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Don Hughes
CEO Great Plains Christian Radio

You Can Do More Than You Think You Can Do

 

 

                                

Take a deep breath and relax for a moment.  We have a new year, 2010.  You survived 2009 with some struggles and changes due to the economy and you wonder if you can do it again.  What further can be cut in the budget?  What resources can we use to bring in a few more dollars a month this year?  I have had these issues to deal with and more including the collapse of our primary tower in an ice storm and our house burning down. This has been our journey at Great Plains Christian Radio.  The Lord will direct your steps and give you wisdom in overcoming obstacles that are just around the corner.

The images are still fresh in my mind from three years ago as I was standing at the edge of the field where our tower was located and seeing the remnants of a 1000 foot structure lying on the ground.  My son, Gabriel, was with me and our engineer Steve Larson.  There was a sense of helplessness as all the things that needed to be done raced through my mind.  I wondered if I had the capability of handling this crisis.  My prayer was something like this, ďWell, God letís get busy and solve problems.Ē

I think you could almost call it a miracle that we were able to get back on the air in eight days.  The signal was not as strong, but at least we were broadcasting.  It took a year to fully restore the KJIL signal and almost eighteen months before all the work was done to fully restore the KHYM signal.  These two paragraphs hardly tell the whole story as the struggles concerning the needed funding and the Lordís provision is quite a testimony.  That story and the conflicts with the weather and finding an available tower crew could fill a book.    

One week after the KJIL antenna was completely restored our house burned.  My daughter was expecting our first grandchild and my wife, Polly, was packing for a eighteen hour drive to be with Amy for the delivery.  The fire developed just a short time after my wife had gone to bed at 4 a.m.  I used a fire extinguisher on the blaze and it was completely out, but suddenly flared into a large fire about five minutes later.  The fire extinguisher was empty and we were not able to control the fire.  By the time the fire trucks arrived the front half of the house was completely engulfed in flames.  The portion of the house and contents not destroyed by fire was severely damaged by smoke and water. Almost everything was lost.

At this time we were also seeking to improve and expand the broadcast ministry with full power stations in Guymon, OK and Scott City, KS.  The paper work was due at the Federal Communication Commission on Monday, the fire had occurred on Sunday.  I was standing in our burned out house on a borrowed cell phone, wearing donated clothing, putting together the final details on these stations.  That afternoon I was at the station signing papers and sending them via e-mail to the attorney.  Keep in mind too that at this point we have not completed the restoration of the KHYM antenna from the tower collapse.  In the coming months I was working on development of new stations, finishing up issues from the tower collapse and trying to resolve our housing situation.

We ended up moving three times until we were in a rental house where we stayed for about six months.  We had Reimer Brothers Construction doing the heavy construction work, but my wife, sons and I were doing much of the clean up work busting out crispy drywall.  One of the most difficult tasks was pulling down the ceiling with insulation falling on you and then moving the debris to a truck.  In reconstruction my wife, Polly, and I did much of the tile, flooring and painting.  We were working to make sure the house was completed about the same time the insurance funds ran out.

Finally, the construction was finished and we were able to move to our new refurbished house in September about nine months after the fire.  Do you recall what was taking place in the fall of 2008?  We were in the midst of the Presidential election and serious problems surfaced concerning major banking institutions in the country.  In the following year we were all experiencing a deeping recession with climbing unemployment.  This of course created concern for the broadcast ministry of KJIL and KHYM in having adequate donations to maintain operational funding.  

Well, here we are in 2010 and the Lord is blessing.  We have come through a tumultuous three years and are pressing on in the Lordís strength.  I canít say enough about how much support we have seen from listeners and the staff has risen through the challenges.  We have felt it was a spiritual battle as Satan wanted us to give up and be overcome by the setbacks.  I can tell you that coming through this period was accomplished only through the Lordís strength and wisdom. 

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles: they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:29-31.

You may wonder if during this three year period did I have times of discouragement.  There were probably more days of discouragement than days I felt we would make it through these events.  One thing that I said often is, ďOne day at a time, Lord, letís get busy and solve problems.Ē  I held tightly to the Lord and sought to be encouraged through scripture.  The Lord is my strong tower (Psalm 144:2). 

It is my prayer that this testimony will encourage you in your walk with the Lord.  We all have different struggles, but the same Lord who carries us day by day.   We seek to be a special voice of encouragement available simply at the touch of the radio dial.  KJIL and KHYM present music and programs based on the unchangeable Word of God. I want to tell you to look to the Lord.  You will make it.  In Christ you can do more than you ever imagined.

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Don is observing forty years in broadcasting in 2009.  Great Plains Christian Radio consists of seven full power stations and thirty-six translators. The flagship station, KJIL, has been named Station of the Year most recently by NRB and in the past they have received that honor from GMA, NAB (Marconi), Focus on The Family and the Kansas Association of Broadcasters.  Don Hughes and his wife Polly have been married for thirty-one years and they have six children. 

Don Hughes can be reached at don@kjil.com

 

 

 

 

 

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