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.

Believing God was directing them to start a new ministry in neighboring Tanzania, Lowell and Claudia trusted their supporters once again to help them fulfill God’s call. God’s people flooded their mailbox with funds and backed them with their prayers. Off they went to Tanzania to start Joy in the Harvest—a church planting, compassion, and community development ministry.

Preparing the Tower Radio Joy TanzaniaA ham radio buff since his youth, Lowell wondered if radio could expand his ministry in Tanzania. He was convinced it could, after consultations with SonSet Solutions revealed that a station in Kigoma would have a potential listening audience of 2.1 million people. SonSet Solutions helped Lowell with equipment and technical expertise to get Radio Joy started and will be available for ongoing technical support. “Without SonSet Solutions there would be no Radio Joy,” Lowell testified. “It was the encouragement of their staff that gave us the confidence to move forward.” And who provided the funds? The Wertz’s faithful supporters, of course!

The radio equipment was shipped in a container by boat and across Tanzania by train. In route, the train derailed and the container carrying all the sensitive radio equipment fell off, landing on its side in a puddle of water. There it lay for nearly three weeks until the track was repaired. Lowell was beside himself when he saw the dented, muddy container. But when he opened it, he was amazed to discover not one piece of equipment had been damaged! “There was no natural explanation for how that could have happened,” reported Lowell.

Radio Joy officially went on the air on October 18, 2015 with the victorious strains of the Hallelujah Chorus filling the air waves—a fitting praise to God for the completion of a project years in the making. Lowell asks us to “pray that the great power of radio will reach tens of thousands and help bring them to saving faith in Jesus Christ.”

SonSet Solutions counts it a privilege to help dedicated servants like Lowell and Claudia Wertz.

By Marla Bender