A story of pain and love, William Arana tells how he became The Voice of the Daily Dose

In the auditorium of a well-known hotel in Tel Aviv (Israel), there were more than 160 people from 12 different nations waiting anxiously for William Arana to walk through the door, as soon as they found out that he was in that country. The sweat on the hands, the gelatinous legs and the strong heartbeats of his followers, made those who had never heard that name think that he was a movie star, or a professional soccer player. But no, he is a Colombian who records an audio recording of no more than six minutes every morning in which he talks about the importance of God in life, telling everyday stories and based on what the Bible says.

He ensures that his message is addressed to anyone, regardless of religion. – Photo: Rocka Passion for Souls Ministry

“I got your message on WhatsApp one morning that a friend who lives in Rome (Italy) gave it to me, an aunt who lives in Costa Rica sent it to him,” says María, who was born and lives in the Republic Dominican, the same one that assures, like many, that when Arana speaks, with his deep voice, it seems that he was addressing only her. “He is already part of my family, we sit down with my children to have breakfast while we listen to him or when we go to school in the car”, indicates Camilo Jaramillo who traveled with his wife Paula from Florida (United States) with the illusion of know him, while a Canadian woman nodded with a slight nod, trying to indicate that she has the same experience and thus summarizing the Bogota boom that presents itself solely as “I am the voice of The Daily Dose” and that has been so for more than seven years. years is crossing borders.

William Arana, The Voice of the Daily Dose
It usually sells out in the main theaters of the world, with the staging in which he tells his life story, – Photo: Roka Ministry, Passion for Souls

Sitting in a cafe in Jerusalem (Israel) William Arana spoke to the journalistic team of SEMANA, where the first clarification he made is that he is not the sensation of the moment, but rather only serves a God who has reached out to him in the most difficult moments of his life. He looks impressive with a meter and 80 centimeters in height and 85 kilos in weightbut no matter how strong it seems, he assures that the pain he has experienced in his life has led him to lie on the floor and cry like a small child who only seeks his father’s hug.

William Arana, The Voice of the Daily Dose
William Arana, The Voice of the Daily Dose – Photo: Roka Ministry, Passion for Souls

Every time he passes 138th Street, with Autopista Norte, in Bogotá, in front of the house where he was rented a room in the year 2000, he says that he shudders because that was where his physical and emotional hangover lived. By then he was a renowned commercial announcer, he did more than 16 voices for international channels such as National Geographic, Cartoon Network, was chosen as the voice of Homer Simpson for Colombia, the most prominent brands and advertising agencies in the country paid anything because the voice of William Arana was in his commercials. A short month in income 22 years ago exceeded $10,000,000.

William Arana, The Voice of the Daily Dose
William Arana, The Voice of The Daily Dose – Photo: Roka Ministry, Passion for Souls

But I also spent on drinks, initially I drank whiskey every 8 days, then twice a week, until it became a daily habit. With the drink came drug use between high-elite social gatherings. Cocaine took over his life and meanwhile hurt dozens of women including the mother of her children, who ended up taking the children to live outside the country. And to her mother, Mrs. Carmen, “she bent a lot of knees for me before God,” says Arana trying to swallow.

Already 57 years old, Arana is aware that the lifestyle he led was the product of not feeling valued. His father abandoned him when he was 12 years old. The words that he remembers saying to him were: “You are an imbecile, brute, you are useless”, he describes that this was what he heard while he was being beaten. He also mistreated his mother. When his father left home, Arana, being just a child, took over the household expenses that involved supporting his three brothers. He is the second of four children that Mrs. Carmen had. He went out to sell sponges on the street, to work in construction, among other trades. He always sought the acceptance and affection of his “friends”, That’s why he spent whatever they asked for and as he grew older he paid for the drink to guarantee that they stayed with him that way. He attempted suicide at least 4 times, at 14, 15, 18 and 20 years old.

founder of Roka Ministry and the voice of the daily doses
The daily dose, rokastereo station – Photo: Courtesy roka stereo

He did know about God, but out of obligation, his mother took him to a church from a very young age where someone once told him that he was destined to serve God and that his voice would reach different nations. Something going in one ear and out the other. He had other dreams, he wanted to get into the magic box that was in the living room of his house where he listened to radio soap operas in the absence of television.

He wanted to get there, but to narrate soccer. The passion increased every time he passed in front of the Campin stadium in the country’s capital when he was the messenger for a law firm. Perhaps at that moment it was convenient for him to think that there was a God whom he asked to do the miracle for him. And he did it to her. In the neighborhood where he lived in the south of Bogotá was Roberto Hernández. A sports narrator who took him as an assistant, helped load cables and one day the commercial announcer was not there, at that moment they put him to read. He knows that he wasn’t the best, but little by little he polished himself up until he got to work with William Vinasco, in his radio station, and to be the narrator along with Edgar Perea in the television series La Selección.

“Every manufacturing needs an instruction manual, and God created us with one, the Bible”: William Arana – Photo: Roka Ministry, Passion for Souls

While many believed that he had reached the top, he was submerged in depression and drug dependence, in that room located in the north of Bogotá. “I felt like garbage”, he says that suddenly he heard a commercial on television where a pastor said: “God loves you”. That sentence made him feel more miserable. “Not me, I always disappoint him, like the lying shepherd” was what William Arana said before falling to the ground drowning in tears and even so, he challenged God“If you love me, give me a hug,” he exclaimed. At that moment, she testifies that something supernatural happened: “I felt the warmth of a hug, I don’t know how to explain it.” The next day and for the next four she did not feel the desire to smoke the three packs of cigarettes that he consumed daily, he also did not want to drink, much less take drugs, he thought he was cured, but on the fifth day he fell again and deeper. After that, he understood that God had shown him that if he wanted to, he could spend a day without getting intoxicated, and he activated what they call willpower. “Not everything is God’s task, for that he gave us free will,” he highlights.

William Arana and his wife Martha Ginneth
She recently survived breast cancer. – Photo: Roka Ministry, Passion for Souls

In the midst of the romances he had at parties, he met actress Martha Ginneth, with whom he had a relationship that ended difficultly, but after six years when Arana had a new lifestyle they met again. “God does not unite a person, but purposes”, she says.

Arana promised God that his voice, which he considers a gift, would only be to promote him and rejected all the commercial offers that were made to him.. Since December 2000 he has not been the same again. He went from earning millions of pesos to working in a Christian church where he only earned $500,000 a month without any other benefits, not even those provided by law. “They gave me a signed piece of paper where it said how much they would pay me, and with that piece of paper I went to the bathroom and knelt down thanking God, over the years the figure multiplied”, it is clear to him that the important thing is not the money, but to carry the message. Although he does not live badly at all and continues to be the provider of Doña Carmen who still does not measure the recognition that his son has had.

Martha Ginneth and William Arana
Martha Ginneth and William Arana – Photo: Roka Ministry, Passion for Souls

The Daily Dose was born with a fragment that he did at the end of one of his radio programs, in which he gave a reflection and someone said to him: “William, can I cut that little part of the program to send it to a friend by cell phone?” It did not cause a problem, and little by little it became a food for the soul, which goes into the foundation of the Roka Passion for Souls Ministry. Quantifying how many people listen to his reflections is difficult, since WhatsApp chains cannot be measured.

NeverthelessAlmost two million people subscribe to his channel on YouTube and more than 133,000 follow him on Instagram. Every time he can, he tells everyone: “Pray a lot for me because I will be praying for you. One day I will meet you and I will hug you”, so it is not strange that no matter what part of the world he is in, he is spreading hugs.

founder of Roka Ministry and the voice of the daily doses
The daily dose, rokastereo station – Photo: Courtesy roka stereo

A story of pain and love, William Arana tells how he became The Voice of the Daily Dose