What is the ‘coolest’ thing made in Elkhart County, Indiana? That question motivated a recent contest implemented through a partnership between local government groups in Elkhart County.
Historically, the county has been known for manufacturing Recreational Vehicles (RVs). This contest highlighted some of the other interesting industry present in this area. Over 30 companies were nominated, with entrants ranging from hand-made motorcycles to liquid-nitrogen ice cream.
Our SonSetLink™ remote water monitors also entered the running. Write Connections, a local marketing and consulting firm, organized the contest, visited each contestant, and produced an article and a video describing each entry. Continue reading
New Volunteer – Pray for Bruce Flora as he begins volunteering with us three days a week. Bruce is a retired mechanical engineer who lives in the Elkhart area. Pray for Bruce as he learns about the solutions we are working on for partner ministries and his role in helping further those solutions.
New Board Member – Pray for Sheri Campeau as she joins the SonSet Solutions Board of Directors. Sheri is a professor of engineering at Bethel University in Mishawaka Indiana and a long-time friend of the ministry. Pray for Sheri as she learns about the inner workings of the organization, and lends her experience and wisdom to the board.
Transition Back to Work – Pray for our staff as we continue the process of returning to the office after working remotely for several weeks. As Indiana relaxes their restrictions, more of our staff are making the transition to their normal workspace. Pray for our transition team as they develop the protocols for providing a safe working environment in the office.
God sometimes blesses in unexpected ways. Karen and her husband, Jeff, were excited to be able to hand-carry suitcases full of equipment from SonSet Solutions to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This was a critical shipment for upgrading Radio Kahuzi’s studio equipment from analog to digital. Radio Kahuzi is a Christian radio station that has been broadcasting the gospel from Bukavu since 1992. The station ministers to a potential listening audience of three million people.
Karen knew that the packages from SonSet Solutions were due to arrive on a particular day, but she could not seem to log on to the UPS site to leave her signature. She had many errands to run to get ready for the big trip but knew her boys would be home to accept the packages. Continue reading
In February 2020, a team of engineers from SonSet Solution’s Community Development Department started working on a new version of our SonSetLink, (a satellite-based clean water monitoring system) at the request of a partner ministry in Malawi.
SonSet Solutions is excited to partner with this ministry because they faithfully preach the gospel at each and every maintenance visit to their numerous wells across the country. They also partner with local churches in Malawi to further spread the gospel to people that come to the wells to get clean water.
In spite of the perceived difficulties of designing a new product in the midst of the current worldwide lockdown, four prototype units were completed, shipped and then installed on existing “Afridev” model well pumps in Malawi at the end of April and early May. One SonSet Solutions engineer said the design work was actually easier in many ways because there were less interruptions! The design team is now taking data from those prototypes to build a production model for this and other partner ministries that use Afridev pumps.
Praise God for taking a difficult situation and instead using it for His glory!
Fighting a pandemic is daunting for any community. But, what if you must hike to a well multiple times a day just to meet your family’s basic needs? How much of that water are you going to want to use for frequent hand washing? How likely are you to spend money on soap when you barely have enough for food? Social distancing? Is that even possible in crowded markets where daily trips are necessary due to lack of refrigeration? Hand sanitizer? Disinfectant? What are those and where do you get them? You can understand the challenges in preventing the spread of disease in developing countries.
It is not possible for most schools to go online. The majority of students do not have power or internet in their homes. With churches closed, online services are not an option and many are unable to read the Bible for themselves. Continue reading
The Rift Valley of western Kenya is a sight you wish everybody could see (although the one-hour bone-shaking ride into the southern end of the valley is something you would not wish on your worst enemy). Out of the valley rises 1,500-foot mountains, like ancient sentinels keeping guard over an ancient people, the Pokot.
A million Pokot live in this valley, with villages spreading out for 100 miles. With sufficient water, this fertile valley thrives, and without, people suffer. These nomadic people seek water, and when a water source is reliable and local, a village springs up. But, the vast distances mean that large shared solar-powered water systems are not logistically practical or economically feasible.
A hand pump per village is the only answer. But which pump? And how do you know if it is working? The installation of SonSetLink™ remote monitors became a part of answering that second question. Continue reading
How do we stay current on changing technology and manufacturing techniques? For missionaries who are not in a manufacturing facility, one way is to go to a manufacturer and receive firsthand training. Such is what happened this past January as our technicians, Alan Good and Tim Zook, traveled to France to receive training on FM transmitters manufactured by WorldCast Systems in Bordeaux, France.
WorldCast manufactures a range of products for media and for testing at their ISO9001 facilities. Many countries where we send products for radio broadcasting are requiring ISO9001 certification on the equipment. ISO9001 certification is the provision by an independent body of written assurance (a certificate) that the product, service or system in question meets specific requirements. This standard is to ensure that customers get consistent, good-quality products and services.
Our training on the equipment has allowed us to more adequately prepare, setup, test and troubleshoot these transmitters. It also enabled us to assist our partners when they encounter transmitter issues, to help identify faults or resolve issues. This in turn will help reduce down-time for our partner’s radio ministry, especially during this time in the world when information is vital concerning the current pandemic.
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. Continue reading
Erin Trantham is in her sophomore year studying electrical engineering at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. She hails from Camas, Washington. Erin wants to serve as a summer intern with SonSet Solutions to engage in engineering work that advances the gospel worldwide. It also gives her a unique opportunity to pursue on-the-job spiritual and professional growth, while working in a missions context.
Erin will assist with the research and development of equipment, tools and solutions to meet the real-world needs of our ministry partners. Current development projects include power protection and regulation solutions, a next-generation radio receiver/audio player and clean-water monitoring systems.
Erin writes: “My passion for working with Sonset Solutions is two-fold. I have a strong desire to learn more about electrical engineering and technical fields. I understand that there are many engineers and technicians that could teach me so much about electronics, power and anything else that Sonset Solutions is working on. I also have a heart for service and I am refreshed to see a workplace that strives for the Lord and His missions around the world.”
In recent weeks and months, many around the world have been stricken with fear – fear that has driven some to despair, searching for hope. Pierre, the leader of Radio Évangile Développement (R.E.D.) in the city of Bobo, Burkina Faso, was struck by how hope found its way into the most despairing hearts. He shared, “Since I was young, I wanted to serve God. In 1998 I had a dream and saw a microphone with lights and didn’t understand what it was. But as I grew older, I saw it as a sign of God’s will for me to be here.” After Pierre finished studying at the university, he went to R.E.D.’s radio station in Bobo.
Pierre continued, “It is almost 10 years that I am working here, and I have been touched by two stories.” A pastor was preaching on the radio when, Continue reading