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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Busy Season

The dry season on Guam has finally started to look more like a dry season, and with it our staff at KTWR has found itself in the midst of a busy work season. Our IT personnel are currently working on an upgrade for our NETIA system, the database system that feeds programs to the transmitters for broadcasting. This system upgrade will help us make use of certain NETIA features that we have not be using up until this point. One advantage is that it will link together our system on Guam and our system on Sri Lanka. This is an advantage because our staff on Guam manages the broadcasts for our transmitters on Sri Lanka. Now if there is an issue with those broadcasts, we will be able to see those issues and address them more directly from our remote location.

Another task on our staff’s to-do list is replacing the Dummy Load that was installed this time last year. You may recall our reports on this project that began in July 2015. It appears that at some point the output of a transmitter was routed to the Dummy Load instead of to an antenna while the Dummy Load's cooling pump was turned off. This burned up the resistors on the load, which led to the need for a replacement.

Replacement resistors for the Dummy Load

Next, after months of waiting for this shipment to arrive, the solar panels (and their accompanying parts) for the third and final phase of our solar panel project arrived at the site last week! Now we will be able to finish the work on this project that has been three years in the making. We have already benefitted from the first two installments of solar panels, but once this third phase is complete, we will be able to save even more money on energy costs—our greatest ministry expense. The money we save can go toward expanding TWR’s ministry to the Asia/Pacific region.

Unloading the panels from the truck

Posts and other parts for the solar panels

All of these tasks have taken place as we have been gearing up for our bi-annual season change, which took place Sunday, March 26th. Twice a year we must apply for new frequencies for our broadcasts with the FCC and come up with new broadcast schedules for our programs. This requires much collaboration between all of our departments—IT, engineering, content management, etc.—and between all of our ministry partners in the region. Once we know which frequencies we have been given by the FCC for broadcasting, we then have to decide which programs will broadcast on those different frequencies. Schedules are made up, ministry partners load programs into the database, and our program traffic controllers build the program playlists. The transmitters have to be retuned to broadcast on the new frequencies, and we have to continue to communicate with the FCC to acquire approval for certain allocations as we realize the need to tweak certain things. Now that the season change has officially occurred, our staff will follow up with the progress of the broadcasts and fix any issues with the transmitters, computers, and playlists. Please pray for the broadcasts during this new season, that the transition will happen smoothly and that people will hear the good news of Jesus Christ and be encouraged by messages of truth and hope!

Allen, a content manager, working on some recordings for the new season

In this busy season, we have been blessed with some extra help from volunteers. Jerry and Pam Fitzwater arrived on Guam on March 2nd and will be here until the end of April. They are from Indiana where they attend the sending church of the Dills, one of our staff families. Jerry and Pam first learned about TWR through the Dills as they were raising support to move to Guam, and as the Fitzwater’s looked more into the ministry, they came across opportunities to serve short-term. One thing led to another, and pretty soon the Lord had supplied them with the funds and the opportunity to take leave from their jobs in Indiana for two months. Since they have arrived, Jerry has helped with various projects around the site. He will also help with the first stages of the solar panel project. Pam has also been able to help with various tasks around the site, and as a nurse, she has gone through the proper channels to train our staff in CPR so that we may be certified on Guam. This will happen sometime in the next month. We are grateful for Jerry and Pam, for their servants’ hearts and the help they have brought to us during this eventful time.

Jerry, dark blue shirt, helping unload the solar panels

Pam pulling some stubborn weeds in front of the site

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