Mexico (TWR/MNN) – Trans World Radio is a powerhouse in global media outreach which engages millions in 190 countries with biblical truth in their heart language.
Yet, when it comes to Mexico, TWR has been searching for a way to connect with more people via radio. TWR’s Steve Shantz, vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean, explains, “We don’t have radio stations in Mexico that are TWR’s, and we haven’t really been able to partner, up until now, with radio stations in Mexico because it just hasn’t been many that are in that position to do so. So, we’ve only had one radio program on one radio station in Mexico City as our entire ministry in Mexico.” He goes on to say that the landscape of ‘Christian radio’ is very different from the industry in North America. “The Telecommunications Authority in Mexico does not grant concessions to what you would call a ‘Christian station’– a station that is owned by Christians, run by Christians and is explicitly there as a Christian station.”
What this means is that there are very few local radio stations in Mexico carrying Christian content. While looking for ways to expand, Shantz reached out to Radio Encuentro Internacional Mexico A.C, which became the 17th organization in Latin America and the Caribbean to join TWR’s global family of national partners. “Radio Encounter is an organization that is trying to get more Christian content on radio stations and radio stations in Mexico carrying Christian content, so this is a very interesting opportunity for TWR.”
Alejandro Vieyra, the director of Radio Encuentro, signed the partnership agreement with TWR just two weeks ago in Mexico City. It’s the second signing of a new national partner in the region in 2018 for TWR (an earlier partnership inked with Conducidos con Propósito). Specifically, Shantz says, “They work with communities, with associations of people and help them make the application to the Telecommunications Authority to have a community radio station. Once that concession is granted, then they help them with the process of getting the radio station built and established, and then they help them with training (how to do radio) and then, content.” In that arena, TWR brings their expertise to the table. “We have over 60 excellent radio programs in Spanish, ready to go and available to these radio stations, at no cost.”
A dream, 13 years in the making
Among the 30 community groups that filed for permission to begin community radio stations, the first to complete the process and go on the air is Radio Amanecer, located in the southern state of Chiapas. After 13 years of perseverance, Radio Amanecer received its license and began broadcasting in multiple languages to the many indigenous groups in its area.
Another group has been issued a license to set up an FM station in the state of Veracruz, where corruption and drug-related violence is widely reported. This group of believers already has a 30-year agreement to use existing studios and office space at a local university, and TWR plans to help raise funds to buy a radio transmitter and antenna for the new station.
Radio is a terrific way to speak into people’s daily lives, explains Shantz. “In the case of Trans World Radio and Radio Encounter International, with a biblical message, a message that is helping people to understand and come to grips with the situations that they are facing in life from a Christian and a biblical perspective.” Excitement is building as God moves. “Pray that this partnership with Trans World Radio and Radio Encounter International is going to result in many more people hearing the Gospel and many more people finding Christ and having a true meaning in life.”
(Header photo courtesy Trans World Radio) Alejandro Vieyra, Radio Encuentro’s director, and Steve Shantz, TWR’s vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean.