The nine-story commercial building in downtown Maracay, a Venezuelan city of about a million people, is mostly dark and empty.
The occupants began leaving along with the electricity, which went out about six months ago when the building’s transformer failed. Without power, there’s no elevator to reach the higher floors and no running water.
But TWR’s national partner hasn’t left the building, and its staff members – at least those who can physically manage it – still climb the stairs to the eighth-floor office every day. A large chip broken out of one of the terrazzo steps lets the climbers know that they are finally nearing their lofty office.
Fortunately, RTM Venezuela – RTM is the Spanish version of TWR – has two generators on the roof, or the media ministry would pretty much grind to a halt. That doesn’t provide as much power as there would be if the transformer were working, but it enables the staff to do the essentials, like turn on their computers, access the internet and record radio programmes in the onsite studios. Every other day, ministry director Gabriel Fernandez heads out to buy fuel to keep the generators running.
“These days many people look to God for help,” Fernandez said. “That’s why our radio programmes are so important. We are experiencing a revival in the midst of this crisis.”
The important role they play in proclaiming God’s Word at home and abroad is a major motivator for the RTM Venezuela team members. Translator and social-media specialist David Albarrán sees many of his friends leaving the country, but he asks himself, “If I leave the country, how can God work through me?” More than 2 million people, about 7% of the population, have fled the calamitous conditions, straining the resources of neighbouring countries.
“When I pray and read my Bible, I feel God’s spirit telling me: ‘Stay a little bit longer. Stay, stay and be brave,’” Albarrán said. “Everything is hard to get these days. However, we have our faith. Believe! And if you believe, you will see that God is working. I have seen many miracles. Before I never saw miracles, but now we do.”
Venezuela needs your prayers
- Ask the Lord to sustain and encourage believers in Venezuela, especially the RTM staff.
- Pray that power will be restored to the building housing RTM’s offices. This would relieve some of the physical strain on the staff while enabling them to do their work more effectively.
- Pray that God will continue the signs of revival, bringing more Venezuelans to Christ despite the times of trial.
- Ask the Lord to work in the hearts and minds of political leaders inside and outside the country to find an appropriate pathway back to stability and prosperity for Venezuela.