April 15, 2009

Not Too Young to Serve

2009 1511 page22 capariana Elizabeth Carreño is only 4 years old, but that doesn’t stop her from witnessing for Jesus. As Adventist World Radio’s (AWR) youngest team member, Mariana “works” as a producer and host for a children’s program in Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela.

Mariana began her duties when she was 3, and now, one year later, she’s an experienced radio host. The program, called The Children’s Hour, is broadcast on Viene (translated in English as “Coming”) 96.5, and is popular with both children and adults in the local community.
At the day care center in town, children and workers listen to The Children’s Hour every afternoon at 3:00. Another program listener, an adult, began corresponding with station staff and eventually made the decision to be baptized—as a direct result of the radio ministry.
2009 1511 page22AWR staff met Mariana in August 2008, when AWR hosted a radio symposium at Montemorelos University in Mexico for producers and communication directors from the Inter-American and South American divisions.
“We first noticed Mariana during the meetings as she would spend hours playing with her parents’ laptop computer,” says Greg Scott, AWR’s senior vice president. “Because she is unable to read, her parents, who also work at the radio station, help her memorize the content of her program. This young lady, with her childlike charm and magnetic personality, demonstrates that God can use anyone, of any age, to share His love on the radio.”
“Mariana is certainly a gifted young person who with a dedicated mother is making a real contribution to the radio ministry in their country,” added Ben Schoun, president of AWR.
The symposium, which is held every few years, helps AWR keep in contact with the local radio stations and producers in Inter-America and South America. It’s also a valuable opportunity for the various attendees to network with one another.
“AWR does not have its own direct operations in this region anymore,” Schoun explains, “but we support the South American Division Media Center and have an affiliate relationship with many stations, including a number in the Inter-American Division. This gathering is a way for all of us to collaborate on strengthening the radio ministry of the church.”
About 150 FM stations, some of which are run by individual groups of Adventist church members, are currently operating in these two divisions—and the number continues to grow. n
Shelley Nolan Freesland is communication director for Adventist World Radio.