With the preponderance of bad and fake news driving us out of our heads, it felt good meeting Harold Sala, an internationally known preacher and author, who for 54 years has been using the radio as a medium to bring the Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ.
Dr. Sala is the featured speaker on “Guidelines: A Five-Minute Commentary on Living” which is broadcast daily from over 1,300 radio stations around the world in over 17 languages. He has also authored over 50 books and booklets published in various languages. He founded Guidelines International Ministries in 1963.
Readers of the Philippine STAR’s Starweek Magazine are familiar with Dr. Sala’s less-than-five minute Guidelines for Living which give Bible-based lessons in walking with Jesus everyday.
Dr. Sala and his wife, Darlene, and their daughter Bonnie, were in Manila as guests of Menardo and Kay Jimenez, Christians who live their talk. At a dinner the Jimenezes hosted, the Salas shared the work of Guidelines International Ministries in the Philippines and in other countries. The Philippine board launched its first community radio station in the island of Palawan three years ago. The second station will be launched this coming November, and a third is planned for Mindanao, said Bonnie.
Bonnie, who has taken over from her father the presidency of GIM, said small FM radio stations are brought into a community where there is no Christian voice, and often little or no radio in two suitcases. In 30 minutes, a station is up and running! Guidelines partners with Far East Broadcasting Company, local pastors and an evangelical group doing community development – healthcare, educational or agricultural services. “Programming is developed right in the community, by the community, for the community. We distribute solar-powered, pre-tuned radios with an audio Bible. These stations are highly impactful in the communities they serve. “
Aside from the radio programs, GIM staff travel frequently to countries such as the Philippines, China and Ukraine to train men and women for ministry all over the world. They speak before singles, couples, parents, pastors, men’s and women’s study groups, missionaries and business people.
The Salas have authored and published over 50 books in English, many of which have been translated to Spanish, Korean, Ukrainian, Chinese, Burmese, Russian, Indonesian, and Yakutian.
GIM is engaged in mobile medical and dental clinics, medical education, prison ministry, outreach to displaced people groups, and support of children’s homes. These are conducted with partners in the Philippines, Ukraine, Myanmar, Kenya and Russia.
It is also into literature and commentary translation, pastoral training and other activities in China, Ecuador, Cuba and Myanmar. It supports the work of missionaries in the Philippines, Russia, Ukraine and Romania.
Bonnie said the new Guidelines Family Video Study Series for small groups is being used throughout the Philippines, featuring Biblical principles for relationships, with Dr. Sala speaking fluent Tagalog.
Last year, windows of opportunity were opened to make programs and resources available to Muslim-majority countries such as Turkey, Albania, Kosovo, Kyrgzstan and Indonesia. In fact the GIM Philippines board made it possible to reach Indonesia, the largest Muslim majority country in the world, with funds to translate and produce content in Indonesian.
Darlene is a popular national and international conference speaker, graduated summa cum laude from Bob Jones University. Her books Created for a Purpose – Hope for the Woman Struggling with Self-Esteem and Encouraging Words for Women have been bestsellers and are published both in Asia and the United States. Over 900,000 copies of her books are now in circulation in a growing number of languages.
Darlene has had an active ministry role as pastor’s wife, counselor, Bible teacher, missionary and author. Her ministry centers on helping women realize their worth as beloved in Christ. Her best-selling release, Created for a Purpose—Hope for the Woman Struggling with Self-Esteem and her Encouraging Words program have resounded with women throughout the world. Her latest book, Journey into Grace, was co-authored by Bonnie Sala and Luisa Ampil and is available here.
Dr. Sala believes in the second-generation continuing the family’s legacy. He proudly spoke of Bonnie as having fulfilled that desire. Very much involved in a Guideline’s ministry from a young age, Bonnie, a journalism graduate, now heads the Guidelines team. One of her great accomplishments, said her father Harold, is spearheading the Guidelines’ Country Radio Initiative, which establishes radio stations in areas where Christian programing is not heard. She also started the Thrive ministry to women, co-authoring the devotional that carries the same name.
A Filipina officer on GIM is Luisa Collopy, who joined the organization 18 years ago, after a successful career in luxury hotel management. Luisa coordinates Guidelines’ ministry in the Philippines and manages all digital media. As Guidelines’ programs are produced in an increasing number of languages, Luisa’s responsibility for coordinating translation, production, distribution and our partnerships has grown. She also produces the program, Mula sa Puso, in Taglish (Filipino). She is the author of two books: What Women Can Do When Life Falls Apart and When a Man Loves a Woman (released by OMF).
* * *
ON ANOTHER FRONT. Many of us with pretensions at being wine experts associate sipping wine only with the best expensive steaks and pot roast and steamed gandara. Yes, we have wine for local cuisines, but we don’t know which wine pairs off well with what dish; we don’t even know how to hold wine glasses properly.
To my delight, my daughter-in-law Joabi took me to a food and wine pairing event where we were taught that wines are better paired off with Philippine dishes according to their flavor, weight, and intensity. We were coached on what would go well with chicharon with tinapa dip (paired with Bad Girl Cremant 2010), pork sinigang (Long Barn Chardonnay 2014), chicken adobo (Hugel Gewuztraminer 2013), Bicol express (Fashion Rose 2014) and turon (Chateau Poitevin 2013).
The food and wine pairing session was an activity conducted under Wine Story Academy, the education arm of Wine Story, Inc. The pairing session was held at the Wine Store, Inc. in Shangri-la Plaza. Other Wine Store outlets are at Serendra at GBC, and One Rockwell.
The academy’s educational courses are conducted by Carla P. Santos, a certified professional and qualified educator. She said since the academy started in 2014, hundreds of wine lovers both in and outside the wine trade have taken lessons to make them join an “elite force” of the wine industry and enhance their personal enjoyment of wine. Students are introduced to key grape varieties, food flavors that work with the right wine, wine grape sources, iconic wines and knowing how to handle wine confidently, from basic etiquette to pursuing an extensive wine list and even opening a bottle of wine.