Six miles off Puerto Rico’s southeastern coast lies the island of Vieques. One of several Puerto Rican islands, Vieques, along with its neighbors, was devastated by this year’s battering of hurricanes. Hurricane Maria seemed to deal the crippling blow.
“We need help in Puerto Rico,” texted Janet Luttrell, former president and CEO of Calvary Evangelistic Mission (CEM). CEM was founded in the early 1950s by her parents who had a vision to reach the Caribbean with the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of God. Radio station WIVV went on the air in 1956 as the first full-time Christian radio station in the Caribbean. The station has since expanded to become The Rock Radio Network. Part of its programming includes The Bible Correspondence School of the Caribbean teaching and reaching students in locations like homes, hospital beds, prisons and churches. SonSet Solutions has worked with CEM on various projects over the years including extensive maintenance and repair work on two of Rock Radio’s towers and transmitter buildings.
WIVV covers the U.S. and British Virgin Islands all the way to the Leewards and has a potential reach of 700,000 listeners.
“WIVV’s tower’s down – took a beating and couldn’t survive. Could take months to rebuild and for Vieques Island to get power” added Janet.
SonSet Solutions broadcast engineer Tim Zook explains, “The plan is to get a tower rigger on the ground to survey the tower site and get a new tower up. Once that happens, I have been asked to go and hook it all together.”
Emergency relief funds will help to make this happen and allow us to get WIVV back on the air.
Why is communication key in disaster response and recovery? The title of an October 3 New York Times article helps explain, “Aid Is Getting to Puerto Rico. Distributing It Remains a Challenge.” Infrastructure is part of the problem as many of the roads remain inaccessible but lack of communication is also at fault. The governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, stated, “We have delivered food and water, and it hasn’t gotten to some people. … The information didn’t get to them.”
Will you join us in helping to get WIVV back on the air? Damage assessments are still not complete, but this is what we do know.
- A new AM radio tower needs to be erected on the current site.
- The water must be drained from the radio tower site.
- A secondary communications tower that links the studio to the transmitter needs to be erected.
- A satellite receiving dish at WIVV’s studio in San Juan must be replaced and installed.
- Three electrical power transformers must be replaced.
- A second damage assessment trip is needed to determine if the 5KW transmitter, backup diesel generator, ground plane cabling, and local studio equipment have been damaged as well.
We are raising $20,000 to assist our friends and partners at Calvary Evangelistic Mission in their efforts to restore the operation of this important radio ministry. We invite you to be a part of this effort through your generous giving and prayers for all those involved in the restoration process. Give to our Emergency Relief Fund to show your support for radio station WIVV in Puerto Rico.
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Elkhart, IN 46515-2709