Puerto Rico has been battered by its share of “storms” over the past two and a half years.
Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico in September of 2017. One of the casualties was The Rock Radio Network, a gospel voice to the outlying islands of the Caribbean with a potential listening audience of 700,000. All three of their stations sustained significant damage, but WIVV was hardest hit. Because access to the island was limited after the storms, it took 11 long months for WIVV to get back on the air. SonSet Solutions assisted with funding for equipment and technical support during various stages of recovery.
On Thursday, January 7, 2020, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck the southwest part of the island. Since that time, tremors registering a magnitude of 3.0 and up continue to rattle the island on a daily basis. The base of one of the station’s towers is no longer level, but the Rock Radio broadcasts continue. The government asked pastors and counselors to minister to the thousands who are still living in tents, sleeping in cars and open fields. Radios were distributed to deliver these messages of help and hope.
Then, on March 16, the governor of Puerto Rico put the island on shut down. This was a storm of a different kind but no less devastating to the people of Puerto Rico who are still recovering from the repeated blows to their economy as a result of the hurricanes and earthquakes. Like much of the country, Puerto Rico has been on lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Rock Radio Network is working with a skeleton crew to keep the broadcasts going. So far, they are on the air, teaching God’s word 24-7.
One listener expressed their gratitude well,
“Thanks to all who have been fresh healing balm and oil in the midst of the storm.”
Written by Marla Bender and Erica Simone