Stories

  • Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones…
    CarryingJesusFilmEquipment2

    Rejection. It cuts deep. We are overlooked for that promotion. Our friend is invited to a special event, but we are not. We feel like an outsider among people we have been associated with for years. We can find ourselves in these situations for personal reasons or they can be a result of our faith in Christ. Either way, all of us have experienced the feeling of rejection to some degree at one time or another.

    Ezekiel understood what rejection was. He sat across the conference room table with earnestness. The tribal markings under each eye spoke of the strong ethnic loyalty among his tribal group in Nigeria. The passion in his voice belied the many hardships he had faced over the years.

    A committed Nigerian pastor, Ezekiel came to discuss how we could work together to provide his ministry with a new Christian radio station. (See January’s Project Highlight) The challenge? This station will be located in the heart of Boko Haram territory. Boko Haram is a militant Islamist group which is fighting to overthrow the Nigerian government and replace it with an Islamic state. Creating havoc in Africa’s most populous country, they have committed abductions, assassinations, and bombings.

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  • Radically Transformed and New Dreams!

    Favor of God Studio

    Carole Ward, the Director of Favor of God Ministries, and partner organization with SonSet Solutions, recently shared this story:

    “During our prayer week, a thin, bedraggled man wearing a Muslim hat walked in the doors of the House of Prayer. He walked down to the front, got on his knees, and in the midst of our worship he prayed, with great sobs, to receive Jesus.

    As Ahmed poured out his story, we learned that he was a South Sudanese Muslim involved in the occult. He had fought bloody battles as a Major in the army for almost 20 years and had come to Uganda looking for his parents. By the time he discovered both had died, he had exhausted all his resources. Hungry and empty-handed he walked north to Gulu, realizing for the first time that Muhammad could not help him and never had.

    He was ready to end his life, when he heard praises coming from the House of Prayer. He walked in the door asking just for Jesus! We gave him a Bible and throughout the evening, as he read, he declared, ‘I’m called to preach, to win the Muslims to Jesus.’ What a transformation we witnessed, from suicidal and hopeless to being transformed by the love of God!”

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • An Eerie Sense of Better Times

    AfricaChildren1

    Recently, SonSet Solutions sent two of our technicians to Guinea-Bissau, a West African country that seems stuck in a perpetual state of underdevelopment. There’s an eerie sense there that at one time things were much better. After a civil war and multiple coups to overthrow the government, many parts of the country have no electricity or running water.

    People have lost their sense of identity and self-worth. Even people’s home addresses are non-specific. Our radio techs stayed “on the road that goes through town where the white man lives.” In 1 Peter 2:10, we are reminded that God specializes in taking people with no identity and makes them His own people.

    The latest trip to Guinea Bissau was to make repairs to a partner’s radio station that was struck by lightning and knocked off the air. The information on the damage sustained by the station was sketchy due to language barriers and intermittent internet connections. Our team determined what equipment needed to be replaced and shipped it out several weeks before their departure. Last minute items were acquired and hand-carried from the U.S., including tools and test equipment. Donations from several churches and individuals covered the cost of the equipment and travel expenses for the technical team.

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  • My Brother from Another Mother

    BrotherFromAnotherMother

    Men and women of various shades of white, brown, and black from differing tribes and nations and languages had gathered, and yet they were embracing, laughing, and reminiscing like one big and beautiful family. More than once we saw a black man and a white man, arm and arm, with one being introduced by the other with this declaration: This is my brother from another mother.

    We chuckled at that statement, yet were struck by how powerfully true those words were! Though not related by blood, nationality, tribe or language, we were connected by an indissoluble bond which transcends all others—we were brothers in the family of God. This colorful, diverse family was also united in a singular purpose—to see the gospel penetrate the hearts of all people on the vast African continent. And so we came in September, to the AbR (Africa by Radio) Media conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, to learn, teach, encourage, and collaborate. And with one voice we prayed for God’s Spirit to move over Africa and bring many more brothers and sisters into the family.

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  • Visitors Surprised by Extent of Ministry

    sonset.opening.029“You have been holding out on me! I had no idea what the extent was of your ministry work. I want to get involved by volunteering at SonSet Solutions.” This was one visitor’s response to our Global Impact Celebration held on August 29. Over 500 guests participated in our family-friendly open house.

    A dozen interactive stations dotted the property, both indoors and out, where people were able to touch, experience, and learn about the many facets of our technology. Where else could you practice being a broadcaster, or pump water and watch a flow meter track the water flow, or download the Jesus film onto your smart phone from a lamp pole, or put together antenna parts in the machine shop, or listen to indigenous programming from Chazuta, Peru, or turn a dial and see how an equipment power protection unit can protect a device from fluctuating voltage? “I was so impressed by the way all the staff put so much energy into making the presentations in each area a report on what God is doing,” another visitor added.

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  • Honduran Station Reflects Voice of the Holy Spirit

    Pastor Harlan Macklin and his family next to the tower at his church-based radio station.

    Up until about a month ago, all Honduran Pastor Harlan Macklin had was a dream to use technology to overcome the difficulties of travel in his remote area, reaching into the lives of people around him who had never heard the gospel message. That was until two engineering friends joined forces with the pastor to establish a church-based radio station in Puerto Lempira, a tiny fishing village on the coast of Honduras that can only be accessed by boat or regional airplanes.

    There are no large ferries or wide, paved runways in this place. The grass/gravel landing strip serves a regional plane company, and small outboard boats are available for water travel needs. This community is about 200 miles away from the nearest major city. Few taxis, buses or even privately owned cars can be found, so whenever there’s a gathering, including church services, one needs to allow plenty of time for walking. Ecuadorian engineer Milton Pumisacho says the environment reminded him of some Ecuadorian coastal villages back in the 1970s and 1980s.

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