July 4, 2006
Giving Thanks Giving Praise with Bob Bowman
It’s the 4th of July and welcome to another Haven Today. I’m Charles Morris inviting you to stay with us. We’ll be joined in a moment by the founder of Far East Broadcasting Company and an original member of the Haven of Rest Quartet, Bob Bowman. This program is called, “Giving Thanks, Giving Praise”. Let’s open with a traditional hymn with a traditional sound on a brand new album by Haven called “Reflections”. And a little later I’ll tell you how to get one of the first copies of this CD that’s a treasury of hymns.
Song: Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise
Performed by: Haven
What a hymn for those of us who are into hymns – and I hope that’s everybody listening to Haven Today. “Immortal, Invisible God Only Wise” it’s one of 16 tracks just recorded by Haven on a brand new album called “Reflections: A Treasury of Hymns”. You can call us at 1-800-65-HAVEN if you’d like a copy as a thank you for your much needed summer time support. And now I want to give a special welcome to an old friend who’s back today on July 4th. He’s the founder of Far East Broadcasting Co., he was an original member of the Haven of Rest Quartet, he was a Friday Speaker way back at the beginning and, well, let me just say welcome back to Haven Today, or Haven of Rest, to Dr. Robert Bowman.
BB: Well thank you very much Charles. It feels kind of comfortable being here in the Haven spot again.
CM: It’s a different building than you were used to up in Hollywood.
BB: That’s right.
CM: We’re in a different part of Los Angeles, but it is a homecoming for you today.
BB: Yes it is. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been on the Haven. I think the last regular time was somewhere back in 1980. I was the Friday speaker from 19 – I think it was – 67 to ’84.
CM: And we can go back even earlier than that. Haven is in its 73rd year and Bob you were there at the very beginning.
BB: I was there when it started.
CM: You were a singer and not just a preacher.
BB: That’s right.
CM: You were in the Haven of Rest Quartet about how many years?
BB: Well from 1934 until 1946, about 12 years.
CM: But then you had a dream, and then the founder of Haven of Rest, First Mate Bob, caught hold of that dream that you had, but tell everyone your dream and for the very few people who’ve never heard of it, and then you can kind of slip that in too for us.
BB: OK. When I told First Mate Bob in May of 1946, there had been a vision that God had been placing on our hearts and Haven was very much a part in putting that vision there because as very young fellow when I started with Haven of Rest. I was only 18 years of age when we first started in that first quartet with First Mate Bob and Loren Whitney at the organ. I was very young, but I had those 12 years in which God laid on my heart the fact that if God could reach people in my own country, America, in using radio, why could he not do it on what we call the mission field today.
BB: So, as a result of that, another young man – it’s a long story – we began talking about it around 1938. First it was the idea of producing a program for release here that would be a program talking about and telling the life story of great missionaries of the past, such as Hudson Taylor
CM: Oh yes.
BB: And William Carey and all of these boys. William Carey’s life was very influential in my own because of one thing.
CM: What’s that?
BB: It was at the Southern California Bible School that the Lord got hold of my heart.
CM: And that was up in Pasadena
BB: In Pasadena. And in the chapel there was a map on the front of the wall, a huge map of the world and underneath the map in large print were the words of William Carey, “Attempt great things for God, expect great things from God.”
BB: And you know, for 3 years I sat and looked at that thing. And it was sort of part of the building of what God was doing toward the future, that we were going to do, build radio stations in Asia.
CM: What’s the organization called today? Most people will have heard of it.
BB: Well I hope so, but I’m not sure that’s true Charles.
CM: All right. Well maybe for some the first time, but you went on to found -?
BB: Yes, the Far East Broadcasting Co. It’s an interdenominational Christian broadcasting organization. We started out in the Philippines and it was a local station, just for the city of Manila. As we started on a Sunday, Haven didn’t come on on Sunday.
BB: But started on Monday and Haven was on the first week day that we started and was on for many, many years with us and still is today with us.
CM: Oh yes, and covers most of the country.
BB: Now of course it’s not just our little 50,000 watt station there in Manila now, but also there are stations in the provincial capitals. We have, I’ve forgotten, I think it’s about 9 or 10
BB: Stations in provincial capitals that, where they understand English so Haven is well accepted there.
CM: Dr. Bob Bowman, our special guest here on Haven Today. You picked another song for the program today. And let’s get Haven – the new Haven – to sing for us now –
BB: OK Good.
CM: One of the songs that you picked.
Song: Praise Him, Praise Him (Jesus Our Blessed Redeemer)
Performed by: Haven
I’m Charles Morris. That is the musical group Haven, used to be Haven of Rest Quartet, newer guys singing today, but one of the original guys, Bob Bowman, is with me in the studio today.
BB: And by the way Charles, I’m the only original of the quartet still alive.
CM: Still alive, yes.
BB: Yes, the other 3 are dead.
CM: And I might add you are a very, very young 87. And you still manage to play golf. You can do 18 rounds about once a week I think.
BB: Yes, well exercise is very good for you. You have to have it in order to keep your vitality.
CM: we’re going to have you back on again on your birthday next year and you can give us the secrets to long life, but that’s another program. FEBC, kind of give us a rundown of what the Lord has done with this far reaching worldwide ministry.
BB: Well the objective, of course, is all the nations of Asia. We reach into every nation in Asia and the Near and the Middle East and even as far the other direction as Moscow.
BB: We use FM, AM, and international short wave. We have, oh many, 100,000 watt international short wave stations operating. Actually we broadcast 600 program hours daily in 159 distinct language people groups.
BB: In Asia, East Africa, the Middle East and Russia, the total population, and I didn’t mention all the other nations too, 3.2 billion people within our coverage area. We’re utilizing every day 134 radio stations, of which 40 are owned and operated full time by the Far East Broadcasting Company and they go around the clock.
CM: That is an incredible thing that God has allowed FEBC to do.
BB: Well, you know we had no idea when we started out all that God was going to do. God is the God of wonders. I’ve just finished, through being impressed to do so by some friends, writing something of the story.
BB: It’s called, “God of Wonders” and it’s the story of a lifetime of watching God do the impossible.
CM: And the ink is still wet on my copy that you’ve given me, but we’ll have you back on. We’ll talk about that book a little later. You’ve even got a chapter about Haven in there as well.
CM: I would like us to zero in on one spot. We could cover many places like the Philippines or Korea.
BB: Oh, yes.
CM: Let’s talk about China though.
BB: OK, start with this.
BB: When we started broadcasting to China in 1949 by international shortwave, there were only 452 million Chinese people, today there are 1.2 billion Chinese people.
CM: Wow. And back then how many is it thought would have been believers in Jesus Christ?
BB: You can talk with the Chinese about this. And those who know, such as James Hudson Taylor, the great grandson
CM: The third, yes.
BB: And you’ll find out from the Chinese church that at that time there were somewhere between 700, 800 to a 1000 to a million evangelical Christians, and –
CM: Protestant, evangelical and then Roman Catholic?
BB: 2 million
CM: 2 million
BB: That was the body.
CM: Then you went years with getting very little information out. You’d get a little bit now and then.
BB: You know, we wondered sometimes when we didn’t hear anything what we were doing. Except occasionally, a freedom swimmer would swim across into Hong Kong and he’d make his way into our office and he’d say, “Don’t worry, people are listening to you. Don’t worry about that.”
CM: But you did have a story where a woman made it to South Korea out of China.
CM: And share that story with us
BB: It’s amazing how the story builds over a period of years. For this little lady was from the Manchurian area, clear up toward the Russian border. Most of the millions of Christians that are in China today are in little house churches. And she was in one of those house churches up there. And the only pastor that little house church had was the Far East Broadcasting Company, in the Chinese language. It’s not we Westerners talking to them. It’s the Chinese speaking to the Chinese as in all of the languages. In our staff of some 12 – 1100 to 1200 people, 90% of them are nationals of the countries to which we are broadcasting.
BB: Splendid Christian people dedicated to the Lord and to the challenge of reaching the world with the Gospel of Christ. And so this little lady was in this house church up there. And they were being so blessed and growing in grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus by hearing the message.
CM: At first probably didn’t even have a Bible or maybe one Bible to pass around.
BB: Right, right. Oh, there was a time, I don’t know how it is now, but there was a time that it was said there are more hand written Bibles in China than any other kind. And let me tell you, when we knew there were no Bibles in China why we dictated the Bible to them and that’s how many, many of them copied the Bible down.
CM: So, one day this older woman, Chinese woman
BB: OK, we’ll get back here.
CM: Shows up at your compound in South Korea and wants to see the president.
BB: Yeah, she came to the immigration department
CM: At the border crossing
BB: At the border. When the immigration people saw that she had kind of a large middle, they said, “What is that in your clothes there?”
CM: Is there something wrong with you? Right.
BB: And she said, “Oh, well that is money.” And they said, “Money? How much money is it?” And she told them, but they said, “Oh you can’t do that. You can’t bring that much money into Korea, that’s against the law. We’re going to take it away from you.” She said, “Oh no sir! You can’t do that! This is an offering for the Far East Broadcasting Company.” 20 years they had been setting aside an offering saying someday we may be able to get this to the Far East Broadcasting Company.
CM: And she was on that mission to deliver it.
BB: And here she was, yes. So she was chosen by the church finally to try to get to Korea. She did. She stood before our director’s desk. She told him that story that I’ve just told you.
BB: And then she pulled a money belt from around her waist, laid it out on the table before him, and counted it out $22,000 in $100 bills that they had saved over a 20 year period.
CM: From an out of the way province in China
BB: Way up in the North of China toward the Russian border.
CM: Dr. Bob Bowman, Far East Broadcasting Company. There’s one other story you shared with me. A man showed up at a church. He was Chinese and he asked to be baptized.
BB: Yes that was at a state on the East Coast of the United States. He was now in the United States from China.
CM: He’d immigrated.
CM: But how did he meet the Lord and what did he do?
BB: Well, when he wanted to be baptized that morning in the church, they of course gave a little interview with him, find out how he’d come to faith. And his testimony was that he was a technical engineer and he had been working for the China government at a jamming station and he used to jam the Far East Broadcasting Company and at least he heard enough that over a period of time he came to Christ.
CM: You never know how the Lord is going to move
CM: In the strangest ways
BB: I want to tell you Charles, our files are full of stories like that.
CM: Yes, well we can praise God for that.
BB: I mean, not exactly like that, but so many different ways that God works on the hearts of people.
CM: You are listening to Haven Today. You’re listening in Canada and South America, Central America, and even the Philippines and this is, for many Haven listeners, they know the name Dr. Bob Bowman.
Bob, on this 4th of July, we’re calling the program, “Giving Thanks, Giving Praise”, what are you thankful for?
BB: Well, you know Charles, there are so many things that we have to be thankful for to the Lord. They are just innumerable. And I was sort of going through some of the scriptures trying to find out what the Apostles had to say about thanksgiving. And I ran across one in Philippians the first chapter in which the Apostle Paul said, “Oh I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,” well let me just interject here. We need to thank God for the remembrance of our friends and our Christian brothers and sisters in Christ and all that, but also we must be thankful to God for all that he has done in our lives, bringing us to faith in Christ and giving us the hope of eternal salvation. Paul said to this Philippian church he said, “always in every prayer of mine making requests for you with all joy,” don’t you wish that the people were all praying one for another just continuously?
CM: Yes, yes
BB: We’d see great revivals in this country if we got the people to praying.
CM: That’s right.
BB: And for one another and for the things that are most dear to our hearts, the safety of our country in these tremendous days. But Paul went on to say he was very confident of this very thing, that “he who has begun a good work in you,” he said God’s working in you now, just let him continue to work. Don’t hinder him in any way, but let him continue to work in your life. And he said I’m confident that God has begun a good work and that he will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. What a wonderful thing to be thankful for.
CM: That’s right.
BB: But I wonder how many times we look over all those things that Paul talks about in that first chapter?
CM: Well, we race by it.
BB: we race by it, I have I know.
CM: But maybe on a day like though, we can slow down long enough to ponder and think and be thankful.
BB: You know, I love poetry and I ran across one that, I don’t know how old it is, somewhere back in the centuries, I generally look into those things and I find songs and poems that are written back in the 1500’s and the 1600’s that have, are just abounding with the word of God. And this is called, “National Blessings” the author is unknown who did it.
Great God of nations, now to thee our hymn of gratitude we raise,
With humble heart and bending knee, our grateful song of praise.
Thy name we bless, Almighty God
for all the kindness thou has shown
to this fair land the pilgrims trod.
This land we fondly call our own.
We praise thee that the Gospel’s light though all our land, its radiance sheds
Dispels the shades of error’s night and heavenly blessings round us spreads
Great God, preserve us thy fear.
In danger still our guardian be.
Oh, spread thy truth’s bright precepts here.
Let all the people worship thee.
CM: Dr. Robert Bowman. Bob Bowman, founder of the Far East Broadcasting Company, member of the original Haven of Rest Quartet, and a Friday speaker here when we were called Haven of Rest. Well, we’ve got history and thank you for joining us today in the last few minutes with Bob Bowman for a very, important piece of our history, but more than that, a history of the Kingdom of God at work. Jesus Christ coming into the lives of people and we got to hear about that in these last few minutes. I’m going to give you our contact information, by phone, by internet, by mailing address in just a moment here on a 4th of July Haven Today called, “Giving Thanks, Giving Praise” and Bob Bowman was our special guest. You can get a copy of the program on CD or cassette by going online or giving us a call. We’re asking for a modest gift to cover the recording and the mailing, but first we started the program with a brand new Haven album that contains brand new arrangements and treatments on a number of hymns including hymns like, “Jesus, What a Friend for Sinners”, “In the Garden”, the Haven of Rest hymn which we have a much more modernized version of that we open the program with every day. Frances Havergall’s, “Like a River Glorious”, “Great is Thy Faithfulness”, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”, “Be Still My Soul”, “It is Well With My Soul”, great, great, great music, 16 tracks in all. If you like traditional hymns, then the “Reflections” CD is for you. It’s there by just calling us at 1-800-65-HAVEN. Let me repeat it a little more slowly, 1-800-65-HAVEN. Or if you are internet savvy, just go to haventoday.org, that’s haventoday.org. You’ll see a picture there on our home page of this brand new project called, “Reflections”, you can even listen to some excerpts from it on your computer if you’d like. And if you’d like to write, send us a gift of $25, more if you can possibly send it to help us make it through the summer and please send us a note as well. And write to:
Riverside, CA 92513
Vancouver, BC V6B4C9
I’m Charles Morris, happy 4th of July. Come back again tomorrow when Jesus Christ will be lifted high together on Haven Today.