TAMARAC, Fla. — Lenin De Janon, the voice of Adrian Rogers in the Spanish-speaking world, died March 12 at the age of 89. A native of Ecuador, De Janon delivered sermons in Spanish for 26 years from Rogers’ Love Worth Finding broadcast.
Rogers, who died in November 2005 at age 74, was a three-time president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of the Memphis-area Bellevue Baptist Church from 1972 until the spring of 2005.
De Janon’s voice on EL AMOR QUE VALE (EAQV) is heard on radio stations in numerous countries and a burgeoning international audience through its app, the internet and social media.
A listener in Peru – among 7,000 Facebook reactions to his death, 1,200 comments and 1,900 shares – voiced gratitude to God for Rogers and De Janon “for being the motivators and the pushers to make great decisions in my spiritual life.”
From Venezuela, a listener described the Spanish-language broadcast as “very nourishing, it is understood very well and its teaching style is very special and that’s why I think there will not be another like it! The teachings of Dr. Adrian Rogers with the voice of Pastor Lenin are unique and unbeatable!”
A former International Missionary Board missionary, meanwhile, told of using EAQV sermons in expository preaching classes for seminary students in Mexico City.
De Janon served 33 years as a missionary with the Ecuador-based international radio ministry HCJB, during which he began voicing Rogers’ sermons in the late 1990s. Additionally, he had been pastor of the Tabernacle of Faith Church (“Tabernáculo de la Fe”) in Quito 27 years when he relocated to Memphis, Tenn., where Love Worth Finding is headquartered.
As an HCJB missionary, De Janon traveled throughout Ecuador and the rest of Latin America for evangelistic campaigns, church meetings, pastors’ and marriage conferences, leadership training, and planting and building churches. De Janon also enjoyed oil painting and, as sports enthusiast, he was connected with Ecuadorian professional soccer teams as a radio commentator and stadium announcer, even while a pastor.
Years earlier, De Janon had been wandering the streets of Quito depressed after a girlfriend broke off their relationship and was mutilating his arm with a knife. A young communist following in the footsteps of his father, De Janon had been named for the Russian dictator Vladimir Lenin. In his hours of personal crisis, however, he noticed an artist doing a colorful chalk talk using ultraviolet light in a darkened church sanctuary. De Janon approached the artist afterward and learned he was an HCJB missionary – an encounter that piqued De Janon’s interest in the Bible. A year later, he was baptized in the same church.
David Rogers, son of Adrian Rogers, and his family were International Mission Board missionaries in Spain when he learned that Love Worth Finding ministries was partnering with HCJB to produce the Spanish-language EL AMOR QUE VALE.
“First, I heard from my father, then later I was able to hear with my own ears and see with my own eyes what a gifted interpreter and communicator Lenin was,” Rogers recounted. “In subsequent years, I was able to meet Lenin in person at the installations of Love Worth Finding in Memphis and benefit from his linguistic expertise as I sought his advice on some ministry projects we were working on in Spain.”
After returning to the U.S. in 2007, David Rogers traveled to various countries in Latin America to present his father’s course, “What Every Pastor Ought to Know,” which De Janon had helped dub into Spanish.
“Time after time, I met Spanish-speaking pastors who knew and loved my father’s preaching in the voice of Lenin De Janon,” Rogers said. “Some of them already knew of and appreciated Lenin and his work. But due to the seamless dubbing and Lenin’s impeccable interpretation work, several of them were surprised to learn that my father did not speak Spanish and that it was not really his voice they were accustomed to hearing on the EL AMOR QUE VALE program.”
Rogers, now a spiritual care director for a healthcare ministry in Nashville, and his wife Kelly also served together with De Janon and his wife Nellie in a new Spanish-language ministry at Faith Baptist Church in Bartlett, Tenn. “We benefited from Lenin’s insightful Bible teaching and observed his and Nelli’s warmhearted ministry of pastoral care,” Rogers said.
Maritza Isabel, director of Love Worth Finding’s foreign languages outreach who worked with De Janon over the years, said the ministry did not seek “a voice talent” to relay Adrian Rogers’ sermons. “We wanted a pastor,” she said, “because we believed that only someone with the calling to be a pastor, the calling to share the Gospel, to share God’s truth would have the passion to do it well.”
With current technology, the Spanish-language broadcast is “without borders,” Isabel said, reaching into remote regions by rudimentary cellphones. She also noted instances of EAQV being used for learning Spanish. “Not only are they learning the language properly,” she said, “but they’re learning biblical principles in the evangelical vocabulary.”
De Janon’s travels in behalf of Love Worth Finding’s Spanish outreach carried an appeal throughout Latin America, Isabel said. At a media conference in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, a young pastor invited him to speak one night at his small church – resulting in a traffic jam of cars headed to the location.
“People came wanting to meet him and greet him,” Isabel said. “The service went on until midnight because we didn’t want to turn people away. They wanted to take a picture with him, they wanted to say thank you.”
Despite being named for “a dictator who destroyed life,” Isabel said, “God chose to grab the name Lenin and turn it into a name that today is appreciated and related to the word of life.”
In addition to his wife – described by Isabel as “a faithful prayer volunteer” for the ministry – De Janon is survived by three children, Eddie, Melanie and Mike, and four grandchildren.
SOURCE NOTE: De Janon’s conversion – https://reachbeyond.org/content/news/read/compassion-and-brush-strokes-of-artist-brightened-lives-of-others-1?page=1