(January 29, 2015) Clean, drinkable water in arid countries like Kenya is notoriously hard to find. Sixteen million people (more than one-third of the population) lack access to improved drinking water sources. Just to survive, some drink whatever they have access to—even pools of muddied rainwater. Not surprisingly, water-borne illnesses ensue.
Water well pumps can, and do, make a difference; but without occasional maintenance—whether old or new—they slowly break down, and without any means of notifying those who can repair them. Distance, and sometimes unsafe terrain adds to this costly, frustrating challenge.
Working alongside Design Outreach (DO) and local believers with a heart for ministry to their own people, SonSet Solutions is striving to honor God by addressing this situation. Not only by demonstrating love and concern through access to clean water, but helping to proclaim the Living Water, Jesus Christ, to those in these remote areas who have yet to hear about Him (Romans 10:14). Continue reading
(January 7, 2015) The story is the same for many college graduates with degrees in mechanical engineering. They enjoyed taking things apart as little kids and figuring out how the devices worked. It was the same for Cody in his early learning years. He loved to tinker and build things as a little boy. Adding the love for math and science, it was an easy decision after high school to attend college and become a mechanical engineer.
Cody Hall wanted to follow in his folks footsteps and work in missions. He grew up in a home in West Virginia that focused on God and helping others. It wasn’t until he was a Junior at Cedarville University that he realized that he could combine engineering and missionary work. The following year, he signed up for a 10-week summer internship with SonSet Solutions in Elkhart, Indiana. Continue reading
(August 20, 2013 – updated March 2015) Seventeen years had elapsed since Bynas, a local believer in the small West African country of Guinea-Bissau, captured the original vision to launch the country’s first full-time Christian radio station. Another evangelical station had been on the air only briefly.
As the years mounted, so did the long list of delays-lack of funds and equipment, difficulty receiving a broadcasting license, technical problems and at least three coups since 1999, the most recent of which erupted in mid-2012. The delays caused Bynas and missionary engineers to wonder what God had in store for the station’s future, but they persevered. Today the station is in place in Gabu, a city in the eastern part of the country with about 200,000 people.
When solar-powered radios leave the shipping dock in Elkhart, Indiana, the impact they have in other parts of the world may never be known in this lifetime. Not so with Mbutu. His story returns with great encouragement and determination to those who design and ship these little portable missionaries at SonSet Solutions.
Mbutu’s story begins when he walked for two days to reach a remote radio station in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But his journey was worth every step. When he arrived at the station, he shared his amazing story.
Mbutu was a village witchdoctor who practiced black arts. His life was devoted to casting spells, trying to control natural elements, and offering useless cures to those who were sick. But something happened to him that changed his life forever. Continue reading
(Oct. 16, 2014 – by Harold Goerzen) If there’s one word that everyone agrees on when referring to soft-spoken missionary engineer Herb Jacobson, it’s “unique.”
“Herb was one of a kind,” said Ron Cline, an ambassador and former president of Reach Beyond (formerly HCJB Global). “Whether he was working on a complicated technical project, analyzing a decision made by the board, discussing a theological issue or decorating a cake, he was consistent. He planned everything out, even the words he would use, delivered precisely as planned, and then sat down and let whatever he did speak for itself. His insights and humility were astounding.”
Receiving broken transmitters from overseas ministries is nothing new for our engineers at SonSet Solutions. Repairing transmitters is part of what we do to aid ministry radio stations around the world. There was particular urgency, however, in the repair of a transmitter we recently received.
Radio ELWA’s shortwave transmitter in Liberia stopped working. Radio ELWA has been a trusted voice and vital communications tool in Liberia for 60 years. It has been the only shortwave radio covering all of Liberia reaching into Sierra Leone and Guinea as well. In addition to broadcasting gospel programming, Radio ELWA has been assisting with public-service communications which have included, more recently, Ebola education. ELWA’s 130-acre campus also includes a hospital and the largest Ebola clinic in the country. Continue reading
When a child is sent off to college, all the dreams and aspirations of the parents closely follow behind her. So it was with the parents of Julia Thurber when she packed her belongings and headed to LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. She went with her parents’ blessings, scholarships in hand, and a dream to become a mechanical engineer. But six months after arriving at LeTourneau, Thurber noticed a lump on her neck. She went in for tests and soon learned the devastating results—cancer. She packed up, said goodbye to her classmates, and headed home, wondering if she’d ever return to school. Continue reading
Ever since he was 7 years old, “Joey” had wanted to be a missionary doctor to Africa. God used the exciting tales of wild animals, close calls, changed lives, and other adventures in the jungle to capture this young boy’s heart. Joey never lost his desire to serve the Lord overseas, and after graduating from college, he went on to medical school, becoming a doctor with a degree in public health and tropical medicine. He married his college sweetheart who studied and became a registered nurse. Dr. Joe and Becky Harvey moved to the Republic of the Congo in 1996 to serve as medical missionaries. Civil war broke out in the country forcing them to go back to the U.S. Continue reading