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.

In 2014, Friends in Action built a new 300-foot tower six miles outside of Guayaramerin. This would allow broadcasts to reach more language groups, but first the transmitter needed to be relocated to the new tower site. In 2015, Friends in Action called SonSet Solutions, and Tim was given what was supposed to be the relatively straightforward assignment of relocating the transmitter. However, a key piece of equipment was needed to make the project work. When Tim arrived at the station in October, the studio-to-transmitter wireless link he needed was stuck in customs!

God had other plans. “The key was that people prayed for wisdom. This wasn’t a loss,” Tim said. He shifted his focus from working with the radio station staff to training them how to relocate the transmitter on their own. When the link was released from customs, the nationals would have to do the work themselves. This extra time allowed Tim to troubleshoot some major technical issues at the station. One of these issues was an overheating transmitter which was on the verge of failure. Tim walked the staff through the steps needed to get it running properly, and together they repaired it. If the transmitter link Tim needed to complete the installation had cleared customs, Tim would not have had time to discover the transmitter problem and the station would have soon been off the air. “The guys I trained were excited,” Tim added. They are not only ready to do the installation, but they understand how to maintain their equipment. When the equipment is finally installed, Radio Inspiration will be in good shape and ready to broadcast to more language groups.

Nothing went as planned, but that doesn’t mean that God didn’t have a plan!

By Erica Simone