Greetings, in the name of our Lord.
It has been awhile since we last put out a newsletter. This summer has been particularly hectic as God has set before us many tasks and opportunities. Now that this very busy (and productive) warm season is winding down, we are resuming our monthly updates.
The Nenana Gospel Music Festival in July was a great success as we were able to broadcast this unique rural Alaskan event throughout the state. Folks in the bush and remote villages were able to enjoy the music and hear the testimonies via radio. We were able to broadcast the festival live in a high quality format, so it was the next best thing to being there. There were several powerful Gospel presentations during the event and we are praying that the Holy Spirit touched the hearts of those that were listening.
Kelsie Anderson, who came up from Nebraska to help us this summer, hosted the live broadcasts and also sang and played her fiddle. She has a great radio voice but we had no idea that she was so musically talented.
VFCM also entered a float in the Fourth of July parade, celebrating our thirtieth year of broadcasting the Gospel in the interior.
We had two ministry teams come up and they accomplished an incredible amount of work. A team came from a church in Fairbanks and painted the skirting on the KIAM studio. Another work team came up from Washington State and repaired the fence around the KIAM AM tower and prepared the new transmitter site for KIAM FM.
The FCC approved our application to move the KIAM FM transmitter and issued a construction permit to relocate to the nearby hill and increase our power from 260 watts to 1000 watts. This should increase the coverage from 2,400 potential listeners to over 40,000.
The new FM transmitter site on FAA Hill (Toghotthele) needed much work to be usable. The team from Washington cleared approximately five acres of trees and brush from around the towers and satellite dish to get a clear signal both in and out of the site. Much of the work involved steep terrain and had to be done by hand. The team included a tower climber who removed all the old antennas from the tower and put up the new ones for our station. Several of the old antennas were ready to fall down and weighed over 100 lbs. It was a harrowing and dangerous task to carefully detach the old deteriorating arrays and lower them to the ground. The tower itself is in good condition however and will last many more years. There was also a satellite dish on the site that was already pointed at the correct satellite that our news and program feeds come over. This dish is not like the small satellite TV dishes. It is 20 feet in diameter and weighs over a ton. Re-aiming it would have been a challenge. Praise God! If all goes well, we should be on the air from the new site by September. One thing is for sure though, if God had not sent the folks up to help us we would never had been able to get this accomplished. God is so good.
There have been a number of other developments we will be sharing with you in our next newsletter, but for now, here are some photos of this summer's ministry activities.
Thank you for all your prayers and faithful support. Blessings,
Art Thompson Executive Director.