Reaching the Navajo Nation

When Tim and Renee Zook arrived in Window Rock, Arizona, last November, they were eager to roll up their sleeves and get to work. Western Indian Ministries (WIM), which operates three radio stations covering the entire Navajo Nation, was facing a daunting list of problems they were not entirely equipped to solve on their own.

Tim, a technician with SonSet Solutions, shared his expertise with Wayne Blankenship, the ministry’s radio assistant. Side by side, Tim and Wayne successfully fixed a transmitter (allowing it to operate at full power), repaired a broken console, sorted out a tangle of electrical wiring, and installed an amplifier to increase their broadcasting range.

Since its founding in 1906, WIM strives to provide hope and transformation to the Navajo people. The organization started with a church plant and now includes a growing number of ministries and missionaries serving the remote region.

The Navajo Nation faces persistently high rates of poverty, unemployment, suicide, and substance abuse, and many homes are isolated, lacking heat and electricity. “There is a lot of loneliness,” reflects Tim, but by providing around-the-clock programming, WIM is addressing the needs of the Navajo people. Reverend Nelson Betoney, host of an afternoon broadcast in the Navajo language, addresses interests specific to the native people and expressed to SonSet Solutions that his listeners appreciate the stronger radio signal clearly bringing the message of hope.

While Tim was busy working at the station, Renee, who serves in hospitality for SonSet Solutions, was thrilled to help nearby at Hilltop Christian School founded by Western Indian Ministries in 1964. The small teaching staff, which serves 75 children, was pleased to have an additional set of hands to provide guidance to students needing extra care.

Tim was impressed with the eagerness of his apprentice and continues communication with Wayne since returning to the SonSet Solutions facility in Indiana. He noted that they are “still sorting things out,” and looks forward to a follow-up trip when they can continue making improvements.

Wayne, whose wife, Erin, also serves with WIM, expressed gratitude for Tim’s coaching. “Tim and his wife were a blessing to our ministry. We were able to solve some long-standing issues very quickly.” He added that he hopes to continue their relationship with Tim and SonSet Solutions.