“If there’s anyone here that is going to Malawi, Africa, we need a radio transmitter hand-carried to that part of the world.” The challenge came from Mike Axman, a broadcast engineer serving with SonSet Solutions (then called the HCJB Global Technology Center). The African Bible College (ABC), which had already been broadcasting the gospel in Malawi for 15 years, needed a spare FM transmitter delivered to their campus. Mike used this opportunity to share the need during his presentation at a church missions conference. “Hey, I can do that!” Walt volunteered without hesitation. Walter Mutti was one of the New Tribes missionaries expelled by the government of Venezuela a number of years ago and was now living and ministering in New England. “I’ve carried radios overseas before!”
Generous friends responded and quickly provided the funds Walt needed to go. However, when he contacted SonSet Solutions, he found out the spare transmitter had already been shipped a week earlier. Unsure of what to do, he contacted his supporters. Each of them expressed the same words of encouragement, “Walter, just go and be a blessing.”
Little did he know what a blessing this trip would become.
“Would you like to give your testimony over the radio?” the staff of ABC asked upon his arrival. Walt, a veteran missionary who had spent most of his time in the Amazon jungle, was thrilled to be able to share his testimony in Africa.
He was then invited to go to the infamous Maula Prison – infamous because the conditions were so horrific. There, Walt met a minister named Charles who invited him to preach. Charles had once been an inmate there. He had heard the gospel message over that very same radio station while in the prison, trusted Jesus to forgive his sins, and returned as a missionary to the other prisoners after his own release.
Walt was greatly impacted by Charles’ testimony. He returned to the U.S. and shared Charles’ story with several churches. After one of the meetings, a business man came up to him and said, “I’d like to know more about this guy, Charles. How do I get in contact with him?” The man began sending money to Charles for his ministry at the prison. Soon, Charles was able to build a library and a facility for teaching inmates how to make a living repairing shoes and making clothes. He started Bible studies, and now has begun a ministry in a juvenile prison.
“All this happened, because of that one little call of taking a radio [transmitter] that never happened,” Walt reminisces. “But God had a bigger plan in all of this.” Countless others have trusted Christ through the ministry of the radio station. God’s word is powerful and radio is a valuable tool for spreading its truth into hard-to-reach places.