Greetings, in the name of our Lord.
As I write this, our short summer has come to an end. With winter at our doorstep we are scrambling to get everything finished and secured before the deep cold sets in. Looking back over the last few months I am amazed at God's provision and Grace.
He has allowed us to get the new FM station in Nenana on the air and we have received the final approval from the FCC with the grant of a new station license for the increased coverage.
A few weeks ago, an aviation ministry that operates here in Alaska contacted us and offered to assist us with the logistics of maintaining our translators in some of the remote villages that they fly into regularly. They also offered to fly us to Iliamna to install the new translator there this fall. This is a major answer to prayer as we lack the resources to regularly visit all of our installations and there are often several that are off the air until we are able to get out to them. We were wondering how we would be able to accomplish the Iliamna installation this year. Praise God, for His provision!
As someone said to me the other day, "God never surprises, but He always amazes"
On a different note, there is a situation that we want to make you aware of that we are trusting God will work out to his glory. I had alluded to it in in several previous newsletters, but have not gone into detail about it until we felt we had discerned God's direction and leading in how to proceed. So, here goes.
We have recently had to deal with an issue that was inadvertently caused many years ago by a previous board of directors and the founder of our ministry. It is one of those things that happens all too often, in that the founders of a ministry sometimes overlook the effect that a decision might have on the next generation of leadership. Or in our case, what might happen if the founding leader suddenly goes home to be with the Lord.
What occurred was, our founders acquired from the ministry a portion of the property that our AM tower sits on. Unfortunately, the only access to the property they acquired is through our antenna farm. The FCC requires that for us to transmit, only authorized station personal can have access to that area. Since there is really no affordable way to reroute the road around the FCC restricted area, we were faced with the choice of either purchasing their house or eventually shutting down our main AM station in Nenana. While there may have been other options, none of them would have been within our ability to accomplish or would have been biblical to pursue.
What we have decided to do is to purchase the property using a combination of a bank loan, reserve operating capital, and a generous donation from one of our directors. We had been praying over the course of a year for wisdom in how to deal with this situation, after Dee had informed us that she intended to sell the house and move to Washington State to live there with her new husband.
We feel that God has led us to the best solution and we are trusting that He will provide what is needed to accomplish it. While this is not the most opportune time for us to go into debt to purchase property, the upside is that we will have a place for our newest appointees to live when they arrive on the field.
We are trusting and praying that as God provides, we can retire the loan within a few years. As of this writing we still have a few more hoops to jump through with the bank, but we hope to close escrow by the end of the month.
I share all this not for the purpose of casting aspersions on anyone, as I am sure that the arrangement that was made back in the 1980's made good sense at the time. I feel however, that in the interest of transparency we have an obligation to share with you what we are doing and why we are doing it. As well, we covet your prayers in this decision as we move forward to position the ministry so that it will be able to continue, if the Lord wills and tarries, well beyond our tenure in leadership.
We have several other prayer requests that we would like to share with you as well.
Palmer Bailey, our station manager in Bethel has just had open heart surgery to replace a defective heart valve. His surgery was successful and so far his recovery is going well. Pray for Palmer and Bonnie as they go through this time, for God's comfort and healing.
Pray also for Mike and Valerie Arena as they raise support to come serve here at VFCM. Mike has many skills in the areas of leadership and administration and they both have an incredible heart to serve.
Kelsie Anderson, who was serving at KAGV in Houston (Alaska) for the summer is planning to stay on through to the end of the year. Pray that God will provide leading and direction for her next steps in life and ministry.
And most importantly, pray that the Holy Spirit will use the broadcasting of His Word and the truth of the Gospel to touch the hearts of our listeners and that our lives and witness will demonstrate God's love for them.
As always, we are so thankful for your faithful prayers and support. You play an important part in taking the good news of hope and salvation in Christ to a dark and needy part of our world.
Art Thompson Executive Director.