. He said that people would enjoy hearing it and to think about it. I’ve been interviewed countless times, but this time I felt apprehensive. This broadcast goes nearly all over the world. Along with my loss of sight and my livelihood went much of my identity and sense of purpose. My heart finally told me this was the opportunity to respond to what could be my new purpose in life. I can share my experience, hope and faith with all people. It’s about believing in something bigger than yourself to overcome and persevere through what seems insurmountable. It’s about surrendering yourself to God’s guidance.
World Christian Broadcasting Corporation is a non-profit organization. Its purpose is to take God’s Word—through mass media—to people who may have no other means of hearing the Good News. WCBC’s international shortwave broadcasting communicates the Good News to millions every day. I was told they have received letters from every country in the world. KNLS, located at the top of the world in Anchor Point, Alaska, has been on the air since 1983. A new station is presently under construction in the region of the Indian Ocean.
Through these shortwave transmissions, they can blanket highly populated regions such as China, Russia, Africa, the Middle East, and also hundreds of smaller areas. By speaking in people’s own language, forming friendships, and creating bonds of trust, World Christian Broadcasting sparks hope, interest, and curiosity among listeners. Programming encourages a search for meaning in life, spiritual reflection, and personal study of the message of Jesus. The programs consist a variety of popular music as well as news, Bible lessons, and feature interviews. By the grace of God and the technology He provides, many will hear the Good News, perhaps for the first time, and respond to the life-changing invitation of God. 2011 will be an eventful year because they are completing Station MWV in Madagascar. Construction is almost finished on the Madagascar World Voice station. Antennas have been erected and tensioned on the towers. The transmitter building is now completed and ready to receive the three 100,000 watt transmitters.
When the new station begins broadcasting to the other half of the world, every day a total of 60 hours from five antennas will blanket the globe with the gospel. English, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese and from the African website, several languages spoken in Africa, will introduce literally millions of people to Jesus Christ. In addition to the daily broadcasts, websites in all of the broadcast languages will continue to share valuable information about Christ Jesus. In 2010, over 4 million hits occurred on these websites. Spanish programming into Cuba, Mexico, and Central and South America has already begun from Radio Miami. On their website, www.worldchristian.org, daily broadcasts can be heard, as well as previous programs. The station in Alaska is at http://www.knls.org/today-broadcast-main.html . (David Howell, Insert the date of Sharon’s interview)
Jerry is on the board of directors of WCBC. He is a retired U.S. Army Colonel, and a Graduate of United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. His Military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal for Valor and Air Medal for Valor. He is a former elder for churches in Virginia, Tennessee, and Texas. He has been on World Christian Broadcasting staff for twelve years as Director of Planned Giving. Three weeks ago Jerry, Anita, Avatar and I went to the WCBC offices and studio in Franklin, Tennessee for my interview. It took us four hours to get there, but if felt much less because we told stories and laughed most of the way. There is one story about his trip to Alaska with Anita and the girls, pulling a trailer along the Al-Can highway. At one point the trailer was traveling beside the car. I would love to tell you the rest, but I couldn’t do it justice like Jerry. That trip sounded a little rough, compared to our ride to Franklin in their luxurious Lexus. It provided a very comfortable and road silent ride.
Upon arriving and entering the broadcast station I began to understand just what a big deal this operation is. Several staff members greeted us in the lobby. All were sincerely warm and friendly. I later learned that all of them have interesting backgrounds and experiences that brought them together there. There is a high level of enthusiasm and dedication to serve God. Their individual offices surround another separate building inside the building. It is a recording studio where Paul Ladd does his interviews. Paul is an excellent host and has received many accolades for his work in broadcasting.
The studio looked and felt like something out of Larry King live. We sat on high padded chairs at a round table equipped with two boom mikes under intense studio lighting. Shumei was following the interview and checking the sound in a separate engineering room. She is one of the Chinese language specialists. Shumei is from Taiwan. It is also her responsibility to edit and arrange various segments that create the “Chinese Log”. Paul told me he has the fun job while Shumei has a challenging one that requires great attention and talent.
Another person I met that day was Galena Koval. Galena was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in the family of a high-ranking military officer. Her parents were atheists and they raised her as an unbeliever. All her adult life in Russia Galina taught English at the University level and during summer vacations she worked as an Intourist guide. In 1988 one of her tourists invited Galina to come to visit her in America. This visit changed Galina’s life forever. Her friend invited her to church where she heard God’s word for the first time in her life. It was a real revelation for her. Within a month Galina was baptized into Christ. While trying to find a Bible in Russian, she met people from World Christian Broadcasting Corporation who invited her to work with them. Since that time Galina has been working with WCBC. Her goal in life is to help others like herself who “sat in darkness” to see “great light” of God’s love and salvation (Matthew 4:16). Galena gave me a copy of her book entitled, “From Darkness to Great Light”. Her book can be requested through their website.
Paul said it would take a few weeks to edit the program which would include my interview. I hadn’t had any conversation or preparation prior to meeting Paul Ladd, but I did have blind faith and if I listened to and spoke from the heart it would be perfect in that moment. Paul and I launched into a journey through a myriad of memories, disease and desperation; my breakdown and breakthrough and creating art without sight. It was an awesome gift to be able to present myself in the rawest of forms in a safe place. It was probably the best interview I have ever had, and perhaps ever will. I could just imagine the echoes of my words and emotions transformed into radio waves, bouncing off the huge antennas, going out to people in faraway places. This was for me an uplifting, highly emotional and most humbling experience.
Last Sunday afternoon we went to the movie theater in Senatobia. How many small towns are lucky enough to still have one in business? It’s been a long time since seeing a film with friends and neighbors you know sitting all around you. The owner spotted my guide dog and went ahead to reserve a seat and area for Avatar. How kind is that? “The Grace Card” was the matinee movie. It was filmed in Memphis, using local talent. This is a Christian based story. It is about forgiveness, redemption, and grace.
The recipe this week: For some spiritual food, go see “The Grace Card” and support your local movie house.
KNLS Broadcasting Antennas
A listener Wrote: Thanks to your program which I manage to listen to, I begin to realize that atheism that was taught to me for 17 years of my life is a false conception about the world . . . I am somewhere between faith in God and atheism . . . Your programs make my faith stronger and stronger. But a person should himself read, think, consider the Holy Scriptures . . But I have no Bible . . . If you can, please send me the Bible.