Christian radio fosters unity on eve of Ecuador’s constitution vote

By October 3, 2008

Ecuador (MNN) — With 90 percent of ballots counted, 64 percent of Ecuadorean voters approved the country's 20th constitution in the history of this unstable South American nation. The new constitution will broaden President Rafael Correa's powers and will allow him to run for two more consecutive terms.

Doug Weber is the Director of Radio for Latin America with HCJB Global Voice. Weber says Christian radio played an active part in the election process, but not the way one might think. "Instead of trying to take a side, we thought it would be great if we could get the church to actually focus on the Lord and His sovereignty over whatever decision was made with the constitution."

HCJB Global provided airtime to Ecuador pastors to begin praying for this monumental period in the country's history. Weber says, "We had pastors from all over the city and all over the province, really, coming in several times and praying for the nation and this important decision."

This prayer focus, says Weber, had other side benefits. "To some extent, we were able to unify the church, in a sense, because the church was pretty uncertain on what they should do."

Weber believes their apolitical approach to the election spoke volumes to the government. "There was a lot of media in the country that was taking a very distinct position one way or another and we have always tried to maintain a neutral position, even in our news broadcasts and our daily programming."

He believes this puts HCJB Global on a more solid footing for ministry in the future.

Correa is expected to swiftly overhaul the judiciary, the Central Bank and other key institutions, giving the U.S.- and European-trained economist greater liberty to fashion what he calls a "new political model."

Weber is hoping this will allow HCJB Global to accomplish their future goals. "One of the big things we want to begin doing is mobilizing and helping mobilize Latin Americans to move into missions in other parts of the world. And we're trying to figure out our strategy. We don't want to duplicate what other people are doing, but we want to complement what other mission and church groups are doing."

Pray that HCJB Global will be able to accomplish this.

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