A Diving Catch

Sometimes it’s easy to see God’s hand at work, I was recently brought in to design a new website for a church and provide some volunteer training. Only to have the project turn into a diving catch to prevent a total disaster!

On Sunday morning I arrived for rehearsal to observe the Sunday morning tech workflow. This is the normal way to discern what training will be helpful.

Something is Burning

While near the audio board, I noticed a burning smell. Uh-Oh! I pointed it out the the audio engineer who agreed that this was not a good thing.

We made it through the worship service without a fire. But the burning smell was getting stronger all the while. We shut down quickly when the service ended. I alerted the pastor and had him take a look at the old analog workhorse. It had been in service longer than he had.

The Diving Catch

“Should we get it repaired or replace it?” he asked. Good question. Time for a diving catch one way or the other.

Providentially, a few months earlier I had picked up a used 64
channel digital board. I had intended to give to another customer. But
that ‘gift’ transaction hadn’t happened as yet for reasons that in
retrospect were God’s handiwork.

I took the church’s board out of service and swapped my console in as an emergency loaner so the church could carry on while we looked at alternatives.

It turns out the church’s audio board was perhaps 15 years old, placing it well beyond the normal life expectancy for equipment of that vintage. Not a bad board, but electrolytic capacitors had likely dried out over the years. This is a common problem with aging electronics. And perhaps the degradation was accelerated by a recent power surge.

The repair we were quoted by a factory authorized repair shop would be an hourly rate plus shipping and parts. It would cost roughly $2000 to give the board a good going over and restoration. We were cautioned that some parts might not be available. A new replacement of the same make and model was $3200, and a new digital board with vastly better capabilities, only a few hundred more than that. And way more volunteer friendly.

The pastor decided (rightly so) it would be wise to invest in a new digital board. No sense in throwing good money after bad. Two days later a new digital board arrived. A dust cover, talkback mic and a few other items included in the order too. I took the loaner out of service, and installed the new board. All the setup programming with line checks were completed the day after. Everything was ready to go the next Sunday. And the church never skipped a beat.

Another Emergency Surfaces

A power surge also caused a stream encoder to fail too. So in cooperation with several other churches our company put in place a borrowed workaround to continue streaming. When the warranty replacement stream encoder arrived it went in service. Things went back to normal

I think about Proverbs 16:9 and can clearly see in this episode how we set our steps in motion to do a task, and how God directed the path in a different direction. What started out as a web site design task turned into a diving catch that prevented a fire and kept the live stream online!

Such things happen every once in a while in this business. It is always amazing to see God step in and direct things. Perhaps this church might have literally gone up in smoke had we not been brought in to develop a new website and do some training.

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