Someone recently asked me how things are going for Grenada Family Network. I am embarrassed to say that it has been about 10 months since my last report. How time flies!
So much has happened in the past 10 months that it would take several pages to cover it all. I wish I had time to properly relate all the blessings, large and small, that God has bestowed upon Grenada Family Network during the past months. God has blessed our efforts and many people in Grenada and around the world have been encouraged and brought closer to Jesus as a result of listening to GFN.
“Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. Remember his marvelous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;” 1 Chronicles 16:11 & 12
To mention just one short story, we recently heard about a Rastafarian bus driver who listened to GFN radio 91.3 as he drove his daily bus route. His passengers also listened.
After a certain time he became convicted by the truths he was learning and began attending an evangelistic campaign in his Parish. His is now a baptized member of the SDA church in Grenada. Truly the Holy Spirit is working to draw many people to Jesus. It’s up to us to cooperate and not follow the selfish ways of the world in the way we use the opportunities and resources God has loaned to us! There are undoubtedly many more stories like this one which only eternity will reveal.
The World Comes to Grenada
Grenada has changed greatly in the past few years with tourism becoming a major segment of the economy. It’s become nearly impossible to go into the grocery store and not hear languages from Europe or even the Middle East. Nearly every day a new cruise ship or even several can be seen in port, bringing thousands of visitors each week. God has brought people from all over the world to this little island and we are currently considering how we can advertise to let more people know about GFN radio and GFN TV while they are here.
There are many more stories I could relate, but in the interest of time, I will share the most recent and exciting development.
Grenada Family Network will soon be on 100.3 FM in northern Grenada.
In November of 2017 the GFN board met and it was decided to move forward by faith on installing the radio station in the north. I began immediately to make the necessary arrangements such as locating a 4×4 truck to rent, and purchasing some of the remaining hardware needed to install the equipment, etc.
The truck would be needed to get up the steep 1.5 mile road to Kublal, the 2,200 ft. mountain in the north where we would be installing our antennas on a 250 foot cell phone tower.
Here is a summary of the highlights (and lowlights) of the project.
Wednesday, January 17: Work began at Kublal with a crew of 4. John Bartels our Engineer from Washington, Rod Bell and Mike Bianco from Nebraska and myself. Arrival at the work site was delayed nearly 2 hours by a stuck 4×4 pickup truck partly blocking the road up the mountain. The “road” is 2 concrete tracks with deep ruts and washouts on each side in some areas and slick mud in others. Getting the tires off the concrete onto slick mud is a recipe for disaster, since some of the ditches are several feet deep.
By the end of Day 1, ropes were put into place on the tower, the antenna assembly was bolted together on the ground, and the server room was cleaned and reorganized to make room for our equipment rack and cavity filter.
Thursday, January 18: Work continued at Kublal. The pulley system which was brought down from the US wasn’t working correctly. After exhausting effort we managed to get the antenna assembly 2/3 of the way up to the point it was to be mounted. With only four of us, it strained the limit of our abilities to hoist the estimated 250 lb. assembly while holding 2 guide ropes to keep the expensive and fragile antennas from hitting the tower on the way up.
Friday, January 19: The exhausted crew took some time off for rest and recreation. John Bartels made the 1 ½ hour drive (only 10 miles in a straight line) back to Kublal to install the equipment in the server room. I (Steve) ran errands in town and tried to catch up on radio programming.
Sunday, January 21: Six local volunteers answered the call for help and came from Archibald Ave and Westerhall churches to finish raising the antenna assembly into position. Cold rain and wind soaked everyone to the skin all morning through early afternoon when the antenna was finally bolted onto the tower. Despite earnest prayers, God allowed the rain and wind to continue. Although we were tempted to doubt, God blessed our efforts. At the end of the day we realized that God had been guiding us at each step of the process to make good decisions which made the difference between success and failure. Several complex operations went smoothly and the job got done with no injuries to people or damage to expensive equipment.
Short video of the conditions during a lull in the rain:
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:57 & 58
Monday, January 22: Two days later than planned, finally the installation of cables begins for connecting the transmitter to the broadcast antenna. Thankfully this work proceeded without any major problems.
It would be well to consider that in all our work we have the co-operation and care of heavenly beings. Invisible armies of light and power attend the meek and lowly ones who believe and claim the promises of God. Cherubim and seraphim and angels that excel in strength—ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands—stand at His right hand, “all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.” Hebrews 1:14. Christs Object Lessons, p 176
Tuesday, January 23: Installation of cables is finished and receiver antenna stand-off is mounted. Completely unexpectedly, (by Divine providence), Keddie Whiteman, a professional tower climber who lived nearby, showed up to assist us late in the afternoon with daylight fading. He climbed all over the tower to deliver tools and hardware like you or I would walk to the kitchen for water.
On the way down the mountain in the dark, the truck slipped off the paved tracks and cut a tire sidewall. Keddie Whiteman had flashlights and took charge of changing the tire. We were on the way again in just a few minutes, praising God for providing help at just the right time!
Wednesday, January 24: Rod and Mike took some time off to scuba dive. John and Steve went to purchase a new tire for the truck, and pick up a few other items. John and Steve returned to Kublal shortly before noon to run cable into the server room.
Thursday, January 25: John returned to Kublal to meet with the C & W engineer regarding where to install electrical equipment. Rod and Mike departed Grenada to return to the US.
Friday, January 26: Broadcast equipment, purchased on Monday, arrived Thursday, and was picked up Friday from FedEx with concession on duty. Another miracle in a country where things just don’t happen quickly!
Sunday, January 28: Installation of the new Crown Transceiver and receive antenna was completed with a successful test of the signal on 100.3 FM. Praise God!
A short 3 minute video with some views of the country side and tower work:
In many ways this entire project has been a battle. Even though we see God’s approval and blessing on our work, it is obvious the enemy is not happy. We have endured many strange and unusual problems which can only be a sign that we are entering enemy territory and he is not going to give ground easily. I am reminded of the wonderful promise found in a vision by Ellen White:
In vision I saw two armies in terrible conflict. One army was led by banners bearing the world’s insignia; the other was led by the blood-stained banner of Prince Emmanuel….
The battle raged. Victory alternated from side to side. Now the soldiers of the cross gave way, “as when a standard-bearer fainteth.” Isaiah 10:18. But their apparent retreat was but to gain a more advantageous position. Shouts of joy were heard. A song of praise to God went up, and angel voices united in the song, as Christ’s soldiers planted His banner on the walls of fortresses till then held by the enemy. The Captain of our salvation was ordering the battle, and sending support to His soldiers. His power was mightily displayed, encouraging them to press the battle to the gates. He taught them terrible things in righteousness as He led them on step by step, conquering and to conquer.
At last the victory was gained. The army following the banner with the inscription, “The commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus,” was gloriously triumphant. The soldiers of Christ were close beside the gates of the city, and with joy the city received her King. The kingdom of peace and joy and everlasting righteousness was established.
Testimonies, Vol 8, p 41
How about you dear friends? Are you helping to hold up the blood-stained banner to press the battle forward into enemy territory? There is no middle ground. To do nothing is to choose the side of the enemy. To live like the rest of the selfish world is to choose the side of the enemy. Only those who are engaged in the battle will experience the joy of victory.
Right now we are facing yet another test of faith. This week we signed the Contract to rent the tower and server space on Kublal. This means that next month we will have another $1,100 added to our monthly expenses for rental and electricity. We know now from years of experience that God is faithful. He can create money out of nothing and put it in our hands, but He has given His church the opportunity to experience the JOY of self-sacrificing love for others. Only as we learn to give sacrificially can we as God’s people be trained how to live in heaven where no one lives for self. We have such a low conception of what that means. It does not come naturally, so it is God’s desire that we practice it now.
We are also praying about how to maintain the equipment in the north. GFN has an urgent need for a 4×4 pickup which can get up the steep and rugged road to Kublal. We have decided for practical reasons, that a diesel Toyota Hilux (similar to the photo below) will be the best option. Since trucks typically get used for heavy work, finding a diesel model in good condition will be challenging. The cost including import fees, duty, and licensing will cost about $30 thousand dollars for a 5 year old truck in good condition.
How will God provide? I have no idea, but I know He will. The promise is sure: “His power was mightily displayed, encouraging them to press the battle to the gates.”
• Regular monthly gifts of $10, $20, $50 or more to cover our $5,000 USD/month budget.
• 4×4 Toyota Hilux Pickup: $30,000
• New radio broadcast and editing computers: $7,497. (Our current hardware is nearly 10 years old and beginning to fail which could take us off the air any day. See: http://www.bsiusa.com/systems/s110/s110.php )
• Volunteer stipend: $650 /month
• Prayers that the promise of Matthew 24:14 will soon be fulfilled.
How to help:
You can donate online: http://gospelministry.org/donations/
Or by phone at: 423-473-1841
Or you can send a tax deductible donation to:
Gospel Ministries International
PO Box 506
Collegedale, TN 37315
Kindly include a separate note that it is for Grenada Family Network.
Contact us directly:
Steve and Samra Shedell
PO Box 2747
St. Paul’s, St. George’s
Grenada, West Indies
1 (473) 435-4297