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Published on 14 August, 2012

Tribespeople tune into the Gospel

Panama (MNN) — A ministry branch six months in the making just did another round of Gospel radio distribution to native Indians in Western Panama.

Steve and Joanie Gulbronson with HCJB Global handed out 50 SonSet radios and 300 pounds of food last Friday, August 10, to members of the Ngobe-Bugle tribe.

Nestled in the mountains of Western Panama, the Ngobe-Bugle is the largest indigenous tribe in Panama. They follow the ancient lifestyle of farming, crafting, and living in makeshift homes without modern commodities.

Steve explains, “When it comes to the radios, they’re so needed because the Ngobes have no electricity. So what we have through HCJB Global are these solar-powered, fix-tuned radios.”

Each SonSet radio is tuned to 91.1, a station in Panama playing Christian worship music and sharing the message of the Gospel.
“Often the Panamanians will send work trucks up into the mountains. The men and older boys will load up and leave behind the ladies with the small children…in isolation. And I like to think that when they’re gone off to work, they can push that little button and hear the worship music, they can hear the Gospel.”

The SonSet radio distribution serves as a platform to not only get a Gospel tool in the people’s hands, but to also form relationships. Joanie says, “When we first meet them, we hand-deliver the radios ourselves, so there’s a personal interaction there. We’re not just taking the radios and dropping them off at a spot for them to pick up. We actually go and visit them and the places where they live. We talk to them.”

The Gulbronsons started ministry in Panama three years ago. They began working in a small congregation at Home Church Panama, but the Lord laid it on their heart to do more.

“About six months ago, God impressed on our hearts that we would reach 100,000 of the Ngobe-Bugles before our time is up here on this earth,” Steve shares. “About two weeks later, somebody came along and talked to us about these radios. One thing led to another, and we like to use the term ‘it all fell together.’”

Christ’s message has brought hope. “They are kind of the outcast of the outcast,” says Steve. “When we tell them that God became flesh and He loves them just the way they are…and all they have to do is receive the free gift of eternal life through Christ, we’ve seen phenomenal response. We’ve seen hundreds and hundreds come to Christ in just three years, and it’s very exciting.”

Home Church Panama’s pastor owns the radio station which is produced right in Western Panama. The Gulbronsons put on a radio show for the Ngobe-Bugles every Thursday.

Click here to support the Gulbronsons radio ministry with HCJB.

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