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Hosanna Broadcasting sends gospel message to Africa, beyond

Merdies Hayes | 2/6/2013, 5 p.m.
The Hosanna Broadcasting Foundation has for six years delivered original Christian broadcast programs to some...
West Coast Expo: Business, Technology, Green & Health will be held at Los Angeles Convention Center, September 27 & 28, 2013.

The Hosanna Broadcasting Foundation has for six years delivered original Christian broadcast programs to some of the world's most impoverished nations in effort to spread the gospel where it is perhaps least often recognized or accepted.

The foundation, which had a booth in the first West Coast Expo, preaches via satellite to the underserved in the Middle East, Asia, Eastern Europe and on the African continent where scripture, they profess, can provide awareness of God and the life-changing teachings of Jesus Christ.

Founded by Tersit Asrat, the nonprofit organization provides Christian programming around the clock to two-thirds of the world's population. It was a "calling," Asrat said, that encouraged her in 2000 to found the Carson-based radio station which, since 2007, has been broadcast locally on DirecTV and Dish Network in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

"It was a mandate for me," the Ethiopia-born Asrat explained. "It took us seven years to get on the air and we are received very well in many different nations. These are the nations frequently visited by Western missionaries, but are left with questions once the crusade is finished and the preacher is gone.

Who takes care once the crusade leaves? We believe the Christian community must do more outreach."

Asrat noted that it is not uncommon for Christian missionaries to visit Third World nations and announce up to "... 1 million saved," but not respond to "another 80 or so million" who have not been introduced to Christ.

"Our radio programs provide edification for people," she explained. "Because we are in regions where Christian doctrine is often misunderstood, religious leaders there deliver a one-sided message, which is sometimes anti-Christian. We provide a full spectrum of the gospel 24 hours a day."

Youth programs overseas and at home are an important aspect of the network. Major challenges, Asrat said, in delivering the gospel to Third World countries involves witnessing despite rampant disease such as tuberculosis, malaria and sexually-transmitted diseases, especially AIDS.

The African continent hosts 28 million AIDS-infected persons. Fourteen million people in Africa have died from AIDS since the pandemic began in the mid-1980s. Ethiopians have a life expectancy of 42 years; there are 18 million orphans living in Africa; 78 percent of the African population has no access to improved water services; 47 percent of African children are malnourished.

Hosanna Broadcasting Foundation will host a breakfast at 9 a.m. Feb. 16 at the dedication of its new broadcast studio at 1176 E. Sandhill Ave. in Carson. Among the ministers who broadcast regularly on the network are Charles Stanley, Jack Hayford and Frederick K. Price Jr. of Crenshaw Christian Center in Los Angeles.