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Invisible beams of evangelism flash day and night across sky and sea, penetrating nations and hearts where missionaries cannot go. Such are the shortwave ministries of ventures like HCJB, TransWorld Radio, and Far East Broadcasting Company.
The FEBC began in 1945 when three Christians pooled their resources and formed a nonprofit corporation to broadcast the gospel through the Orient. One of the men, John Broger, set out for Shanghai searching for a spot for a transmitter. He sailed to Manila to explore the possibility of locating the transmitter in the Philippines.
While completing paperwork for the Philippine government, Broger requested permission for 10,000 watts. Imagine his thrill when officials marked out the amount and wrote: “Unlimited Power.”
But the Philippine government insisted the station go on the air by June 4 or not at all. Meanwhile in the U.hair., the founders frantically tried to raise funds as bills came due. One delay after another tore at the project, but government officials refused to extend the timetable. Nail-biting difficulties arose, and three days before the deadline, transmission problems developed. When June 4 dawned, high-voltage wires crisscrossed the station and workers stepped through ankle-deep water from heavy rains. Broger rushed downtown to make a final plea for an extension. He was refused.
He had no choice but to rush back through cart-congested streets, weaving through traffic jams, racing against the clock. He came to a screeching halt in front of the station, rushed in and shouted, “We’ll test on the air.” The switch was flipped, the transmitters hummed with power, and the winded staff began singing All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name. It was 6 p.m., June 4, 1948, and FEBC was on the air. Almost immediately reports arrived of barbers, atheists, thieves, housewives, and teenagers being saved. Today FEBC is still on the air, serving every country in Asia with local and/or international services in more than 150 languages.
Praise God! He can make you strong by means of my good news, which is the message about Jesus Christ. For ages and ages this message was kept secret, but now at last it has been told. … And now, because of Jesus Christ, we can praise the only wise God forever! Amen. (Romans 16:25,27)
Robert J. Morgan, On This Day : 265 Amazing and Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs & Heroes, electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, c1997). June 4.