God's ways are often unusual: His call to the International Bible School of the «Mitternachtsruf» («Midnight Call») in Montevideo, and subsequently to Spanish-language radio and literature work, had first gone out to Isabelle in Switzerland and a few years later to Jan in the Netherlands! We met in Uruguay, fell in love and got married in October 1992. Our five kids, we call them lovingly «the Uruguayos», were born in Uruguay. The country is now our second home.
Together with a Uruguayan couple, we run «Llamada de Medianoche Uruguay». Ten employees and a couple of volunteers complete our team. Over the years, especially the radio broadcasting work has become strong in Uruguay. It is partly Isabelle’s job to translate the monthly magazines Midnight Call and News from Israel as well as books into the Spanish language. In the radio studio we produce a variety of series: Bible studies, question and answer programs, «Entre Amigas» (women), «Bonus Track» (youth) and «Revista Radial» (talks about current events in the light of the Bible). The latter is hosted by Jan and broadcasted weekly. The children's radio plays «Viajeros» are no longer produced, but the existing ones continue to be aired. Radio stations in 20 countries broadcast our programs! In the small town of Vergara in north-eastern Uruguay, we also operate a medium-wave station, «Radio El Libertador», with a mixed Christian-secular program. It reaches about 150,000 people. And finally, the program of the internet radio station «Radio Neue Hoffnung», which belongs to Midnight Call, is also put together in our studio every single week. If you would like to listen to Christian messages and music in German, English, Spanish or Arabic, you can do so via the link www.mnr.ch/radio.
«The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber...» (Romans 13,11)
This has always been the concern of the Midnight Call, right from the beginning of the ministry, and we would like to continue along this line in the Spanish-speaking area, «...because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed». The coming of Jesus Christ should remain a central focus. Romans 13,11 was also the leading verse of the conference we had the privilege of holding in Montevideo in 2019. The 40th anniversary of «Llamada Uruguay» was the special occasion for the event. The response was so positive and overwhelming that we thought about how we could manage to hold more conferences. Then the year 2020 came – the circumstances forced us to put the event online. But this brought new opportunities and reach! This online conference was organized together with the Midnight Call teams of Argentina, Guatemala and Bolivia. It sparked a lot of interest in different countries. This encouraged us so much that we have already started planning the next one for June this year.
The past year has made us even more aware of «what a crucial time we are living in», as it says in verse 13,11 of Romans. It makes us sad and we are somewhat concerned that many Christians abandon their hanging onto Jesus Christ and are only focused on this pandemic with all its possible backgrounds and effects. We believe that the biblical «time of grace» is coming to an end and therefore we want to use this time personally and in the mission work to the max. And to direct the focus of believers to Jesus Christ (again) and His call to evangelize.