Destiny FM Reaches the Unreached

Jim & Jenny Duncan - Belize“What happened to Destiny? Don’t you know that’s what keeps us alive?”

This is what Jim and Jenny Duncan, missionaries to Belize and partners of SonSet Solutions, heard from a listener when a broken transmitter forced Destiny 105.1 FM off the air.

In April, SonSet Solutions missionaries Alan and Sarah Good traveled to Belize to return the repaired transmitter and reinstall it so that Destiny FM could resume its on air ministries.

Though Belize is a country of many nationalities, its Mennonite community is a significant part of Destiny FM’s target audience. Approximately 12,000 Mennonites live in Belize. While some have integrated into Central American culture, others remain in colonies and try to preserve the “Old Order Mennonite” beliefs and culture. Though many Mennonites believe faith in Jesus is the only way to eternal life, a significant number miss the freedom the gospel provides and put too great an emphasis on rules and works as a means of being made right with God. Henry Redekopp, a pastor from the evangelistic sub colony, says the Old Colony Mennonites are a largely unreached people group in Belize, but now radio is able to reach them in their own language. Continue reading

It is Impossible to Just Look Away

Ed and Noah on Tower

It is called the ‘Tower of Power’ and is finally completed and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ via radio. The 300-foot tower is a culmination of 10 years of planning and prayer at Pioneer Christian Hospital in Impfondo, Republic of Congo, Africa.

The connection between SonSet Solutions and Pioneer Christian Hospital was birthed in 2006 when Dr. Joe Harvey, director of the African hospital, attended a consortium in Ghana. The meeting summit was intended to reveal how radio and medicine could partner together and show what the ‘Voice and Hands’ ministry could accomplish in Africa.

Dr. Joe walked away from that summit with a dream of having a radio station as part of the hospital ministry. Along that journey the team hit many snags, but God was faithful to honor their hard work and to answer prayer. The temporary radio station went on the air in January 2014. It would be another two years and many roadblocks before the station antenna site would be moved from the hospital’s water tower to a tall radio tower structure. Continue reading

Dr. Joe’s Dream

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Imagine for a moment, you are injured and taken to the hospital. You are admitted and receive treatment. As you recover, you feel your stomach growl. It has been a while since you have eaten. You are hungry. But the hospital has no food to give you. Without a family member to help, you will die, not from your original injury, but from starvation, right there in the hospital.

This is the reality of many hospitals in the developing world. They care deeply for the physical needs of the people, but there are no resources to feed their patients. For many refugees and outcast members of the community, such as patients suffering from leprosy, there is no one to care for these needs, which can result in the patient starving to death.

Our team of four traveled to the small town of Impfondo in the French-speaking country of the Republic of Congo. In this small town is a 60-bed missionary hospital, Pioneer Christian Hospital, a ministry of Global Outreach Mission. Our team went to assist with various projects. One member of our team, Candice Scatliff, a nutritionist, was there to assist in establishing a feeding program for patients.

The dream of medical director Dr. Joseph Harvey is to establish a program in which the hospital is able to provide nourishment to all inpatients, thus improving prognosis, recovery time, and the overall health of patients. The challenges to this goal are many: Lack of resources, logistics, and know-how. This is where Candice came in. For the two weeks she was in the Congo, her main focus was to overcome these challenges. She met frequently with the medical staff, worked with the hospital cook (for the few who can afford to buy food), lobbied aid organizations, provided training in nutrition to the head of nursing administration, and even recorded radio programs (translated into French and Lingala, the local languages) addressing nutrition-related health concerns in the area. Continue reading

You Cannot Do That in This Country

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With a population of 81 million people, Turkey is predominantly Muslim—99.8% in fact. Less than 0.2% is considered evangelical Christian. In theory, Turkey recognizes the civil, political, and cultural rights of non-Muslim minorities; however, evangelical believers are still subject to political and social pressures from the local populous which have escalated into violent acts. Despite its tiny minority, the church continues to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, no matter the cost. Our partner, Radio Shema, is at the forefront of this movement.

Founded in 2001, Radio Shema is one of two Christian radio stations in the country. Radio Shema is located in Ankara, the country’s capital, and broadcasts to an estimated nine million people in the greater Ankara metropolitan region and surrounding cities. “We know that our station is making an impact in the lives of people here as many have written in asking questions about God, Christianity, the Church, our programming, music artists, and other such topics.” Continue reading

God, the Madam, and Voodoo

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SonSet Solutions is a partnership ministry with engineers, technicians, equipment, and technical knowledge. Our partners around the world have a passion to reach their fellow countrymen with the message of freedom and salvation in Christ. Often, radio is an excellent tool to facilitate this process. New Generation Ministries (NGM) is our newest ministry partner. Their aim is to minister to the poor, the hurting, and the orphaned in Haiti. They attempted to start a small radio station but were struggling with old equipment, a less-than-adequate antenna, and a dilapidated tower. A friend of SonSet Solutions put Mike Leland of NGM in touch with us and a new ministry partnership was born! While SonSet Solutions is eager to upgrade this new radio station in Haiti, our real excitement is about how this radio station first came about.

It’s a thrilling story of God’s redemptive work and his love for the people of Haiti. So, sit back, relax, and prepare to be encouraged as we share this account of God’s deliverance! Continue reading

Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones…

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Rejection. It cuts deep. We are overlooked for that promotion. Our friend is invited to a special event, but we are not. We feel like an outsider among people we have been associated with for years. We can find ourselves in these situations for personal reasons or they can be a result of our faith in Christ. Either way, all of us have experienced the feeling of rejection to some degree at one time or another.

Ezekiel understood what rejection was. He sat across the conference room table with earnestness. The tribal markings under each eye spoke of the strong ethnic loyalty among his tribal group in Nigeria. The passion in his voice belied the many hardships he had faced over the years.

A committed Nigerian pastor, Ezekiel came to discuss how we could work together to provide his ministry with a new Christian radio station. (See January’s Project Highlight) The challenge? This station will be located in the heart of Boko Haram territory. Boko Haram is a militant Islamist group which is fighting to overthrow the Nigerian government and replace it with an Islamic state. Creating havoc in Africa’s most populous country, they have committed abductions, assassinations, and bombings. Continue reading

Radically Transformed and New Dreams!

Favor of God Studio

Carole Ward, the Director of Favor of God Ministries, and partner organization with SonSet Solutions, recently shared this story:

“During our prayer week, a thin, bedraggled man wearing a Muslim hat walked in the doors of the House of Prayer. He walked down to the front, got on his knees, and in the midst of our worship he prayed, with great sobs, to receive Jesus.

As Ahmed poured out his story, we learned that he was a South Sudanese Muslim involved in the occult. He had fought bloody battles as a Major in the army for almost 20 years and had come to Uganda looking for his parents. By the time he discovered both had died, he had exhausted all his resources. Hungry and empty-handed he walked north to Gulu, realizing for the first time that Muhammad could not help him and never had.

He was ready to end his life, when he heard praises coming from the House of Prayer. He walked in the door asking just for Jesus! We gave him a Bible and throughout the evening, as he read, he declared, ‘I’m called to preach, to win the Muslims to Jesus.’ What a transformation we witnessed, from suicidal and hopeless to being transformed by the love of God!” Continue reading

Rebuilding with Joy

In the Studio Radio Joy Tanzania 1

As gunfire penetrated their neighborhood in a village in Zaire (present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo), Lowell and Claudia Wertz and their children lay on the floor in their dining room wondering what would become of their lives, their home, and the ministry they had been building for ten years. They did not know that God would use an act of kindness shown to a government official to affect their deliverance.

Just the day before, Lowell had fixed a radio receiver for a military commander. When the military dissolved into anarchy and started looting the town, the commander, remembering the favor, came and helped Lowell and his family flee to safety. Lowell only had time to grab the one item he valued most—the addresses of his supporters. “We lost everything that day but our call to ministry,” Lowell reflected. “How could we continue in ministry without our supporters?” While Claudia and the children returned to America, Lowell, an experienced pilot, helped evacuate other missionaries. Continue reading

Nothing Went as Planned

Working on transmitterWe are often frustrated when things do not go as planned. Sometimes it takes looking at events in hindsight to see that God was in it all along. For SonSet Solutions’ broadcast engineer Tim Zook and his work with Radio Inspiration, it didn’t take long to realize that what could have been a frustrating experience was God working out a better plan.

Radio Inspiration was the fulfillment of the vision of seven churches in Guayaramerin (wī-a-da´-mĕ-dēn), Bolivia. Their desire was to set up a radio station that would broadcast the gospel to the city of 35,000 and reach the indigenous Indian tribes that live in the headwaters of the Amazon River. Our partner, Friends in Action, built the studio/transmitter building and original 160-foot radio tower, and with the technical assistance of SonSet Solutions, the station went on the air in June 2006.

The ministry is flourishing. Church services are held in the studio building and are transmitted over the airwaves. In addition to pastoring the church, Pastor Saul runs an orphanage with 63 children. A pavilion in the jungle serves as his “training center” where he conducts pastoral training, camps, and retreats. Continue reading

An Eerie Sense of Better Times

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Recently, SonSet Solutions sent two of our technicians to Guinea-Bissau, a West African country that seems stuck in a perpetual state of underdevelopment. There’s an eerie sense there that at one time things were much better. After a civil war and multiple coups to overthrow the government, many parts of the country have no electricity or running water.

People have lost their sense of identity and self-worth. Even people’s home addresses are non-specific. Our radio techs stayed “on the road that goes through town where the white man lives.” In 1 Peter 2:10, we are reminded that God specializes in taking people with no identity and makes them His own people.

The latest trip to Guinea Bissau was to make repairs to a partner’s radio station that was struck by lightning and knocked off the air. The information on the damage sustained by the station was sketchy due to language barriers and intermittent internet connections. Our team determined what equipment needed to be replaced and shipped it out several weeks before their departure. Last minute items were acquired and hand-carried from the U.S., including tools and test equipment. Donations from several churches and individuals covered the cost of the equipment and travel expenses for the technical team. Continue reading