By Odalis A. SUAREZ
Seeking to make a positive contribution through the media is the objective of one family of five from Glendale. With hearts filled with passion, the Maranians are making their dream come true by creating the International Christian Family Network (ICFN), a television channel devoted to bringing inspiration, community, and most importantly, the word of God.
Prior to the creation of ICFN, Vahe and Hilda Maranian were local business owners in the La Crescenta area running ABC Auto Electric located on Foothill Boulevard. Their three daughters, twins Natalia and Elena and younger sister Carolina, were students attending Crescenta Valley High School and Fremont Elementary School respectfully.
Both Natalia and Elena graduated from CVHS in 2008 and Carolina is now entering the eighth grade at Rosemont Middle School. They have since been working at ICFN contributing to the family effort in providing quality religious programming.
Although it was officially launched on Sept.10, 2008, the vision to create a full-fledged Christian channel was an idea Vahe had many years ago.
“God was good to me. [He] opened my eyes slowly, 30 years ago,” said Vahe, co-founder of ICFN. “I started to watch Armenian channels. All week there [was] no pastor that [would] preach except Sunday mornings for five minutes. I use to look forward all week to watch [those] five minutes of preaching, [to hear] that message.”
Seventeen years ago, with his disappointment in the minimal amount of time and lack of consistency in Christian programming, he called upon his faith in the Lord to guide him in finding a solution.
“Walking with the Lord, God gave me a vision for me to open up one day an Armenian Born Again Christian channel. That vision grew in me [and] became a dream. I [always] dreamed I would have this channel one day,” explained Vahe.
While attempting to discover the right time to establish the Armenian channel, it wasn’t until his wife Hilda made the suggestion to take the idea international. Living in an ethnically diverse household – Vahe is Armenian and Hilda is of Spanish descent – it seemed an ideal concept for the family to establish a culturally varied Christian channel.
“I saw that there was a need in the Glendale/Burbank area. There’s a high populous [that] speaks Farsi, Russian, and of course you need English. We are uniting ethnic groups to get [out] the positive message of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” stated Hilda. Other languages that can be heard on ICFN are Spanish and Arabic. The family hopes to welcome other languages into their programming schedule as well.
In collaboration with Charter Cable, ICFN serves the Glendale, Burbank, La Crescenta, Montrose and La Cañada communities. The channel also provides live streaming on their website which is viewed internationally.
Vahe and Hilda’s idea to provide a Christian channel motivated their children to participate in the endeavor.
Next week, learn how Natalia and Elena decided to move in the same direction as their parents, creating a talk show of their own.
noticed the same issue that their father recognized. There was an inconsistency in the programming schedule of certain channels. While a Christian program was on air, inappropriate commercials would interrupt the program as well as non-Christian programs and music videos would ensue.
“It wasn’t one straight path,” said Elena.
Seeing this dilemma on their television sets, the family made sure that ICFN would be commercial free during their Christian programming and the rest of the time only show commercials that represent the channel’s overall message.
“We are picky about the commercials we bring in. They have to have a good reputation and the viewers can trust going [to the advertisers],” said Hilda.
The channel provides sermons, Christian music videos, Christian movies, public prayer on Fridays when individuals can call in and make a prayer or request over the phone, and talk shows.
One of the unique programs that ICFN provides is New Generation, a talk show hosted by Natalia and Elena.
Next week part 2 will explore the dynamics that the twins bring to New Generation.