by John Dinzey
Chile is a country in South America that is home to more than 16 million people. This ribbon of land borders Peru and Bolivia to its north, and Argentina to its east, and travels down the west coast of the continent along the Pacific Ocean to the very tip of South America.
More than a year ago, we were privileged to receive several visitors from Chile Adventist University, including their chamber choir, who taped several songs in our studios—much to the delight of our 3ABN Latino viewers.
So when university officials invited our founder, Danny Shelton, to visit their campus on their 105th anniversary, he was delighted to come and share how the Lord miraculously brought 3ABN into existence. The organizers of the event rightly believed that Danny’s participation would serve as an inspiration for students and staff to allow the Lord to lead them and move forward in faith. And so it was I found myself traveling with Danny and our 3ABN Latino production manager, Jorge Jaque, to this grand event in Chile.
Paving the Way
Although our signal reaches them on the Intelsat 9 satellite, Chile is one of the few countries where 3ABN Latino is not available on local cable companies. So our plans included meeting with local church leadership and cable companies to further the work of preaching the gospel.
However, upon our arrival, we learned that the groundwork had been laid nearly ten years ago, when Jim Petts, a 3ABN employee, had visited the university on a mission trip. Jim was very impressed with the school and the fact that they had a radio station broadcasting to the local community. However, he noticed that the majority of the time they were broadcasting music, with hardly any preaching.
Impressed to do something, Jim made some personal sacrifices and donated two satellite receivers and a satellite dish, so the radio staff could broadcast 3ABN Latino’s television audio track over their radio station to the local community!
Expect Big Things
Danny was scheduled for Friday evening, the Sabbath morning worship service, and an afternoon concert later that day, and a near capacity crowd turned out the first night. Danny sang some songs and shared some of the miracles that propelled Three Angels Broadcasting Network into a worldwide television ministry, and after the service many expressed how they’d been blessed by 3ABN’s programming over the years.
On Saturday morning about 1,200 people crowded the University Church as Danny told stories of the miracles that led to 3ABN’s full-power television stations in Manila, Philippines, and in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Quoting Matthew 28:18–20, Danny encouraged those present, and all those who watched around the world via the university’s Internet broadcast, to move forward in faith.
Then, on Saturday afternoon, Danny was joined by the university’s chamber choir and local musicians in a moving concert, drawing us all closer to the Lord. The choir sang four songs from 3ABN’s Pillars of Our Faith album, and they were very well received. Two of the songs were translated and adapted to Spanish by the university staff. This was their first public performance of these songs, and I’m happy to say that Danny was so impressed with the university choir that plans are underway to prepare the Spanish version of the CD!
But the best part is that because of our meetings with the Chilean Adventist Church leaders, we expect to see the 3ABN Latino network added to at least 15 cable companies in Chile!
Little could Jim Petts have known that his efforts to spread the gospel many thousands of miles away in Chile would pave the way years later for 3ABN Latino to be well-received. Because of his sacrifice, untold thousands will find their way to Jesus Christ—who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life!