Clay Jars, Mason Jars

"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us."

– 2 Corinthians 4:7 ESV

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Make Ebola Kick the Bucket

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

The battle is arduous, yet the people of West Africa are making headway in the fight against Ebola. Healthcare workers sacrifice their wellbeing to ensure more patients survive the virus. And educators inform people how to prevent the spread to Ebola and respond to its symptoms.

Mary Kolu Massaquoi, a retired nurse and midwife from Liberia, produced radio programs to educate listeners in West Africa about how to prevent Ebola. You are invited to listen to Mary's fun and educational radio spots.

Reach Beyond and partner ministries are providing necessities to families in Ebola quarantine areas in Sierra Leone. The buckets and included items such as food, soap, and gloves help these families survive and prevent the spread of the virus. Will you make Ebola kick the bucket?

Person of the Year: The Ebola Fighters

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Ebola may not show up in our daily news at often today as it did this past summer, but it remains a major concern for the people of West Africa. As the epidemic continues, medical personnel vigilantly risk their very lives for the sake of those who are suffering, and for all of humanity. And that is why TIME Magazine has named the Ebola Fighters as the Person of the Year.

The rest of the world can sleep at night because a group of men and women are willing to stand and fight. For tireless acts of courage and mercy, for buying the world time to boost its defenses, for risking, for persisting, for sacrificing and saving, the Ebola fighters are TIME's 2014 Person of the Year.

Why the Ebola Fighters Are TIME's Person of the Year 2014

The article highlights the foresight and persistence of Dr. Jerry Brown, the medical director of the Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. Dr. Kent Brantly with Samaritan's Purse, nurse Nancy Writebol with Serving in Mission, and countless others put everything on the line in the service of their fellow man.

The Outpouring

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

Just yesterday I finished reading The Outpouring: Jesus in the Feasts of Israel by Elwood McQuaid as a part of my regular morning devotions (which honestly aren't so regular). This book gave me greater insight into Jesus' incredible claims about himself, all within the context of the feasts of Israel.

The Outpouring: Jesus in the Feasts of Israel

Late in the month of March, we remembered Good Friday and Easter Sunday. My teammates and I had our spiritual retreat and celebrated the Seder meal. The Seder, of course, recounts the Passover meal, where the Lord passed over the homes of the Israelites and subsequently delivered Israel from the hand of Pharaoh.

John, uniquely among the other gospel accounts, records the majority of Jesus' ministry taking place around the Jewish feasts. John chapters 2 and 3 record Jesus attending his first Passover during his public ministry, where he clears the temple of the money changers, and subsequently talks with Nicodemus. John chapter 5 records Jesus' presence at an unnamed feast (which McQuaid confidently believes was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year), where Jesus heals the man who had been lying ill at the pool of Bethesda for thirty-eight years, and subsequently testifies to the religious leaders of the coming resurrection.

Now, before I move on to my main topic, I want to dwell for a moment on a tangent. The healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda carries clear similarity to the healing of the man born blind as recorded in chapter 9. In both situations, Jesus heals men who have severe disabilities, making these healings undeniable. In each scenario, Jesus is mysteriously absent while the healed men are interrogated by the Jewish people. In each account, as they testify about what Jesus has done, they set the stage for him to make his appearance and proclaim his unique relationship with his Father.

But I want to focus on John chapter 6, a chapter which has fascinated me for a long time. Reading this chapter in light of the coming Passover celebration as mentioned in verse 4, sheds even more light on Jesus' claims about himself.

As the chapter begins, Jesus miraculously feeds the crowd of 5,000 who are following him. The people realize this is the Messiah, and are ready to make him king, but Jesus intentionally withdraws from the people.

That evening, the disciples begin crossing the Sea of Galilee to reach Capernaum, but are hindered because of a strong wind. During the night, Jesus walks out on the water, and meets them.

The following day, the crowd crosses the sea and comes to find Jesus, asking "Rabbi, when did you get here?" (verse 25). Jesus addresses them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal." (verses 26-27).

As the conversation continues, the topic moves to manna, which sustained Israel while they wandered in the wilderness. This would have been fresh in the minds of the people, since the Passover celebration was near. Jesus responds, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst." (verse 35).

Notice that the symbol used here is not the unleavened bread of the Passover meal, but the manna which sustained Israel in the desert. The unleavened bread was made in haste, in preparation for Israel's exodus. To the contrary, the manna was sent from heaven, just as Jesus was sent by his Father. Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven." (verse 32).

The author of the book keenly pointed out how what Jesus said to the Jewish people that day surely brought to mind things written in their scriptures. Notice the connection between just a few of these Old Testament quotes and Jesus' words.

"Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance."

– Isaiah 55:2 NASB

"Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal."

– John 6:27 NASB

"…but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'"

– Genesis 3:3 NASB

"This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die."

– John 6:50 NASB

In spite of this clear and exciting proclamation Jesus made of himself, the response of the people is disheartening. Jesus unapologetically states, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves." (verse 53). The people respond, "This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?" (verse 60) and many followers cease walking with him.

But the conclusion to the chapter is reassuring. Jesus asks his disciples if they also want to go away, but Simon Peter answers with confidence in Jesus, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God." (verse 68).

In essence, Simon Peter is saying he will be satisfied with nothing less than the Living Bread sent from heaven by God.

Friday is Good, because of Sunday

Sunday, March 31, 2013 (Easter Sunday)

Today is Easter Sunday. Two days ago was Friday, specifically Good Friday. But I've always had trouble calling it "Good" Friday. How can we call a day good when a righteous man was wrongfully murdered?

Just look at the facts. Jesus was betrayed by Judas, one of his twelve closest disciples (Matthew 26:14-16, 47-50). He was tried and sentenced in a kangaroo court (Matthew 26:59-60, 27:1-2). Peter, another of Jesus' closest disciples, denied knowing him (Matthew 26:69-75). Jesus was scourged and mocked (John 19:1-3), and as if that brutality wasn't enough, he was crucified on a barbaric cross (John 19:17-18). A righteous man, in whom there was no sin, was murdered by the recognized authorities of the time. How can this be "Good" Friday?!

This was a terrible day for Jesus. He cried out to his Father while in the Garden of Gethsemane, pleading for a way to avoid the cross (Matthew 26:36-46). After the sentencing, while suffocating on the cross, he cried out to his Father, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:45-46).

Yes, this was a terrible day for Jesus, but it was a wonderful day for us—because of Sunday. As God's own Son, Jesus conquered death and rose from the grave on the third day (Matthew 28:1-7, John 20:11-18). He defeated the sin which held you and me in fear of eternal death, which separates us from our Creator (Romans 5:6-11, Colossians 1:13-23). He gave us the promise of peace with God and eternal life (Romans 5:1, John 14:1-3). Friday truly is good, because Jesus conquered sin and death so that we may have life!

Follow Me!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Easter Sunday may be more than week behind us, but that doesn't mean we can put Jesus out of our minds a go about a daily routines like usual. Let me show you an amazing discovery from the Bible.

At Jesus' arrest and crucifixion, his disciples were scattered as sheep without a shepherd. They didn't know what to do, and at Peter's urging (John 21:3), they returned to their former careers—fishing.

But Jesus wasn't dead, and his involvement in the disciples' lives wasn't over. Peter may have disowned Jesus during the trial weeks earlier, yet Jesus restored their relationship. He even commanded Peter, "Follow Me!" (verse 19), and emphasized it a second time (verse 22).

This harkens back to when Jesus first called Peter several years prior. Jesus beckoned Peter and his fellow fishermen, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." (Matthew 4:19). Jesus called Peter to follow him not just for the next three years, but for the rest of his life.

Now that the official Easter holiday is behind us, have you returned to your daily routine? Or are you following our risen Savior?

Spring Break for the Glory of Christ

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The past several weeks have been exhilarating, and it's hard to say goodbye to the enthusiastic students who spent their spring break with us. Come; see what our Lord Jesus is doing in and through us.

Last week, students from Cedarville University in Ohio gave up their spring break to work alongside us at the HCJB Global Technology Center. Several of the students helped retrofit a milling machine so that it can be controlled by computer, which will help our machine shop produce parts needed for radio transmitters and other projects. Other students set up and test a specialized directional antenna, which will help us gauge the performance of analog and digital radio broadcasts.

But the activity didn't end there. Just this past week, students from LeTourneau University in Texas sacrificed their spring break to work with us. Several of the students edited video footage and designed digital signage for our new Jack and June Nikkel Media Center. One of the students helped me add a new feature to the software used in our digital radio equipment, which will make it easier for listeners to identify the language and country of origin of the international broadcasts they enjoy.

Praise the Lord for graciously bringing each student to work with us during the past two weeks. Pray that each student would continue to seek and clearly see the Lord's guidance as they continue their studies and minister to those around them.

Farewell to our Summer Workers

Friday, August 19, 2011

Today is a day of sadness, but also a day of rejoicing. Today we said farewell to our last summer worker.

Seven people worked with us this summer. They are college seniors, recent graduates, and even industry professionals. Each brought fresh ideas to their assignments, and also worked well with our project teams.

The engineers refurbished transmitters destined for ministry to Asian listeners, designed equipment to protect transmitters from power surges and sags, and researched the potential of generating electricity via a solar chimney. And the videographers used our new media center to plan, record, and edit presentations highlighting our ministry via radio and medical outreach.

Our summer workers truly are great additions to our teams. But it is time to wish them well as they return to college and venture on to other ministry opportunities. May our Lord Jesus guide them each step of the way.

HCJB, Kids Alive, and Haiti

Saturday, July 2, 2011

What is possible when churches and ministries work together to meet the needs of children in Haiti? Check out this three minute video to see!

Help and Hope for Haiti

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tuesday, January 12, 2010 will forever remain in the minds of the men, women, and children who survived the earthquake that took their loved ones. But some will also remember that, three days later, God sent an HCJB Global emergency medical response team to heal their wounds and mend their broken bones.

Today, the one year anniversary of the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, please take time to thank our Lord for quickly sending medical help and Christian hope to the Haitian people. And, you don't need to be a physician or nurse to help the people of Haiti. There are opportunities for you to participate with HCJB Global in construction and other projects.

Luke Chapter 2

Saturday, December 25, 2010 (Christmas Day)

Today is a wonderful day, giving special attention to the birth of Jesus. He is the one who was foretold by the prophets of Israel. He is the one who had a miraculous arrival on earth, which was celebrated by angels, shepherds, and maji. He is the only one who lived a sinless life, and died a sinner's death in our stead. And he is the one who rose from the dead, giving the promise of eternal life to all who trust him.

Have you read the Christmas story? Spend twenty minutes and read Luke chapter 2 and Matthew chapter 2. It is worth your time and effort. Merry Christmas!

Computers, Radio, and Jesus

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thursday this week was just a little out of the ordinary. We had our usual time of prayer in the morning. And I serviced several computers so that my coworkers could remain as productive as possible. But there was something that made the day unique… and special.

Several young men are here this week and next to receive training how to install and maintain radio stations. They help run Christian radio stations overseas, where equipment and expertise are hard to find.

A student from West Africa told me about his greatest need. He is responsible for the computers at his radio station, and the audio play-out computer frequently overheats and takes the radio station off-air. He needs to move the computer into an air conditioned room, but doesn't have a way to operate the computer from the control room.

Thursday I showed him Remote Desktop, a tool that may enable him to remotely operate the computer while it remains in air conditioning. This means the computer will run as intended, the radio station will stay on the air, and listeners will hear about reconciliation to God through his only begotten son Jesus Christ!

P.S. We just released our "2010 Christmas Wish List." We invite you to watch our funny video, and contribute to our ongoing ministry.

Plenty to Celebrate

Monday, August 30, 2010

Can you believe August is almost over? Summer is coming to a close, but don't be disappointed – we have plenty to celebrate! Let me give you a highlight from my summer.

Our engineering team at the HCJB Global Technology Center received a boost from a young couple who visited early August. Matt graduated from LeTourneau University a year ago with an engineering degree (as a student he helped design the Digital Radio Mondiale™ diversity receiver), and Kimberly is working toward a masters degree in psychology. Together as a couple, they sacrificed two weeks of their summer vacation to help us build our digital radio broadcast equipment. They worked directly with me, and together we made significant progress adding a new capability to the computer used within the radio equipment. This brings us one step closer to equipping both HCJB-Australia and TWR-Guam to broadcast via digital radio to listeners on the continent of Asia.

We celebrate our friends who sacrificed their time and talent to assist us, and we thank our Lord for enabling them to come at just the right time.

What is Easter all about?

Friday, April 2, 2010 (Good Friday)

It's been three weeks since my return from a spectacular trip to Saipan. And my focus has been on adjusting my internal clock, diving back into technical projects, and even covering for a coworker who has just begun a ministry trip to the Central African Republic. But in the midst of all the activity, I have not paid much attention to the upcoming Easter holiday.

So, what is the Easter holiday all about? How would you describe it? I think we can sum it up quite easily – Easter is about the one man who defeated death. You and I are all destined to die sometime, and we know it because we have already lost dear family and friends to bitter and untimely death. And Paul tells us in Ephesians chapter 2 that we are spiritually dead in our trespasses and sins, which means we have no access to God, but instead are destined for punishment.

But we do have the hope of defeating death through the one and only man who defeated death. Jesus defeated bodily death and rose from the grave, as demonstrated to his disciples on the first Easter Sunday. And he also defeated spiritual death, which means we may have access to God the Father through him. Access to God means we can walk through life's difficulties with confidence of his presence and guidance, and it means we are prepared to enter into his presence once we leave this earth.

Do you trust Jesus to grant you spiritual life and access to God? Or are you still struggling to find life on your own?

Week 5: Projects complete and home safe

Friday, March 12, 2010

The projects were completed, goodbyes were exchanged, and flights were taken. And now my internal clock is completely discombobulated.

The TWR team in Guam and I wrapped up last week by discussing how to integrate cutting edge digital radio equipment into their existing setup. The radio station functions smoothly with the aid of radio automation and transmitter control equipment. How will we best fit the new digital radio equipment into the picture without disrupting or complicating things? Our dialog answered some questions, and raised more which require further research. We all look forward to the day we will install the equipment and TWR begins broadcasting to Asia – a land of men and women who are hungry for Jesus Christ – using digital radio.

Just after I delivered my presentation materials and documentation to the station team, my faithful notebook computer froze, and I had to forcefully turn it off. It wouldn't turn on afterward, even after I spent several hours trying to diagnose and solve the problem. At least, if the computer had to fail, it failed just after I delivered the files to the team, and was not a big interruption to our discussions. I think that is evidence that our Lord is sovereign over all creation, including computers.

Following my time in Guam, I returned to Saipan for three more days before my return to the United States. These remaining days enabled me to complete the database project at FEBC which was assigned to me several weeks prior. The database stores the weekly transmitter performance measurements, and can show measurements meeting certain criteria, such as all temperatures for a certain transmitter during a certain quarter. This will help the station engineer identify unexpected changes, and fix the underlying problem before it becomes catastrophic.

Thank you for praying for safety and success for the work team during the first three weeks of the trip, and my technical work with the stations in Saipan and Guam for the remaining two weeks. The projects are complete, and I am home safe and sound in Indiana after 26 tiring hours of travel. Please pray for my teammates and I as we prepare the digit radio equipment for TWR in Guam. Pray also for wisdom in selection of a new computer to replace the one which failed so abruptly. My faith is not in myself, nor even in my prayers, but in the God of all creation, who hears and cares.

Week 4: Helping TWR with digital radio in Guam

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The tsunami caused by the severe earthquake in Chili this was past weekend was only inches high when it reached the Mariana Islands. Several people wrote to warn me, and to make sure I am okay. Thank you for your care and concern.

This past weekend I switched gears from assisting FEBC in Saipan with information technology needs, to preparing TWR in Guam for integration of new equipment. From Guam, TWR broadcasts to listeners in places such as China, Korea, and Myanmar. The broadcasts include outreach to orality people groups in rural areas who are otherwise ignored and forgotten by the world. Simultaneously the station is pioneering use of cutting edge digital radio broadcasts to reach technically savvy listeners in Asia. This week I am discussing with the station manager and engineers critical issues about integration of the new equipment into the current infrastructure. How will we interconnect the program scheduler and the audio encoder? How will we set nonlinearity compensation parameters in the transmitter? Our planning now will prove valuable later when we deliver and install the equipment originating from the HCJB Global Technology Center.

Photograph of TWR in Guam

Last week I briefly mentioned that a friend Rick would be traveling with me to Guam. In years past he assisted HCJB Global with the construction and installation of a 500 kW high-power transmitter for broadcasts into communist Russia. First he helped with construction of the transmitter in Elkhart, Indiana at the location that has since become our Technology Center. Then he assisted with the installation of the transmitter in Pifo, Ecuador while other engineers took necessary time to visit supporting churches. All told, Rick spent seven years with the mission to the benefit of Russian listeners. Today Rick has returned to missionary radio as a volunteer engineer and has spent the last seven weeks away from his family assisting FEBC in Saipan and TWR in Guam.

Please pray for Rick's travel back home to his family later this week, and for wisdom for Rick and his wife as he travels and assists other broadcasters. Pray also for the team at the station in Guam and myself as we plan for later installation of digital radio equipment. Pray too for the radio listeners in Asia, whether they live in remote areas or wealthy urban centers, that they will hunger and thirst for the righteousness only found in Jesus Christ.

P.S. Greetings to several of my coworkers in Indiana who once worked at the station in Guam. The old photo albums are calling my name...

Week 3: Wrapping up and parting ways

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Where has the time gone? Our work team is completing their third and final week here. We have the joy of seeing projects near conclusion, but it is always sad to part ways.

Where there was once a lean-to along the maintenance shop, there is now a sturdy shed made of concrete block, supported by a concrete foundation. This is the fruit of the labor of some of the work team members and the radio station staff. Through the hot sun, difficulty finding materials, and misunderstandings and disagreements about techniques, the pieces came together one by one. The team is striving to attach the last pieces of sheet metal roofing, so they can rest and pack this evening and fly out Thursday morning.

The new shed is almost done

One Wayne and several Dave's have made excellent progress on remodeling a house on the station campus. They replaced windows, ceramic tile, and floor tile. They stripped cabinetry, and painted walls from head to toe. They endured high temperatures, guzzled ice water and worked up a deep sweat. Through their dedication and effort, the project moved along quite well, and is also near completion – look at that shiny new floor!

The remodeled house has a shiny new floor

As I look back on the past three weeks, I see how God has brought together a group of people with different skills, personalities, and temperaments who all share one thing in common – identity in God's only begotten son Jesus Christ. I see the joy of working together, and the blessing of safety. And I see God meeting the daily needs of a group of skilled tradesmen through the cooking, laundry, medical, and chauffeur skills of Bonnie, Barb, Denise, and Jean – hats off to the ladies!

Looking forward, I will finish out this week by installing critical security updates on the computers, and working on an anticipated database that will record and analyze the performance of the three transmitters. On Saturday I will fly to the neighboring island of Guam, where I will help TWR prepare for an upgrade to Digital Radio Mondiale later this year. And it just so happens that Rick, who in years past worked with HCJB Global in Ecuador, will visit TWR at the same time. Truly God orchestrates our steps.

Week 2: Concrete and Blocks

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

In spite of the extra sunlight and humidity this week, our teams is making great progress on our construction projects. The concrete is down, and the blocks are going up.

The most visible project on the Far East Broadcasting Company radio station campus is the construction of a storage building immediately adjacent to the maintenance shop. Last week the roots of an old coconut tree were dug up, the ground was prepared, and the forms were set in place. Monday morning this week the concrete truck came and the foundation for the storage building was poured. Tuesday morning the team began to lay the blocks for the walls. Here we can see Dan employing his skills, but we must also give credit to Dave, Easton, Scooter, and Vic.

Dan laying block on the new concrete

Other team members, such as Dave, Dave, Dave, and Wayne are making great progress on renovating one of the homes on the radio station campus. The old windows have been replaced with new, the bathrooms are being retiled as we speak, and the walls should be painted soon. As for me, I am assigned to computer projects since that is the skill which God has given to me. Earlier this week I finished testing the battery backup systems for the computers, and now I am charged with repairing a storage server which has been on the operating table for several months because of a failing hard disk. I look forward to working on a database project afterward.

Any work we can accomplish is a gift from our Lord above. Please join us and praise God for his daily provision of health, safety, and accomplishments. Pray for our team members to continue to pace themselves as they work, and for peace while they miss their families back home in Wisconsin. You may follow the rest of the story and see more photographs at the team blog.

P.S. Speaking of coconut trees, one of our team members set up his hammock between two of them, anticipating a good night sleep under the stars. He promptly scrapped that idea after he was reminded that coconut trees produce... coconuts. Thud!

Week 1: Safe and Sound in Saipan

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wow! Almost a week ago our team left the Midwest for the Pacific islands. As we approached Saipan on the last leg of our 28 hour journey, all the memories of my visit last year came back to me. I felt like I was returning to my home away from home!

Our team traveled such a long distance to work alongside the missionary staff at a Far East Broadcasting Company radio station for three weeks. Team members from the HCJB Global Technology Center in Indiana and Walnut Hill Bible Church in Wisconsin expressed challenges which almost prevented their participation – medical conditions, financial need, and family strife. But as each team member asked, God provided and overcame the challenges.

We arrived in Saipan in the wee hours of the morning last Thursday. The first two days were spent becoming familiar with the missionary staff at the radio station, preparing for the various maintenance projects, and fighting off the drowsiness caused by jetlag. The weekend gave us opportunity to visit the World War II memorials at Suicide Cliff and Banzai Cliff, where many Japanese soldiers and their families jumped to their death so as not to be captured by the United States forces.

Dan, Dave, and Easton move logs with the tractor

Beginning Monday morning our team members dove heartily into their projects as electricians, carpenters, mechanics, contractors, and technologists. One crew is completely replacing the tile, cabinets, and windows in a home on the radio station campus. Another crew is replacing some old electrical piping on the roof of the transmitter building. And a third crew is preparing the forms for a sidewalk between the transmitter building and maintenance shop. Last but not least our pastor, nurse, and cooks are faithfully meeting our needs for spiritual growth and physical health.

Please pray that above all each of us will hunger and thirst for guidance from our Lord, because we have monumental responsibility in helping an international Christian radio station. Pray also that we will have safety and success in our projects, and will pace ourselves considering the heat and sunlight. Just this morning two of our team members were stung by bees while trimming trees, and even though they are feeling better now, the enemy will try to use this and other situations to hurt our team or turn our work sour.

P.S. You may follow the rest of the story and see more photographs at the team blog.

Saipan 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

Praise God we have easy access to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the United States. But things are different for the people of Asia. Sometimes a Christian witness is simply not present, or the government actively suppresses and persecutes Christians.

We are actively giving Asians access to new life in Jesus. In February we will assist the Far East Broadcasting Company radio station on the island of Saipan which broadcasts daily programs to potentially 1 billion listeners all across Asia. These broadcasts could be God's chosen sustenance for Asia Christians living under the threat of persecution.

Please pray for our travel and work with the radio station. We will lead a work team from a church in Wisconsin, and will help the station with critical maintenance for the grounds and facilities. Pray specifically for safety and success for myself and coworkers from HCJB Global, and for the church work team. Also pray specifically for God's daily provision for the station staff, and for the broadcasts to bear spiritual fruit.

Airline tickets for this trip cost approximately $1,800 per person. If God prompts you to help cover the cost of our airline tickets, please send your donation to HCJB Global Technology Center, 2830 17th Street, Elkhart, IN 46517. Please write "Saipan" on a note accompanying the check. Call us with your questions at (574) 970-4252.

Church Tour: Success

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Yesterday was the big day. Planning. Preparation. Presentations. Lunch. What was it?

It was a tour for our friends at a church in Michigan. Over the years this church has sent several work teams to help us with construction work in our office. The electronics lab two years ago. The new media training center right now. This church has blessed us – and our ministry to the nations – in so many ways.

So in return we gave a tour of our facilities and presented our ministry to the church adults and seniors. About 40 came with enthusiasm and questions for the presenters. My presentation was about the long reach and clarity of digital shortwave radio. Wonderful.

It is a joy to use radio and computers to proclaim reconciliation to God through the completed work of Jesus Christ. It is a joy to receive the help of skilled church work teams. It is a joy to give a tour to an enthusiastic group of fellow laborers in the Gospel.

Do you want to come for a tour? Or help with construction of our media training center? Contact me.

Short Visit – Much Accomplished

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Yesterday I said goodbye to a friend – again. But we plan to be in touch throughout the school year. Let me fill you in.

One of the three college students who stayed with me last summer came back this summer. He came for two weeks, to prepare for his upcoming involvement in the senior design team at LeTourneau University. He participated in the digital radio receiver project last school year as a junior member, and this year will be a senior member. He spent his time here gleaning advice from our engineering team about the goals for the upcoming year, and researched options for testing the receiver. His time preparing for the project will prove worthwhile.

And if that wasn't enough, my friend brought his dad along for the two week visit. He first helped with the preparation of the operating manual for our digital radio broadcast equipment, which our team needed quickly before making a delivery. And then he put his lifetime of architectural skills to use by drawing plans for the media training faculty which is currently under construction – with this facility we will produce radio programs, and train others from developing countries how to do the same so they can reach out to their own people with the good news of Jesus Christ.

Not only was it enjoyable to share my home with my friend and his dad for their two week visit, but they accomplished much for the glory to God. Do you want to visit and help us? Contact me.

Success in Saipan

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My, how time flies! Since my last post, I spent two months updating the computer network at Radio KFBS in Saipan. Originally I traveled there with several coworkers, and intended to return with them, but then extended my stay to complete more projects.

Now the radio station has a fiber optic network link between two buildings on the campus, a functional data backup system, and several computer workstations operating in tiptop shape, to name the highlights. And as an added bonus I assisted several other visiting coworkers with their testing of Digital Radio MondialeTM and the station's shortwave transmitters.

Through Radio KFBS, Far East Broadcasting Company takes the grace and truth of Jesus Christ to Asian listeners via shortwave radio. It is a joy to know that my work is helping sustain the daily broadcasts in Russian, Mandarin (Chinese), Vietnamese, and other languages.

If you would like to receive my monthly updates via e-mail, or my quarterly newsletters via letter mail, please contact me!

Getting ready for Saipan

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Believe it or not, my trip to Saipan to assist Far East Broadcasting Company is just over one week away. I've got my vaccinations (from my previous trip), a preliminary packing list, and am researching fiber optic networking like mad so I am prepared for the work at Radio KFBS.

Please pray for safe arrival of my dear friends and coworkers as they travel here, and then safe travel for us as we fly to Saipan next week. May our work repairing radio towers, helping with maintenance needs, and upgrading the computer network bring glory to Jesus through the reach of the international radio station!

Apart from Me you can do nothing

Thursday, December 25, 2008 (Christmas Day)

Today is Christmas Day, the day when Christians celebrate the advent of our Lord, Jesus Christ. So I think it is appropriate to share with you what God showed me about his son Jesus this past summer, which I published in my latest news letter. Here goes:

Jesus spoke these very words to his disciples, "apart from Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). Stop and think about that for a minute – "nothing."

This summer the Lord impressed upon my heart the lesson Jesus gave to his disciples in John 15. He used the imagery of a vine and branches. Apart from the vine, the branches can do nothing, but attached to the vine, the branches bear much fruit.

It is the same with you and me. Apart from Jesus, we can be busy yet do nothing of lasting value. The money we earn eventually disappears. The clothing we buy becomes rags. The food we prepare quickly spoils. But when we are connected to Jesus, we can accomplish things of lasting value. Our words of truth point people toward our eternal God, and our acts of kindness give honor to Him.

HCJB Featured in Radio World newspaper

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Radio World, a recognized newspaper in the broadcast industry, recently featured a cover page article about the HCJB Global Technology Center. My manager, Charlie Jacobson, was interviewed for the article, and described all the aspects of the radio ministry, from building of broadcast radio equipment to training other believers in operation of Christian radio stations overseas.

"Thousands of radio listeners around the world can tune in their favorite Christian radio stations thanks, in part, to the work done at a broadcast technology center in [Elkhart, Indiana].

"The HCJB Global Technology Center, founded to design and build specialized high-power shortwave transmitters, has evolved into a hybrid tech center that also offers a variety of broadcast services to Christian organizations worldwide, including consulting and broadcaster training."

Read the full article: HCJB: Tech Center for Christ

If God was not in control...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Just this past Thursday I had a conversation with a coworker in the men's room – a conversation that was brief, yet telling of how I was feeling that morning. My coworker greeted me and asked how I was doing. I responded and said that if God was not in control, I would go crazy!

You see, during the past two weeks I dealt with three computer emergencies at the business where I work on Fridays to supplement my income. Regularly, the emergencies only come one or two per year, not three in two weeks! Compound that with my responsibilities hosting three HCJB Global summer interns (look for my upcoming news letter), and life felt chaotic.

Nevertheless, I can trust God and know that he is in control. He created the entire universe, and he plays an active role in the affairs of men – is he taken by surprise by computer problems in a small town in Indiana? By no means! The Apostle Paul told the Christians in Philippi to be anxious for nothing, but take their needs to God in prayer. Why? Because he is in control.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

– Philippians 4:4-7 ESV

P.S. Don't get me wrong – it truly is a joy to host the summer interns even though it is hectic at times.

ICCM, Here I Come!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Can you believe that it is almost time for the International Conference on Computing and Mission?! June is here again, and so is ICCM.

In three short days (did I mention short?) I will be on the campus of Taylor University with several of my teammates from HCJB Global, and a host of information technologists from other mission organizations. We will spend four days teaching each other about the latest trends in computer technology, demonstrating the ways we are using technology to advance the spread of God's Word, and encouraging each other in our daily walk with Jesus Christ.

This conference will be my first time teaching a class. At the end of the conference last year, I indicated on my participant survey that I am willing to teach a class on software development in the .NET Framework and Mono (that's Spanish for monkey). Well, I totally forgot about my offer, but was contacted and asked to teach the class. Wow!

As we speak, I am preparing to teach a one hour hands-on class in a computer lab at the conference. I expect to have about 30 students in my class – that's the approximate number of computer workstations in the computer lab. Since I must do a lot more preparation before the conference starts, I need to run. Pray for me and my students!

Jesus, Remember Me

Friday, March 21, 2008 (Good Friday)

This morning, as I read Our Daily Bread, I was reminded that the pardon I received from God was not because of any good deed I have done, but solely because of the work Jesus did.

When Jesus was crucified (which we remember on Good Friday), two thieves were crucified with him, one on His right, and the other on His left. Let us read the account recorded by Luke:

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!" But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong." And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

– Luke 23:39-43 ESV

The one thief spoke to Jesus sarcastically, saying, "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!" He did not accept the fact that he deserved what he was getting; he just wanted out of the situation.

But the other thief recognized his own guilt and Jesus' innocence. He could not do any community service or pay any fines to receive pardon for his sins. He could do absolutely nothing. Yet he knew that Jesus was paying the penalty he (the thief) deserved before a just God. All he could do was receive the pardon Jesus offered to him.

"Jesus, remember me."

Do you want the same pardon Jesus offered to the thief? Contact me.

Oh No, More Snow!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It started last night during our Bible study. And made it hard for friends to get out of my drive way. And it continued falling all night long. Northern Indiana snow.

Oh No, More Snow!

No, the snow didn't prevent me from getting me out of my driveway, but it did take an hour for me and the owner of the house I am renting to clear a path to the road. The above photograph shows the view from my garage of the shoveled driveway and several burdened pine trees. Shoveling aside, the snow truly is beautiful. As long as the temperatures stay in the high 20's.

OK, Mom, I'll put my winter coat back on...

Missions Emphasis Week Begins Today

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Missions Emphasis Week at LeTourneau University begins today. The missions conference officially begins this evening with a café featuring foods from around the world, but I came early and have been here for several days already.

When I first flew into Texas at the end of last week, I visited family for several days. If memory serves me correctly, the last time I saw them in person was when I graduated from college – way too long to not see family.

Next I visited the church I attended as a college student. I recognized many faces, and received many warm greetings. The leader of the college Sunday school class gave me a great big bear hug when I quietly got his attention at the beginning of the Sunday school class.

My 10 minute report during the church service did not go exactly as planned. I forgot my SonSet® radio at the home where I am staying, and the DVD didn't work. (That will teach me to rely on DVD's.) As a result, I did my best, without visual aids, to tell the church body about the effectiveness of planting radio stations in developing countries and freely distributing SonSet radio receivers among the listening audience. May God be glorified in my strength and in my weakness.

During the past several days I have been the recipient of the kind hospitality of a professor and his wife. They graciously allow me to come and go as I please, which has enabled me to visit some professors on campus, and see some friends who live in town. They allowed me to wash some laundry this morning, too!

Sunday evening I met with the senior design team which is working on a Digital Radio MondialeTM diversity receiver in partnership with HCJB Global. And I will meet again with the team this afternoon. I hope to be a help to the team – my expertise in software development, and their focus on the project right now is signal filtering and signal processing in the realm of radio frequencies. They are teaching me a lot…

Please pray that I will be sensitive to the Lord's leading as I represent HCJB Global at the missions conference. Pray that I will challenge students to surrender their hearts and skills to God's kingdom, and that the students will be attentive to God's call.

Last but not least, praise the Lord for His financial provision through fellow believers, who have made generous contributions to the mission during December and January. Through others the Lord is enabling the work, the proclamation of His salvation, to continue.

LeTourneau University, Here I Come!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

One week from today I set foot on the LeTourneau University campus to represent HCJB Global at the school's Missions Emphasis Week. The theme this year is Redeemed 2 Reconcile.

Redeemed 2 Reconcile

Missions Emphasis Week is a four day event where respected believers speak to the students about missions, and where students have immediate access to missions representatives. John, a coworker, and I will spend time speaking with students about radio, engineering, and medical opportunities within HCJB Global. Besides the usual duty of manning a booth, we will give five minute devotional thoughts in classrooms, join students for meals in the dining commons, present seminars on topics related to international missions, and enjoy treats from around the world at the "Our World Café." We will have many opportunities to speak with students to see how the Lord is leading in their lives, and show them how they can be involved in taking God's Word to people around the globe.

As if this wasn't enough, I have the opportunity to visit the church I attended as a college student. While there I will give an update on where SonSet® Radio is used today to teach people about the Bible. And I will visit family who live nearby, and see friends with whom I graduated college!

Please pray that I will honor God and represent the mission well. And please pray the Lord would orchestrate my meetings with students who are willing to surrender their skills and dreams to God.

Spotlight Listeners Club

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Here is a small Christmas gift for you – a video about the Spotlight Listeners Club!

The Spotlight Listeners Club is an excellent place to teach English as a second language and teach biblical principles, too. Each Wednesday evening students and teachers meet at English Fellowship Church in Quito, Ecuador, to listen to and discuss a Spotlight radio program. I participated in the listeners club three evenings during my visit to Quito in March and April. As I interacted with the students, I answered their questions about the English language and their questions about the Bible.

Merry Christmas!

Visiting Family and Presenting Radio Ministry

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The fourteen hour drive from northern Indiana to Philadelphia is worth the effort. A week and a half ago I made the long trek to visit family and friends who I have not seen for almost a year. You can't imagine how excited my Mom was when I pulled into the driveway in time for a late supper.

Since arriving I have enjoyed meals at home with my parents, and have spent time with my brother. On his day off, my brother and I searched through auto salvage yards looking for parts he needs for several cars on which he is working. We didn't find anything that he needs for his cars, but were able to replace the broken spring mount for the gas cap on my car. Now the gas cap swings open when I pull the release by the driver seat. This makes fueling at the gas station so much easier.

This coming week I have several important meetings, one of which is a presentation at my former Christian middle school. I will present to the students the outreach that radio stations have in communities overseas, and invite them to participate in sponsoring fixed-tuned solar-powered radios which are freely distributed among the listening audiences of the radio stations. Are you willing to change lives and sponsor several of these radios too?

Reports from around the Globe

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This past week was an exhilarating week. And it was not necessarily because of the technical work I was able to complete. But it was because of the series of messages I heard from 2 Corinthians, and the handful of reports I heard from around the globe.

This year we hosted the mission annual members meeting at the HCJB Global Technology Center. This is a meeting where the membership of the mission gets together either by travel or by teleconference and handles the "business" of the mission.

A pastor from Scotland treated us to a series of messages from 2 Corinthians, a letter in which the Apostle Paul reveals his heart and his struggles like nowhere else in the New Testament. The key verse in this study was 2 Corinthians 4:7, which is the theme verse for my news letter and this very web site. Grin.

There is a striking paradox between valuable treasure and common jars of clay. Putting treasure in jars of clay makes as much sense as putting the crown jewels in a cardboard box. But this is a surprising privilege for the jars of clay – to carry the valuable ministry of the gospel through God's mercy (v. 4:1). And there is a special purpose also – to experience and show God's power, which is clearly seen in our weakness (v. 1:9, 12:9-10). It is easy to fret when we focus on our own weakness, but is easy to rejoice when we focus on God's strength and on being his representatives.

Along with this great message, we heard amazing reports about the advance of the gospel through the media and healthcare work of HCJB Global and our partner ministries. We were told about how a small team in one location is growing in size and preparing to do the work of leadership development, about how the team at another location is training others how to set up and operate radio stations on their own, and about how another team at a third location is seeing radio stations and churches spring up together. Wow! This good news and my hope in God provides me the energy and focus I need to continue in this good work.

Knowing Scripture

Monday, August 13, 2007

Ah, it has been two months since my last journal entry. Maybe I need to travel overseas again – that way I feel like I have news to report.

But I do have news to report – news about my current study of the Bible and study of interpretation of the Bible. First, let me ask you, have you ever disagreed with someone else over the meaning a passage of scripture? Or have you read a passage of scripture and were unsure how it applied to your life? Before you can discuss the meaning of scripture, and before you can determine how a passage applies to your life, you must have a logical and consistent way of interpreting scripture.

Hermeneutics is the study of interpretation. Through hermeneutics you and I can define and follow the rules we use to interpreting scripture, which leads us to consistent (and hopefully correct) meaning and application of scripture.

For the past two months I have been meeting weekly with friends and coworkers. We have been studying the book Knowing Scripture by R. C. Sproul, and watching the accompanying lectures too. The book is an introduction to the science of interpreting scripture.

Knowing Scripture by R. C. Sproul

The book begins by emphasizing the importance of studying the Bible. R. C. shoots down two myths, first, that the Bible is too difficult for those who are not highly trained to understand it, and second, that the Bible is boring. To the contrary, the basic meaning of the Bible is understandable to anyone who has the ability to read (or listen), and the historical accounts and theological meaning of the Bible are exciting, vivid, and intense.

The book continues with a survey of various principles and methods of interpretation. The focuses then shifts to the grammatico-historical method of interpretation, which seeks to interpret the literature according to its type of literature (e.g. historical narrative, hyperbole, poetry) and the historical context of the text.

Right now we are in the middle of the chapter which covers the rules of the grammatico-historical method of interpretation. Considering what I have learned thus far, I can recommend with confidence Knowing Scripture by R. C. Sproul. Study it, and then study the Bible.

We're in the News!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

After returning to Indiana from my March / April trip to Ecuador, I hit the ground running with work at the HCJB Global Technology Center. Only about one week after arriving, the Technology Center hosted the annual conference of the National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters (NASB). It was an honor for the Technology Center to host the conference – this was the first time that the conference was hosted outside the Washington D.C. area. More impressively, this was the best attended conference in the 17 year history of the NASB. Please read the following press release.

Broadcasting with a New Voice

And today I was surprised and overjoyed when I read another news article, hot off the press. LeTourneau University, along with a grant from Rockwell Collins, will be developing a digital shortwave radio receiver. This is exciting because the receiver complements the Digital Radio MondialeTM transmitter technology I am helping to develop at the Technology Center, and LeTourneau University is my alma mater too. Yeah! Read on for a press release.

LeTourneau students to design receiver, boost Christian radio

Back Home

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Things are so different in northern Indiana than when I left six weeks ago. The trees are green, the grass is too, and instead of being full of snow, the fields are ready for the growing season to begin. Yes, I have made it safely back to Indiana after finishing my time in Ecuador.

During my last weekend in Ecuador, my host family and I traveled to the city of Shell, which is south east of the city of Quito and is at significantly lower elevation. Shell is near the edges of the Amazon jungle, and has more tropical plants and threes than Quito. Shell also has more insects.

The mission operates a hospital in Shell called Hospital Vozandes del Oriente similar to the one in Quito called Hospital Vozandes Quito. We were able to take a tour of the hospital. It was fantastic to see the facilities, and hear several stories about people who have been healed through this aspect of the ministry. And I was able to see two friends from the singles retreat the previous weekend who serve at the hospital as x-ray technician and network administrator. Even as we were leaving, an eight legged patient came in seeking medical attention, or at least attention of one form or another.

A spider in the hospital at Shell

Hospital Vozandes del Oriente

Several days before the weekend trip to Shell, I was able to partake in an "official" tour of Quito. This tour was primarily through the older and original parts of Quito, where there is more historical and religious significance in the city. Points along the tour included the presidential palace (Quito is the capital of Ecuador), La Basilica, Iglesia de San Francisco, and La Virgen del Panecillo.

La Basilica in Quito is quite a majestic structure – you must see it for yourself!

La Basilica in Quito

These men dutiful guard the president at the presidential palace, and remain still for an excellent photograph.

Palace guards

The view onto the street from the palace is beautiful.

View of the street from the palace

The Marriott hotel in Quito is one of the locations where the tour bus picks up and drops off tourists. This building is an example of the modern and beautiful buildings that can be found in the city.

Marriott hotel in Quito

Quito, and Ecuador, is a wonderful place to tour and to work. I hope to be able to return for a visit in the future. Until then, I will remain diligent in the work I am doing, and will keep you updated on the progress. Check back for journal updates.

Weekend Retreat

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

This past weekend I was blessed with the opportunity to participate in a singles retreat for missionaries serving in Ecuador. The retreat was held at the HCJB Global guest house in the town of Papallacta. The town is known for its natural hot springs called termas in Spanish, and also for the hydroelectric facility known as EcoLuz (which means environmentally-friendly light and electricity).

During the retreat we were fed spiritually as we studied the book of Ephesians, particularly the first three chapters. The theme of this study is the phrase "to the praise of His glory." In this letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul emphasizes that God has made salvation available to mankind to the praise of His glory, and that His children, with His empowerment, can live to the praise of His glory. It is a reminder that the physical and spiritual life that has been given to us through Jesus Christ is given to glorify God.

Saturday morning the younger members in our group got up early and enjoyed a hike up steep roads from the guest house where we were staying to the Termas de Papallacta (Hot Springs of Papallacta). And later in the day several from our group enjoyed the afternoon in the relaxing hot springs. The hot springs are wonderful, and the steep mountains with narrow roads are breathtaking.

Did I mention that the roads are narrow, and the mountains are steep? Yikes!

The guest house has lots of room for visitors, whether they come to volunteer their time and skills or come to rest and enjoy the hot springs.

Guest house in Papallacta

The EcoLuz hydroelectric facility was originally built by the mission. It provides power for the radio transmitter sites in Pifo and on Pichincha mountain, and Hospital Vozandes Quito. The income provided by the excess energy helps fund other ministry work in Latin America.

The two turbines located inside the building are fed by the two large pipes that can be seen in the foreground. The pipes, known as penstocks, carry water moving rapidly downhill to the turbines.

EcoLuz hydroelectric facility

This morning when my hosts and I left the house to head to the office, we were greeted with a magnificent view of Cotopaxi. She is a majestic stratovolcano, who dons snow and glaciers year round, but often hides behind a cloak of clouds. Cotopaxi is a wonderful sight to see when she is willing to be on display.

The majestic stratovolcano Cotopaxi

I expect that the next time I write an update, I will be back in the United States. My flight back is scheduled for Tuesday, May 1st, which is Labor Day here in Ecuador. Please pray for a good last week and a safe flight back home.

Worldwide Reach

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

This afternoon, while taking a break from my engineering work, I took a walk through one of the antenna fields in Pifo. HCJB Global produces radio programs at the studios in Quito, and broadcasts the radio programs around the world from the site in Pifo. These broadcasts require operating and maintaining large shortwave transmitters and antennas.

While I walked through the antenna field, I was struck by the grand scale of the work here in Ecuador. The shortwave radio broadcasts reach into Latin America and South America in a variety of languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, German, and several indigenous languages. And in the past broadcasts even reached lands as distant and diverse as Russia and Japan. Nevertheless, each broadcast delivers the same message to its listeners – the message given in the Bible about each man's need for reconciliation with his Creator.

Pifo building

The building at Pifo houses the high-power shortwave transmitters, electronics laboratories, and offices. A microwave dish on top of the building receives from Quito the radio programs that are to be broadcast.

Pifo building and tower and transmission lines

Large curtain antennas are located both on the near side and far side of the transmitter building in Pifo. A curtain antenna is like a large curtain strung upon several towers. Can you see the tall towers in the distance in the photograph? The photograph also shows transmission lines, which transfer the radio signal hundreds of meters from the transmitter building to the antennas.

Within the past week my teammates and I have been able to lay out the road map for our software work. We need to reenable and upgrade a self-monitoring capability in our digital radio broadcast equipment. It is easy to work on small software projects, especially ones that I have designed. But it is another thing to dissect and enhance software with which I am only acquainted. This task will require coordination and cooperation between team members in Ecuador and Indiana, but we have a road map for the challenges that lay ahead of us. Please pray that the Lord will continue to guide and bless our efforts. I only have two more weeks left here in Ecuador before I return to Indiana.

Tim and digital radio equipment

Working with digital radio equipment is fun – it means I get to sit in front of three computers! If you look closely, you can see the small circuit boards on the desk near my arm. The equipment is about half the size of a sheet of paper, but has required an investment of thousands of hours of engineering work. The return is the ability to broadcast the Gospel around the world, and revolutionize shortwave and AM radio at the same time.

Good Friday

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Have you ever had the opportunity to watch a Good Friday parade? This past week I was able to do so, and it was like no other parade I have seen before. The parade takes place in the old part of the city of Quito from late morning through mid afternoon. The floats in the parade signify Jesus and his mother Marry. The people walking in the parade wear a purple garment with a covering over their face that comes to a point above their head. Some do acts of penitence, such as carrying a heavy cross, or walking while being scourged or wrapped in barbed wire.

The good news about Good Friday and the subsequent Easter Sunday is that Jesus Christ has provided the payment for our sins that is required by our holy and just God. We need not, and in fact can not, meet the requirements by performing acts of penitence. But we must accept the perfect payment that has been given on our behalf.

During my past three weeks in Quito, I have enjoyed many new foods. One dish in particular is Fanesca, which is a fish and twelve grain soup made only during the weeks before Easter. A typical Ecuadorian lunch begins with a soup, continues with a main dish and rice, and concludes with a small dissert. The main dish and rice are often topped with a spicy sauce called aji (pronounced ah he). This sauce includes diced tomato and onion, and is very good! And fresh squeezed tropical fruit juice is available at each meal. Yum.

A typical Ecuadorian lunch

My teammates and I have been making good progress in our development of digital radio technology. We have found and fixed a problem in the communication between the modulator (a component in a radio transmitter) and the computer software which controls it. Our goal for the three remaining weeks of my visit is to enable the modulator and computer software to graphically display the radio signal that the modulator is producing. This will enable radio station operators to adjust for the best quality of broadcast and also prevent encroaching on nearby radio stations. Please pray that the Lord would provide us wisdom and progress in this task and in other responsibilities that arise unexpectedly.

Local Radio, Changed Lives

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

What I have seen with my eyes and heard with my ears during the past week invokes a passion in my heart. During supper Wednesday evening last week I received a telephone call at my hosts' home, inviting me to participate in a radio planting trip. Radio planting is similar to church planting; it is helping local churches or other ministries begin and maintain an AM or FM radio station so they can reach their own people with the Gospel.

The morning after the phone call I awoke at 4 AM to begin the journey to the cities of El Carmen and Santo Domingo. Our team arrived in Santo Domingo after traveling west from Quito through the majestic Andes Mountains for several hours. Once in the city, our team set up a temporary radio station for an Assemblies of God church. The radio station needed to be set up quickly to meet the requirements for retaining the radio license granted by the government of Ecuador. The work was tiring but fulfilling.

Then our team traveled to El Carmen to repair an AM radio transmitter. Pastor Isaac Dumani has been pastoring an Assemblies of God church in the city for nine years. Two years ago the church approached HCJB Global and asked for help in setting up a radio station. The mission has been able to outfit the church with an old transmitter named Lazarus. It is named Lazarus because it has been resurrected several times, and this visit was no exception. Team members Tim, Shelly, and I diagnosed and fixed several problems with the transmitter (electrical arcing caused by a trail of carbon in a 3 kV full-wave rectifier circuit, a shorted transformer in the radio frequency amplifier circuit, and blown fuses caused by the shorted transformer) and the station is back on the air once again.

The three day radio planting trip has given me a glimpse of the passion that local Ecuadorian pastors have for reaching their own communities. Pastor Dumani shared with our team several stories of how lives have been touched through the radio station. One story, for example, is about a man who was falsely implicated in a crime and was facing severe consequences. This man was about to commit suicide to escape his problems, but heard the message of hope in Jesus Christ on the radio through his neighbor's window. The man has surrendered his life to Jesus, has contacted Pastor Dumani, and now has hope to live and hope to share. Praise the Lord!

Highway in the Andes Mountains

The highway in the Andes Mountains to Santo Domingo is windy, steep, and majestic. The road was cut through the mountain. Do you see the white and blue bus hiding behind the trees?

Looking down seven story building in Santo Domingo

Team members looking down from the seven story building in Santo Domingo where the studio for the radio station is located. A studio / transmitter link (STL) was set up on the top of the building. The STL is used to transmit radio programming from the studio to the transmitter site two kilometers away.

Santo Domingo skyline

The Santo Domingo skyline from the top of the seven story building. In the foreground is a covered open-air market where merchants sell clothing, food, and other small-ticket items. In the background are apartments and other businesses. The building on the right with the red, green, and blue sign is a technical school.

May I Shine your Shoes?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Now I have been here in Quito for seven days, and things are going very well. This past Sunday I attended the Ecuadorian church where my host family regularly attends. I was able to understand a handful of the words spoken during Sunday school and the pastor's message. And I recognized about half of the worship songs sung during the service, for example Open the Eyes of my Heart Lord and Lord, I Lift Your Name on High. It is amazing to consider that the Lord has his people all around the world, and we were worshiping him together even though we speak and sing in different languages.

Yesterday I had lunch with coworkers at an Ecuadorian food market. The market is full of small merchants who are selling fruits, vegetables, and meats. The market is also has new smells as well. When I was almost finished with my meal, a shoe-shine boy came up to me and asked if he could shine my shoes. The market is a common place for shoe-shine boys to look for customers. Typically a shoe-shine boy is six or eight years old, and must do this work to help provide an income for his family so they can have food to eat and clothing to wear. They boy who shined my shoes worked vigorously for five minutes, and my shoes have never looked better. The going rate for the service is only 35 cents! How can the boys help provide for their families with such a low pay rate? I am humbled by how the Lord has blessed you and I both financially and spiritually, and I recognize that the Lord calls us to pass that blessing on to others. May we be obedient to the Lord's command.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

If I take the wings of the morning
   and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
   and your right hand shall hold me.

– Psalm 139:9-10 ESV

The Scripture is true, and the Lord has led me and held me. Tuesday evening, after a full day of flying, I arrived safely in Quito. The day began with a flight from Chicago to Miami, continued with a flight from Miami to Quito, and was completed with a ride from the Quito airport to the home of my host family.

During the travels I felt excitement about the trip, at moments wondering this trip outside of the United States was really happening. At other moments I was uncertain about what customs in the Quito airport would entail. But the Lord provided through it all. Customs in Quito was not difficult. And while I was in the Miami airport I was able to converse (mostly in English) with a native Ecuadorian who was returning to Ecuador. That helped put my mind at ease while I was surrounded by many people speaking Spanish.

During the past two days I have met many people who work with HCJB Global here in Quito, both native English speakers and native Spanish speakers. My weak Spanish skills are being strengthened, and through it all I feel welcomed by everyone. Not only that, but also I have been able to see firsthand the good work that is done here in producing radio programs and broadcasting those programs in FM, AM, and shortwave. During the next several weeks I will share more about the work here and my involvement, and also about the language and culture. ˇChau!

Traveling to Quito

Friday, March 16, 2007

Praise the Lord! Preparations are coming together for my trip to Quito, Ecuador. A generous couple has purchased airline tickets for me – thank you very much! I have also received the recommended immunizations for travel to South America.

I fly to Quito on Tuesday, March 20th, and will be there for six weeks. While there, I will see firsthand both the media and healthcare ministries of HCJB Global in South America, and will continue my contribution to radio technology development.

My team, located in both Indiana and Ecuador, is developing digital AM and shortwave radio technology called Digital Radio MondialeTM. I will be working with the team in Quito on computer software which controls a component of the radio transmitter called a modulator.

Please pray for my travels to Quito and my time there. This is my first trip outside of the safe and familiar United States (beside a week long mission trip to Mexico while in college). Check back for updates and photographs.

International Conference on Computing and Mission, Part 2

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ah, life has slowed down just a little bit. ICCM was an awesome experience. How often do brothers and sisters in Christ who are technologists and programmers come together to worship their Lord, and share in their knowledge and experience?! And during this gathering I saw how other ministries are using technology to better connect their people and process data, which in turn enables them to minister more effectively. Wonderful.

During the conference I was able to attend a training class on Microsoft Exchange. It's amazing to consider that right after I got back from the conference and had a good night sleep, I used the training from that class to fix an urgent problem with an ailing Exchange server with sits under my authority and responsibility. Praise to the Lord for his perfect timing, and many thanks to Carl (you know who you are) for your excellent training.

International Conference on Computing and Mission

Friday, June 9, 2006

This very weekend I am heading to my first International Conference on Computing and Mission (ICCM). This is a gathering of Christian computer users and technology enthusiasts who are using their skills to further the work of ministry and mission around the world. Through the meetings we all share our technical knowledge and experiences with each other, and lift each other up in the Lord as well. I think the most exciting part will be meeting and hearing the stories of individuals who have served overseas in difficult circumstances, and seeing if I can be a help either from within the United States, or traveling overseas myself.

Not my Head, but my Heart

Sunday, March 19, 2006

During the past several weeks I have been reminded that it is not about my head, but my heart.

I find that I have a strong desire to use the technical abilities that God has given me to further His work and kingdom. But often times I find myself becoming prideful about my technical capabilities, to the point where I am not using them at His command for His glory, but where I am using them at my impulse for my own glory.

This attitude of pride is in strict conflict with the attitude of servant-hood. Pride considers self the highest good and greatest goal, and all other things subject to it. On the other hand, servant-hood considers another, the master, as highest good and greatest goal, and the other things, like the servant, are subject to it.

Jesus showed the attitude of servant-hood when He came down to earth and exchanged His life for mine. And in so doing He modeled the attitude for me, so that I may follow it and honor Him.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

– Philippians 2:5-8 ESV

Blessed Assurance

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Have you ever had one of those days where you felt assurance from the Lord that you are doing the work to which He has called you? Capture that thought and write it down before it is squelched by the cares and difficulties of life.

Yesterday evening and today were those types of days. It began with some study last night of "The Master Plan of Evangelism, Second Edition, Abridged" by Robert E. Coleman. In this the Lord reinforced in my heart the need for, and my responsibility in, evangelism. And events continued with stories from co-laborers about the great trials that others have gone through to spread the Gospel, and how the Lord has empowered them to do the task. I saw more opportunities where my technical knowledge can be used to assist those who are advancing the message, which is very exciting. And how can I forget all the friends who have encouraged me through their fellowship, prayer, and financial support?!

This assurance that I am where the Lord wants me to be (and serve) is such a blessing, especially when I am starting to focus on the task of raising support so that I can work full-time with HCJB World Radio. It can look like quite a daunting task to raise all that is needed, but if the Lord is behind the work, then it will have His provision. I have no reason to be afraid, but to rest and labor in Him.

The Old has Gone, The New has Come, Part 2

Thursday, February 16, 2006

It's definitely time for another post, even this late at night. (After doing some computer research and writing this post late this evening, it looks like I'll be missing Thursday morning breakfast with The Guys … again – sorry.)

In a previous post The Old has Gone, The New has Come, I wrote about an article that stirred up my concern for the youth of our great nation. Recently I read the second article in the series, entitled Face It! The Spiritual Problem with Teens: They're Following Us. The article states that youth generally grow up with the values and beliefs of their parents and other adults. And since so many self-avowed Christian youth are off-track theologically, what does this indicate about the values and resulting actions of the adults in their lives?

The author mentioned some ideas for improving the situation, such as becoming more involved in teens lives, teaching them the truth, and asking them to articulate on their own that truth. I'm glad to be friends with guys and ladies who are in their teens and young twenties, and I intend on continuing to be a good influence on them (and need to become even more so). Will you find a teen who need a good adult role model, and teach them the truth through example?

It's time for me to head to sleep now. A long overdue update on my representation trips to Bethel College and LeTourneau University will have to come another day. Or even better yet, check out my upcoming news letter for a report.

Traveling and Sharing

Sunday, January 15, 2006

More than a week – it's certainly been a while since my last post. A lot has happened in the past week and a half. During that time an opportunity to represent HCJB World Radio at two colleges came up, and I certainly didn't want to miss this.

The fist assignment is at Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana, where I will be assisting (and learning from) a coworker, John. On Wednesday and Thursday this week we will be presenting about the work of the mission at two classes there. Also, we will be manning a booth in the cafeteria during the day and chatting with students in this common area. The students will be able to openly interact with us, and learn more about the mission and the work we do to share the Gospel.

The second assignment is the most exciting for me – a week-long trip to LeTourneau University. On Monday a week from now, for an entire week, I'll be heading to my alma mater, which is located in Longview, Texas. It will be a joy to see professors and some friends from several years back. Not only that, but among all the activities I will be presenting a talk on "Information Technology in Missions." I will be sharing about how IT work has recently become critical to both the infrastructure of the mission, and to the first-hand ministry.

It's daunting to think that I will be going solo on this second trip – but that's when the Lord gets to step in a show His hand in things. I'll keep you posted on how the two trips go.

The Phone is Back in Town

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

When I came into the office Tuesday morning, I checked my mail box, and found a small package there. It was from my Grandpa, and inside was an eye glasses case. Inside that was my phone, well protected, and ready to receive a charge and wake up from its slumber. The phone even remembered everyone in my address book. Praise the Lord!

Often I felt disconnected from life and others when I didn't have my phone. But it was good to have the time away from others so that I could rest, read, and think. Sadly, I kept myself busy, too busy, to take the down-time that I needed. One of my prayers is that I will not be busy for busyness sake, but will work and rest as the Lord directs.

Let me share one last thing before signing off. Happy New Year!

The Old has Gone, The New has Come

Friday, December 30, 2006

Are there times when you have read something that captivates your mind and concerns your heart, and you must share it with others who may understand? I have had one of those experiences today, and must share with you what I have just read.

Since today is the Friday before New Years weekend, I and my coworkers have off for the day. This, and the fact that my cell phone is still missing, has allowed me to spend good time in the scriptures and with the Lord this morning. It has also enabled me to begin cleaning my room, where letter mail and other responsibilities have been piling up.

While preparing lunch, I read several articles in the November / December issue of the American Family Association Journal. The article A strange faith: are church-going kids Christian? by Ed Vitagliand captured both my attention and concern.

While I could summarize the article, it is best to read it yourself – after all, it is not a long article. But I will state that the concern which touched my heart is how, while teens seem to be involved in religious activities, and these activities tend to have a positive influence on their lives, the teens are not holding to the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith and behaviors of the Christian life.

This brings me to what a coworker shared with me several days ago. His son and daughter, who are both in college, have noticed that the Christian faith has not influenced the behavior of their peers. Their peers continue to behave as if Christ has not transformed their lives from sin to righteousness. This is what concerns my heart and mind.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

– 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

Runaway Cell Phone

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Yes, on Christmas evening my cell phone sprouted legs, or more correctly, wheels, and ran away.

Ok, here's the real story. I was visiting my Grandpa, uncles, aunts, and cousins in the Chicago area for the Christmas holiday. When Grandpa dropped me off at my uncle & aunt's home on Sunday evening, I forgot to take my cell phone from his car, and it went with him back to his home. To make a long story short, it should be arriving in the mail shortly…

Hopefully this has made for an enjoyable first post. This blog has been under construction for quite some time, and it's good to see some results of my labor (and a friend's labor – thanks forthcoming). Stay tuned for more posts on my life in Indiana and service with HCJB World Radio, and other things that come to mind. Maybe by the time the site is publicized and you come visit, the cell phone will have returned, and we can laugh together.

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