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Gifted Teens’ Radio Ministry Aimed at Saving Youth

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Can you image a radio station with 100 percent of its programming specifically aimed at kids?

Well wonder no more because it is a reality at Radio Air Jesus where half a dozen teenagers between the ages of 13 to 16 from the Church of Acts are the panelists, hosts and radio personalities.

It is truly amazing to see Azariah Peña, Pete Garza III, Isabella Simmons, Yvette Gutiérrez, Madie López and Gabby Taylor in action when each Sunday, they interview a different Christian music recording artist. Best of all, one is not only able to hear, but to watch the actual interview through a live video feed on their Website.

The interviews and panel discussions, which include the artist’s testimony, are then archived and can be heard anytime at www.radioairjesus.com.

Radio Air Jesus, the brainchild of Alice and Pete Garza Jr., was launched on February 2, 2009.

“The reason was because one hears a lot of negative stuff about what the youth is doing and we wanted to turn that around,” Pete Jr. said. “The world is out there watching television reality shows and kids are viewing Websites that even teach you how to commit suicide and these are the normal thing that teenagers are being exposed to, so we’re using radio ministry as a tool to reach kids.”

When the Garza’s approached Pastor Robert Peña with the idea, he and his wife Ronnie prayed about it; and when Pastor Peña said, “I believe it’s got to be done for the kids,” it was his go ahead and they forged ahead with God’s blessing.

“Every single piece of high grade equipment we have, including the sound board, was given to us. People donated money, some sponsored microphones, speakers, cables and even our air time is already paid for,” said Pete Jr., who also doubles as program director.

If this radio station operated on an AM or FM frequency, this writer would have not have asked them for their wattage since it is obvious they are operating with the power of God because these kids are changing lives and that’s pretty powerful.

Everything they do is to glorify God and since kids will not normally listen to their parents or another adult, youths will listen to other youths and this makes RAJ real for them.

“That’s actually what we are doing,” Azariah added.

“The immediate lure to get kids to listen is great rap; Tejano and hip hop music by national and independent Christian artists.

The radio’s slogan, “Real Teens with Real Testimonies,” coined by Azariah, says it all.

“It’s a great way for the kids to minister,” Garza continued.

Their weekly interviews are not limited to recording artists, but also with other teenagers. As an example, one of their upcoming panel discussions will be with a group of Southwest High School students, a teacher and an administrator that worship inside the classroom and help youth deal with depression and other problems. This is unique, especially in this time of trouble between State and Church.

The only adults normally present at the interviews are Richard López, who assists Pete Jr. video tape the proceedings plus Sandra Peña, the youth pastor and youth leaders Sonia López, Sylvia Mendoza and Alice Garza. To keep the kids from getting nervous, Pastor Peña, logs on, listens and watches from his home.

These interviews are conducted each Sunday at 2:30 p.m. and receive hits from over 19 different countries averaging thousands upon thousands of listeners.

What is most impressive is watching these kids in action because they are on fire for the Lord. When they formed a circle to pray before going on the air, this writer was in awe listening to a five-minute prayer that put his daily prayers to shame for these kids are powerful prayer warriors. However, not everyone was necessarily quiet. Each one reacted differently. Some sang and some closed their eyes as though in a trance and this writer could understand as he felt so peaceful, tranquil and serene as their words produced a calm soothing effect that no drug could possibly induce. In summary, it was a heavenly feeling.

“That everything we say and do will glorify your name and reach lost souls” were some of the words as they asked God for guidance in their pending interview with Laura J, the gospel singer that had stopped by before she departed for Italy.

Each interview is preceded with a mini concert by the artist, dimmed lighting, strobe lights and all. Needless to say Laura J wowed everyone and at the end of her performance, the kids stomped, yelled, clapped and cheered as any normal teenager.

Part of Laura J’s testimony dealt with her being molested and as a result, she didn’t feel wanted and did not allow herself to be loved or feel affection – until she gave her life to our Lord and Savior.

“One day I looked in the mirror and I didn’t see myself as who I was, but as how God wanted me to be … I was a little girl that grew up battered and torn; and I saw things she shouldn’t have with seen with little eyes … Now I’m a kid at heart because that part of me was suppressed for such a long time,” a teary-eyed Laura J testified.

Next Azariah started the line of questioning as he grilled her with a series of profound personal questions. His feet could not touch the floor, but his questions were those of a full-grown educated adult as he often referred to his notes, which indicated that he had studied his subject in advance.

The intelligence, wisdom, understanding and tactfulness with which he and some of the other teenage panelists approached touchy subjects with made one feel as though they were watching tomorrow’s next national news reporters and anchors.

In regard to songwriters, Laura J said, “People that write songs are accountable for what they write because they are a vehicle since their songs can create a certain mood and attitude. They can inspire you to love, to clean house or to drive. Music, no matter what genre it is, has a power and if it’s satanic, that’s giving Satan power; and we don’t want to do that.”

At the end of the interview, Laura J said, “I felt so blessed to be in these kids presence and I was elated to see youth on fire for God.

After it was over and the microphones were turned off, everyone joined hands in closing prayer, but it wasn’t over for Laura J as Azariah told her of the vision he had upon seeing her enter the room. Others gave testimony of what they also saw. Then there was a healing led by Sonia López.

Other artists that have been interviewed on RAJ are Into the Ocean, Javier Galván, P.O.E.T.I.C Soulja, María Elena, Dre L.O.C. and Man of Sorrows.

As to what Radio Air Jesus still plans to do in addition to saving souls via the World Wide Web, Pete Jr. said, “We want to do local remotes and take RAJ under the bridges and other places. Image these youth going into a mall where other youth is doing regular things when they are approached and our youth starts to share their visions of them and prophesize words, as ‘last night I saw you …’ and then conduct some healing and miracles. This is supernatural stuff, but it’s needed because teenagers are not trying to hear. They want demonstration. Our youth are crusaders of exploits. They are brothers in ministry and Radio Jesus is going to be there to film and tape it.

“The Lord has chosen Azariah, who last month healed a lady of cancer.”

Incidently Azariah mean “Yahweh has helped” or “whom Jehovah helps.” Photos of these healing can be seen on their fan page at www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Radio-Air-Jesus/156949156153?ref=ts. In addition Azaraih and Yvette are both in the church’s choir where she sings and he plays keyboards.

Pete Junior’s father is Pete Garza, the legendary bass player for Latin Breed and he was there when six band members, who included Rudy Guerra and Jimmy Edward, gave their life to the Lord in 1974. Today, he plays bass for Roger Velásquez and the Latin Legends, who are essential Latin Breed.

Pete Jr. is a graphics artist and professional web designer for www.pgwebs.com. Their homepage reads in part, “We are here for your everyday web design needs, if you can dream it we can make it happen. We offer the best prices locally on web design and we can service you no matter where you are located. He is also the Webmaster for RAJ.

Anyone that does not believe in miracles should go to www.myspace.com/radioairjesus and see the video of a lady with a prosthetic leg. The kids also twitter at www.twitter.com/radioairjesus. And if anyone is having trouble with their teenage son or daughter, have them listen to any of the testimonies at Story and photos by Ramón Hernández

Can you image a radio station with 100 percent of its programming specifically aimed at kids?

Well wonder no more because it is a reality at Radio Air Jesus where half a dozen teenagers between the ages of 13 to 16 from the Church of Acts are the panelists, hosts and radio personalities.

It is truly amazing to see Azariah Peña, Pete Garza III, Isabella Simmons, Yvette Gutiérrez, Madie López and Gabby Taylor in action when each Sunday, they interview a different Christian music recording artists. Best of all, one is not only able to hear, but to watch the actual interview through a live video feed on their Website.

The interviews and panel discussions, which include the artist’s testimony, are then archived and can be heard anytime at www.radioairjesus.com.

Radio Air Jesus, the brainchild of Alice and Pete Garza Jr., was launched on February 2, 2009.

“The reason was because one hears a lot of negative stuff about what the youth is doing and we wanted to turn that around,” Pete Jr. said. “The world is out there watching television reality shows and kids are viewing Websites that even teach you how to commit suicide and these are the normal thing that teenagers are being exposed to, so we’re using radio ministry as a tool to reach kids.”

When the Garza’s approached Pastor Robert Peña with the idea, he and his wife Ronnie prayed about it; and when Pastor Peña said, “I believe it’s got to be done for the kids,” it was his go ahead and they forged ahead with God’s blessing.

“Every single piece of high grade equipment we have, including the sound board, was given to us. People donated money, some sponsored microphones, speakers, cables and even our air time is already paid for,” said Pete Jr., who also doubles as program director.

If this radio station operated on an AM or FM frequency, this writer would have not have asked them for their wattage since it is obvious they are operating with the power of God because these kids are changing lives and that’s pretty powerful.

Everything they do is to glorify God and since kids will not normally listen to their parents or another adult, youths will listen to other youths and this makes RAJ real for them.

“That’s actually what we are doing,” Azariah added.

“The immediate lure to get kids to listen is great rap; Tejano and hip hop music by national and independent Christian artists.

The radio’s slogan, “Real Teens with Real Testimonies,” coined by Azariah, says it all.

“It’s a great way for the kids to minister,” Garza continued.

Their weekly interviews are not limited to recording artists, but also with other teenagers. As an example, one of their upcoming panel discussions will be with a group of Southwest High School students, a teacher and an administrator that worship inside the classroom and help youth deal with depression and other problems. This is unique, especially in this time of trouble between State and Church.

The only adults normally present at the interviews are Richard López, who assists Pete Jr. video tape the proceedings plus Sandra Peña, the youth pastor and youth leaders Sonia López, Sylvia Mendoza and Alice Garza. To keep the kids from getting nervous, Pastor Peña, logs on, listens and watches from his home.

These interviews are conducted each Sunday at 2:30 p.m. and receive hits from over 19 different countries averaging thousands upon thousands of listeners.

What is most impressive is watching these kids in action because they are on fire for the Lord. When they formed a circle to pray before going on the air, this writer was in awe listening to a five-minute prayer that put his daily prayers to shame for these kids are powerful prayer warriors. However, not everyone was necessarily quiet. Each one reacted differently. Some sang and some closed their eyes as though in a trance and this writer could understand as he felt so peaceful, tranquil and serene as their words produced a calm soothing effect that no drug could possibly induce. In summary, it was a heavenly feeling.

“That everything we say and do will glorify your name and reach lost souls” were some of the words as they asked God for guidance in their pending interview with Laura J, the gospel singer that had stopped by before she departed for Italy.

Each interview is preceded with a mini concert by the artist, dimmed lighting, strobe lights and all. Needless to say Laura J wowed everyone and at the end of her performance, the kids stomped, yelled, clapped and cheered as any normal teenager.

Part of Laura J’s testimony dealt with her being molested and as a result, she didn’t feel wanted and did not allow herself to be loved or feel affection – until she gave her life to our Lord and Savior.

“One day I looked in the mirror and I didn’t see myself as who I was, but as how God wanted me to be … I was a little girl that grew up battered and torn; and I saw things she shouldn’t have with seen with little eyes … Now I’m a kid at heart because that part of me was suppressed for such a long time,” a teary-eyed Laura J testified.

Next Azariah started the line of questioning as he grilled her with a series of profound personal questions. His feet could not touch the floor, but his questions were those of a full-grown educated adult as he often referred to his notes, which indicated that he had studied his subject in advance.

The intelligence, wisdom, understanding and tactfulness with which he and some of the other teenage panelists approached touchy subjects with made one feel as though they were watching tomorrow’s next national news reporters and anchors.

In regard to songwriters, Laura J said, “People that write songs are accountable for what they write because they are a vehicle since their songs can create a certain mood and attitude. They can inspire you to love, to clean house or to drive. Music, no matter what genre it is, has a power and if it’s satanic, that’s giving Satan power; and we don’t want to do that.”

At the end of the interview, Laura J said, “I felt so blessed to be in these kids presence and I was elated to see youth on fire for God.

After it was over and the microphones were turned off, everyone joined hands in closing prayer, but it wasn’t over for Laura J as Azariah told her of the vision he had upon seeing her enter the room. Others gave testimony of what they also saw. Then there was a healing led by Sonia López.

Other artists that have been interviewed on RAJ are Into the Ocean, Javier Galván, P.O.E.T.I.C Soulja, María Elena, Dre L.O.C. and Man of Sorrows.

As to what Radio Air Jesus still plans to do in addition to saving souls via the World Wide Web, Pete Jr. said, “We want to do local remotes and take RAJ under the bridges and other places. Image these youth going into a mall where other youth is doing regular things when they are approached and our youth starts to share their visions of them and prophesize words, as ‘last night I saw you …’ and then conduct some healing and miracles. This is supernatural stuff, but it’s needed because teenagers are not trying to hear. They want demonstration. Our youth are crusaders of exploits. They are brothers in ministry and Radio Jesus is going to be there to film and tape it.

“The Lord has chosen Azariah, who last month healed a lady of cancer.”

Incidently Azariah mean “Yahweh has helped” or “whom Jehovah helps.” Photos of these healing can be seen on their fan page at www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Radio-Air-Jesus/156949156153?ref=ts. In addition Azaraih and Yvette are both in the church’s choir where she sings and he plays keyboards.

Pete Junior’s father is Pete Garza, the legendary bass player for Latin Breed and he was there when six band members, who included Rudy Guerra and Jimmy Edward, gave their life to the Lord in 1974. Today, he plays bass for Roger Velásquez and the Latin Legends, who are essential Latin Breed.

Pete Jr. is a graphics artist and professional web designer for www.pgwebs.com. Their homepage reads in part, “We are here for your everyday web design needs, if you can dream it we can make it happen. We offer the best prices locally on web design and we can service you no matter where you are located. He is also the Webmaster for RAJ.

Anyone that does not believe in miracles should go to www.myspace.com/radioairjesus and see the video of a lady with a prosthetic leg. The kids also twitter at www.twitter.com/radioairjesus. And if anyone is having trouble with their teenage son or daughter, have them listen to any of the testimonies at www.radioairjesus.com.

Incidentally Pastor Peña’s brother is Henry of Henry and the Casuals and 60s Tejano Radio Station KUKA and he is involved with the audio portion of each Sunday’s service.

In closing, everyone is invited to attend the 11 a.m. worship service at Church of Acts at 9965 Kriewald Rd. For more information call (210) 674-4757 or e-mail them at [email protected] .

Incidentally Pastor Peña’s brother is Henry of Henry and the Casuals and 60s Tejano Radio Station KUKA and he is involved with the audio portion of each Sunday’s service.

In closing, everyone is invited to attend the 11 a.m. worship service at Church of Acts at 9965 Kriewald Rd. For more information call (210) 674-4757 or e-mail them at [email protected]