A little local Bible study ministry for Spanish speakers that grew into a television, satellite and radio broadcasting outreach to the world dedicated its new communications center in Chatsworth Jan. 30.El Sembrador Nueva Evangelización’s newly-constructed building, housing two television studio sets, radio studios and production offices for its 60-member staff, was blessed throughout by Archbishop José Gomez, who later officiated at a concelebrated Mass held in one of the television studios. Emeritus Bishop Gerardo Flores Reyes of Verapaz, Guatemala, among several concelebrating clergy, flew in especially for the event. “We want to thank you and all those who have been part of the ministry through the years,” said Noel Diaz, El Sembrador founder, to the 100 guests, many of them volunteers who help out at events organized by El Sembrador, which is Spanish for “The Sower.” In addition to its TV shows in Spanish and English carried on over 500 cable systems and television stations in 19 countries that are also available online (www.esne.tv) and its 24 hours-a-day radio programming, El Sembrador Ministries conducts live “Congresos Catolicos” (Catholic Congresses) at the L.A. Sports Arena and L.A. Convention Center featuring the preaching of God’s Word and inspirational testimonies. “Today is a day of joy,” said Diaz, noting the coincidence of the day’s Gospel from St. Mark, the parable of a sower going out to sow the Word of God. “We are called to sow the seed.” In his homily, Archbishop Gomez spoke of the need for a new evangelization, where people have the opportunity to encounter Jesus Christ, who makes all things new. “Our mission is to continue the mission of the Divine Sower with the people in our surroundings,” said Archbishop Gomez. Joseph Borba, who hosts the English radio program, “The Sower” (Tuesdays, 8-9 p.m. on 1670 AM) and appears on ESNE’s TV show, “Jesus, The Bread of Life” (local channel 56.2 and local cable channel 44.1 Fridays, 4:30-5 p.m.), told The Tidings that El Sembrador grew out of Noel Diaz’ love for his Catholic faith and for evangelization.Diaz started the English ministry, The Sower, about five years ago with a live praise and worship gathering that is now held weekly on Fridays, 7:30-9:30 p.m. at St. Frances of Rome in Azusa. Three years ago, the English ministry started its “The Sower” radio program.“‘The Sower’ wanted to get bigger so Noel gave us some TV time, and that’s how ‘Jesus, the Bread of Life’ came to be,” explained Borba. The half-hour show includes 20 minutes of Bible study, currently taking the Gospel of Mark verse-by-verse.“We’re evangelizing using the Word of God, which explains the majesty of the Catholic Church,” said Borba, who added that the show tries to provide Catholics with the opportunity to have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ as well as increase understanding of their Catholic faith.Borba’s mother, Doleen, attending the event with her son, said El Sembrador has “opened the hearts of millions of people who would never have been touched [without] this huge ministry. I will continue to support this ministry because I think it’s life-changing for millions of people, not only the people in California but people all over the world.”“The outreach of this ministry has been so tremendous,” said Andreas Baku, a sound technician for ESNE’s TV show, “Todo Lo Puedo En Cristo (I Can Do Everything Through Christ),” hosted by his wife, Maribel Arriaga. “We’ve come across so many people in other states and other countries who watch El Sembrador online or via satellite.“Lives are changed all over, every day,” he noted. “Just by watching some of the programs, people get out of their depression or reconsider abortion or reconsider divorce.” Theresa Montminy, director of mission advancement for the Diocese of San Bernardino who met Noel Diaz in 2009 when he received an award from the diocese, said she finds great spiritual enrichment through El Sembrador. “Through all of the ministries on the radio and on TV, they inspire me today to become a better person,” said Montminy. Teresa Perez, a co-worker of Montminy’s in the Diocese of San Bernardino, says her family’s life has greatly improved since her husband was able to shake a drug addiction thanks to El Sembrador.As Perez told The Tidings, “One day, my husband heard a message on El Sembrador radio. He decided to go to rehabilitation, which he didn’t need because he just stopped using” after listening once to El Sembrador. “It’s a very powerful testimony,” said Perez, who, along with her husband, volunteers for El Sembrador’s Congresos Catolicos events. “We are so blessed that El Sembrador’s radio station airs in San Bernardino County,” she added. “In my house, it’s on 24/7 and we also watch the TV programs.”“It’s incredible that the Lord has been able to get into families through El Sembrador programs providing ample time for people to really listen, really hear and make those changes that need to be made,” said Father Paul Griesgraber, pastor of the twinned parishes St. Catherine of Siena in Reseda and St. Bridget of Sweden in Van Nuys. He has appeared as a guest on both Spanish and English El Sembrador shows.Franciscan Father Armando Lopez, an associate priest at Our Lady of Victory in East L.A. who was one of the first priests to appear in El Sembrador’s radio and TV programs in the ’90s, said the non-profit evangelization organization’s events are touching people’s hearts and renewing their faith and commitment to the Lord.“All these people come to the parishes, and they come fired up — they want to minister and to serve,” said Father Lopez. “I think that’s one of the greatest helps that El Sembrador is doing for the parish communities.”www.elsembrador.org{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2013/0208/sembrador/{/gallery}