Tonight, when the sun goes down and you tune your radio into AM 1170 to hear TWR's broadcast, in Gauteng, say a prayer of thanksgiving to God for making such a feat possible! It is a miracle that we have been able to replace our old medium wave transmitter with one which produces a clearer, stronger signal. The best part is that the costs are being covered by what we're saving in electricity!
This rebuilt transmitter was a prototype, which was never intended to be sold or used on the open market. It was originally given by its manufacturer, Harris, to HCJB Global, as payment for work done. There it sat, without being used and with no real future possibility of use. But God had His eye on it, for Kingdom use! At the request of Swaziland's Station Manager, Mark Blosser, HCJB Global agreed to give us the transmitter for a fraction of what it would cost to buy a new one.
This would have been in vain however, if the HCJB Global Technology Center hadn't also allocated two of its engineers to refit the transmitter for use on our frequency of AM 1170. Furthermore, the input of the Harris engineer who built the transmitter was needed and when he heard that the transmitter would be used in Africa to reach people with the gospel, he got stuck right in. What was planned to be a simple three-month project, turned into a massive one-year undertaking which only God could make possible.
The old Continental transmitter remains in Swaziland as a back-up. "It is of such an old vintage," Mark Blosser says, "that I'm told it could be the only transmitter of its kind still being used!" It is famously known as the "pirate transmitter." During the 1970's radio stations operated on ships out of the English Channel, illegally. When one of these ships entered into port, the transmitter was impounded, and then eventually sold to TWR. "Now maybe" Lauren Libby says, " ... the 'pirate' transmitter can get a well-deserved rest." Indeed!
The replacement transmitter reaches a distance of 80km during the day (called: ground wave) and up to 1600km after the sun sets in the countryside, and 500km in the city. The first broadcast took place at 18:30 on 1 February 2011 in Zulu, followed by English. We ask you to pray with us that they will continue for many years to come. Pray that the transmitter would prove to be robust and that the modifications made would endure.
Don't forget to tune in and listen to the powerful radio programmes which God is using to transform Africa, one life at a time.
Published: 24 February 2011