WIVV is on the air! After 11 months, the station is now broadcasting at full power. It has been a year since Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the Caribbean islands and disabled “The Rock Radio Network” of three stations, a ministry of Calvary Evangelistic Mission (CEM) in Puerto Rico. WIVV AM-1370 on Vieques Island, the first full-time Christian radio station in the eastern Caribbean, was hit the hardest.
Among the casualties were both the broadcasting and microwave link towers. Sea swells caused a lake to form at the site making it impossible to begin work until it could be drained. It took nine months for electricity to be restored to the area.
“The logistics are different compared to the mainland.” says David Luttrell, son of founders Don and Ruth and in charge of special projects. “It takes weeks and months for things to start happening. Unlike the continental United States, you can’t bring convoys of supplies in trucks. Here, you have to go by ship. Our seaports and airports were not even open for weeks.”
The signal is now stronger than ever. They are getting reports from the Virgin Islands and as far as St. Kitts which is about 184 miles away. “I received phone calls like crazy,” shares David. “They are saying, ’We hear the station is back on the air. God bless you!’”
SonSet Solutions was not able to raise enough for all that we had hoped, but we were able to raise enough to replace their badly damaged satellite antenna. This gives the Rock Radio Network access to programming content via satellite.
“I look at this as a blessing,” reports David. “When you look at the infrastructure and improvements, things are getting fixed, not just patched or repaired. I’ve seen it with the whole country.”
Janet Luttrell, David’s sister and retired president, adds, “We are so thankful for the prayers and generosity of people that are keeping us broadcasting the Gospel message.”
Written by Erica Simone