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 Powering the Gospel
with Water

Over the last eight years, we’ve tried to talk about each of HCJB’s many different ministries around the world. There is one important aspect of HCJB that we’ve never really talked about - the hydro-power ministry.

HCJB is primarily known for the radio programs it broadcasts around the world in many different languages. Of course, getting our radio programs out to far away countries requires engineers, high-powered transmitters, many antennas and lots of electricity.

And it’s the hydro-power ministry that provides the millions of watts of electricity needed to broadcast our many radio programs.

Each section of pipe is brought into position using a skyline cable system.

The construction crew then pushes and pulls the section of penstock pipe into rough position.

The hydro ministry got its start back in 1957 when HCJB began exploring the possibility of using water-powered generators to provide cheap electricity to power its transmitters.

Through a series of divine interventions, HCJB acquired the turbine generator and much of the equipment at bargain prices. HCJB began generating electricity in 1965.

By the mid 1970s it became clear that HCJB was going to need more electricity to power a new 500,000 watt radio transmitter they had begun designing.

Work began on a second hydro-electric generator that was put into operation in 1984.

Since then, HCJB has built a new series of dams at Lake Parcacocha and expanded a dam at Lake Loreto. These two projects were designed to store additional water for generating electricity year-round.

Over the last couple of years, HCJB has been working on the design and construction of a third $3.4 million hydro-electric generating plant at Lake Loreto.

At the moment, the crew is busy constructing the penstock (or pipe) that will carry the water 3,937 feet from the reservoir to the turbine generator. Using the penstock allows them to place the turbine generator 771 feet below the dam, effectively making this project 45 feet taller than Hoover Dam!

The turbine will generate 2,000,000 watts of electricity that will provide HCJB with $550,000 of income annually. Once again HCJB’s Hydro ministry is providing the power necessary to Herald Christ Jesus’ Blessings to the world.

Then the pipe is clamped to the completed section and the welder and civil engineers check alignment and make final adjustments before beginning the process of welding. This is a slow process, and it takes several days to complete each section.

180ş panoramic view of HCJB’s two hydro-electric generators. The first generator (on the right) was purchased in 1962 for $2500, half of its actual value as scrap metal!

 Rachel Starts Kindergarten

Rachel is thrilled to be back at school. She started Kindergarten at the Alliance Academy on August 7. She loves her teacher, Mrs. Evans.

Her class is a bit dominated by girls. There are twelve girls and only four boys! But Rachel enjoys all her friends.

She has Spanish class every day and has a computer class and a music class every week. Her favorite activities include playing on the classroom computer, playing house and perhaps most of all, recess!

Shortly after school started, we discovered that Rachel needed glasses. Overall she’s adjusting well to wearing her new "specs," and we’re thankful that she can see.

 

Nicole is ten months old now. She is crawling and cruising anywhere she can and has the bumps and bruises to prove it! She continues to be a sweet baby, and her laugh makes us smile.

It’s a joy to have her in our family.

 

Praise Items: We are thankful for a better Internet service provider so we can consistently send and receive emails at home.

Praise the Lord for Radio Esperanza, a new Christian radio station in the province of Loja. (The station was started by missionaries working in Loja that we featured in the August 2000 issue of On Location.)

Prayer Items: Pray for good weather so the project at Loreto can be completed on schedule.

Pray for safety for the Loreto construction crew as they often work in difficult situations.

Pray for a good school year for Rachel and that she continues to adjust well to wearing glasses.

Pray for HCJB’s annual meetings which are to be held Sept. 16-21 here in Quito.

Pray for Dave Johnson, HCJB’s new president, and his staff as they begin leading the mission.

Pray for the country of Ecuador. Pray for wisdom for its leaders as they as it continues to face many challenges and difficulties.

Pray for the people of Ecuador as they continue to be squeezed by a near 30% annual inflation rate and a weak economy.

Pray for the people we come in contact with each day.

Pray that they would see Jesus clearly through us.

*** Please Note!!! ***

Our new email address is:

duanebirkey@yahoo.com

ON LOCATION The Birkeys’ prayer letter

Current Address: Duane and Cheri Birkey HCJB World Radio Casilla 17-17-691 Quito, Ecuador

Home Phone Number: (593-2) 225-6269

Email addresses:

duanebirkey@yahoo.com

dbirkey@hcjb.org.ec

World Wide Web Sites: http://www.hcjb.org

Duane’s Photographs of Ecuador http://ecuadorphotos.tripod.com

Contributions may be sent to: HCJB World Radio P.O. Box 39800 Colorado Springs, CO 80949-9800

Account # 110375