One of the tasks God has given me in Palawan is lowland support. Our mountain clinic depends on a flow of medical supplies. Likewise our mission schools need paper, ink, and other necessary supplies. It is part of my job to purchase things for the continued operation of our clinic and schools. Communication between the mountains and the lowlands is vital. So, before our family left for furlough, it was our team goal to establish a relay station on top of the mountain above Kemantian that would provide Internet and voice communications in the village.
Praise the Lord, the equipment arrived on time. We tested the equipment in the lowlands at Mountain View farm. Next came the challenge of setting up the relay station on top of the mountain. Our fellow missionary, Naphtali, led the work of digging a hole on the mountaintop for the pole that would support the solar panels, antennas, and box for the LTE router and electrical equipment. I can imagine their muscles straining as they hauled concrete, sand and water up the muddy trail to the top of the mountain. Pastor George welded the steel frame for the solar panels and the hardware necessary to mount it on the pole.
It was Thursday, and we were nearly out of time. Our family was to leave on Sunday for the States, and on Friday we had to visit local government offices in Brooke’s Point to obtain necessary travel clearance. Finally, after everyone’s hard work, about noon we were ready to install the equipment in the relay station. Then it began to rain. We had lots of equipment to carry and needed the help of our friend Daniel with PAMAS to fly the equipment up to Kemantian. We did not have time to organize people to carry all of it from the trailhead at the base of the mountain. But Daniel couldn’t fly in bad weather. Must I leave this project for another to finish? I wondered. This was God’s project, so I turned to Him in prayer. He brought the words of Zechariah 4:9 to my mind: “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.” I was encouraged that God would help me finish this project.
Praise the Lord, there was a small break in the weather, and Daniel flew us and the equipment up to Kemantian. Now how were we going to get all this equipment to the top of the mountain in a short amount of time? God had that planned also! Nixon was there when we landed, and he agreed to help us. Another one of our teachers, Livy, also helped us. Nixon asked someone else to carry with him, and so the number of helpers grew. Dandan, one of the high school students, agreed to carry our two batteries weighing over 60 pounds to the top of the mountain. Andre, our Brazilian missionary, carried a load that I think had to be over 70 pounds. I prayed that God would give him strength as I hiked up the mountain with my pack.
I was amazed to see more faces at the top of the mountain. Three or four more people had joined the expedition to help carry. God had again answered our prayers! We had to work far into the night, but praise the Lord we had brought enough flashlights with us, and the team willingly continued. Andre went back down to Kemantian to see if the Internet connection was working. Praise the Lord, the first message came through! But it was slow. So I kept praying. We needed the Internet to work well. Then God blessed me with the idea to try another antenna. I had not yet connected it, and I had hesitated to even bring it to the top of the mountain because I was not sure if it worked since it was not labeled for use with a 4G/LTE signal. But I connected the antenna, and everything worked great. Several speed tests topped 50 Mbps! Andre was able to have video calls with returned missionaries to tell them the good news that we now have high-speed Internet in Kemantian!
It was amazing to see God at work finishing this Internet project. Through this experience God taught me that if we pray and work together, He will finish the work through His Spirit. Thank you for praying and working together with us through your prayers and financial support for the completion of God’s work in Palawan.