The South Pacific’s newest Adventist Hope radio station has hit the airwaves, aimed at sharing the good news about Jesus to the residents of Kiribati.
The new station is located at the Kiribati Mission headquarters at Korobu, South Tarawa. On Monday, November 12, it went to air for the first time. Radio announcer Tarataake Angirio made the first transmission, later saying that it was an historic day for the Church.
“It was something to be happy about and to be proud of as Seventh-day Adventist members; for the first time in history, we have radio,” he said.
The new station, an initiative of the Trans Pacific Union Mission, is scheduled to be officially opened on Thursday, December 13.
“We praise God for this new project, which will take the good news of salvation further to the homes of people we do not know,” Kiribati Mission president Pastor Luther Taniveke said.
“The project is completed with a few housekeeping jobs that our boys will finally put in place.
“I am excited [about] this media project because one of our 2020 visions has [been] completed.”
Construction at the site began in September when a team of 40 workers dug the foundations, constructed the footings and poured the concrete slab for the 50m radio transmission tower base. In recent weeks Sydney riggers Dale Dawson, Dale Main and Chris Nilsson built the tower and commissioned the radio station with the help of six Kiribati men who were trained as riggers in the process.
Project manager Pastor Colin Dunn said they experienced God’s leading and intervention in many ways.
“I am happy with the final results,” he said. “The process of getting there was quite difficult.”
The final challenge involved the radio license itself. “Our radio licence was 91 MHz but we discovered, much to our chagrin, that up to 70 per cent of the cars etc on the island—being secondhand Japanese imports—have radios that only receive up to 90MHz,” Pastor Dunn explained.
“What to do? The lower frequencies were all taken up. Tarataake went to visit an ex-president of Kiribati who is still a politician who held a license for 89 MHz, but who had not been on air for some time. The outcome: he wrote a letter to the communications authority relinquishing his license and the commission has now awarded 89MHz to Hope Radio.”
The new station is aimed at reaching 60 per cent of the 103,000 citizens of Kiribati, where the Church has historically struggled to find a voice.