OUR STORY

Reach Beyond NZ is a ministry of HCJB Global (New Zealand) Trust  and functions a world office for Reach Beyond International.

The Founders

In 1927, God called Clarence and Katherine Jones  to go to South America and use radio to help tell  people around the world about Jesus Christ. Clarence  was excited as he left in 1928 for Venezuela, Colombia,  Panama and Cuba seeking government permission for  the radio station. However he was rejected in each  of those countries and returned to Chicago as a  failure.

In 1929 and 1930, Clarence Jones would meet four  Christian & Missionary Alliance missionary couples  who were working in Ecuador, South America: Reuben &  Grace Larson, Stuart (D.S) & Irma Clark, John  (J.D.) & Ruth Clark and Paul & Bernice Young.

These four couples not only encouraged Clarence  to seek permission in Ecuador, but they would help  get government permission and play an instrumental  role in the founding and operation of Radio Station  HCJB. Jones also recruited Eric & Anne Williams  as the engineer and technical staff to build and  operate the station’s first radio transmitter and  studio.

Radio Station HCJB

The station’s call letters, HCJB, were chosen by  the founders to reflect its ultimate purpose of  “Heralding Christ Jesus’ Blessings”. HCJB, “The  Voice of the Andes”, aired its first programme from  Quito, Ecuador, on December 25th, 1931.

Radio Station HCJB was the first missionary radio  station in the world, as well as the first radio  station in Ecuador with daily programmes. The radio  ministry had a rather humble beginning since there  were perhaps as few as 13 radios capable of receiving  its first broadcasts.

With the addition of a 10,000-watt transmitter in  1940, designed and built by Clarence Moore, Radio  Station HCJB was able to send the station’s English  and Spanish programmes far beyond Latin America.  Soon the station was receiving letters from listeners  around the world.

Radio Station HCJB quickly began adding programmes  in other major international languages. The first  to be added in 1941 was Swedish programmes by Ellen  de Campaña. Shortly after that, the station added  Russian programmes produced by Peter Deyneka Sr.  and the Slavic Gospel Association. That same year,  HCJB added programmes in Quichua, a language spoken  by indigenous groups living throughout the highlands  of Ecuador and nearby countries.

By 1944, Radio Station HCJB had added broadcasts  in Arabic, Czech, Dutch, French, German and Yiddish.  In later years, other major languages would be added  such as Portuguese and Japanese.

While a few language programmes were recorded elsewhere,  the vast majority of Radio Station HCJB’s local  and international programming was produced and aired  live from the station’s studios in Quito.

Radio broadcasting was the primary tool used by  HCJB to share Jesus Christ, but it certainly was  not the only tool. Staff members, for example, travelled  throughout the country in the “Gospel Sound Truck”  telling people about Jesus Christ in city squares  and markets. They held evangelistic rallies and  events in theatres, bullrings and large tents. Missionary  staff started local Bible studies and children’s  programmes that would grow into various local churches.

Medical Ministry

As the mission continued to grow, Clarence  Jones and Reuben Larson began looking for missionary  doctors and nurses to care for the mission’s staff  and employees, as well as attend to the needs of  indigenous people who passed near the station. Dr.  Paul Roberts and Nurse Kay Erb Berry were the first  to arrive in 1949 to begin a small indigenous shelter  and clinic.

Dr. Paul Roberts had a much greater dream of a fully-equipped  modern hospital where all people could receive the  best care, regardless of their race, social class  or ability to pay. His dream became a reality in  1955 with the inauguration of Hospital  Vozandes-Quito, financed largely through the  gifts of listeners to Dr. George Palmer’s local  radio programme “Morning Cheer” in Philadelphia,  USA.

Shortly after, Dr. Ev Fuller joined HCJB’s medical  work in 1950, he met Nate Saint, a young missionary  pilot working in the eastern jungle of Ecuador.  Nate Saint shared with Dr. Fuller the need for a  medical hospital near Mission Aviation Fellowship’s  base at Shell Mera. Hospital  Vozandes-Shell was  completed in 1958 largely through gifts from listeners  to the “Back to the Bible” radio programme of Dr.  Theodore Epp.

HCJB’s medical ministries extended beyond the hospital  walls to local villages through community development  ministries such as mobile  medical clinics, water  projects and urban  clinics. Throughout the history of the mission’s  medical outreach, it has continually provided formal  and informal training to doctors, residents, medical  students, nurses and local health promoters.

Engineering

Clarence Jones often talked about the many people  behind the scenes that made gospel radio broadcasts  possible.

HCJB Global has a long heritage of innovative engineers  and technical people that designed, built and maintained  high-powered transmitters, antennas, and control  equipment to simultaneously broadcast programmes  to many different locations around the world.

High powered transmitters require a lot of electricity.  So engineers completed HCJB’s first hydroelectric  project in 1965 to provide the station with a cheaper  and cleaner source of electricity. Two other hydroelectric  plants were added later.

Leadership Development

Training local church leaders has always been recognized  as essential for growth in the Latin American Church.  Over the years, HCJB Global staff have mentored  and discipled many people individually, in small  groups, at churches, workshops and through radio  programmes. A combined radio programme and correspondence  course called “The Bible Institute of the Air” was  begun in 1949 for people who often had limited or  no other means of receiving Biblical training.

The Centre for Evangelism and Discipleship (CED)  was created to build and strengthen the local  church primarily in Ecuador.  The  CED would eventually be developed into Apoyo  to train pastors and church leaders throughout  Latin America as well as other parts of the world.  Apoyo developed a programme called TNT to  train national leaders to take what they’ve learned  and then train others.

In 1984, HCJB Global launched the Christian Centre  of Communications in Quito, Ecuador, to provide  practical radio, television and print media training  to Christians in Latin America.

HCJB Global has taken leadership development to  a new level with the launch of Corrientes in 2009.   Corrientes is a partnership by HCJB Global  with various organisations who are dedicated  to preparing and placing missionaries, primarily  from Latin America, for ministry in other parts  of the world. The Corrientes curriculum is  customised based on the needs of the individual  students and includes spiritual formation,  language acquisition, cross-cultural and hands-on  practical skills in areas of media or healthcare.

World by Radio

In 1984 HCJB Global President Ron Cline was thinking  about all of the successful ministry the organisation  was doing. Then God asked Ron, “What about all those  other people—the people who cannot hear the gospel  in a language they can understand?”

For Ron Cline, this seemed to be an impossible task.  After all, there are thousands of languages in nearly  200 countries. He wondered how anyone could ever  find Christians that speak all those languages and  who would be capable of making good radio programmes.  There would be many technical issues about where  to put studios and transmitters and how much all  of it would cost. Of course for God, nothing is  impossible!

In 1985, HCJB Global, Far East Broadcasting Co.  and Trans World Radio signed a commitment called  “World By 2000,” endeavouring to broadcast the gospel  in every major language, using all available facilities  and developing new sites so that all men, women  and children might hear the gospel in languages  they could understand. Other organisations including  SIM, FEBA Radio and Words of Hope later joined the  partnership, now named “World by Radio,” which continues  to seek out and work with local partners to meet  this goal.

Radio Planting

HCJB Global would need to undergo a substantial  transformation if it was to truly attempt to accomplish  its part in making sure everyone could hear the  gospel in a language they can understand. It became  clear that the only way this goal could be met was  through partnerships with believers, the local church  and local Christian ministries to produce programming  and then help them start their own local radio stations.

The mission began by moving staff and opening offices  in other regions of the world. Our engineering staff  began developing a small transmitter and portable  studio that could easily carried inside of suitcases.

HCJB Global’s “radio  planting” ministry began in 1992 with the inauguration  of a partner Christian radio station in Bakavu,  Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo). Since  that time HCJB Global has helped partner ministries  start more than 300 Christian radio stations around  the world in more than 100 countries.

A New Name

In January 2014, HCJB Global  announced that the 82-year-old ministry was changing  its name to Reach  Beyond.  The  new name and the release of the Reach Beyond Mission  Manifesto are intended to encourage and challenge  Christians worldwide to reach beyond their comfort  zones and perceived limitations to share the love  of Jesus in places where the gospel has seldom,  if ever been heard.

The mission is defined by the  tagline, “The Voice and Hands of Jesus.  Together.”  Through  its “voice” ministries, the mission works with partners  to use radio and modern media to make the gospel  accessible in places where it typically isn’t available.

The “hands” ministries of the  mission provide much-needed healthcare service in  places where even common medical help isn’t readily  available.  Reach  Beyond “hands” ministries takes many forms including  mobile community healthcare clinics, counselling  centres in war torn areas, clean water projects  and general hygiene training, all with an emphasis  on demonstrating the love of Jesus to recipients  of the care.

Reach Beyond also values partnership  with local Christians, churches and ministry partners  as its core way of operating, signified by the word  “together” in its tagline.

The “Reach Beyond Manifesto”  challenges believers to reach beyond borders and  their own comfort level in an effort to accomplish  the Great Commission. It serves as a declaration  for how the renamed Reach Beyond wants to invest  its time and efforts in making Christ known to the  ends of the earth. It’s also a call — and a challenge  — for other Christians to recommit themselves to  the same effort.

Click here to read the Reach  Beyond Manifesto.

With ministries in more than  100 countries, Reach Beyond equips partners to air  Christian content in more than 120 languages and  dialects. The name change also reflects the ministry’s  ongoing international focus and commitment to reach  areas where less than 2 percent of the population  is Christian.  

“Adaptability has always been  a strength of the mission,” said Curt Cole, Executive  Vice President of International Ministries.  “When  the best model was to own a large hospital or broadcast  over shortwave radio, the mission maximised those  strengths.  Today,  technology and the world are changing, and we are  adapting.  That’s  why we place such a high premium on partnerships  with local Christians.  They  know their own culture and needs far better than  we do.  If  the need is for a small, community healthcare clinic  or a local FM radio station, we’re committed to  equipping the people with all the resources they  need to reach their own people in their own culture.”

The  new name is much more than a brand change,” President  Wayne Pederson said. “Reach Beyond is a reflection  of our ministry DNA. It’s about doing whatever is  necessary to reach those who have never heard the  name of Jesus. In essence, it’s a call to Christians  to reach beyond their comfort zones and challenges  them to actively participate in making Christ known  among the nations.”

“We hear it every generation,  but perhaps it’s more true now than ever,” Wayne  said. “We are at a pivotal time in our history.  We have the means and ability to spread the message  of Jesus to everyone who is alive today. We can  accomplish this by renewing our commitment and reorganizing  our priorities. Reach Beyond wants to be on the  forefront of this new gospel era and encourage others  to join us in making Christ known in every country,  city, village and community around the globe.”