VSAT installed at Kikongo!
Building a Strong Foundation
Finally! Email and Internet Access in Kikongo!
What started out as a crazy idea in 2007 became a real necessity in 2012. In those days we only dreamed of having access to the Internet in Kikongo in order to communicate with the rest of the world. By 2012 all other means of communication from Kikongo had evaporated. Our missionaries there had no way of sending messages or communicating with folks back home. Now the need was serious.
In such a remote area there were no local Internet providers. The only way would be by satellite connection. But, I could see no way for us to ever raise the funds for such a large project. After much prayer, research, and conversations with Mission Aviation Fellowship, I presented the project to Charles Jones at International Ministries. He in turn presented it to those in charge of our One Great Hour of Sharing offering. By God's grace we were awarded the funds for the project and we were on our way.
After a few setbacks getting started, we finally were able to begin installation of the satellite dish in March of 2013. In Kikongo there are no cement trucks or cranes for building. Everything is done by hand. However, there are lots of hands and the work goes quickly.
We were able in just under a week to install the support column and the satellite dish. While the foundation concrete was drying we were able to install solar panels to power the system temporarily until a more robust system can be installed next October.
We were also able to install a wireless transmission antenna that will enable Glen and Rita Chapman to connect to the Internet from their home. We configured computers that were donated from the States to connect through wifi, as well, for the staff of the Pastor's School.
Once the concrete had dried we were able to install the dish and the rest of the hardware needed for the connection. Simeon Avuta, the MAF technician, then logged in to the satellite and connected Kikongo for the first time. That very day, after I had to leave on the MAF flight, the Chapmans were sending emails and uploading photos to Facebook. It was a historic day in Kikongo.
Our hope is that once we get a better power system installed, we will be able to open a small “cyber-cafe” in Kikongo that will allow others in the community to take advantage of this installation and access the Internet for their needs as well. It will be a new era for the community of Kikongo.
First of all, praise God from whom all blessings flow. He made this project possible.
Secondly, please pray that the local government officials will view this as a community development project and not a private enterprise.
Finally, pray that God's will use this new tool to advance His kingdom.
In His service,