An Unreached People Now Being Reached

Mangochi, Malawi, with its tropical savanna climate, tall palm trees, and coconuts for sale in the streets is the home of Radio Lilanguka, which has an incredibly positive response from its listeners, the Yao people.

SIM Malawi in their website article called “Reaching the unreached over the airwaves” explains that despite almost 20 years of difficulties and setbacks in getting a broadcasting license, the persistence of individuals and organizations finally paid off and in 2016 the Government of Malawi granted them a license.

Radio Lilanguka began broadcasting a year later on November 27, 2017. “The Chiyao output has really started to engage with people in the community, and it is this which has led to the station becoming so popular so quickly,” said Paul Kranzler, Project Manager for Radio Lilanguka.1

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Part of Something Greater

“I am part of something greater than myself.” What a huge blessing it is to be able to say this with confidence. I am part of something greater. As an electrical engineering student, I am often thinking of ways to improve a product or a system for the benefit of myself or others. As a Christian I am often considering God’s plan for me and my specific abilities. God led me to a place this summer where both of my desires were clearly met. SonSet Solutions provided me with an incredible learning and growing experience. I was presented with a new challenge every day seeking to solve technical problems. With the help of experienced engineers, I was able to walk through these issues and serve ministry partners with the work. I used new tools and broadened my skills in assembly, testing, firmware, and design. Continue reading

Maximizing Our Kingdom Impact

We have come a long way. Five years ago we were just beginning to toddle as an independent ministry organization. Because the support structure we had depended on for so long was no longer there, we needed to rapidly develop our skills in areas such as human resources, accounting, communications and ministry funding. We had the unique distinction of being old, yet new; of already having 29 years of technology-based ministry under our belt, and yet unseasoned when it came to having full responsibility for our own operations.

2015 was the year we became SonSet Solutions.

David Russell, president of SonSet Solutions, shared these words a couple of years into our journey, Continue reading

And the Winner is …

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

My Sweet UPS Driver

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

Caring for a Community

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

Water Security in the Rift Valley

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

A Storm of a Different Kind

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

Finding Hope in Times of Despair

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

Reaching Difficult Places

Did you know that in Sub-Saharan Africa there are 653 unreached people groups with a population of 887 million? These are cultures and places where Christ is largely unknown and are typically less than 2% evangelical. Many of these people are illiterate and oral learners. Despite the arrival of the Internet, radio is still the most used source of information and a vital tool for proclaiming the gospel to these unreached.

Two such people groups, the Fulani and Kotokoli, are located in the countries of Togo, Ghana and Burkina Faso in West Africa. Today they are receiving the good news of Jesus through a new community FM station in the Dapaong region of northern Togo. This station, run by an African missionary couple went on the air in August with the help of Reach Beyond and SonSet Solutions. Continue reading