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Entries in Art Thompson (19)

Monday
May042015

April 2015

NOTE: to download the full newsletter with images, click HERE!

Greetings in the name of our Lord.

Spring has finally arrived in Alaska. The tripod that was placed on the frozen Tanana River last winter has gone out with the ice signaling the unofficial start of spring in the state. The snowbirds (both avian and human) are starting to return as well.

We are gearing up for a busy summer of activity and ministry outreach as we see God moving in providing the resources and opportunities.

We are planning to once again participate in the Nenana Gospel Music Festival. This is the third year of the festival and the third year that we have broadcast the event live. The first year the majority of the music groups were from the Lower '48. This year nearly all of the musicians and singers are from Alaska. Radio has been an incredible way to extend the reach of this ministry to the entire state of Alaska and beyond.

VFCM will be holding its Spring Board Meetings in Nenana May 8-9. It will be a special time of rejoicing as we celebrate 30 years of God's provision in broadcasting the gospel to rural Alaska.

KIAM in Nenana went on the air in June of 1985.

KYKD in Bethel had been off the air for some time before we acquired it in 1995, so this year marks the 20th year of a continuous gospel broadcast in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

KAGV in Big Lake initially signed on in 2004, however it was plagued with technical problems and suffered from flooding. The station finally began continuous broadcasting on August 8th 2005. Ten years ago. It seems like it was just the other day... That was my first time in Alaska.

We have several groups of short-term workers that have indicated that they intend to come up this summer to help us with several maintenance projects. We thank God for this blessing as we are stretched so thin that we often have trouble keeping up with things.

Kelsie Anderson arrived from Nebraska to serve at KAGV for the summer. It will be a real blessing to have someone at the station to help with on-air tasks and give a more live presence to the programming.

We appreciate all the prayers and encouragement we have received. Seeing God's Word proclaimed and lives touched by the truth of the Gospel makes it all worth while. However, we could not do it without your faithful prayers and support.


Thank you, and may God richly bless you.

Blessings in Christ,

Art Thompson
VFCM Executive Director 

Wednesday
Apr012015

March 2015

NOTE: to download full newsletter, click here!

Greetings, in the name of our Lord.

The month of March has brought many exciting things. The Iditarod Sled Dog Race came through town, accompanied by all the excitement and media attention. KIAM was able to broadcast live from the Nenana checkpoint as the first mushers arrived.

The longer days combined with some unusually warm temperatures bring the possibility of an early breakup. We are hoping to get an early start on several projects we are trusting God to permit us to complete this year.

As of this writing, the project to move KIAM-FM up to the top of FAA hill is progressing. We have filed the paperwork with the FCC and should be able to start work as soon as the snow melts. The computer models predict that this move will increase the coverage of our FM station from 2500 people to over 40,000. Pray that the FCC will approve our request for a location change along with a power increase and for the logistics of installing the equipment up on the hill. There is already a small building with electricity in place at the site along with a tower.

We are also hopeful that we will be able to install the last of the new translators in Iliamna this summer. We have all the equipment necessary. We are just waiting for the church there to decide about installing it at their location. The building is owned by a missionary organization so they have to secure permission, etc. Pray that God will superintend this process and that He will make straight the way.


This month, the Board of Directors approved Mike and Valerie Arena as missionary appointees. Mike and Valerie have now begun the process of raising support to serve with VFCM full time. Pray for them as they begin this new chapter in their lives serving God here in Alaska.

 

Also this month, Kelsie Anderson will be returning to spend the summer serving with VFCM. It was great to have her here in Nenana last year. This year she will be working at KAGV in Big Lake. There are also several other volunteers and work teams that are planning to come up this summer.

We have been greatly encouraged by God's provision of people and resources, and look forward to what He will do in the coming months. The work at times seems overwhelming, but God has been faithful in providing just what we need at just the right time. The cold and dark days of an Alaskan winter take their toll on all of us here, so we are immensely thankful for your prayers and encouragement.

So, as we emerge from our semi-hibernation and move on to the hectic days of summer, please pray for us to stay focused and dependent on God and His grace. It is only through Him and His power that we are able to perform the task that He has set before us.

Springtime in Nenana

Thank you so much for being a part of taking the gospel to the far reaches our world.

Blessings in Christ,

Art Thompson
VFCM Executive Director. 

Friday
Feb272015

February 2015 Update

NOTE: to download the newsletter with images, click here...

 

Greetings, in the name of our Lord.

While the rest of the nation has been experiencing an unusually cold winter, here in Alaska it has been relatively warm. Too warm, in fact. The warm temperatures and lack of snow have caused the Iditarod Sled Dog Race to be re-routed through Nenana for only the second time in its history. Because the race start has been moved from Willow to Fairbanks and the first check point is in Nenana, we have an opportunity to cover the race live as it comes through. We are excited by the prospect that there will be a number of folks listening that wouldn't ordinarily tune us in. Pray that they will hear the gospel message as it will be interspersed with the coverage.

Speaking of things moving... We have been given an opportunity to move our FM transmitter from our studio building to a hill across the river. The antenna at the studio is essentially at ground level, but the location on the hilltop is over 1000 feet. Relocating the antenna will greatly improve our FM coverage in Nenana and will fill in some areas that our AM station doesn't reach well at night. We will be able to do this at almost no cost. The owner of the site has offered to allow us to put our equipment and antenna in their building and on their tower rent free.

The new transmitter location will be directly behind the station on the top of the hill.

We have also had some good feedback from our listeners as of late. This has been a great encouragement to our staff. We continue to see God provide as we move closer to the summer. There are several work teams that have expressed interest in coming up and performing some much needed maintenance.

God has been moving and it has been exciting to see. There have been a number of blessings and opportunities that He has given us. In addition to the potential new location for the transmitter, (the FCC must still approve it) one of the folks who is seeking God's direction in serving with VFCM has begun a live morning show at the station in Big Lake. He is able to do this remotely from his home in Georgia. We also have a possibility for the AM station in Fairbanks. There is a church there that has a plot of land that was given them that is ideal for an AM tower. They also already have a low-power FM radio station and are committed to radio ministry.

As well, we plan (Lord willing) to install the new translator at Iliamna this spring.

So, as the warm season approaches, please be in prayer for our missionary staff and volunteers. Pray for safety and that the logistics will work out to accomplish the work. The summers here are so short, and there is so much to do...

We are also seeking God's direction and provision for several things: missionary housing in Nenana as well as a pilot/mechanic to help facilitate maintaining the radio translators in the remote villages.

Thank you again for praying for us and for your financial support. God has thus far met our needs as they have arisen. It is so awesome to see Him provide the opportunities and resources to proclaim the message of salvation and hope in Christ to this needy land. Thank you for being a part of this.

Blessings in Christ,

Art Thompson
VFCM Executive Director. 

Thursday
Feb052015

January 2015

NOTE: To download the newsletter, click here!

 

Greetings, in the name of our Lord.

Thirty, twenty, ten; It sounds like the snap count for a football game. In reality, it is what we here at VFCM are celebrating in 2015. Thirty years of broadcasting the Gospel in Nenana, twenty years in Bethel, and ten years in Big Lake. Praise be to God!

Interestingly, the word "broadcasting" is actually an agricultural term originally referring to the broad arc in which a sower casts seeds over the prepared ground. The imagery our Lord uses of the sower spreading the Word of God like seeds is strikingly similar to our modern day concept of "broadcasting".

While we won't truly know until we get to heaven the full impact of these "broadcasts" on those within the range of our signals, we are encouraged by God's Word that says: " So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11"

As this new year lies before us, we are seeking God's direction as to how we can not only plant the "seeds", but tend the fields as well. We are exploring the possibility of partnering with several churches to help organize a direct ministry outreach in the villages where we have an FM translator. There are some exciting opportunities to expand upon the radio in several of these places.

As well, we are encouraged that two more couples have made application and expressed interest in serving with us full time. One is coming up to spend the month of February with us, the other will be visiting in April. Please pray that God will confirm His call to them, and that He will quickly provide them the support needed to serve. We also have a couple already here in Alaska who are raising funds to support them serving full time. Pray that God will provide the necessary funds to allow them to fully devote their time to the work. Each of us are currently doing the work of several people so it is encouraging to see that God is sending reinforcements.

The word of our Lord in Matthew 9 reads, again with agricultural imagery; Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." Matthew 9:37-38

Thank you so much for your prayers and generous support. Your partnership with us is having an eternal impact in the lives of rural and Native Alaskans.

Art Thompson
VFCM Executive Director. 

Wednesday
Jan072015

December 2014

NOTE: to download newsletter with pictures, click here!

Greetings, in the name of our Lord.

As I write this, Christmas and the New Year are just around the corner. It will soon be 2015. This last year has seen God bestow upon us many blessings and set before us many opportunities. Some of the challenges we were facing at this time last year seemed insurmountable. But God provided just what we needed at just the right time. In looking over the list of needs and concerns that we requested prayer for at the beginning of this year, I am so thankful to God that He had it all covered.

As we begin a new year, 2015 marks the thirtieth year that Voice for Christ has been broadcasting the message of hope and salvation to rural Alaska. God has used the teaching and music to touch many lives. We started with one station back in 1985 and God has grown it to a statewide network with four stations and twenty one translators. This network has the potential to reach 90% of Alaska's population with the gospel, although our focus is on the rural and native population.

KIAM AM and KAGV can reach Fairbanks and Anchorage respectively, but there are many remote areas outside of the population centers that they cover as well.

KYKD in Bethel covers remote villages in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta as well as in western Alaska with four translators.

KIAM FM and the translator network cover 18 villages from the Arctic to the Aleutian Chain.

It is truly exciting to see what God has done to take His Word to some of the most remote and isolated villages in Alaska. There are still more than a few of those places where Voice for Christ is the only consistent gospel witness. I am praying for the day when every one of these communities has a functioning church, but until that time comes, radio and visits from itinerant missionaries will have to suffice. In the villages where there is a Bible teaching church, we are able serve as a reinforcement to their teaching and evangelism.

We receive calls on a regular basis from folks who say that the radio is the only church available to them. We also receive calls from a number of people who have questions about their eternal destiny. Several of the radio Bible teachers we air report receiving mail and even phone calls from people in these remote places asking for prayer or literature. It is amazing how radio can go into places that we cannot and that people who would have never set foot in a church will listen.

There is one person who has listened to KIAM since we first went on the air. He just recently placed his trust in Christ. For years he had visited the station, usually inebriated. Several generations of VFCM missionaries have prayed for him. It has been such an encouragement to us to see him become a new creature in Christ.

So, 2015 will be a milestone for sure. We are excited to see what God will do in the coming months.

(Over)

December 2014. Voice for Christ Ministries. 409 1st St. Nenana, AK. (907) 832-5426 www.vfcm.org

Here is a summery of what God has done in 2014.

1. Allowed us to renew our broadcast licenses without any delays or problems.
2. Provided the resources and people to repair our AM tower in Nenana.
3. Allowed us to renew a long-expired railroad crossing permit.
4. Provided the resources to install three new translators in the villages of Port Alsworth, Aniak, and Kalskag. 5. Provided the equipment and funds to repair KYKD's boat so our missionaries can visit the fishing camps. 6. Provided a new phone system for KIAM to replace a 30 year old system that was failing.

7. Allowed us to meet the qualifications to join the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. 8. Provided the people and resources to renovate our last remaining mission house.
9. Provided the resources to deal with several unexpected equipment failures.

In addition to all this, God provided the funds for us to finish the year in the black. At the beginning of year, at least on paper, it did not look like we would even make it through 2014. God is so amazing...

So, as we enter the new year, here are some concerns that we would greatly appreciate your prayers for.

  1. Missionary housing: We have several prospective missionaries that we are not sure where they would live if they come. There is no housing available in Nenana. We have the opportunity to buy a house and property adjacent to our tower, but no funds at this time to do so. This property is also creating a serious access issue with our KIAM transmitter and tower that would be solved by us acquiring it. We are trusting God that He will provide a solution.

  2. Missionary Staff: We still have no full time staff for KAGV, and are in need of staff for the VFCM headquarters. Please pray that God will call more people to ministry in rural Alaska. Our needs range from someone who can talk on the radio to someone who can maintain building and vehicles.

  3. That God would continue to guide and direct VFCM and give us wisdom and discernment in following His will.

  4. That God would provide the resources to do what He calls us to and that we would be good stewards of what He gives us.

In closing, I want to express my thanks on behalf of our missionaries and board for your faithful prayers and support. While I acknowledge that God is sovereign over all that takes place, your faithfulness and commitment to reaching the lost is having an eternal impact here in America's "Last Frontier".

Have a blessed Christmas, and a great New Year.

Art Thompson
VFCM Executive Director