For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11 WEB)
While growing up Christmas was for me always a special time in our home. After I was married and became a father we also worked to make “special days” fun and exciting for our children. Special events surround Christmas in our home and at church.
In the fall of 1986 the mission decided to hold a special Christmas broadcast. That was the first year we would broadcast not only the normal schedule from 6:00 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. but throughout the night.
In those special programs were testimonies from our staff. They shared their Christmas traditions and the story of Christmas. The programs were produced by the staff on Guam on a voluntary basis. Even manning the transmitters during this extra shift in the night was voluntary. The staff in our Hong Kong office heard of the event and joined in eager to make extra special programs in various Chinese languages.
Beth, the children, and I worked all day for these special broadcasts operating the transmitters and audio equipment. Presents, food, and games were brought along to the transmitter site for this special time.
There was an exciting moment as transmitter number three developed a problem. With three other transmitters beaming out the Gospel working on the output stage was a bit touchy. RF (radio frequency) burns are very nasty. Everything inside the transmitter is alive even when the power is turned off to the box. The antenna which usually broadcasts the message becomes a receiving antenna funneling the power from the other four transmitters back into the system.
With Beth’s assistance I was able to locate the failure in one of the large variable vacuum capacitors in the output tuning network. The unit was changed, the transmitter re-tuned and programs continued for the remainder of the day. I took the old capacitor and made a desk lamp out of the unit. It wasn’t necessarily pretty but it was very functional and unique to be sure!
It was several months before we received letter responses to the programs. People were thrilled with the special celebrations broadcast that Christmas day. As far as I know, this tradition has continued every Christmas since. Special donations were given to add these unique and extra set of programs to the schedule as we celebrated Christ’s incarnation with our listeners.
Throughout God’s Word traditions are celebrated. Some are Biblically mandated and others encouraged from historical events. I believe it is also important for us to start and maintain traditions which are marker stones of God’s work in our lives and ministries.