Where in the World is Burundi?

That was my first thought when a colleague approached me about helping a radio ministry in the country of Burundi.

The radio ministry is called Radio Voix d’Espoir (Radio Voice of Hope) and is located on the campus of Hope Africa University in Bujumbura, Burundi. Located in Central Africa, Burundi is surrounded by Rwanda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, covering an area about the size of Hawaii.

My task was to install new computer systems, do some training and evaluate their current studio and equipment needs.

Located on the third floor of the academic building, Radio Voix d’Espoir provides Christian programming 18 hours a day to their listeners. Continue reading

Solar Media Broadcaster

Traditionally, when ministries approach SonSet Solutions, it is for help building a Christian FM radio station with a range of about 10-15 miles. The installation averages about $20,000, and several staff are needed to operate it. SonSet Solutions is working on a radically different concept to help ministries and churches reach the lost in their immediate neighborhood.

We are developing a small, modular Wi-Fi system to “broadcast” Christian content up to about 100 yards, depending on the terrain. It will be a portable, self-contained unit that can be placed on the rooftop of a church, for example,  and provide a variety of content to nearby cell-phone users 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The content can be tailored to the needs and interests of the micro-community that the church wants to reach.

It all costs less than $500 and doesn’t require any full-time staff to operate it. Because it is not a real FM radio station, there are no government applications, red tape or delays to deal with. It could be purchased, installed and broadcasting all in the same day helping our ministry partners more efficiently and effectively reach their immediate communities with the Good News of Jesus Christ!

22-year-old Introvert Helps Reach Multitudes

Sometimes we think, “I have so little to offer that I don’t see how I could ever be used by the Lord.” Such was the case for Mike Axman, a 22-year-old high-school dropout and introvert, with a radio hobby who had just found Christ. Mike felt a strong calling for evangelism . . . but how could he do that?

While at a loss for a plan, the Lord showed him missionary radio. “That’s it! I can get the Good News to the world by joining a missionary radio ministry!” The Lord provided him with further education. Afterwards, he had a role in the operation and installation of high-power radio stations in the orient.

Later, mission agency HCJB World Radio invited Mike to work with a team in Elkhart, Indiana, to develop a 500-kW shortwave radio transmitter capable of overpowering Russian jamming efforts. He later worked with the development of nine 100-kW shortwave transmitters which were deployed internationally.

Christians in former communist nations wanted to start their own FM radio stations but shipping was not reliable. Continue reading

Praise and Prayer-Nov 8, 2019

Divine Appointments – We praise the Lord for divine appointments!  In the past two weeks we have seen ministry workers from Ghana, Peru, and South Sudan visit SonSet Solutions to explore ways that we might collaborate in the gospel.

Workers for the Harvest – The opportunities for Kingdom service are great. More workers are urgently needed. Pray for the following staff needs to be filled at SonSet Solutions:  Human Resources Assistant, College Liaison, Story Teller and Events Coordinator

SonSet® Radios for the Amazon – A recent report from Radio Logos in the northern Amazon region of Peru shared that they urgently need more SonSet radios. Thanks to the gifts of generous financial partners, we are now preparing to send another 1,200 units.

Praise and Prayer-Nov 1, 2019

Campaign Success – Nov 1, 2019 marks the beginning of our 2019 year-end funding campaign. Pray that the Lord will lead many of His people to give generously to the work that He is doing around the world through SonSet Solutions and our ministry partners.

Valuable Training – Praise the Lord that three of our staff were able to attend a valuable leaders training conference where 150 like-minded ministry organizations were represented. Pray that new ministry partnerships will result from these important connections.

Raising Awareness – Praise the Lord for the opportunity that Tim and Becky Yazel had to represent the ministry of SonSet Solutions at a large church conference in the Detroit area. Pray that the Lord will use these contacts to further His work around the world.

Christian Techies Unite!

Yes, being a Christian and a techie can be perfectly normal and purposeful in ministry. It is possible to share both profound spiritual conversations and technical discussions. The International Conference on Computing and Mission (ICCM) is the place where people can go to meet other Christian technologists who are striving to advance Jesus’ Great Commission by using their skills.

Understanding the joys and realities that come with combining technical things and ministry allows for networking and sharing the “latest and greatest” ideas and experiences within our rapidly changing world. For example, the “What’s Hot/What’s Not” session is an opportunity to share both practical advice and common struggles. What are you buying? What are you NOT buying? What are you getting rid of? What about anti-virus and malware?

Our own Dr. Leon Amstutz led a session this year discussing electronic equipment power protection and grounding practices. This issue is particularly important in developing countries where electrical power surges can destroy expensive, sensitive equipment. Sharing ideas, observations, and know-how provides an avenue for more effective use of technology, bringing the gospel to every nation.

Equipped for Ministry

 “I don’t really like retirement parties, because I don’t want this to be about me. My desire is to bring glory to God,” expressed John Wineman at a recent retirement party. Bringing glory to God is what he has done in his 12 years of faithful service with SonSet Solutions.

John and his wife, Carol Ann, were saved at age 30, and it was always their desire to serve God. They considered ministering in India, but their pastor cautioned against it. It would take years to learn the language and a lifetime to learn the culture. “Look for a position that will leverage the skills you have,” he advised.

John’s expertise was in problem solving, team coordination, mentoring, and teaching, skills he gained through his work with two technical powerhouses: Continue reading

An “Incredibly Rewarding Experience”

“What an incredible opportunity to integrate the Great Commission with the technical skills He has given me!”

Noah Peternel, a summer intern from Grove City College, first heard of SonSet Solutions as a freshman engineering student at his college’s annual career fair. Watching a video of the gospel message paired with a clean water system in an African village grabbed his attention. Seeing joy reflected in the eyes of the villagers stirred his heart and filled him with a passion to be part of this endeavor.

The following two years were filled with prayer, phone calls, and emails. At the end of his junior year of college, Noah was selected to become part of the very intern team at SonSet Solutions that he had “prayed oh-so-hard for” since his freshman year of college. Continue reading

Just Say “Yes!”

I’ve wondered how I could get my family involved in Christian missions. Well, missionaries with SonSet Solutions visited our church and invited everyone to volunteer to test and prep a batch of solar-powered radios that are tuned to receive only the Christian radio stations in the particular country to which they are sent. The ministry was only 10 miles away, so we said “Yes” and signed up.

When my wife, three young boys and I showed up at SonSet Solutions, we joined fellow church members around a makeshift “assembly line.“  Everyone was given a task – some tested radio reception, state of charge, and button function; another checked solar charge function; others added an instruction booklet, packaged and boxed the units… 300 in all headed for Burkina Faso.  My children enjoyed the idea of being part of an assembly line. We had a sense of satisfaction knowing we had helped in a small way with a project that has life-changing and eternal implications. Continue reading