As you may know, amateur radio was a lifeline for overseas missionaries for decades. Internet and cellular telephone use have replaced amateur radio as this lifeline. However, I feel that there is still a great need to supply amateur radios and develop a worldwide missionary amateur radio network. This ministry is not currently available. My dream is to work to develop the missionary network and work to donate amateur radios to missionaries, along with working to help these people obtain their overseas amateur radio licenses.
I hope that you will consider these advantages to developing this unique, not currently available ministry:
1. Amateur radios are still valuable for emergency communications everywhere. Even in the Americas, where the utility and cell telephone network is much better than anywhere overseas, in a disaster- public service agency staff still rely on amateur radio operators to help them coordinate disaster response. The amateur radio service utilizes numerous frequencies- immune to overload and quickly deployed using emergency battery power and portable antennas. In a disaster, cell telephone networks becomed overloaded and unusable soon after the emergency. Public service frequencies also may develop this overload problem.
Consider the increased useability with amateur radio use in overseas emergencies by missionaries who may be accustomed to the poor utility and cellular telephone service.
These missionaries should have amateur radios available for possible use in their local communities if the needs arise. Through the years, amateur radio has saved many lives.
2. Missionaries have families who may be homesick for their american friends, american shopping availabilities and american society. These family members can use internet managed methods such as Skype and email messages and internet messenger to communicate with american friends or family members. However, again, these services may be unreliable overseas and they are one on one communications, where “roundtable” communications are not available. “Roundtable” communications with several participants is possible via amateur radio. Missionaries could meet on a designated shortwave frequency,on a scheduled basis, to discuss with other missionaries and their families items of common concern. Missionary family members could talk other family members over the amateur radio bands.
3. Amateur radio is loads of fun, it is useful to relieve the stress common to missionaries, it is wholesome- with the dangers common to internet use not a concern. It is fun to use.
4. Amateur radio is favored by God because of its’ wholesome nature- a non-violent alternative to video game and television use and its’ lack of sexual paradigms. Computer virus acquisition and anonymous internet users are not problems with amateur radio use.
5. Amateur radio use is free after the radios are obtained. There are no monthly fees in amateur radio. This may be valuable for financially challenged missionaries and their families.
My dream is to develop a ministry in which I and other volunteers would solicit amateur radios ( used and new) from amateur radio manufacturers and licensees to give to missionaries worldwide at no cost to them. The ministry members would help interested missionaries obtain their amateur radio licenses and develop a regularly scheduled frequency for amateur radio missionaries and their families to check in and have “roundtable” discussions.