God’s Unexpected Delay

A volunteer missionary in the Marshall Islands shares an unforgettable experience.

Enock Ratemo, Adventist Mission
God’s Unexpected Delay
Enock Ratemo and Kevin Ndemo working in the island radio station. [Photo: Adventist Mission]

One of the amazing blessings of serving in the Marshall Islands is experiencing the spirit of “going the extra mile.” Working on the island of Majuro has presented me with many opportunities to help out with extra activities. 

Apart from my teaching job at Delap Seventh-day Adventist School, I enjoy helping with other duties and am always humbled because I get to practice different areas of expertise. Being an engineer, I’ve been called upon to use my training for fixing school vehicles; maintaining our mission sailboat, the Glad Tidings; and providing technical support for our school’s radio station. I’m grateful to God and the people around me who have helped me a lot.

Rooftop view of Enock Ratemo installing a solar panel on the island of Ebeye. [Photo: Adventist Mission]

One of my most recent rewarding experiences was installing the solar panel system at Lanlon 89.1 FM, located at the Ebeye Seventh-day Adventist School. Ebeye is one of the Marshall Islands in the Kwajalein Atoll, with a population estimated at 20,000. Lanlon 89.1 FM covers a large area and has been an effective tool for spreading the good news about God to the people on Ebeye. However, intermittent power outages occurred because of the old generator, which suffered from aging and wear and tear. They needed a solar-powered system to provide continuous broadcasting. Previously, government restrictions were an obstacle to installing the solar system. I thank the Lord for allowing the government to approve the solar installation.

The project was estimated to take about a week. Kevin Ndemo, a volunteer teacher at Ebeye, and many others there helped with the installation. There were a few glitches due to limited materials that were quite hard to find, but the Lord provided the things we needed to finish the project. We had to find alternatives that wouldn’t compromise the procedures and standards required for solar installation.

Enock Ratema on an afternoon boat ride in Ebeye. [Photo: Adventist Mission]

By Tuesday, six days into the project, the system was working perfectly. Praise be to God! That afternoon, Kevin and I went to the Air Marshall Islands office to confirm my return ticket for the next day, but to my surprise, the flight was postponed until Friday. This disappointing news took me aback because I had already put a one-week pause on my online master’s degree studies. Now I believe this all was God’s plan. I had finished the solar installation a day late, which left no time before my flight to help with various electrical jobs at the school. 

See how God works? He allowed the flight to be postponed, permitting me time to finish His work. Most of Wednesday and Thursday were spent on school-related maintenance jobs.

Solar panel on the roof of Ebeye Seventh-day Adventist School. [Photo: Adventist Mission]

After I completed my work on Thursday, we took the afternoon to tour around on a boat. Seeing dolphins close up was one of my most memorable experiences. We visited Carlos Island, and I jumped off a 131-foot shipwreck twice. It was such a thrilling moment!

When I landed safely back in Majuro, I was glad to be home. Ebeye will always be in my heart because of how warm and hospitable the people are. Always happy, the kids would shout with a broad smile, “Hello, mister, welcome to the Marshall Islands!” If I ever find the slightest opportunity to return to Ebeye, I will grab it with both hands. I pray that the Lord will keep the radio and solar equipment safe so that His word can reach many people. This is chiefly why I serve God, to finish the work the Lord has given us, so that we will soon go home! May this be your prayer too.

The original version of this story was posted by Adventist Mission.

Enock Ratemo, Adventist Mission