The Wind is Blowing in Grenada
Itâ€™s kite season in Grenada. Each year from around January to May the wind blows nearly every day. There is almost always a gentle breeze except for when there are tropical storms in the Atlantic which block the northeasterly trade winds, but the winter and spring months are kite season. Most kites are made with a strip of plastic across the front which makes a humming sound when aloft. The sound can be heard over a large area when the kites sometimes reach the clouds, over 1000 feet above the ground. Like most unfamiliar noises it can be difficult to get used to the constant drone of kites all night long, but eventually it becomes part the background sound and can actually be kind of comforting.
The wind is blowing in another way also. The wind of the Spirit is blowing upon the hearts of men, women, and even children.
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8 NKJV
Just as the wind cannot be seen, Grenada Family Network has many secret and not so secret listeners whose hearts are being moved and lifted above this sinful reality, just as the kites are lifted. A few months ago I opened the mail to find a $200 EC donation in this envelope. We can only speculate about who sent it, but itâ€™s intriguing and encouraging to consider.
A few weeks ago as Ethan and I were out for our usual Sabbath morning walk, a young man (who I will call Patrick) parked his car by the playing field, and got out to enjoy the cool morning air and make a phone call. He was dressed in casual clothing with a tee-shirt and two gold chains around his neck. By his appearance I never would have suspected a spiritual interest.
As we were walking by he suddenly said, â€œOh, are you the one that runs the GFN radio station?â€ I replied that I was. He exclaimed, â€œWow! This is a divine appointment. I have been wanting to talk to you for a long time.â€ As we talked he related that he was raised Pentecostal, but had been studying the Bible and listening to GFN. He now wants to keep the Sabbath more faithfully and believes the truths he has learned from listening to 91.3 FM. He thanked me for airing a local evangelistic series and requested copies of some of the dramatized Bible stories we play. How many more like Patrick are out there? Secret listeners â€“ responding to the wind of Godâ€™s spirit â€“ whom we will be surprised to meet in heaven?
In January we received a large anonymous donation from a local person. At least once a year and sometimes twice, we receive a certain amount from this person. At least I have reason to suspect that itâ€™s always the same person. They could easily use the money on themselves to make payments on a new car, or the latest electronic gadget, but they have chosen to lay up treasure in heaven. Very soon the wealth of this world will perish. On that great day when the King of kings is revealed with flaming fire, the things of this world will appear as worthless junk compared to that eternal reality.
Young Missionaries in Training
Since we came to Grenada in 2015 one of our Catholic neighbors (Mr. S) has been a little cold and unfriendly, not in a mean spirited way, but just indifferent. That has gradually changed in the past 6 months as Ethan has taken an interest in him and gone over to talk to him from time to time as he works in his yard. Yes Ethan, the shy boy who can barely look someone in the eye at church, has done what none of the rest of us could do. A few months ago, Ethan took Mr. S a book and a few days later Ethan was so excited when Mr. S said he had been reading it. Mr S now smiles and waves at us as we see him throughout the week. Truly God can use anyone who is willing to be used!
With what joy will the worker for Christ behold these redeemed ones, [around Godâ€™s throne] who share the glory of the Redeemer! How precious will heaven be to those who have been faithful in the work of saving souls! Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p 90
Investing in Godâ€™s Kingdom has always been a good idea, but this is especially true in 2021. As each month passes, hard-earned savings seem to purchase less and less. A few weeks ago when I went shopping at the local IGA grocery store I was shocked to see that imported flour had doubled in price. We usually try to buy King Arthur brand flour because it works better for bread and causes fewer allergy problems than the local flour which is milled on the same equipment as soy and corn. (A 5 lb. bag of All Purpose Flour is now nearly $16 US). This unfortunate trend should not surprise us. Almost 175 years ago an inspired writer penned these words:
I heard some mourn like this: â€œThe cause was languishing, Godâ€™s people were starving for the truth, and we made no effort to supply the lack; now our property is useless. Oh, that we had let it go, and laid up treasure in heaven!â€ I saw that a sacrifice did not increase, but it decreased and was consumed. Early Writings, p 57
As we see these things beginning to happen, let us resolve to invest wisely for eternity.
New Studio Equipment
Grenada Family Network began broadcasting on June 3, 2009. The original Windows XP broadcast computer has worked nearly flawlessly for over 12 years! Needless to say, it is long past due for an upgrade. In fact our entire studio needs to be thoroughly cleaned and refurbished. The tile floor has recently broken and come loose, the AC unit needs service, and the doors and desks are infested with one of the most persistent plagues of this island â€“ termites.
Last year, thanks to some very generous donations which came to our family during the height of the COVID-19 crisis, I was able to purchase a like new (refurbished) Windows 10 broadcast computer, (2) new flat screen monitors, new keyboards, new wireless mice, and new hard drives.
These items can hopefully be shipped down in the next few weeks, but in order to finish we need to also purchase a Broadcast Host (to put phone calls on the air), updated radio automation software, and a new sound card. Would you consider helping with this project? If so, you can find more details near the bottom of this report.
â€‹ Planting for a Bountiful Harvest
â€œ…He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.â€ 2 Corinthians 9:6
We are several weeks late, but farming has begun on our property in the country. After 6 weeks of very dry weather, rainy season arrived with 5 days of nearly continuous rain. Thankfully before the rain started we hired some help to clear overgrown areas. God has blessed our fruit trees and given us ministry opportunities through giving away the extra fruit along with books and words of encouragement. Two Lemon trees for example have produced at least 10 buckets of lemons! The neighbors have noticed and unfortunately sometimes take out bags full without permission. We expect this ministry to grow rapidly in the future as world events disrupt shipping and food production.
One fruit which does very well even in wet conditions are bananas. A few weeks ago our landlord generously paid to have several acres cleared for new banana and plantain plants. Banana plants start out only a few inches high, so at this point we donâ€™t even know how many there are, but if we can keep theft to a minimum, we should have bananas to share within a year or so.
In addition to the photos above, we have also planted several Papaya trees, Pomegranates, an Acerola Cherry, Pigeon Peas, and a new variety of Hibiscus.
Country Living When?
Refurbishing a house is hard work! My heavy responsibilities with the radio station, combined with the distance to the country property has made the process seem agonisingly slow. To save money we have been doing most of the work ourselves. In the next few weeks we hope to finish tiling the shower, install a solar hot water heater, and build and install a few kitchen cabinets.
In March we took a big step forward when we hired a contractor to build concrete posts and block wall for a driveway gate, (below) replace a broken window, repair cracked concrete, pour a concrete slab inside the garage, and install a new metal door with wood framed awning at the back. The progress was not without disappointments and setbacks (the cost much more than expected), but God is helping us through it.
Despite the challenges, we have made huge progress in the past year and have begun the process of moving. We are determined to be relocated by the middle of the summer.
â€‹ Time is running out.
Can you feel it? This world has very little time left. We must run to take the message of salvation to as many as possible before itâ€™s too late. Just as Jesus commanded, we must work â€œwhile it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.â€ John 9:4. In the little book Gospel Workers are these words:
Great things are before us, and we want to call the people from their indifference to get readyâ€¦. We are not now to cast away our confidence, but to have firm assurance, firmer than ever before. We want to have fresh in our memory every tear the Lord has wiped from our eyes, every pain he has soothed, every anxiety removed, every fear dispelled, every want supplied, every mercy bestowed, and thus strengthen ourselves for all that is before us through the remainder of our pilgrimage. We cannot but look onward to new perplexities in the coming conflict, but we may look on what is past as well as what is to come, and say, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. â€œAs thy days, so shall thy strength be.â€ [Deu 33:25.] The trial will not exceed the strength which shall be given us to bear it. Then let us take up our work just where we find it, believing that nothing can come but that strength will come proportionate to the trial. Gospel Workers, p 374
Let us each get ready and help others to do the same!
In closing we would like to thank each one of you who have helped this ministry along the way. We have often been encouraged at just the right time by the kindness and generosity of Godâ€™s people. Truly we could not continue without you.
Steve, Samra, Anna & Ethan
â€‹ Current needs:
â€¢ Regular monthly gifts of $20, $50 or more to keep GFN Radio on the air.
â€¢ Volunteers with Bible work skills, computer skills, construction skills, or farming skills.
â€¢ Windows 10 compatible radio automation software: $1999
â€¢ Updated audio card: $995
â€¢ Broadcast Host (For live on-air phone calls): $500
â€¢ Tile, metal doors, and treated wood to repair GFN studio: $750
â€¢ Shipping of equipment from Tennessee to Grenada: $700
â€¢ Approximate cost to finish country house including paint, electrical work, plumbing work, and kitchen cabinets: $5000
â€¢ 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 Media Ministry.
Contact us directly:
Steve and Samra Shedell
PO Box 2747
St. Paulâ€™s, St. Georgeâ€™s
Grenada, West Indies
1 (473) 435-4297