TYLER, Texas (KLTV/KTRE) - There’s a new voice of harmony in East Texas. Fuzión radio signed on the air January 17, broadcasting Christian music in Spanish.
“It’s a play on words," said Encouragement Media Group CEO Troy Kriechbaum. "It’s the play on ‘harmony,’ like musical harmony and a play on ‘harmony,' as in, we come together as believers, maybe speaking different languages, but all under the same faith in Jesus Christ.”
FM stations 102.3 and 103.1 spread a Gospel message in communities from Lufkin to Mount Pleasant and all points between. They’re part of the same Tyler-based ministry that operates the popular English-language Christian station 89.5 KVNE.
“We can’t just sit idly by and say, ‘well we know there’s this large group of people who want to know more about Jesus,’ and do nothing.”
It’s a mission field in East Texas’ backyard. Encouragement Media Group points to 2010 Census numbers that show Hispanics becoming the largest population group in Texas by 2022. Tyler Independent School District reports 47 percent of its students are Hispanic.
Ivette Zavarce, an on-air host and community outreach coordinator, says the response has been overwhelmingly positive from listeners.
“We are telling them about Jesus about salvation about the importance of prayer through the songs and through the music.”
Zavarce and her family moved from Venezuela to Tyler 12 years ago for discipleship training. Connecting the Hispanic community has become a passion of hers.
“We are able to reach out to the people that they don’t know Jesus. And we’re also reaching out to the people that they know Jesus but they they want to learn more. And they want to listen the Word of God every day and all the time.”
Fuzión aims to help the Hispanic community become part of the whole community.
“The Spanish speakers definitely want to learn English, if they don’t know it," Kriechbaum said. "But they also want to connect in their primary language in their heart language. And they want to feel a part of this community they want to be accepted for who they are.”
Throughout the day, the broadcast team selects programming that incorporates a variety of cultural influences.
“Fuzión is a mix,” said program director Natalia Giraldo. “Yeah this is the meaning of Fuzión. The Hispanic people here are a mix too because we came from different countries like Colombia, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Mexico, Honduras, Cuba, Chile. A lot of countries. So I’m trying to reach every country with different music, a different style, but one thing in common. And (that) is the word of God."
It’s more than just music, Fuzión provides encouragement and comfort, whether in the car or via their app and website.
“As Christians, we need to hear joy about his love, his grace, his care for us," said operations specialist Brenda Aguila. "And the songs, having that harmony -- it’s just a perfect mix of what we are or what we intend with Fuzión.”
Encouragement Media Group is preparing to launch another radio station in March. The Well, on FM 94.3 and 95.3 will focus on Bible teaching programming in English.
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