Stories

  • Changing Lives Together

    “There is no single technology or ministry that can meet every water need in Africa. We must work together,” said Dr. Spencer Bogle from The Water Project. Stephen Peacock from SonSet Solutions, Rich Arthur from Design Outreach, and a team of five mission groups gathered together to distribute 2,000 Gideon Bibles and install two new LifePumps™ at two Kenyan schools. The team’s first job was to replace an old Afridev pump with a LifePump next to an elementary school in the slum area of Kakamega. As the curious eyes of young onlookers watched, Rich and Stephen trained the Kenyan missionaries on the installation of LifePumps.

    During the second pump’s installation, Stephen and Rich became overseers and watched the Kenyans work by themselves to get the second pump up and running. Everything was going smoothly until the pump hit an unexpected layer of silt. Unsure of what to do, Stephen and Rich were reliant on a South Sudanese team member, who had specialized in drilling wells as a private contractor. This African missionary gave instructions to the group and, within two days, the well was cleared and ready to serve the community. Stephen said, “Here was something that we were completely stuck on, but God provided a guy who was trained and knew exactly what to do.”

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  • Walking for Water

    Nya, a young girl in Sudan, made the arduous trip every day to a dirty pond that was miles away from her home. The pond was her family’s only source of water until a man named Salva, a Sudanese native, built a well in the center of her village. The book, “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park, tells how one well brought hope to this little girl’s future. Students at Houghton Academy in Houghton, New York, read about Nya’s situation and were greatly impacted by this true story.

    “The walk came to mind in my middle school English class during a Human Dignity unit in which the students read fiction and non-fiction works in literature circles,” says Ann McNeil, the students’ English teacher, “‘A Long Walk to Water’ and information put out by World Vision inspired them to look for ways to help children get safe water and a chance at an education.” Each student built a support team of at least five sponsors and decided to “walk in the shoes” of children who live in the developing world. With a water jug in their hands, these seventh and eighth graders walked 3.7 miles. This number represents the average distance children in developing countries walk to retrieve water. “I learned how much children go through for water when we can get it in like 10 steps, while they go miles!” says Caitlin, one of the students who walked in the event.

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  • God’s Faithfulness Despite the Setbacks

    As our engineers regularly do, Tim Zook diligently prepared for his survey trip overseas. However, while Tim was gearing up to go to the Central African Republic (CAR), unrest was stirring within the country. Due to violence, a strike overwhelmed the airline in the capital city which caused a delay in the trip. Despite this setback, God was ensuring his safety. A week later, the violence subsided and he was able to arrive in the country safely.

    Tim immediately began working at the radio station, Water for Good. Earlier in the year, a power surge hit the station’s daytime and nighttime transmitters. He was able to successfully fix the daytime transmitter, but encountered more significant problems with the nighttime transmitter – he would have to bring it back to the states for further repairs. Despite this setback, he was able to test other equipment, train the staff, and survey the station for a future work trip.

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  • Helping South African Missionaries Raise Awareness

    Shaking with fear, the young girl stood on the street corner. “What are you afraid of?” a compassionate woman asked. The answer came, “It’s my first night.”

    This is a conversation Pholile Maneli had with a young girl in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Pholile and her husband Nkosinathi are missionaries who run a media ministry called Optasia Productions through YWAM in Port Elizabeth.

    After witnessing the atrocities of human trafficking and meeting many of the young girls involved, they decided to produce a full-length film in order to bring awareness to the subject. While in the U.S. raising funds for this film, they were surprised by the lack of knowledge prevalent among the churches and people they visited. Many were aware that human trafficking exists overseas but didn’t realize the epidemic was also occurring in their own backyards here in the U.S.

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  • Partnership Through the Decades

    In 1977, two men arrived in Quito, Ecuador, with a calling to serve the Lord through technology. Their subsequent partnership and friendship has spanned four decades, two continents, and countless technological changes. Yet their goal remains unchanged.

    Dan Anderson came as a full-time missionary while Jim Childs came as a summer missionary and later as a college co-op student. He worked with Dan to automate the delivery of audio to shortwave transmitters. Typical radio stations sent one program to a single transmitter, whereas the HCJB system had to handle six programs at a time to any one of a dozen shortwave transmitters. Their efforts enabled the accurate and timely proclamation of Jesus Christ in ten or more languages around the globe.

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  • More Than A Glass Plaque

    David Russell, the president and CEO of SonSet Solutions, was inducted this April into the Academy of Engineering and Engineering Technology at LeTourneau University. This induction serves “…to recognize outstanding alumni who bring honor to the School of Engineering and Engineering Technology as engineering practitioners, researchers, missionaries, educators, and leaders,” reports the university’s Dean of Engineering, Dr. Steven K. Starrett.

    In 1986, Russell worked with Intelsat, a commercial satellite communications company, where he helped develop, build, test and launch what was the largest satellite at that time. As time elapsed, Russell and his wife felt that God was calling them into missions. However, having a love for engineering and technology, Russell found himself struggling with God.

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  • Two Lives Change When Strangers Meet

    I was sitting in Starbucks, feeling stressed out. I had just completed a week of mentoring spring break students, and now I was scrambling to prepare a Sunday school lesson for the young adults class at my church. Honestly, my mind was not in a good place, and my sin nature was getting the best of me.

    Suddenly a high school guy pulls up a chair at my table and says, “Hey man, you mind if I sit here?” A little stunned I said, “Yeah, no problem.” Before I could register what was happening, I was in a conversation with Randy, a high school freshman with aspirations to be a rapper one day.

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  • Identity Change

    Could anything good come of this? All Nichodemus wanted was revenge for this horrific act of violence.

    This Pokot man shared his incredible story with SonSet Solutions missionaries Cody and Emily Hall during a pastor’s conference in Kenya. Thrilled to receive the audio Bibles they brought in the language of his people, Nichodemus explained the transformation that happened in his own heart as a result of God’s word.

    Nichodemus Namecha and a group of 10 men were raiders in South Sudan and traveled to villages killing people and stealing their possessions and livestock. One day, his own nephew, whom he was raising, was killed by an enemy tribe and brutally slaughtered. Angered by this torturous execution, he began searching for his gun, intending to find the murderers and kill them.

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