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3ABN Signs On Station in the Philippines


As you scan your eyes across the horizon in Manila, one of first things you'll notice in the Philippines capital is that most of the homes of the 24 million residents have television antennas.

BEACON ON A HILL: 3ABN supporters built this full power station on Antipolo Mountain near Manila. The signal is received from the Thaicom 3 satellite and rebroadcast over the air.
As a result of several dedicated Adventists there, many of those television sets are tuned into Three Angels Broadcasting Network (3ABN), the newest station in the city and one of only two stations that is on the air 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Danny Shelton, 3ABN president, says, "We praise God for the awesome responsibility of being licensed by the government to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to the millions of inhabitants of Metro Manila."

Getting a full power station on the air, however, has been a hard climb up a tall mountain. Facing obstacles that often seemed too great, a small group of Christians clung to the vision of using television to reach the masses, and continued to pray for God's blessing and guidance while they filled their days and nights with hard work to obtain the last full power television license available.

Bienvenido Tejano, an Adventist pastor, saw the need and dreamed of a Christian television station which could reach Philippine citizens with the gospel. Tejano first spoke with 3ABN board member May Chung on the telephone. She recalls, "It was a thrilling moment. I was really thrilled that he wanted a TV station, and I was thrilled that God wanted it in Asia!"

Tejano then visited 3ABN's headquarters and spoke with Moses Primo, director of broadcasting operations and engineering, After the meeting, Tejano returned to the Philippines and started the tedious task of filing forms, gathering background information on 3ABN, and making plans to apply for a TV license. It took three years of corresponding and filing forms to get the ball rolling, but finally he called 3ABN to tell them that the Lord had performed a miracle on his behalf.

Tejano tried in vain to obtain a channel for three years, and was told that all the available channels were already assigned. But being a man of perseverance, he found a friend who had an application which had been pending for more than five years. His friend had all but given up on the frequency because of all of the "red tape."

The friend told Tejano that if the channel were approved, he would give it to 3ABN. Meanwhile, Tejano was appointed ambassador to Papua New Guinea by then President Joseph Ejercito Estrada. Tejano asked President Estrada if he would be willing to assign the last open channel to 3ABN to carry Adventist programing. The president approved the application.

With this first piece of the puzzle in place, the obstacles kept on coming, but Tejano, Shelton, Primo, and other Christian supporters continued to seek the Lord's guidance.

A dispute arose with Philippine authorities over the import duty to be paid for the equipment. It was first decided that the equipment was for a commercial station and that the duty would be 100 percent of its value. 3ABN explained several times that the $1 million station was owned by a non-profit broadcaster, and therefore qualified for non-profit tax breaks. Finally the government relented, and the duty for the equipment entering the country was only seven percent.

Progress was stymied again by a barrage of engineering problems. The technicians experienced major difficulties in downlinking 3ABN's signal from the satellite to the station transmitter on Antipolo mountain. On previous occasions, 3ABN technicians had been able to receive the satellite signal from Antipolo, but when they completed the station the satellite signal was "jammed" from somewhere in Manila. After much study it was determined that the interference was too difficult to track.

THE MANILA MISSION FIELD: Channel 45 broadcasts the Seventh-day Adventist message around the clock to the 24 million potential viewers in metro Manila.
Primo contacted several experts in satellite technology but none of them could filter out the interference. Finally God impressed Primo to set up an additional satellite dish on the opposite side of the mountain, effectively blocking out the interference.

The solution came at the eleventh hour because the technicians were about to return to Illinois. The signal became clear only hours before their return flight, after they worked through the night in pouring rain to get the signal to the transmitter.

Today the station beams the good news of Jesus Christ night and day to 24 million potential viewers in metro Manila. Primo expressed the joy of North American and Filipino workers when he said, "The Lord showed me one more time that He can overcome any obstacle. It is not always easy and not always fast, but as we trust in Him, He delivers us. To see the Filipino people, and to know that they have the choice of eternal life is very fulfilling--to know that we had a small part in bringing that option to them."

Primo, the project engineer traveled the 22 hours from the U.S. to the Philippines more than 10 times. The Brazilian native says, "In my 27 year career this was the largest project I was ever involved with in terms of physical needs and challenges, but I would do it all over again!"

Chung also echoed her delight upon completion of the project. "Completion of this station is one of the most satisfying things I can recall. I just think it's one of the greatest moves forward that we could have ever prayed for!"

GENE WARFEL is marketing director for the Three Angels Broadcasting Network, West Frankfort, Illinois

Adventist Teacher Drowns on Mission Trip
A teacher accompanying students on a maranatha project in El Salvador drowned February 24 while rescuing several people caught in a Pacific Ocean riptide.

Pastor Brian Han, 26, a teacher at Garden State Academy (GSA) in New Jersey, accompanied a group of students on an eight-day mission trip to El Salvador. The students along with pastors, leaders and volunteers from the New Jersey Conference, were constructing a church. The project was a joint effort of Maranatha Volunteers International, a lay Adventist organization, and the Columbia Union Conference.

The volunteers were on an excursion to the beach at the end of their project. Early reports indicate that several people were wading in the ocean and suddenly became caught in a riptide. Han entered the water along with several lifeguards in a rescue attempt, and succeeded in assisting everyone to the shore before he was overcome himself.

"Our entire student body is in tremendous pain," says Janet Ledesma, GSA principal. "Pastor Han was held in very high regard by the students and we are all shocked by what has happened. However, they have hope in the fact that they can see him again in heaven."

A team of counselors from nearby Hackettstown Adventist Hospital, along with a group of pastors and educators from the New Jersey Conference, are assisting the student body with grief counseling. A memorial service for Pastor Han was held March 2, followed by a funeral service the following day at the academy. "We express our greatest concern and sympathy for the Han family and project participants," says Don Noble, president of Maranatha. "We solicit your prayers for all involved with this tragedy."

Pastor Han taught Bible and Sciences at GSA beginning this school year. He previously spent 18 months pastoring in the New Jersey Conference. He is survived by his parents, a sister, and brother-in-law.--Adventist News Network/Adventist Review

Women Conduct Evangelistic Series in India
For the first time in the Southern Asia Division women in India organized and led a 10-village evangelistic program in Thanuku, Andhre Pradish, North Andhra Section. The meetings were conducted over a 11-day period in February by Ardis Stenbakken, General Conference Women=s Ministries Director. At the end of the series, 1,119 persons were baptized and 10 new congregations were organized.

The idea for an evangelistic series completely conducted by women was the dream of Hepzibah Kore, Women=s Ministries director for the Southern Asia Division. Planning began almost two years ago and her dream became a reality as other women joined the project. Kore enlisted the help of Stenbakken as primary speaker as well as that of family life educator, Nancy Van Pelt who spoke on family and interpersonal relationships. Lilly Satyavadi, Women's Ministry director for the North Andrha section worked as the local coordinator and 10 pastors' wives led the pre-meetings within the villages prior to the series.

As M.R. Satyavadi, president of North Andhra Section, witnessed the average attendance of 1,200 each evening and 2,000 each weekend, he became convinced that there was real value in women preaching and teaching. "Now I want to have women do an evangelistic series every year in my section," said Satyavadi.

"Most of the people in the villages are from a Hindu background, so it was gratifying to see so many people accepting Jesus," said Stenbakken. "It is my hope that this evangelistic effort will break down existing gender barriers and women will continue to take active roles in public evangelism in India or wherever they live. Obviously, women can do it."

According to Stenbakken, the continuing challenge is follow-up and building new churches. While each person baptized was given a new Bible, as well as study handouts from the series, there is still a great need for organization and nurture of these new members. The General Conference Women's Ministries department has created a fund to accept contributions toward the erection of church buildings and is committed to following the progress of these ten new congregations.

Highway Billboard Advertises the Sabbath
The Southern New England Conference, in partnership with, has erected a highway billboard on I-91 near Windsor, Connecticut that advertises the Sabbath. It includes a web site address which leads to more information about the Sabbath and an opportunity to link to other Bible truths.

The idea for the billboard came from a woman in Connecticut who was just discovering Adventist truths. She has since become a member, but still longed for a way to "advertise" the wonderful blessing she found in the Sabbath. The location for the billboard on I-91 seemed appropriate since the idea originated in Connecticut, but it was also because of the highly trafficked routes of I-84 and I-91 as travelers make their way into the New England states.

The billboard was erected in early February and the initial plan is for it to remain there for two months. Those who visit the web site during these period will also see an announcement of an evangelistic series to begin in April in the Connecticut Valley Church located near the billboard.

Walla Walla College Launches
Internet-only Radio Station

Radio listeners who prefer more traditional, familiar Christian hymns and favorites have a new listening option. Positive Life Radio Network, a family of stations in Eastern Washington state, recently launched "Positive Life Radio Gold," a new, Internet-only radio station. This station broadcasts hymns and Christian favorites around the clock and is available only through the Internet.

Positive Life Radio (PLR) began streaming audio over the Internet in 1997. Since that time its regular-listener base has grown to include listeners from around the world, not just the Northwest. This new venture is one more way that PLR can reach Christians around the world with a positive message of the gospel through music.

Positive Life Radio serves as an outreach ministry for Walla Walla College and as a training ground for many college students in announcing, programming, engineering, information systems, promotions, office management, and radio management.

To listen to Positive Life Radio Gold, visit, and select "Listen." If you already have Real Audio installed, select "Positive Life Radio Gold." If you do not have Real Audio installed, a link will take you to a site where you can download a free version of Real Audio.

News Notes

  • Joe Escobar, a Florida Conference member, had the opportunity within the last year to personally present both President George W. Bush and Florida Governor Jeb Bush with copies of The Desire of Ages and The Great Controversy.

  • North American Division reports 37,000 persons baptized in 2001, which equates to one baptism every 14 minutes.

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    © 2001, Adventist Review.