Greetings, in the name of our Lord.
As our short summer is drawing to a close, we are rejoicing in what God has done here in rural Alaska. In just this last month, The Lord has blessed us with good weather and volunteer help. We were able to go out and repair the radio translators in Ruby and Hughes, and to do some maintenance on the KIAM studio and VFCM headquarters.
Another blessing was that the Alaska Railroad renewed the permit for our private railroad crossing in Nenana. There had been some concern that the railroad was planning to eliminate our grade level crossing. This would have made accessing and maintaining the KIAM transmitter facility on the other side of the tracks very difficult.
Our original permit and lease had expired in 2004 and had been forgotten about by both the railroad and us. They were very gracious in allowing us to renew the lease in light of a recent AKRR policy to remove all un-permitted crossings. Praise God for His provision and grace in a situation that could have just as easily gone the other way.
From a ministry standpoint, this summer has been very encouraging as well. As I write this, a new radio translator is being installed in the village of Kalskag. There is a small church in Kalskag, which is very excited that the teaching and music the translator provides will not only be an encouragement to the believers in that village, but will also assist the church in evangelizing and discipling the people there.
This August, the staff and volunteers at KYKD have been able to visit several fish camps and villages along the Kuskokwim River near the station in Bethel. Through a partnership with Reach Beyond (formerly HCJB), we have been able to distribute "Son-Set" radios to those living and working in remote areas along the river. These radios are solar powered and are fixed-tuned to the frequency of KYKD and its translators.
We had a number of people come up this month and help us with various projects.
A youth group from a church in Alabama came and cleared brush at the KIAM studio as well as removed deteriorating soundproofing material from one of our broadcast rooms and repainted the ceiling.
The saplings and weeds around KIAM had gotten so thick we could not walk around to the back of the building. As well, the rotting foam on the studio ceiling had become quite a nuisance to folks trying to talk on the air. Having a three foot section of foam fall on you while doing the weather can be quite a shock. So, it was a real blessing to us for them to come up and tackle those projects.
We also had former VFCM missionary Tim Zook and his wife Renee come up here for a visit. While here, Tim showed us how to align the big satellite dish that delivers some of our programs. Tim also helped us check the tuning of of the KIAM tower. As it turns out, it hadn't changed in the 18 years since he had last tuned it.
Tim came to VFCM back in 1985 and was instrumental in putting KIAM on the air. He served here for ten years as KIAM's chief engineer. Renee came to Nenana in 1988 as a VFCM missionary and they were married in August of 1989. They left Nenana in 1995 to serve with HCJB in Ecuador. While they were visiting here, they celebrated their 25th anniversary in the place where they first met.
It was really great to reconnect with these folks and for them to share their knowledge and expertise with us.
Do be in prayer for VFCM as we wait on God to supply the people and resources needed to keep the gospel going out not only over the airwaves but over the river waves as well. While radio can be an effective tool to proclaim God's Word, it still takes people to go out and minister in these dark places. Pray that God will send workers into His harvest. Also pray that the Word of God and the message of hope and salvation in Christ will take hold in the hearts of the people of this great land.
Thank you so much for your prayers and support. It has been such a blessing to us. We have been so encouraged by what God is doing in rural Alaska through you.
VFCM Executive Director.