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
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.
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.
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
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
Don Hughes can be reached at