December 19, 2011 11:24
by Ed Reid
Assistant to the President for Planned Giving
A limited-edition 77-year-old Gibson guitar has been donated to Adventist World Radio by a generous couple who live in Juliaetta, Idaho. Vic and Sharon Thulon had been watching a 3ABN interview where I was talking about Adventist World Radio. Vic turned to Sharon and asked, “I wonder how many of those little shortwave radios our guitar could provide?”
The Thulons, who are active members of the Clarkston Washington Seventh-day Adventist Church in Washington, enjoy music and have a number of classic instruments. The guitar they have donated – a 1935 Gibson Super 400 archtop – has been a part of their collection for about 50 years.
The Gibson Guitar Company only made 63 of these fine instruments in 1935. The “Super 400” was the first commercially-produced super-jumbo-sized orchestra guitar. It was the largest, most ornate, and most costly guitar that the Gibson company had ever produced. With a whopping $400 original price tag during the Great Depression, it is not surprising that so very few of these ultra-deluxe models left the factory.
This first-version Super 400 remains one of the rarest and most desirable archtop guitars ever made. This special vintage guitar is now worth many thousands of dollars and will be sold by Adventist World Radio to advance the update of its shortwave radio station on the island of Guam.
The Thulons feel that time is short, and they were willing to sacrifice their prized guitar so that others can hear the good news of the gospel and the soon-coming of Jesus. Vic, who has been a building contractor by profession, said, “We don’t want to have a lot of valuables in our possession to get burned up when Jesus comes. We would rather donate the guitar to AWR now to aid the shortwave programs going out from Guam to China and other countries in the 10/40 window.”
Adventist World Radio has just completed 40 years as the mission radio arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, targeting non-Christian listeners in the high-population and less-evangelized areas of the world. Three quarters of the world’s population is within range of AWR’s shortwave radio, national radio, or FM broadcasts, while Internet users worldwide can access programs through podcasts and on demand. Radio continues to be highly successful in overcoming the barriers of government restrictions, cultural opposition, illiteracy, and geography, bringing the voice of hope directly into people’s homes and hearts.