A Spark Ignites as an Ember Fades….

Long post warning!  But, I think it’s worth the read!!

#JoyChristianRadio is in of a torrent of blessings; this following a devastating year of discouragement and near failure.  Read on and I’ll share the story!

Jon Mohr, former member of the Gaither Vocal Band and an avid songwriter, wrote these words several years ago, “A spark ignites as an ember fades and the flame continues on.”

That is exactly what happened to this ministry during the past 13 months!  The dying ember was our Mississippi station that simply didn’t do well financially.  It was at the end of a year of hard work with depressing results that we were forced to take the station silent for a few weeks.  We just couldn’t pay the operational bills, and we’d done everything we could do to get people to support.  The listeners were there!  We heard from them.  But, for some reason, only a precious few supported the station; and we are totally grateful for them!!  Just prior to turning the station off, I’d really begun to wonder if this situation would end up taking down the entire network, but we were determined not to let that happen.  Needless to say, we were devastated.  We sent out letters to the supporters of the local station telling our people what had happened.

During this devastating and depressing time, I was in contact with the former General Manager of three radio stations in the Missouri Ozarks area that had been silent just over 11 months.  At the time, it was only a matter of about two weeks remaining to get those stations on the air before the FCC would automatically cancel the licenses.   We agreed to help them out during their time of need, and Marie and I drove to the area in an attempt to get them back on the air.  The very old, outdated and dilapidated equipment, along with a year of empty buildings resulting in rat and squirrel nests in the transmitter rooms, vegetation grown up around the transmitter shack in Cabool and a mountain of problems is a partial list of what we were up against.  We had our work cut out for us; all the while I was thinking about that silent transmitter in Mississippi.  It was a tough time for us!

After a lot of “blood, sweat and tears,” we managed to get all three stations on the air in time to save the licenses.   It required a second trip during that short period of time.  We had to bring one of our FM transmitters to put online there because their old one was not salvageable.  Then, the AM went down again in short order; this time, apparently for good.  But the licenses are safe now!

It was at the end of the second trip that the miracle happened.  We had been offered the stations and had successfully negotiated and signed papers to purchase these three stations!  The owners have just been wonderful, and all of us left that signing with huge smiles on our faces.  It is nothing short of a miracle, and I can see God’s Hand at every single turn.

A follow up on the Mississippi station: we have now been able to get our Mississippi station back on the air at reduced power.  We hope this will allow us to continue to “grow the budget” and get back to full power soon.  We don’t give up easily!  We truly believe God sent us to Mississippi….He confirmed that way too many times to claim it was a “mistake” for us to come here.  It was no mistake, and God IS blessing us through all this!  Even in the need to turn off this station, I can see how God was at work in ways I had no way of knowing about or understanding until He swung those doors open wide!  GOD IS GOOD!

All of this has happened so fast….and it’s a bit scary as we view this world through our human eyes.  We’d certainly appreciate your prayers for our ministry as we get our new headquarters in Mountain Grove, Missouri online and set up.  Lots of obstacles to overcome….city zoning requirements, building improvements, transmission plant overhaul completion and a host of other things.  The doors are open and God is in control!  Just a lot yet to accomplish for this to be reality.  One thing has run through my mind this whole time, and it has always proven true.  I keep hearing, “What you need, when you need it.”  Yes, God said it; well not in those exact words, but He did say it!  And, He is doing it!!

Jon Mohr, my friend, I can attest to the truth of that wonderful lyric that you blessed the world with so many years ago.  Our spark has indeed “reignited” as one ember faded, and the flame of Joy Christian Radio will shine on as we take the message of the Hope of the Gospel to the world!

8 stations strong and growing!  4-FM’s; 1-AM and 3-Online!!   It is obvious that God is not even close to being finished with this ministry.

Joy Christian Radio.

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