Gospel Broadcaster to Restore and Rebuild Fire-Ravaged Station near North Korea Border
LA MIRADA, Calif. — Koreans are struggling to receive Christian radio broadcasts after a wildfire severely crippled a radio station near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) with North Korea.
Gospel broadcaster FEBC (Far East Broadcasting Company) has launched a campaign on its website (www.febc.org) to rebuild the radio station burned by a wildfire last month.
The FEBC-Yeongdong radio station and broadcasting studio, located in Sokcho City, with the capability to reach many Koreans with the gospel on both sides of the border, was severely damaged by the blaze.
“It’s critical that we restore broadcasts and rebuild the studio to reach Koreans who have no other way to hear the “good news” and to give hope and comfort to believers who lost homes and livelihoods in the fire,” said a ministry spokesperson in South Korea.
According to FEBC workers in South Korea, the first and second floors were completely burned, the third and fourth floors were covered by smoke and dust, and all equipment was damaged and needs to be replaced. FEBC pledged to start rebuilding the station as soon as possible.
The four-story station is a crucial broadcasting hub strategically located in the northeast corner of South Korea, close to the North Korea border, with the potential to beam Christian programming to North Koreans in the “hermit kingdom” who’ve never heard the Good News.
The wildfire wiped out homes and businesses, and destroyed everything in the FEBC station – except sheet music for worship songs that miraculously remained unburned. No one at the radio station was injured in the blaze.
“This is a massive setback for our gospel broadcasting in this pivotal region where many Koreans depend on our radio programs to hear about Jesus and the amazing story of salvation,” said Ed Cannon, president of FEBC. “By God’s provision, we are determined to rebuild and restore bigger and better from the ashes, and believe God has an exciting future for both North and South Korea.”
FEBC’s plans include saturating North Korea with Christian programming in the Korean language.
For almost 75 years, FEBC has beamed the gospel into nations officially closed to Christian missionaries, proving that the “good news” can cross any border.
“We’ve seen that when our broadcasts get into closed countries; hope and joy floods in,” said Cannon.
Nearly half the world’s population lives in range of FEBC broadcasts. Over the next 10 years, the ministry aims to reach millions of people in difficult-to-access areas through mobile and online technology – including social media – with gospel content in their own language.
Launched in 1945 under the banner “Christ to the World by Radio,” FEBC aired its first radio broadcast in China. Constantly innovating, the ministry pioneered the use of “portable missionaries” – hand-held radio sets pre-tuned to gospel broadcasts.
# # #
FEBC (Far East Broadcasting Company, www.febc.org) was founded in 1945 to share the gospel in China. Today, more than 900 staff and 1,800 volunteers produce 842 hours of programming each day, broadcasting across Asia, Russia, Ukraine, the Middle East and Africa. Programs in 124 languages air from 265 stations.
Fire has crippled FEBC’s gospel radio station in South Korea, prompting an urgent appeal at www.febc.org to help Korean broadcasters rebuild and restore the station as soon as possible.