Hurricane Matthew swept across the southwestern region of Haiti on October 4, 2016. With Category 4 winds of over 140 mph and up to two feet of rain falling in some places, thousands of Haitians lost their lives and tens of thousands of homes were destroyed. International ministries, NGOs, and governments responded in epic numbers.
Long-time partner Radio Lumiѐre, which covers up to 94 percent of the country of Haiti with gospel programming, had eight of its 20 sites severely damaged and off the air. They contacted our staff for help. We understood the urgency—victims of this disaster needed to hear both humanitarian and gospel messaging to keep people’s health and hope alive.
SonSet Solutions called on you for financial help to get our missionary on the ground and help get some of the damage repaired. You responded generously. We received $6,715!
SonSet Solutions missionary engineer appointee Leon Amstutz spent two weeks in Haiti helping the Radio Lumiѐre staff assess and repair some of the main sites. In his luggage, he carried materials critical for repairing towers, cables and connectors, along with a box of 20 SonSet® radios programmed to Radio Lumiѐre stations. These were distributed to churches in the affected areas.
Using salvageable parts of twisted towers, Amstutz and the Haitian technicians were able to get a couple of locations back on the air. Repairing relay transmitters and receivers, studio equipment, antennas, and leaking roofs allowed at least partial operation to six of Radio Lumiѐre’s other locations. Later, another team of SonSet Solutions engineers, previously scheduled to assist Radio Lumiѐre with new automation software, brought additional transmitter repair parts and were able to get one of the damaged transmitters working. Several international organizations are joining hands to help the station resume full broadcasting. Complete restoration will take more time and thousands of dollars.
Much prayer is needed for the facilities of Radio Lumiѐre and for the people affected by this latest disaster. The personal impact of the station felt by the local people of the region is evident by their response when Radio Lumiѐre went off the air—“We miss our Radio Lumiѐre!”
Written by Barbara Anderson