Seizing Opportunities by Faith

Opportunities for Faith – Grenada Family Network Report Autumn 2018

A GFN radio listener writes:

Thank you very much for your beautiful station and the peaceful music you provide every day. It keeps me going.”

Another card says:

God bless you all! Thank you for your ministry. It is a great blessing to me and to many others.”

Several church members report that they leave the station on almost all the time.

Another church member reports that her Catholic friend listens to the station and now understands the importance of the Sabbath, but is struggling with how to respond to her new understanding.

Seeds of truth are being sown in many hearts in Grenada and around the world. Please pray that they will fall onto good soil and spring up to bring an abundant harvest to Jesus.

This is the best radio station in the world!”, is the glowing praise from another listener from another denomination. My family and I agree. It is the best radio station in the world, only we might be a little bit biased. But then again, maybe not….

http://www.globalfamilynetwork.net/site/radio/

I invite you to listen for a few days and see if you don’t agree that GFN radio has uniquely Spirit filled programming. In fact many of the programs, sermons, and music selections on GFN Radio, you won’t hear on any other radio station of any denomination. Why is that? Simply because we take the commands and promises of God very seriously.

One interest will prevail, one subject will swallow up every other,—Christ our righteousness. 1888 Materials, p 765.6

This is the message that God commanded to be given to the world.  It… is to be proclaimed with a loud voice, and attended with the outpouring of His Spirit in a large measure. 1888 Materials, p 1336.2

Being thought of as the best doesn’t guarantee smooth sailing. In fact just the opposite is true. You see, Grenada Family Network has an enemy, (probably many actually) and he wants us off the air and out of Grenada. The year 2018 has been a difficult year with a few gains, but several losses as well.

Unplanned Travels

In May we received word that Samra’s father would need heart surgery in North Carolina. He lives alone with his dog and has no other family members nearby who can help, so we packed our bags and quickly prepared for a trip back to the US. I had many projects going here which needed constant attention, but to neglect a need so close to home was out of the question. Before I knew of the need, God provided a local volunteer, sister Britney St. Louis, to look after GFN radio and keep up the local programming each week. She volunteered 8 weeks before our trip which was just enough time to teach her the finer points of running a radio station.

Britney St. Louis

 

God also provided a free flight home with Pastor David Gates for 3 of us, so on May 22, I took my family to the airport for their flight north. What feelings arise from putting your wife and children on a small 4 person airplane to fly 1,500 miles over open ocean for 10 hours! Even though I had confidence in the pilot and knew God was leading, there was still the nagging thought of “what if”.

Here is a short fun video of the flight which my daughter Anna took.

 

 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 ESV

Monday, May 28, six days later, I followed them to the US on a commercial flight. After a long, uncomfortable and mostly sleepless night in the Toronto airport I arrived safely at the Gospel Ministries Office in Tennessee the next day.

It would take too long to relate all that happened during our time in the US. The heart surgery was successful and Samra’s father is doing much better and is able continue his independent life. Overall the trip had times of stress and times of relaxation and fun as well. We returned to Grenada on September 4 and have been frantically racing to catch up on 3 months work which was left undone while we were away.

When I worked at an Architecture firm in Arkansas, a friend of mine had a sign posted at his desk which said: “Opportunities for faith come disguised as disaster.”

That perfectly describes our current experience as missionaries; whether it be traveling to and from the US with no money to pay for airline tickets, or finding several ministry bills 3 months behind when we returned, it seems that God is always letting disaster loom to test our faith and reveal His mighty power to deliver. For almost 10 years Grenada Family Network has faced one challenge after another and God has always carried us through.

Might things work

                              better with a different

             person in charge?

 

 

Certainly! Speaking for myself, I can’t claim to be exceptionally smart, talented, strong, or a charismatic leader who can inspire other people to get things done. In fact, on more than one occasion, God has spared my life after I over-worked in the heat and humidity, and I can only thank Him that His grace continually sustains me.

If anything gets done at all, God usually has to rely on ordinary people like me, and sadly many people just don’t obey God when He asks them to do something. Experience has shown that most “successful” people are simply too busy, or too tired, or too preoccupied with other things, to help God’s work move forward.

This also has been an opportunity for faith! I’m often temped to think, “If God has to rely on only a few people like me to finish the work, what hope is there of it ever getting finished?” The answer which comes is, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Zec 4:6)   It will take nothing less than a miracle.

If you are struggling and often failing like me, thank God that He is longing to help you be victorious and at the same time teach you total dependence on Him. I am reminded of this thought by Ellen White:

What is justification by faith? It is the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust, and doing for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself. When men see their own nothingness, they are prepared to be clothed with the righteousness of Christ. When they begin to praise and exalt God all the day long, then by beholding they are becoming changed into the same image. What is regeneration? It is revealing to man what is his own real nature, that in himself he is worthless. {20MR 117.3}

This lesson is the most painful but necessary part of Christian growth! God simply can’t use people who are self-righteous or self-dependant, but it is our natural inclination to rely on self. To make matters worse, the enemy is always close by to whisper fears into our ear. “Is it really safe to let go of that completely?”

But what if disaster….

Broadcasting anywhere is expensive. Broadcasting in Grenada is especially expensive. Because of the population density and mountainous terrain, land for new construction is scarce and high-priced. So early in the history of GFN it was decided that renting was the quickest and most affordable way to get on the air. The station house is rented and tower space is rented. There are only a few high points with electrical service where a radio signal can hit the entire south half or north half of the island, so the cell phone company who owns towers on those sites can pretty much charge what they wish for tower space, and they do.

This year electricity rates (not including taxes & fees) have averaged .28 – .32 ¢ / kWh. (In contrast, California’s average rate is 15.3 ¢ / kWh.)

Last but not least, there are two licensing agencies (local and regional) we must pay to maintain our broadcast licenses for each frequency we use.

With all this in mind, I have sometimes wondered why God chose Grenada for a radio and TV station to send His message to the English speaking Caribbean. Certainly there must have been a more affordable location! But then the Spirit of God brings the parable of the Good Shepherd to mind:

As the shepherd loves his sheep, and cannot rest if even one be missing, so, in an infinitely higher degree, does God love every outcast soul. Men may deny the claim of His love, they may wander from Him, they may choose another master; yet they are God’s, and He longs to recover His own. He says, “As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out My sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.” Ezekiel 34:12.

In the parable the shepherd goes out to search for one sheep—the very least that can be numbered. So if there had been but one lost soul, Christ would have died for that one.

Christ’s Object Lessons, p 187

Terrance

Our neighbor is one of those lost sheep. Terrance struggles with mental health issues. Often we hear him talking loudly in the night to voices only he can hear. We have been praying for him and have recently seen some improvement, but how to reach him remains a mystery which only the Holy Spirit can solve. Please join us in praying for him and others like him who have such challenges to understand and believe the gospel.

Consider all that Jesus gave up as the King of heaven, and all that He endured to save this world; and to think He would have done it all for YOU if you were the only one who needed saving! Can any monetary expense in lowly Grenada compare to that!

 

 

The Future?

What does the future hold for Grenada Family Network?

In the next few weeks we are getting a new volunteer family from the USA. Sister Melissa Walker and her 3 children will be joining us. She will be assisting with administrative duties and helping me get our TV station up and running. There are still several very serious challenges to overcome to finally begin Grenada Family Network TV, but we are hopeful this can happen in the next few months. Pray that God will remove obstacles, so that we can expand the reach and influence of GFN even further.

We need your prayers because each time we attempt to expand GFN into new territory, the enemy raises such opposition that it can be quite discouraging. Progress can happen only through the strong and patient faith of Jesus! Our faith just isn’t good enough, and yet God calls us to move forward even when doing so looks impossible.

Before us stretches the deep waters of the Red Sea. Behind is the enemy rapidly closing in. What will happen?

 

And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day…. The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. Exodus 14:13-14 KJV

As we look at the rapidly declining condition of the world and the church, we might be tempted to despair and think the enemy is winning. I am reminded that, “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.” {CET 204.1}

This where the real battle occurs, between fear and faith. It is only by choosing to let God have total control, that we give Him the opportunity to part the sea before us and overthrow the enemy behind us. It is by seeing God work when our situation appears hopeless that our faith grows and we become better fitted to meet the next crisis.

Last month, shortly after arriving home from paying rent, the phone rang. It was our landlord informing me that I would need to pay another month’s rent. (As previously mentioned, we had fallen 3 months behind due to an unforeseen decline in funding). I had just used almost all the money in the GFN account to pay what was currently due. After hanging up the phone, I put my head down on the desk in discouragement, sighed, and simply said: “Now what do I do Lord?”

After feeling sorry for myself for a few moments, my eyes fell on a stack of mail I had just collected from our PO Box a few minutes before. In my haste to get home, I hadn’t taken time to look through it. In the middle of a stack of past due bills, was a fat envelope from a name I didn’t recognize. Inside was $1000 EC in cash (about $375 US). While certainly not a safe way to send money, this particular envelope was carefully guarded by an angel as it made it’s way through the Postal System to reach me just exactly when needed. Below that envelope was another with a check for $300 EC. Realizing now that God had already provided before I had a chance to ask, I happily added the remaining amount needed for rent using grocery money for the month.

Do you think we went hungry? Of course not, but that’s another story….

Steve & Samra Shedell

 

 

In closing I want to say a big thank you to those who have sacrificed time and money to keep Grenada Family Network going. Without your prayers and financial help we would have ceased operations long ago. Take courage in knowing that you have treasure stored up in heaven.  Jesus says:

And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. Matthew 19:29

You can’t find a better investment than that!

 

Current needs:

  • Prayers for wisdom, strength, protection, and provision.

  • Prayers that the enemy will be driven back as we conquer new territory in 2019.

  • Regular monthly gifts of $10, $20, $50 or more to cover our $4,000 USD/month budget.

  • $5,699 for a new radio broadcast computer. (Our current hardware is 10 years old and could fail any time. See: https://www.bsiusa.com/product/computers/air-studio/

  • $650 /month for volunteer stipend. (Join us in prayer that God will abundantly supply for our new volunteer family.)

  • $500 for maintenance and repairs at the station house. (Ants, termites and tropical weather take their toll all too quickly.)

  • A used Toyota Noah van or similar vehicle. Our current Noah is nearly 21 years old and quite worn out. Both the suspension and brakes need a complete rebuild which would obviously cost more than the van is worth. Without reliable transportation the work will become exponentially more difficult.

 

 

 

 

 

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 your donation is for Grenada Media Ministry.

Contact us directly:

Steve and Samra Shedell
PO Box 2747
St. Paul’s, St. George’s
Grenada, West Indies

Email: steve.s88@protonmail.com

Local Grenada phone: 1 (473) 435-4297

 

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