Losing Life or Limb for Water?

We simply go to our sinks and turn on a faucet to get our daily supply of drinking water. But what if your daily trek to get this vital resource put you at risk of losing life or limb? This was the grim reality for the few hundred students at Lorubae Primary School in Kenya. Each day before school, the students would walk to a local river to fill a plastic jug with drinking water for the day. In one year two students were killed, two lost limbs, and four others were injured at the river by crocodiles.

In the fall of 2012, one of our partners, Zoe Waters, installed a clean water well and solar pump system for the school, making clean water safely accessible to the students and the surrounding community. One relieved student exclaimed, “At last we shall not be eaten by the crocodiles!” Continue reading

Emily was Going to Die

Food. Essential to health. And in a hospital setting, essential to healing. It can make the difference between life and death.

Emily suffers from epilepsy. During a seizure, she fell into her cooking fire and sustained significant burns to her body. Family rushed her to Pioneer Christian Hospital, a 60-bed facility in Impfondo, Republic of the Congo. Surgeons had to remove most of Emily’s right arm and parts of her left.

Serving vulnerable populations such as refugees and those suffering from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and leprosy, Pioneer Christian Hospital, like many in the developing world, is strapped for resources and could not provide food for its patients. That was the responsibility of the patient’s care provider, usually a relative. Too often, patients from these transient populations had no one to provide for them, so nutritional support was insufficient or unreliable. Without nourishment, healing was impossible.

Emily’s family, now hours away from their village, employment, and home, were stressed at the thought of providing for Emily’s needs during a long term stay at the hospital. The hospital staff and missionaries did all they could to assist the family, even providing some money for food for Emily. But Emily wasn’t healing and was becoming more frail by the day. Then it was discovered that her daughter, her supposed care provider, was spending the money on alcohol. Emily, now a burden to her family, was not being fed and was going to die. Continue reading

The Shifting Tide in Africa

I can hear the call to prayer in the distance. I wonder how many Muslims will gather for this mandatory time of worship? “God, these people really need to know You, the one and only true God!” It’s hot and dusty outside. Our clothes and hair are wet and stick to us from the high humidity. We have just returned from a long and miserably hot drive from Hounde, one of Radio Évangile Développment’s eight Christian radio stations in the country of Burkina Faso. A cold shower is a welcomed friend today, as I can’t seem to cool down from the long steamy ride.

My mind returns to the radio station we had visited that day. Joseph Kabore, the station manager, had shared that his station is the only one in Hounde. He commented that out of the 100,000 people in that village, 95% were Muslim. He explained that Muslim leaders come to him and ask if they can announce their meeting times on the radio. Joseph always agrees, and as a result, the large Muslim population listens to Christian programing while waiting to hear the announcement of their meeting times. He told us about many who secretly listen to many of their programs because they want to learn more about God. His primary goal is to share the Word of God. Continue reading

Propelled by Passion

“Purpose may point you in the right direction but it’s passion that propels you.”

— Travis McAshan, Entrepreneur and Web Strategist

It may have been the cold war, but in 1975, something was burning in the hearts of the men and women who came together in Elkhart, Indiana, to build a 500,000-watt shortwave transmitter. This massive piece of technology was able to punch through Russia’s jamming efforts and render useless their attempt to keep gospel broadcasts out of their country. What motivated these engineers in 1975 compelled them to come together again in 1986 and take on a challenge, along with other international radio ministries, to reach every major language group in the world with the good news of Jesus Christ. Continue reading

Reaching Alaska

Alaska – the land of grizzly bears, salmon, northern lights, Eskimos, “Land of the Midnight Sun,” and solar-powered radios… Wait – solar-powered radios?? In Alaska??

In 2014, SonSet Solutions began providing solar-powered SonSet® radios for Christian radio station KYKD in remote western Alaska. KYKD is the most powerful FM signal on the mainland of western Alaska, broadcasting  into Bethel and about a dozen smaller outlying villages located on the vast Yukon and Kuskokwim River Deltas. The region is home to the Central Yup’ik people, known in general to most of the world as Eskimos.

Jesse, a station volunteer, travels throughout the KYKD listening area handing out KYKD stickers, gospel tracts, and radios. He writes, “God is moving out here, and it is neat to see.” Once, in the remote village of Atmautluak, Jesse stood in front of the only small general store in town and told people that they were from the gospel radio station. One person named Mary said that she listens once in a while when she rides in someone else’s vehicle, but she would listen more if she had a radio. She explained that the words felt like they were healing her soul. When Jesse gave her a radio, she beamed. She then called her sister over and said, “These guys have some great news!” Jesse gave her a radio also. Mary came back again an hour later requesting another radio, “My son-in-law and his wife have a newborn baby and they constantly fight. Maybe the good news on this radio station could change their lives.” Continue reading

An Outbreak of the Gospel

Adjumani camp refugees

The Republic of Uganda welcomes 4,000 refugees across the northern border daily. Since 2013, more than 1.5 million individuals have fled into the country to escape extreme political unrest and violence plaguing the Republic of South Sudan.

To date, 320,000 people from 43 different Sudanese tribes have settled into the Adjumani refugee camp in northwestern Uganda, where the Office of the Prime Minister has established parcels of land for the people to live. However, the Adjumani camp, like many others throughout northern Uganda, struggles to accommodate the massive influx in what the U.N. deems as the third largest refugee crisis worldwide.

In an effort to avoid unrest in the camp’s 18 settlements, Ugandan officials requested international assistance in meeting the refugee community’s needs and to encourage unity among the numerous tribes represented. In response, High Adventure Gospel Communications Ministries established Usalama FM, a radio station set within the camp that broadcasts the message of peace and hope the refugees are desperate to hear. Listeners eagerly call into the station for prayer as they work towards rebuilding their lives and settling into their straw-thatched huts and canvas-roof shelters. Continue reading

Hope and Help for Madagascar

Off the coast of southeast Africa lies the island country of Madagascar. Incredibly diverse topography shapes the land with dense mangrove swamps, grassy highland plains and hills, humid rain forest jungle, and dry hardwood forests. The population of the island is estimated at over 22 million with over 90 percent belonging to the Malagasy ethnic group. It is a poor country with most people surviving on less than $2 per day.

Approximately half of the country’s population practices a combination of Christianity or Catholicism mixed with traditional religion, which tends to center around a creator god and veneration of the ancestors. Islam is also widely practiced.

In 2014, engineers at SonSet Solutions started working on a large project with a ministry in Northeastern Madagascar to build Christian radio station RFJ. This station has a potential listening audience of over 100,000 people. Continue reading

Rescued Twice

It was the early evening of April 16th when Carlos was finishing his work on a warm spring day in 2016. He was moving merchandise from one storehouse to another in Portoviejo, a small village 20 miles east of the Pacific Coast in Ecuador, South America. Suddenly, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake violently rocked his small village. Covered with debris and an iron beam that pinned down his leg, Carlos became trapped by a foot and a half of rubble from the building that collapsed over him. Carlos thought that it was the end of the world. He cried out to God and gave himself to Him and His will. Even after the shaking had stopped, Carlos laid wondering how badly he was hurt and if anyone would find him in all that rubble. Soon afterward he was rescued.

Carlos was rushed to a nearby hospital where his leg had to be amputated below the knee. He was then transferred up to a hospital in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, and seven days later had a second amputation above the knee as the result of an infection.

In the meantime, the staff of SonSet Solutions raised money for 200 SonSet® radios to be distributed to earthquake victims on the coast. Carlos was the recipient of one of those radios. Reach Beyond missionary, Hermann Schirmacher, who gave him the radio, recently asked him about it. Carlos beamed, “I am happy to have this radio and be able to listen to the programs. I especially like the programs from HCJB for families.” HCJB is the local radio station that broadcasts gospel programming from Quito, Ecuador. Continue reading

Silent Voices Speak Again!

To an untrained eye, a radio transmitter is a maze of brightly colored wires mysteriously snaking their way to a hodgepodge of shiny silver components. But to our SonSet Solutions radio technician Alan Good, the transmitter is a highly organized and wonderfully effective evangelistic tool. When it’s working, millions can hear the gospel. When it is not, the voice goes silent.

Last November, twenty-two silent transmitters were waiting for Alan when he arrived at partner ministries in Thailand and Indonesia. Those transmitters had been used or were designated to be used for radio planting in the region.

Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world. Radio has proven to be an effective way to introduce the gospel and prepare hearts for the church planting teams that follow. Dozens of churches have been started as a result of the dual thrust of radio and church planting.

Thailand is predominately Buddhist, but a few Christians there work with our partner in the region to plant the seeds of the gospel through radio. Continue reading

Radio Logos Extends Reach in Northern Peru

Deep in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, a small radio transmitter and antenna are spreading the big message of redemption. Since 2012, Radio Logos has impacted the northern region of Peru by developing broadcast programs in 14 of the 19 indigenous languages and by training local missionaries and believers to produce the programming themselves.

The little radio station, nestled in the village of Chazuta along the Huallaga River, is the third station established by Ray Rising of Wycliffe Bible Translators with the assistance of SonSet Solutions. The first two stations are in Bolivia. Because many of Peru’s indigenous people remain illiterate, having the translated Scriptures passed along through spoken word is crucial.

Now more than ever, the local missionaries working with Radio Logos are eager to expand the station’s impact by distributing radio receivers to nearby people groups. Through recent fundraising efforts, SonSet Solutions is attempting to meet the high demand and recently shipped 540 SonSet® radios to the station. Developed by SonSet’s team of engineers to operate in areas with no access to electricity, these solar-powered devices are warmly welcomed by the people of the region. Continue reading