It seems hard to believe that we’re celebrating 27 years of amazing miracles at Three Angels Broadcasting Network this month. However, when we spoke with 3ABN’s founder, Danny Shelton, we found that his heart still beats strongly with love and passion for this ministry!
Don’t Be Discouraged
“Someone asked me the other day, ‘Danny, when you felt impressed to build a TV station to reach the world late that night on November 14, 1984, did you have any idea where you’d be 27 years later?’ ” he begins.
“I had to stop and think—and the answer is no, I really didn’t. I’d hoped we’d be in the Kingdom before this, so I can honestly say that I hadn’t thought that far ahead. I like to encourage people with the idea that when the Lord impresses them to do something, they shouldn’t think too far ahead. Had I tried to think 27 years ahead about keeping up with nine satellite bills, or how to pay nearly 200 employees around the world, I would have given up. The job would have been way too big. But I remember a friend of mine who had a radio program on a Christian station years ago. Every afternoon he’d encourage his listeners to do what God was calling them to do. ‘And don’t get discouraged,’ he’d say. ‘Don’t look at the whole picture. Just do what God asks you to do today.’
“Then he’d ask, ‘How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!’
“I thought that analogy was pretty good, and I believe there would be many more people in ministry—many more Christians, including many more Seventh-day Adventists—if we’d take this approach to God’s calling. I believe we’d be farther along in preaching the gospel to all the world.
“If God asks you to do something, take it a day at a time. If He’s in it, He’ll open the doors. You’ll know which ones to walk through, but whatever you do, don’t take it all on your shoulders. Give it to God. His shoulders are bigger than ours, and where God guides, He provides!
“It’s amazes me that 3ABN is now one of the largest Christian television and radio networks in the world, and that 1.65 billion people can now watch or hear our message! I didn’t know how it would happen, or even what would happen. I just wanted to do what God wanted me to do.”
All Means All
“My vision for 3ABN is the same,” Danny continues. “I don’t look ahead 20 years, I just look at today’s opportunities. I’ve dealt with many people who have overlooked their daily opportunities by constantly planning for their future, and things didn’t seem to always go well for them.
“There are still a lot of people on earth who don’t know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, but when we work together with our viewers, listeners, and supporters around the world, we can do what God has called us to do. I remember Dr. Walt Thompson, one of our past board chairmen, telling me that when God counted His resources in advance He didn’t come up wanting. In Matthew 28:18–20 (KJV) Jesus says, ‘All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.’ Then He says, ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.’
“The beauty of this is that He’s not asking us to do the impossible. He has all power, and if He asks us to do something, He will empower us to go forward!
“All means all. All the world. The Lord will supply every need as we do what He’s commanded us to do. Philippians 4:13 says, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ Philippians 4:19 says, ‘And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’ And Romans 8:28 says, ‘All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.’
“There’s not a single reason in the world why any of us should have a faith problem! I encourage people to step out in faith, because our faith doesn’t begin until our sight ends. If I can plan it, then I’m moving on my available resources. But none of us have the resources to go to all the world, so I encourage people to lean on Jesus and step out in faith—to go beyond what they can see, and then watch as God supplies all their needs according to the riches of Christ Jesus!”
“3ABN continues to grow because we step out in faith. 3ABN Russia, under the leadership of Julia Outkina and her team, are well into their twentieth year. They’ve just added a second television studio, and now are hard at work converting their studios to meet the Russian government’s requirement to switch to digital television by 2015. They plan to equip their new studio with high-definition equipment, since all their programs will have to be shot in the new widescreen format. They’ve also completely revamped their website, and are ready to launch a new 24-hour Internet radio channel—all without adding to their current budget.
“There’s no doubt the Lord is blessing their efforts, since their programs can be seen on four Russian satellite channels, about 90 full-power TV stations, and 40 radio stations. Of course, their ultimate goal is to be on satellite 24/7, and they’re praying and believing that God will soon make that possible.
“Our 3ABN Australia representatives, John and Rosemary Malkiewycz, have just celebrated 8 years of work in Australia and New Zealand this year. God is blessing with the construction of their headquarters and studio, and while there is still work to be finished inside, they’re looking forward to completing the building in the next few months. They’ve witnessed numerous miracles during construction, and God has impressed many hearts to help by donating their skills and material. This has allowed every dollar to be multiplied to His glory.
“Along with the construction of the building, they’ll still need to outfit the studios and control rooms for both television and radio, but we thank God for impressing the hearts of viewers and listeners in Australia and New Zealand to continue praying and supporting this ministry to God’s glory.”
“We Must Do Something!”
“Here in the United States we’re excited to see 3ABN’s new Dare to Dream Network move to satellite, beginning in January 2012.
“You know, recently I was approached by an African-American woman from a large city. She asked me, ‘Why do you have a network for minorities like me, when we all speak English, like you do? Why are you investing time and money, when African-Americans have their own money?’
“I admit I was taken aback for a moment, but then I realized that maybe I hadn’t done my job! Dare to Dream is not about having black singers and presenters to please a black audience. It exists to meet the needs of people who live in the inner cities. Our directive is to meet the spiritual needs of millions of people—Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, and Asians alike. Our programming is designed to promote a healthy family, good parenting, financial responsibility, a healthy diet, and so much more.
“We must do something! Seventy percent of all African-Americans are now born out of wedlock, over 33 percent of all African-American men are in prison or under court supervision, and 60 percent of all African-American boys that drop out of high school are in prison by age 30! They suffer a higher rate of poverty, and have the highest mortality rate for many chronic diseases, as well.
“Dare to Dream is not just preaching the Word, it’s showing the Word. We’re using an educational approach, directly meeting the needs of inner city people with programs that not only teach God’s Word, but also promote healthy lifestyles, recovery from addictions, marriage enrichment, exercise, nutrition, proper food preparation, fatherhood, parenting, money management, and even ex-offender rehabilitation.
“I’m happy to say that as I explained all this, the lady caught the vision. We want to give people hope so they can dare to dream of a brighter future—with Jesus at the center of their lives.”
A New Commitment
“I want to thank our donors for their love, their prayers, and their financial support. 3ABN is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization, and we don’t receive any funds from the organized church. We’re not complaining; those are just the facts.
“It’s also a fact that all lay ministries are looked at as institutions after they’ve been around for 25 years. People unconsciously think we’re being supported through their tithes and offerings, and many others wrongly assume that some of the funds they give to Adventist media ministries are shared with 3ABN, as well.
“Our goal is to work with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and we’re especially excited about working with our church’s General Conference President, Pastor Ted Wilson. We’re encouraged by his desire to preach the gospel to the entire world, by his commitment to the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14, by his full support of the Spirit of Prophecy, and by his commitment to honor our Creator God. But we’re particularly excited that he’s invited 3ABN to be part of the team. We’re so grateful for the supportive relationship we’ve been privileged to take part in today.”
The Faith Factor
“I want to encourage our readers to understand that the only hope for this work is a relationship with Jesus Christ. Sometimes we can get so busy with our church, our ministry, or our religion, that we forget about our relationship with Him. Although I’ve gone through a lot of personal attacks, I’ve never been happier than I am now, because I’ve learned to rest in Jesus. I’ve learned to allow Him to be my Lord so I can live in peace.
“I turned 60 this year, and I know full well that the Bible says that men’s lives are to be 70 years on average. But the older I get, the more peace I have, and the more joy I have in my relationship with Jesus. I spend less and less time worrying about what could happen, what might happen, and what should happen. Every day I experience the joy of trusting God and submitting and committing my life into His hands.
“There’s so little hope in this world anymore, but when people see Christians with the joy of the Lord, no matter what happens around them, they want what we have. The answer is found in the words of Jesus: ‘And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.’ John 12:32 (KJV).
Being a Christian must be more than telling my neighbor about my beliefs. It’s about showing him Jesus, the center of my joy, regardless of what comes my way.
“There was a TV program a few years ago called The Fear Factor that featured people doing strange things they were afraid to do. I encourage people not to live by the fear factor, but to believe God’s Word instead and live by the faith factor! Faith in Jesus Christ makes all the difference. Faith alone can bring peace of mind!”