And Then There was Light!

By Rachel Greco

Like a painter who painstakingly chooses colors and blends them to create a beautiful painting, the JAARS Facilities Department desires that the new lighting system in our Townsend Auditorium will be a masterpiece for God’s glory.

First look at the new layout and fixtures

The need for a new lighting system became critical when the dimming functions of the auditorium system failed almost two and a half years ago. People couldn’t program or do anything to adjust it. The button stations in each location no longer worked.

Thus, Jim Abbott, a member of the Facilities Department, spent two years designing a new lighting system with Graybar Electric and Barbizon Lighting. After much turmoil and many headaches, it was time for the new lights to shine.

Boxes containing the new equipment and lights

A volunteer team of five men recently traveled from Indiana, Florida, Minnesota, and Virginia to help install the new lighting system. One of the volunteers, Don, had come to JAARS last August to work on another lighting project. “I kind of fell in love with this place, with what they do and how they do it,” he shares. “How they use their money impressed me. It was why I wanted to continue to help in any way I can.”

Ron cleaning up old wiring and preparing for the new fixtures

Gerry Steba, an electrician who works for a JAARS partner organization, helped pull the electrical permits and aided with many of the upgrades. Karl Crossman, who works at JAARS, also helped pull off this huge project. The time and energy sacrificed by these men—both the volunteers and staff—helped JAARS save $10,000, since we didn’t have to contract this project to an outside electrical company.

Clarence and Karl laying out the new relay panel

The lighting system will reduce lighting energy costs by 75%, with additional savings in heating and air energy costs. With 33 fewer light fixtures in the space providing twice as much light, the lighting system should pay for itself in just a few years! 

JAARS welcomes thousands of people a year to many public events held in the Townsend Auditorium, where we share who we are and what we do. Since this room is the first impression of JAARS for many, the team worked hard to get every detail right, wanting our guests to see the absolute best of JAARS. “[The guys] have checked and rechecked and been extremely meticulous in how they did it. It’s been impressive to watch,” Jim relates about the team of volunteers.

Jim and his coworkers believe that our guests will base some of their perceptions of Bible translation on the ‘look’ and ‘feel’ of the JAARS campus. This could affect their view and ultimate involvement with JAARS or missions. “That is what makes our involvement here so vital to the work of Bible translation,” Jim explains.

In that way, the lights and other details the Facilities Department accomplish are the paintbrushes in the hands of God to influence people so that everyone on earth can have a Bible in a language and form they best understand.

How could God use you to paint the canvas of his glory? Visit here to discover how you can shine at JAARS!