by Bobby Davis
Those who watched in the early days tell us that, just like Three Angels Broadcasting Network, 3ABN Latino is without a doubt a network of divine origin! We sat down with general manager, John Dinzey, just before 3ABN Latino’s ninth anniversary.
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World: John, God has truly built 3ABN Latino into a wonderful network. Please tell us what has happened this year.
Dinzey: “Well, in the last year we’ve crossed the 1,000 cable system mark! That’s an incredible milestone, but at the beginning of this year we attended another cable operator convention and ended up with 47 more! The Lord just keeps blessing, because one of the cable executives I spoke with there said he’d been trying in vain to interest local church leaders to put 3ABN Latino on cable for three years.
“So I asked him how long he planned to wait for them, and his response was that he was very sure that if we supply the dishes and receiver equipment, he can get us on 100 systems! I just heard back from him, and we are working hard to add 3ABN Latino to all those systems covering Venezuela over the next two years. Praise the Lord!”
World: I understand you’ve also stayed busy with evangelistic meeting broadcasts.
Dinzey: “Yes, we broadcast a Revelation Prophecy Seminar with Pastor Robert Costa last November to a capacity crowd of 12,000 in Bogotá, Colombia, where they baptized thousands! We also produced an all-day Sabbath event from Bayamón, Puerto Rico, where Pastor Ted N. C. Wilson, the president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, addressed another capacity crowd.
“In March we broadcast a four-day reaping series with international evangelist, Alejandro Bullón, which resulted in over 2,000 baptisms. The Puerto Rican Union of Seventh-day Adventists made it a point to have a satellite dish installed in every church outside the area for that event, so now there are over 300 churches that have 3ABN Latino—and they watch!
“Another milestone came two weeks later as we broadcast for the first time over high-speed Internet. With a special piece of equipment that had just come on the market, we fed The Eternal Sacrifice with Pastor Andrés Portes back to our headquarters in Illinois, easily saving over $20,000 in production and uplink costs. During these series over 1,000 souls gave their hearts to Jesus and were baptized!
“Then, in May, 3ABN Latino broadcast our first Pillars of Prophecy event, held in Hialeah Springs, Florida, near Miami. We were blessed to have many well-known speakers, like Pastors Robert Costa of Está Escrito, Frank González of La Voz de la Esperanza, and Stephen Bohr of Secrets Unsealed.
“In addition, this year we also taped an incredible Final Events series in Villa Hermosa, Tabasco, Mexico. The Lord has truly blessed this year!”
World: That’s amazing. But I understand you’ve also launched another network! Tell us about that.
Dinzey: “Yes, we praise the Lord that we were able to launch 3ABN Latino Radio in April. In a few short months we’ve added 10 new affiliate stations throughout the Americas, and we already have a good variety of programming from different sources in different countries. This is another miraculous instrument that God has given us to reach people.
“3ABN Latino Radio was another project the Lord kept reminding me of with increased urgency. Opportunities kept coming—like the possibility of getting on satellite radio, and the two stations in Mexico that were just waiting for our signal. But what finally helped us decide to go forward in faith was a phone call we received from someone looking for our signal. Their station was ready, and it never dawned on them that we hadn’t put 3ABN Latino Radio on the air yet! When he found this out, his organization offered to pay for a large portion of the equipment we still needed to start it up!
“We’re praising the Lord for the listener reports we’re getting. One station operator in Peru told us that there’s nothing else out there in his area for people to listen to!”
World: What are your plans for the coming year?
Dinzey: “We plan to build up our new radio network, and I see the need to do more evangelistic campaigns and start reaping more directly than ever before. We’re constantly hearing about people who come into Seventh-day Adventist churches asking for baptism, and we need to get the message to those who are only watching that the time has come to make their decision for Christ!
We’re working on an evangelistic series at a cable station in San Tiago, Dominican Republic. We visited the owner to thank him for putting on 3ABN Latino, and he said he’d done that to try to counteract some of the other “corrupt” channels. Then he told us his whole family watches 3ABN Latino, and that they’d been blessed.
“When I told him we were talking with local church leaders about an event in his area, he offered us the free use of his station’s equipment to broadcast it! I asked what speaker might encourage him to come in person, and his answer came as an amazing confirmation—it was the same evangelist the local church conference president had mentioned to me earlier!
“All in all, we have three evangelistic campaigns planned in the next year. We also have some new programs in the works: a youth program where young people discuss the difficult issues they face while encouraging others to walk with the Lord, and a teen cooking program. We also have a new exercise program, a series on the Sanctuary, and an in-depth Bible study with Pastor Richard Piñero featuring interviews with well-respected Bible teachers. Oh yes, we’ve begun airing a new Five Day Stop Smoking program, too.
“I feel a special urgency to keep producing evangelistic series, though, and at the same time I wonder where the funds will come from. But God will provide—as long as we keep moving forward!”
World: I understand the Lord opened a marvelous door for 3ABN Latino in Cuba. Tell us about that.
Dinzey: “That’s right! Even though their laws prohibit us from reaching Cubans through television, radio, or the Internet, we heard from a man who helped develop a creative way to get our programming to his people. We decided to duplicate DVDs and get them to Adventist churches, but unfortunately, most people don’t have DVD players. Then I discovered that the Portuguese Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI) organization had donated 1,000 DVD players and sent them to Cuba, so we made contacts with church leaders and I brought them master copies of dozens of our programs. Because I had a religious visa, they didn’t even check my bags! So, today those 3ABN Latino DVDs are being duplicated, and soon they will be seen in churches all over Cuba! Pray that the Lord will bless that project and prepare many hearts for when the doors are opened for us to broadcast in their country, as well!
“We don’t always immediately recognize the doors God has opened. But I’m grateful that He keeps reminding us again and again—like He did with 3ABN Latino Radio. We’re absolutely dependent on the Lord, and we hope that 3ABN Latino will continue being a life-changing force in this world for as long as He would have us work for Him.”
After the interview with John Dinzey, I kept thinking of Gideon’s army and how closely 3ABN Latino resembles it! Let’s do the math: 8 staff + 2 interns + 2 volunteers = 2 incredible networks working for the Lord!