News Working Four Hundred Feet Up in the Air

July 25th, 2019

Working Four Hundred Feet Up in the Air


TWR’s radio station, Shine 800, is located at a strategic spot on Bonaire because of the salt water all around the island. It is the ideal place to transmit radio waves. Yet, that same salt water combined with hot winds and harsh climate heightens the rusting and damage to the tower.  Cleaning, chipping, scraping and painting both towers is a priority every year.

Weather permitting, TWR-Bonaire’s tower maintenance team hopes to finish the two towers by the end of September.

Slipping is no Fun
“It is scary when you go too much to one side and slip. Slipping is not fun. Luckily we have a good rope, although I prefer a bigger rope” said Lionel, one of the riggers. “In all we do, we need to pray. That’s why I pray all day.”

Each morning the team decides what to do. Which part will they chip, scrape, wash and prime?  Is there a lot of rust? Then they have to concentrate on chipping and scraping. Not so much? Wash and prime. Bad weather approaching? They definitely don’t go up.

Working with the Winch is Working with their Lives
It’s 9 a.m. and the three riggers Lionel, Luis and Franson are being pulled up by a winch operator.  Interns, Daniel and Quinton explain: “Before either one of us could touch the winch, we were told it was one of the most important jobs.” Quinton continued, “Working with the winch is working with their lives up there. If there is a problem, we have to stop.” Technical director, Jonas, joked, “One day Lionel ate too much breakfast and the winch died. Luckily the winch has inbuilt safety. So Lionel just kept hanging. At that time there was also a lot of wind. We needed to repair the winch on the spot. This year we have new safety harnesses.  This is a big improvement. It is more comfortable. Daniel said, “I am impressed by how important the rope is. A rope is something used for thousands of years and is still the best thing for this work. I am also impressed by how strong the equipment is. It can hold thousands and thousands of pounds. Jonas explained, “We change the rope every two years.”

Singing Spanish Songs
Each morning, the riggers Luis, Lionel and Franson bring their own tools up the tower with them. While up there they talk, sing and sometimes dance a bit as they listen to the radio. They are so high that they can see everything. Lionel said, “Today there was an accident and we could see it from the towers. When the weather is clear we can even see Curacao and Venezuela!

Quinton said, “I went up the tower to take measurements while the crew was painting. So, I could see them working from close by. They are pretty relaxed up there, singing Spanish songs and working really well together. I gained a lot of respect for them."

Will You Pray?
Please pray for good health, safety, good weather, and that the winch would continue running.

Finally, please pray that at night when the workers are gone that these towers would remain strong for the gospel of Jesus Christ to be broadcast across Latin America.  Pray that many listeners would tune in, some even for the first time and hear this life-changing message of Jesus Christ.

Shine 800 AM Bonaire
Shine 800 Bonaire is the most powerful radio station in the Americas speaking messages of hope in Jesus Christ to listeners throughout Latin America and the Caribbean every day. The strong and clear signal coming from the island of Bonaire is being heard in cities like Havana Cuba and in hard-to-reach areas of the Amazon rainforest.