by Matt Crouch
Do you believe in “divine appointments”? If not, we’re confident you will after reading this amazing story.
Early on a sunny morning in 1993, my dad, TBN founder Paul Crouch, landed in Iceland to refuel our small plane and travel on to visit our new station in Russia. While waiting at the airport, he sat down for a cup of coffee with our then attorney, Norm Juggert, who “just happened” to read in the local newspaper that very day about a young man named Erik Erikson who, without any experience or resource of his own, was stepping out to start a low-power Christian television station in Iceland. My dad put his coffee down, ran for the phone, and called Erik — who at first could not believe it was Paul Crouch calling him. He’d been trying to reach my dad, but to no avail.
Because of that divine appointment — and through TBN’s technical resources and the generosity of our faithful partners — almost overnight little Omega TV grew from just ten watts to 1,000 watts, becoming the most powerful television station in the entire country!
When we last visited TBN’s Iceland outpost earlier year, Laurie and I just couldn’t get over how picturesque Iceland is, and how loving and welcoming its people are. Iceland has a fascinating history. It was settled by a combination of Viking explorers, Celts, Norwegians, and people from the British Isles in the late Ninth Century, and for a thousand years it remained under the rule of various Nordic European states. Today it is home to 327,000 proud and united Icelandic citizens.
Although Christianized early on due to the influence of Gaelic and Irish monks and the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Iceland, like so many other European nations, fell away from the faith of its forefathers and found itself once again in need of the message of hope and grace in Christ. Thank God my dad read that tiny newspaper article in 1993!
Two decades later, the good fruit planted in the mid 1990s through this strategically located station isn’t only reaching the nation’s 327,000 inhabitants. It’s also reaching the growing number of tourists who are traveling to Iceland. In 2015 alone, Iceland hosted over 1.3 million visitors, and recent reports show that 2016 is up another 23 percent. But Omega TV’s impact isn’t confined to just Iceland. It also reaches millions of additional viewers throughout Scandinavia and the rest of Europe via satellite.
Because of you, our faithful partners, this is just one of many “divine appointments” God has had for TBN. Check out the highlights below from our visit earlier this year to Iceland. And from Laurie and me — along with Erik Erikson and the wonderful people of Iceland — thanks once again for helping to bring Iceland’s Omega TV to life and keeping it on the air!