Illness Affecting Staff – Several of our staff members have suffered from colds and flu in recent weeks. Please pray that our team will be back to full force soon and the ministry will continue unhindered.
Spring Break Ministry – We have just hosted two consecutive weeks of our Spring Break at SonSet Solutions in which eight students and one faculty member joined us from two universities. We thank the Lord for young people who are interested in applying their education and abilities to the growth of God’s kingdom. Pray with us that God might call out from this group future full-time workers for SonSet Solutions.
Two-fold Ministry in Congo – One of our young families is on their way to the Republic of Congo for three months. The wife, a nutritionist, will continue to develop the feeding program for patients at Pioneer Christian Hospital; and the husband, an engineer, will perform field tests on some of the ministry tools we have developed at SonSet Solutions. Please pray for safety, health, and for effective ministry.
“Clean water is one of the most transformative things in the world aside from the gospel” notes David Palmer, a mechanical engineer at SonSet Solutions who has traveled to Kenya, Malawi and Tanzania to assist with water projects.
Indeed, clean water quickly results in the improved health of both people and livestock through the elimination of water-borne illnesses such as cholera, typhoid, and dysentery; as well as better hygiene and hydration. Saved time is another immediate benefit — a reliable source of water saves a great deal of walking and avoids dangerous conditions collecting it (e.g. crocodiles in rivers).
Clean water has a ‘trickle’ effect of benefits, such as the following
- Healthy children can go to school; as a result, education is strengthened. Consistent and completed education breaks the primary poverty cycle in a village. With less time spent collecting water, women and children (the primary family members burdened with this task) are able to go to church strengthening the entire family spiritually.
- Livestock are healthy and can produce offspring contributing to better health for those who rely on this food source. More livestock can be farmed, and excess sold for income. Similarly, gardens can be planted, resulting in more food and a healthier diet.
- Proper brick-making techniques improve the quality of houses, and both brick-making and gardening provide income through entrepreneurship by the selling of bricks and freshly-grown produce.
The long-term impact that clean water provides — even in areas not typically open to the gospel — is people more willing to listen. This helps build relationships, and often results in direct sharing of the gospel message. Click the following link to read the story of Vickness and how clean water transformed her village in Malawi: https://sonsetsolutions.org/five-years-later/.
Work Team Prepares SonSet® Radios – SonSet Solutions just hosted a work team that prepared SonSet radios for shipment to a partner radio ministry in Kenya. As the radios are distributed, pray that many will hear and respond to the gospel.
Religious Broadcasters to Meet – Please pray for the president of SonSet Solutions, David Russell, as he and a coworker join national and international broadcasters at the National Religious Broadcasters convention the end of March. Pray for wisdom as they seek to renew old friendships with ministry partners and explore new ministry opportunities.
Continued Unrest in Haiti – A trip to Haiti for water pump and SonSetLink™ water monitor installations has been postponed for a second time due to renewed unrest there. Many are suffering. Pray for real solutions and a lasting peace. Pray also for safety for the many missionaries serving in Haiti.
The day started unremarkably, but it quickly threatened to turn deadly. While Richard McDonald was away assisting a friend, his wife Kathy helped the radio announcer start the transmitter for a day of broadcasting over Radio Kahuzi in Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Suddenly a truck pulled up, and out jumped 17 rebel soldiers with automatic weapons. It was 1998, and a war involving several nations and multiple rebel groups was wreaking havoc in the DRC. The soldiers commandeered the station and demanded that the broadcasts stop.
One particularly menacing soldier walked over to Kathy and asked, “Aren’t you afraid to die?” She had heard that rebels had pillaged the area and attacked women, but she knew she must not show fear. Speaking with more boldness than she felt she said, “Oh, no. God watches over me… If I live, I live with Jesus, and if I die, I die with Jesus.” Inexplicably, the soldiers soon packed up and left.
If you met Richard and Kathy McDonald, you would be struck by how gentle and unassuming they are. You would never know that, more than once, they were pinned down in their home as gunfire was exchanged around them by warring factions. No one would have blamed them had they left the DRC for good. But their passion for the lost has kept them there for decades, active in the ministry, despite the dangers. Continue reading
It must have felt like only minutes since she laid her weary head to rest after another long, exhausting day. It was still dark, and Vickness, grandmother of six, arose to tackle her morning chores. If she was able to get everything done in time, the children would make it to school today. Or would they?
Outbreaks of cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A and typhoid were regular, unwelcome visitors to her community, claiming the lives of the weakest. For Vickness and other villagers in Zolomondo, Malawi, each day was a matter of survival, making it difficult to plan for the future. It was an arduous effort just to feed their families each day.
This was the grim reality five years ago. Today, Vickness tells a different story. “Now, … development has resurfaced in villages. Children can go to school. Kids eat every morning.”
Mud structures with thatched roofs have been replaced by homes and schools built of brick. Flourishing gardens dot the landscape. Villagers have started their own businesses.
What made such a remarkable difference in so short a time? Clean water. Continue reading
SonSet Solutions Leadership to Meet – The SonSet Solutions board of directors and advisory council meets this weekend. Thank the Lord for this dedicated group of people. Ask God to fill them with discernment and zeal for the opportunities that have been entrusted to this organization.
Spring Break Opportunities for Service -Two consecutive weeks of our Spring Break at SonSet Solutions will launch on Sunday, March 3. This is an opportunity for students to discover how their knowledge and abilities can be used in ministry. Ask God to move in the hearts of students and staff.
Missionary Staffing Challenges – One of the joys and responsibilities of our missionary staff is to periodically visit supporters across the country to report on their ministry and in some cases raise additional support. When they go, they leave key positions empty. Pray for wisdom for our department managers as they shift workers around to be able to meet our partners’ needs with fewer staff.
Assistance to Radio Ministry in Arizona – Pray for wisdom for a SonSet Solutions engineer as he returns this week to a radio ministry of Western Indian Ministries in Arizona. He will be assisting with repairs, upgrading equipment, and training the station’s radio technician. Pray for God’s Spirit to bring transformation through the radio broadcasts to the hearts of people in the Navajo Nation.
Project in Haiti Postponed – SonSet Solutions was scheduled to participate in a community project this March in Haiti, but it was postponed indefinitely due to growing unrest there. The people we were to serve are at great risk, so please pray for their safety. Pray also that the nation’s leaders will use godly wisdom to quickly restore calm.
Transmitter Repair for Ministry in Belize – Please pray for wisdom as a SonSet Solutions technician troubleshoots and repairs a broken transmitter from a partner radio station in Belize.
Advanced Training to be Rescheduled – A technician from Uganda, who was to arrive at SonSet Solutions this week for advance training, was unable to leave the country. Please pray for wisdom as our leadership makes arrangements for the future training of this technician in Uganda.
SonSet® Radio Improvements – To date, over 62,000 solar-powered SonSet radio receivers have been delivered to our broadcast ministry partners in an effort to help them expand their reach and deepen their impact. The newest feature of this ministry tool will be a built-in audio player that can play the Bible or other pre-stored Christian content. Pray for wisdom as we work to refine this tool so that its multiple features are easy to access and use.
New Radio Station for Refugees in Kenya – Praise the Lord that with our collaboration with High Adventure Gospel Communication Ministries, a new community FM station is now on the air in the Kakuma refugee area of Kenya. Pray for a fruitful time as the station’s installer travels to SonSet Solutions next week for enhanced training.
Spring Break at SonSet Solutions – In March students will be coming to SonSet Solutions to participate in our spring break program. Pray that the students will be able to experience firsthand how engineering is used to advance the gospel.
New SonSet® Radio Design – Pray for the development team as they are working to complete the latest SonSet radio design. The new design includes an audio player which will be able to play content such as audio Bibles.
What began as a three-month internship for one college graduate turned into three years of volunteering at SonSet Solutions, lifelong friendships, and, more recently, a renewed relationship with SonSet Solutions.
Clint Herron had just graduated from Taylor University in 2003 with a degree in computer engineering. He came to SonSet Solutions to work on a radio automation project for his summer internship but wanted to keep working on the project beyond the three-month time period. He worked part-time locally and continued to volunteer with us.
In 2004, Clint and his college sweetheart were married. Jennifer joined the team and did anything from drywall mudding to serving as the president’s executive assistant for a year.
“I came expecting to have a lot more to offer,” Clint says. “I was surprised by how much more I received than what I contributed to the work. The fellowship and example of mature Christians were invaluable for me as a young man. I got to see what it looks like for an engineer to be a man of God.” The project was eventually discontinued, and Clint felt that he needed to gain professional experience elsewhere. Continue reading