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Tuesday
Apr222014

April 2014

NOTE: to download full newsletter with pictures, click here!

Greetings in the name of our Lord.

As we move further toward the days of 24 hour daylight and warmer temperatures it is awesome to see God at work.

The month of April has brought a number of new developments. Last October we received a call from the FCC telling us that they were ready to grant to us an AM station in Fairbanks and inquired as to if we still wanted it. This came as quite a surprise following on the heels of the four new translator permits. The original application had been filed in 2004 and was denied by the FCC in 2007.

We updated some of the information on the application and on April 8th the FCC granted VFCM a construction permit for the new AM radio station.

Quite a few of the native people from the interior villages have settled in Fairbanks or travel back and forth as this is where most of the native organizations are headquartered. Our station in Nenana reaches to Fairbanks, but not very well and it is difficult to receive it inside a building. Having a station in Fairbanks will allow us to better reach the significant native population that live and visit there as well as provide sound biblical teaching over the airwaves.

We have applied for the call letters KSDG; "to God be the Glory alone!" Pray for us as we work out the details and discern God's will for this new ministry opportunity.

Another blessing is that, Lord willing, our new translator in Aniak will be on the air by the end of April. This new radio outlet will be a translator of KYKD in Bethel and will broadcast a Yupik format from Bethel. The translator is being hosted by the SEND missionaries in Aniak. It will be exciting to see how God works in Aniak through this partnership.

In this month as well, God provided a new outboard motor to replace the worn out unit for KYKD's boat. Since there are no roads and air travel is expensive, the best way to get to the villages on the Kuskokwim river is to drive on the frozen river in the winter or use a boat in the summer. This new outboard motor will provide reliable transportation for the staff in Bethel to minister in the upriver villages such as Aniak and Kalskag.

As was mentioned in previous newsletters, we have upgraded our two 10,000 watt AM transmitters with a new power saving technology. We have also replaced our two vacuum tube FM transmitters with more efficient solid state units.

Well, the first electric bills are in since this upgrade and it looks like we will be saving a minimum of $10,000 per year between all our stations. Praise God! This will enable us to put those resources toward the added costs of electricity and internet charges for the new translators we are installing. Thank you to those who made these upgrades possible.

40 year old tube type FM transmitter at KIAM. Modern solid-state FM transmitter

Thank you again for your faithful prayers and support. We are continually in awe of God's provision and blessing. Blessings in Christ,

Art Thompson
VFCM Executive Director

NOTE: to download full newsletter with pictures, click here!

Thursday
Mar202014

March 2014

NOTE: to download the full newsletter with pictures, click here!

Greetings Dear Friends,

As we move into spring with its longer days and warmer temperatures, we are so thankful for the change of seasons here in the far north. Even though the thaw that we in Alaska call "Breakup" is still a month or more away, it lifts our spirits to finally see an end in sight to winter's icy grip.

Spring is also missions conference season and our two teams of representatives were busy recruiting and sharing the ministry of VFCM with students at Multnomah University and Cedarville University.

Jim and Dee Miles at Multnomah University. John and Pat Fenton at Cedarville University.

We are still trying to get out to Hughes to make repairs to our radio translator there, and we have just got word that our translator in Ambler is off the air. Pray for good weather and God's blessing and protection as we fly out to these remote villages. Pray also that God will give us opportunities to share the love of Christ while we are out there.

Ever since we installed the translator network, we have felt that it would be ideal to have the programming on the translators tailored to the culture of the people group of the region. Alaska is a vast land with over twenty different native languages. In each of the three areas we have stations, there are distinct and different people groups.

Unfortunately, it was cost prohibitive to lease three separate satellite channels to feed the various translators with unique programming. So up until now we have had all the translators fed by KIAM in Nenana, which has a predominantly Athabaskan Indian format.

In the last few months we have been testing a technology that can feed the translators over the internet. This has allowed us to use KYKD in Bethel, which has a Yupik Eskimo format to feed the translator in the Yupik village of Hooper Bay. It has worked so well, that we are planning to the feed the Yupik villages of Aniak, Kalskag, and Quinhagak from KYKD.

This is a huge blessing and an answer to prayer as we will be able to more effectively minister to the Yupik people with music and scripture in their native language. Coinciding with this, the entire Old and New Testament have just this year been translated into Yupik. While English is still the predominant language among native people today in Alaska, the number of fluent Yupik speakers in the western Alaskan villages is approximately 75%

This month we retired our last vacuum tube type transmitter and replaced it with a modern solid-state unit. The new transmitter was provided at no cost to the ministry. This will save electricity and since the solid-state unit needs no periodic adjustments it will lessen the work load on our staff. God is so good.

As our part of the world moves from the suspended animation of deep winter to spring and the all-too-short summer, pray that God will allow us to complete all the outdoor repairs and maintenance tasks that are on our list to accomplish this year.

Pray for our missionaries as well, that God will encourage them and meet their financial needs as they serve here.

Pray for the native people of Alaska, that the Holy Spirit will speak to hearts through the music and teaching we broadcast.

Pray for the villages, for more of God's people to answer the call and go to these places to live out the gospel and minister to the people there.

Even though Alaska is part of the United States, the differences between the major cities and the rural areas is much like the Third World. Many rural villages are dark and lawless places plagued by alcoholism, suicide, and domestic violence. Christ is the only lasting solution for the horrible conditions and despair that exist there.

These areas are largely out-of-sight and out-of-mind to the majority of Americans and even the majority of Alaskans. Pray that more churches will see the needs in this part of the world. (Below, a typical Native village.)

Village of Grayling city office and post office. Main Street, Grayling

As always, we are so thankful to God for your faithful prayers and support. Your involvement in this ministry is making a difference that will last for eternity.

Blessings in Christ,

Art Thompson
VFCM Executive Director 

NOTE: to download the full newsletter with pictures, click here!

Friday
Dec202013

December 2013

As we enter the season of Christmas, let us not forget the reason Christ came. Here in rural Alaska, the need for Christ’s redemptive work in the lives of the people is always before us. Alcoholism and hopelessness is all around us. Thank you for your prayers and support. May God bless you, especially during this time we celebrate Christ’s coming. 

Art Thompson, Executive Director.

Tuesday
Nov122013

November 2013

Greetings,

As Thanksgiving approaches, we have much to be thankful for. God has certainly blessed us this year. There are two missionary couples that have answered the call.  Four new radio translators granted by the FCC. Space does not permit us to list everything that God has done in this short note, but I wanted to say that we are so thankful for your faithful partnership with us. God is moving in rural Alaska. 

Blessings,

Art Thompson

Executive Director

Wednesday
Sep112013

September 2013

Autumn has arrived here in Alaska, even though the rest of the country may still be basking int he warmth of summer. The leaves have turned, and there is a chill in the air. Everyone here is preparing for winter, busily finishing all the outdoor tasks before the snow flies. Pray that as the darnkess of winter descends, the light of the gospel will touch hearts, and change lives. 

Thank you for your support, and for parntering with us in the task of taking the message of hope and salvation to rural Alaska.

 

Art Thompson

VFCM Executive Director