Posted by: calloftheandes | March 29, 2011

Teams of Volunteers in Indiana Help Prepare Thousands of Radios for Distribution

by Harold Goerzen and Erica Simone

A growing number of volunteer teams are contributing their time at the HCJB Global Technology Center in Elkhart, Ind., preparing thousands of fixed-tuned, solar-powered radios and helping speed their delivery to needy people around the world, especially in Africa. Since February at least one volunteer team per week has been participating at the center.

The SonSet® radios, designed by HCJB Global engineers, are checked by volunteers for reliable operation. Engineers also program the receivers’ digital tuners to pick up community stations where the radios will be deployed.

The sets are then placed in protective packaging along with a small wordless instruction booklet that is placed with each unit. A full day of processing radios results in 500 of the radios being ready to ship to ministries overseas.

When the receivers arrive at their final destinations, the local ministry partners distribute them throughout their communities. This is especially effective for new stations that are trying to build their audiences. By simply turning the radios on, listeners are able to hear the gospel in their own languages—many for the first time.

The latest surge in local church involvement in radio testing resulted from a partnership between HCJB Global and Moody Radio last fall. The two organizations embarked in a dynamic campaign to fund 5,000 radios for the West African country of Ghana.

However, the response surpassed all expectations, and all the Moody Radio stations involved in the effort met or exceeded their stated goals. The campaign funded more than 2,000 radios above the goal with the additional radios going to Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone.

HCJB Global President Wayne Pederson was moved by the response and by Moody Radio’s generous participation. “Partnerships are the ministry DNA of HCJB Global,” he said. “We’re so grateful for the shared vision that allows us to produce such strategic impact around the world.”

“I’m thrilled these radios are on their way,” Pederson added. “For the next 10 to 12 years these radios will operate 24/7 on solar power without the need for electricity or additional batteries. More importantly, those who receive the radios will hear only good content—like how to have a better marriage, how to live a healthy life and how to know Jesus as Savior. It’s exciting to think how many thousands of people will be in heaven because of thousands of these radios in the hands of African listeners!”

A surgical nurse at Baptist Haiti Mission, Madame Cafah, receives a radio from an HCJB Global Hands team.

Volunteers from one of the local Elkhart churches spent a day processing radios that would go to their own supported missionary at HCJB Global’s Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Office in Accra, Ghana. Not only did the volunteers test the radios, but they felt they were sending a part of themselves to their HCJB Global missionary from their own church.

The project has meant bringing together local churches with modern technology to share the gospel with those who might not otherwise hear about Jesus Christ.

“A typical reaction from volunteers is one of pleasant surprise that by contributing a few hours of their time close to home, they can have a global impact for God’s kingdom,” added the center’s director, David Russell. “Helping to mobilize more people into kingdom work is one of the core ministry thrusts of our operation. We have the joy of connecting willing workers with opportunities where they can make a difference.”

Wadline, a patient at BHM, studies the Word while listening.

The Technology Center also provides opportunities for university students to get involved in on-campus projects and as spring break and summer internships. “This has resulted in the recruitment of several full-time missionary workers,” Russell related. “Some are serving today with HCJB Global in various parts of the world. Some are serving with other ministry organizations.”

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