Central African Republic returned on SW
Six years of planning and praying culminated on Thursday, March 1, as Integrated Community Development International (ICDI) in Boali, Central African Republic, officially began broadcasting the gospel via shortwave with help from HCJB Global Voice.
This is the country’s first privately owned shortwave station, making Christian broadcasts available to most of the country’s 3.5 million people. “Our partner, Jim Hocking, and the staff of ICDI have prayed and worked to see this vision of nationwide Christian radio,” said Curt Bender, manager of radio planting and development at the HCJB Global Technology Center in Elkhart, IN. He led a team that installed the equipment.
In a clear example of the voice and hands of Jesus at work, Bender shared, “This is a country that has been devastated by war and HIV/AIDS. The folks at ICDI plan to use the radio broadcasts to help disseminate community health information and to spread the gospel. The needs are immense, but this station is a significant step in helping a people who need so much.”
The station, broadcasting at 6030 kHz, airs eight hours daily with programming in French and three African languages, Sango, Aka and Fulfuldé.
“This low-power shortwave radio station will enable the staff at ICDI to deliver community health information and the gospel daily to remote villages inaccessible by vehicle,” Bender added.
Bender, together with engineers Dan Anderson, Don Hastings and Jeremy Maller, installed the 1,000-watt shortwave transmitter at ICDI, a ministry founded by Hocking 3½ years ago.
The TB1000 shortwave transmitter, while portable and compact like a FM transmitter, “can send the signal much farther than FM transmitters.” The antenna, designed at the technology center by Hastings and Maller, covers an area almost the size of a football field when fully assembled.
ICDI has been involved in various community health projects across Central African Republic such as well-drilling to provide drinking water in remote villages, orphan care and micro-enterprise development.
“The radio station is as an effective way to disseminate community health information and spread the gospel,” Hocking explained. “Poor roads make traveling to many villages difficult or dangerous. For these reasons, radio has become the logical tool to reach the inaccessible people of the country.”
(HCJB Global via Alokesh Gupta)
… But our God is an awesome God. Despite the challenges, the project was completed. Thursday afternoon February 22, on 6.030 mhz, “Radio ICDI” was on the air! We had an exciting dedication ceremony attended by several high government officials (the equivalent of a state governor in the USA, and the mayor of the city), the Director of ICDI (Pastor Jim Hocking), a visiting short term mission team from Wooster OH, and many friends from the local African population.
Thanks for praying for this very special project. We are now broadcasting on a short wave frequency that covers all of Central Africa (CAR, Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, Congo, and even farther out). In addition to the short wave transmitter, antenna, and broadcast studio, this team installed satellite systems at three locations in C. A. R. linking us to the internet, and a separate satellite system at the broadcast site to receive Christian programming from Trans-World Radio 24/7. A great team. A great project. A great God. Your brother in ministry, Dave Vittum.
(Dave Vittum, HCJB Engineer, via http://www.unitedchurchofphelps.org)