Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Radio Station at the Farm

About a year ago Jimmy and I started talking about a Kekchi radio ministry based at the institute/farm. We thought it would be a very effective tool. Plus, the students could be trained to run it and get another valuable skill. 

There are Kekchi radio ministries further south of us, but there are none that reach the majority of Petén. There is a monopoly on radio frequencies, so to purchase a registered one would cost $130,000. The ones south of us are operating without being registered and could be fined and shut down at any time. We really thought this was impossible, but still felt God was placing a radio ministry on our hearts.

Then last September Lifeword, a Stateside radio ministry, contacted us and asked if they could help us start a small radio station at the farm. We found out that if your station reaches under a 10 mile radius it doesn’t need to be registered. This ministry sent a team from Honduras to help us set one up. Professor Juan is going to head up the ministry and 2 students were trained on how to edit new programming. We have a store at the farm but it isn’t always open because it would cut so much out of our profits paying someone to run it. Now we can pay these guys, so that as they are running the store they can be working on programming when no one is there buying things. They can also rotate so that they can still work on their farm projects.
The Radio Tower Going Up
    The radio station runs from 6AM to 10PM. We record the 4 services during the week along with music, dramas, and other devotionals and discipleship materials the students are working on all in the Kekchi language. It’s neat because the radios in people’s houses run on batteries so even when there is no power (which is pretty often) and things get quiet, you can hear the radios coming from everyone’s homes. 
Students Being Trained (Everyone was interested!)
 Over the last couple months people from all the neighboring villages (8) have been coming to visit the radio station! They often bring donations because they appreciate it so much. We are looking forward to getting more training on editing and organizing programming so that we can have a large library of Kekchi programming. Jimmy and the students have translated several worships songs into Kekchi, they go out over the airways during the services. 
Our first youth service that went out over the radio.
The students want to start a call in program. They want to begin with pray requests but eventually make it a question and answer time too for people who have specific questions about the Bible. Lifeword contacted us again last week and said that they would like to continue helping with training and also with equipment to start more radio stations around Petén as the students graduate and spread out into the unreached villages!

So God put this radio ministry on our hearts without us understanding how it would be possible while He was orchestrating all of the details. Please pray for the men working the radio and that God would continue to use this ministry to open doors into the unreached hearts and villages all over Petén!

Like our church and our fourth child, it is taking us some time to come up with a name. Everything is just "the church at the farm", "the radio at the farm". So when we figure any of those out, I will let you know!

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