Today’s highlight? A funeral.

trumbowerapril2012Lawrence and Barbara Trumbower have served under Grace Ministries International (GMI) at WCGB for 34 years. Both are graduates of Grace Bible College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Lawrence studied broadcast communications at Milwaukee Institute of Technology, then God led him through a series of experiences which confirmed his role in the design and establishment of WCGB in 1967. From the station’s inception GMI purposed this ministry to be evangelistic in focus and seeker-friendly in its approach. Its unique programming format was at once Christian and community-oriented, broadcasting sports, news, music, and many live programs, with short gospel messages inserted in the non-religious blocks.

Barbara arrived in 1971 to work in the financial department of the station. They were married on the island in 1972, and their daughter was born there. Six years later they returned stateside to care for Lawrence’s ailing mother until her passing. Then in November of 1991 all three returned to Puerto Rico, working together in WCGB.

In November 2004 GMI passed the radio baton to Calvary Evangelistic Mission (CEM), owner of two other Christian stations in Puerto Rico, whose focus is to train faithful people so they can teach others as well (2 Timothy 2:2). Since that time Lawrence has been seconded to CEM in The Rock Radio Network, where his main responsibilities are to keep all three stations FCC compliant and to handle engineering for WCGB, WBMJ and WIVV.

His newest exciting project, however, in addition to the radio ministry, is the transformation of a series of the written doctrinal Bible charts of Maurice Hammond into PowerPoint presentations, in Spanish as well as English, for wider exposure in both worlds.

Barbara works alongside Lawrence preparing the PowerPoints, does some mentoring, initiates most of their personal and mission correspondence and reports, manages the missionaries’ ministry fund records, and actively encourages people within her spheres of influence.

The Trumbowers’ continued involvement in Christian radio and their work on the doctrinal charts are two means of fortifying their hearers for the challenges of living Christianly in the worlds of today and tomorrow.

Below is a special post written by Barbara

Today’s highlight? A funeral.

That’s right, the high point of this day, for me, was a funeral service. Yesterday morning Don Fermín Rivera passed away.  He was, like his father before him, the only funeral director in Juana Díaz for many years until the town grew large enough to accommodate two. He was an exceptional man ~ loved and married to the same woman for more decades than I can remember, until she died 8 years ago.  He took a very personal interest in his clients. He walked to the cemetery with them in the early years, and wrote a personal poem about many.  He was a Believer in Jesus Christ, a gentleman through and through, an artist of words and wood, and a well-known and beloved citizen.

He was born on October 4, 1913, exactly 30 years minus one day after I came into this world, and he and I enjoyed that little connection whenever we could.  In the name of the funeral home, which as long as I’ve known it still stands just across the street from the central plaza, he spent many decades as a client of WCGB back when it was called Radio Iniciativa (Leadership Radio).  He would sponsor a danza (specifically Puerto Rican song) every afternoon at the 3:00 “coffee hour” and this went on for many decades.  He even brought death notices to the station in person for alerting the community, until his advanced age made it too difficult. His was always a very welcome face in our bustling building.  Although bedridden and virtually blind for the past several years, he ~ or better said, the folks around him and in the community ~ celebrated his arrival at the century mark last year, and finally 101 years just over two weeks ago.

His memorial service was held in the fine arts center in Juana Díaz this afternoon to accommodate all the people who wanted to honor his time among us.  It was a beautiful service!  Members of his family participated and included very worshipful, God-honoring music, our own Pastor Miguel Ortíz of Juana Díaz Bible Church brought the challenge from God’s Word, and our own Celeste Siino was given the privilege of serving as MC.  I was wishing Don Fermín himself could have been there!

Thank You, Lord, for granting us to rub shoulders with such a man of honor.

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