Ham Lovin' Adventists North Cascade Church Members Provide Ham Radio Ministry

The North Cascade Adventist Church in Burlington, Wash., has a special ministry: amateur (ham) radio.

This small group ministry, with instructors Al Liske, KA7Z, and Rodney Brandt, W7ROD, is part of the church’s small group program and has two class levels: beginning and advanced.

Fourteen students successfully passed their Federal Communications Commission examinations recently for either a brand-new license or a license upgrade.

Those taking the class represented a wonderful cross-section. Student ages ranged from an 11-year-old to those in their mid-seventies. In the classes were professionals, students—home school and formal school—stay-at-home moms, retirees and others.

Motivation was high as ham radio is a powerful tool often used for emergencies, such as during Hurricane Katrina. Young hams in the church have organized a once-a-week network where they check in to practice their radio skills. The students, following good Adventist tradition, want to be ready to serve.

Church families are now also involved in helping the youngsters gain practical experience. One father and mother organized an antenna building bee right in their own living room.

One youngster, working with his grandpa, climbed a 50-foot tree to put up his antenna. Another home-school youngster, using IRLP (a ham radio/internet link) has enjoyed talking all over the world, including a contact with a ham in the Antarctic.

For others who might be interested in amateur radio, there is a strong church-related organization, the Northwest Adventist Amateur Radio Association, which actively promotes Adventist amateur radio. The group sponsors an annual ham radio/aviators retreat at Camp Hope in British Columbia, Canada. For more information, visit their Web site at www.naara.org.

August 01, 2006 / Washington Conference