From the Archives: January 28, 2003
Bringing Good News to Northern Alberta’s People
Thank you for your support and partnership in the CIAM Radio ministry. It is a real blessing to serve the Lord together with you. To God be all the Glory. The last couple of months have been dramatic. Your prayers have been answered. It is like watching God’s puzzle coming into place piece by piece. We do all realize that without the I AM and your support CIAM would not be a reality today.
2 weeks to inspection day – It almost didn’t happen…
Could you imagine riding on a roller coaster for two weeks in a row and then stopping in an upside down position mid-loop? How glad we are to have the fasten belt on – our Lord Jesus Christ and your faithful prayers. This is how we best can describe the delivery experience and the birth of CIAM Radio.
Two weeks before Industry Canada’s inspection day, on January 29th 2003, everything seemed to go wrong. The spiritual battle became very evident. Trans World Radio had kindly volunteered to come up North from Toronto to set up the final technical details of the radio station. Just before their arrival, Telus the provider of the broadcast tower, suddenly informed that their tower site in Fort Vermilion was full and could not be used for the CIAM broadcast. In addition, they couldn’t arrange a landline connection between the tower site and the CIAM studio.
As the responsible Telus manager expressed it, “there is no room on the tower-site. We have no people and resources to help you. We are so sorry, we cannot do anything to help.” This would mean that the whole CIAM project would be jeopardized. Despite these obstacles, the CIAM team continued to look unto Jesus in prayer. Jesus said, “what is impossible with men is possible with God” (Luke 19:27).
One week before Industry Canada’s inspection day, the technician from Trans World Radio arrived. We realized that we had less than a week to install and learn five new broadcast software, and program more than 2600 song titles. The task looked overwhelming. It requited an 18-hour work schedule daily. Later that week the technicians arrived with the CIAM transmitter and antenna, or should we say, should have arrived with the transmitter. By the look of their faces, we could see that something was wrong. The case with the transmitter had been put on the wrong plane, and was now lost at an unknown destination somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere. We couldn’t believe it!
Now, back at the CIAM studio we received good news from Telus. After a closer examination of the Telus tower, they had found out that they could remove some old antennas and make room for us. It turned out that the CIAM antenna could be placed even higher than originally planned. The old had to go so that the new could come. What a miracle and great spiritual reminder!
Telus informed that they had arranged for the specialized tower crew from Edmonton to be in Fort Vermilion at 9:00 a.m. the next day to install the equipment at estimated charge of $10,000 per day. What should we say and do? The transmitter had as of that hour not yet been located. We prayed fervently and continuously together with many brothers and sisters for a miracle.
One week left – All things are possible with God
At 6:45 p.m. the same evening we received a call from the airport in High Level. They had found the transmitter…in Edmonton. The last flight for the weekend had already left. How could we get the transmitter here in time for the Telus crew the next day? What should we do? Jesus said, “with man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27).
Someone suggested to call a brother in the Lord at La Crete Transport. Maybe they would have a truck going from Edmonton up North. We called, and they kindly promised to do their utmost to get the transmitter on one of his trucks in Edmonton, which would be in High Level at 6:00 a.m. the next day. Praise the Lord! God is so good! We thank God for His faithful servants. However, would we have enough time to install and test the equipment before the Telus crew arrived at 9:00 a.m.?
5:00 a.m. the next day, Michael jumped into the “Jesus Loves You” truck in Fort Vermilion to head for High Level and pick up the transmitter (75 km away), only to discover there was no gas in the truck. The gas gauge was on red. There was nowhere to fill gas that early in the morning. He had no other choice but to travel by faith, in –42 C. Outside High Level the engine started to stall, and with much faith and little gas Michael just managed to roll into the gas station. He filled 148.5 liters into the 150-liter tank. Hallelujah! He arrived at the depot just in time.
Back in Fort Vermilion, the Telus crew, who just had arrived, informed us that they couldn’t climb the tower due to the –42C temperature. It would be impossible to install our equipment unless the temperature would drop below –25C. With much
persuasion they agreed to stay one extra day (at $10,000 per day!?). God is in control of the weather so we trusted Him and prayed that the temperature would drop.
3 days to go – The Power of Prayer
Believe or not, the next day the temperature dropped from –42 C to a mere –15 C. After six hours of climbing and installation work, the CIAM antenna was finally installed. As we were praising the Lord, something suddenly happened! For some unknown reason the connector of the 270 feet cable to the antenna broke off.
Praise turned into tears. This couldn’t be true! We had no other choice but to ask the Telus tower crew to climb up again and to take down the antenna and the cable, so that we could do some repair. Hopefully, we would be able to reinstall it the next day. The crew agreed somewhat reluctantly, because they needed a work order from the head office to stay an additional day.
All evening we prayed and worked intensively. It wasn’t an easy job. Much sweat and tears were shed. Finally at midnight, the repair was done. To God be all the glory. The next day, everything went smooth as the antenna and the transmitter once again was installed. The receiving signal was as perfect as it could be. We thank the Lord and the Telus crew for their persistent work and willingness to help. Only three days to go before Industry Canada’s final inspection.
Still, we needed a landline connection from the studio to the transmitter. At this point, things looked even more impossible than before. The CIAM team gathered in prayer again. In one accord we called out to God, our Lord and Savior for help and another miracle. Later the next day, Telus notified us there would be very little chance for them to find a solution before Industry Canada’s final inspection day. It looked pretty hopeless at this time… Then:
Behold, at noon the next day, an unexpected Telus truck arrived at CIAM studio and asked if this was the place to install a landline to a transmitter. “Yes this is the right place!” we exclaimed with praise in our hearts!
Take Off! – The First Broadcast
At 4:45 p.m. January 28, 2003, CIAM Radio went on-air with its first broadcast. This initialized the start of CIAM’s 24 hour, 7 days a week Christian community broadcast, under the slogan, “Bringing Good News to Northern Alberta’s People.” Several years of hard work and many prayers had been answered in a mighty way. We were all heartily grateful to God.
Together, we went out to put on the CIAM sign on the studio to mark the beginning of CIAM. As the first screw was drilled into the building, to our shock the electricity went out in Fort Vermilion and all over northern Alberta (later we found out that it was not due to our drilling). The power came back 3 hours later and we could resume the CIAM broadcast.
On January 29th, CIAM welcomed the Industry Canada inspector, who went through every technical detail of the CIAM broadcast. He was very impressed. However, surprise surprise! As the inspector did the final testing, he found an interfering signal, possibly aeronautical, with our frequency, which would force us to lower our transmitting power substantially.
After some extensive investigation and research, the cause was found – a broken TV cable from a close neighbour. CIAM passed the inspection and was issued final broadcast authorization. Praise the Lord again and again!
The Lord Never Fails
Through all these incidences, we were reminded that the power of our Lord never fails, in His perfect will and time. The GREAT I AM carried the CIAM team through these birth pains, so that all could “See” the I AM is with us always, and for Him, nothing is impossible.
On a final note, you may wonder what happened to the Telus bill? A few months later we received the final bill for the tower climb and the install of the antenna. We had expected a $30,000 charge, but instead the bill had miraculously been reduced 75%!! Even more miraculously, a kind supporter, who didn’t know the final amount, had earlier donated the EXACT amount to cover the final bill!!
To God be all the Glory and Praise forever. As the story of CIAM radio continues to unfold, we ask for your continued prayer for the CIAM team and the listeners all over Alberta.
TODAY – January 28, 2023
20 years later, CIAM has been blessed to see 30 new Christian broadcasting locations started in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Northwest Territories. Each local community station is daily bringing the Good News to Canada’s people here at home around the world in a non-commercial listener-supported format.
This couldn’t have been accomplished without faithful supporters, prayer warriors and many dedicated volunteers like you. CIAM’s vision is to continue to come alongside others who have a like-minded heart to serve the Lord in and through Christ centred media.
CIAM also has several more inquiries from other communities and CRTC application in progress, and we will continue to trust the Lord’s for His perfect timing and will for approvals and their soonest start up.
Today, CIAM is not only broadcasting in traditional FM format but can also be heard online (ciamradio.com) and through the CIAM Radio app, which can be downloaded from the Google play store and the iPhone apps store for mobile listening. In addition, CIAM is also broadcasting overseas in Chinese (chineseoutreach.ca), and hopefully soon, also in other multilingual broadcasts.
The CIAM mission team is working hard to launch an online interactive broadcast community called The CHOICE. Please stay tuned for more updates. Your prayers and support are much appreciated.
With deep thankfulness to you for your faithful support and prayers
THE CIAM RADIO FAMILY