Posted by: calloftheandes | May 7, 2010

Technical Team Surveys Logistical Needs in Haiti, Assists Radio Partners

It’s not very often that passengers have to weigh themselves along with their luggage before buying a ticket and boarding an airplane. However, it is common when trying to catch a plane ride into certain areas of the devastated land of Haiti.

The three-member technical team, comprised of Ed Muehlfelt and Dave Rhodes of the Indiana-based HCJB Global Technology Center and Nate Dell of Colorado, weighed in on Tuesday, April 13. They flew in a World War II-era DC-3 owned by Missionary Flights International.

The team, arriving after two HCJB Global medical teams from Quito had been in Haiti to treat and follow up more than 1,000 patients following the Jan. 12 earthquake—arrived in Cap Haitien loaded down with equipment and test gear. They were ready to help the mission’s radio ministry partners and gather information for future humanitarian trips.

The men started in the north as Muehlfelt provided technical help with the satellite operations at partner Radio 4VEH which operates six radio stations throughout Haiti. Initial installation of this ministry’s satellite-based radio distribution system was performed by HCJB Global engineers in 2003.

“This proved to be of vital importance in the aftermath of the quake,” said David Russell, the Technology Center’s director. “This technology platform made it possible for expatriate Haitians throughout the world to receive updates from home by way of live Internet streaming.”

A Haitian woman testified, “I am very happy today that I was one of the people saved through the work of Radio 4VEH. The Lord touched me and called me by the radio so that I could repent.”

Rhodes and Dell took a side trip, visiting an orphanage owned by Kids Alive (www.kidsalive.org) to see how HCJB Global could provide meaningful work-team assistance in the weeks and months to come. The orphanage is expecting to take in an additional 50 Haitian orphans who lost their parents in the tragic earthquake.

When they visited the orphanage it was apparent they were preparing to receive the children by setting up a small tent city. Even with the temporary sleeping arrangements, much more must be done to provide permanent housing, eating facilities and schooling for the children.

The team’s last full day in Haiti was used to travel to Port-au-Prince and inspect the facilities of Radio Lumière. The partner ministry has a network of nine AM and FM Christian radio stations and a television station, covering much of Haiti with gospel broadcasts.

“It’s going to be difficult to get materials and supplies to these various Haitian ministries,” said Muehlfelt, project coordinator from the Technology Center’s broadcast services department. “The country is still in the early stages of disaster recovery. Everywhere we turned, we struggled with basic amenities like cooked food and clean water.”

In the wake of the horrific earthquake, HCJB Global wants to remain an integral part in keeping the relevant, life-changing message of Christ going out via the airwaves in Haiti. The Confraternite Missionaire Baptiste d’Haiti reported that than 40,000 Haitians gave their lives to Christ in the first six weeks after the quake struck.

“People in Haiti are turning to Christ in droves,” Dell observed. “At a large gathering near the presidential palace on Feb. 12, an estimated 3,000 people gave their lives to Christ. Spiritual interest is high right now!”

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