People like to say that when God closes one door, it means He’s going to open another one. I discovered this to be true in Liepaja. After the incident, I had a lot of free time on my hands. I continually prayed that my time would not be wasted. I hoped to do something for the last two weeks I was there. As always, God is faithful.
One morning, when I arrived at Andres’ store, I met Matsis. He was a disk jockey for the popular music station Radio 102 FM. We spent some time talking until he had to leave for work. As he left, he invited me to visit his station. I thanked him for the offer. I had nothing else to do, anyway.
The next day, I met Andres and walked over to the station. Matsis was on the air, but saw us enter and motioned us into the control room. Radio 102 FM was one of the two most popular stations in Liepaja, but I was struck by how small it was. The entire station was no larger than a couple of small rooms.
Matsis introduced the next song, then spoke with Andres. I amused myself by looking at their music library. Their collection was small, but I recognized a lot of the artists. I was surprised to discover that most of their music was in English. Listening to Western music was a novelty of their newfound freedom.
Andres turned to me and said, “Matsis would like to know if you would like to go on the air with him after choosing three songs.” I was floored. It was something I always wanted to try. I made my selection and prepared to go on live radio.
Before going live, a thought struck me. Folks won’t understand a word I’m saying. I could picture five thousand people hearing my strange voice and changing the channel. I came up with a few novelty voices that hoped might be entertaining.
My time on air was a complete blur. Thirty minutes later I handed the microphone to the newswoman. Both Matsis and Andres stood shocked in the control room. I suppose they didn’t expect me to clown around.
Before leaving, Matsis turned to Andres and spoke in Latvian. Andres excitedly translated their conversation. Matsis knew I was a missionary for the Summer. He wanted to know if I would like to come back the next day and talk about God.
My heart pounded in my ears. It was thrilling and terrifying all at the same time. An unbelieving DJ at a popular radio station offered me an opportunity to share the Gospel over the air to over five thousand people! I knew immediately God had opened this door of ministry.
As soon as we left, Andres and I started planning. The lessons learned from past failures proved to be invaluable. I asked Gunita to interpret. It was difficult to suppress my excitement. She agreed, but expressed concern about speaking on the radio. Remembering the incident, I did not want to force her to do something uncomfortable. She assured me it too important to pass up.
That night I could hardly sleep. What an opportunity! Pride was slowly creeping in. I had to remind myself that all this was by God’s grace. There was nothing I had done to earn this. God was at work. I did not want my ego to get in the way.
The next morning arrived. It was a Tuesday. Andres and I were still on a high from the previous day, but doubts were starting to creep in. Would everything proceed as planned? Would Matsis change his mind? Would Gunita be too nervous to translate? I tried to place these in God’s hands, but the butterflies kept fluttering.
We arrived at the stating and got ready. Gunita and I scripted the message. It was unusual for me to do, but we did not want any Canadian-English slang to confuse Gunita.
Matsis handed his chair over to me and we started. I had presented the plan of salvation many times, but never to a silent audience. I had no way of knowing if I would be understood. I prayed that God would use us to touch the lives of at least a few who were listening, perhaps for the first time in their lives.
The whole thing took only ten minutes. I asked that anyone who might have questions to contact the station. They would connect them to Paul’s Church. The next day we learned that a few listeners did call the station. We were so excited. It was not in vain. God touched a few lives.
I realized this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. God opened the door to something that had been blocked from other religious groups. I could not know the long term effects of that brief radio ministry. If I never find out the fruits of that labour, it is enough to know that God entrusted us with an incredible opportunity to serve.