South Pacific Adventist Record, and Adventist Review staff,
Seventh-day Adventist-owned Hope Channel has pumped out an unprecedented 410 television programs in five weeks in Fiji as part of a major effort to provide local programing to the remote islands of the South Pacific.
Volunteers from Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga and the Solomon Islands teamed up under the auspices of the church’s Trans-Pacific Union Mission to produce the television episodes for their communities.
A team of technicians from Hope Channel International in the United States, Hope Channel SPD in Australia, and the Philippines and Papua New Guinea descended on Fiji’s capital, Suva, to train the volunteers in camera operation, lighting, editing, audio recording, and other aspects of production.
“This is a record,” Kandus Thorp, director for international development at Hope Channel International, said of the number of programs.
“It was 18 months ago that I first visited Fiji and we began discussions,” Thorp said. “I am so proud of our Hope Channel team in the Trans-Pacific Union Mission.”
She especially thanked Wayne Boehm, director of Hope Channel SPD, for his leadership in directing the project.
Boehm described the successful completion of the project as a miracle. He said he arrived in Fiji as the country was being buffeted by a category 3 cyclone and still recovering from a devastating category 5 cyclone last year. While overseeing the television programs, the team experienced earthquakes and tsunami warnings.
“Five weeks later, we’re leaving the country with 410 programs on sermons, health, family, music and relationships,” Boehm said. “God helped us exceed our expectations. It’s nothing short of miraculous.”
Boehm paid special tribute to the volunteers, saying it was heart-warming to see people willing leave their homes and loved ones for the project. He was particularly inspired by the youngest presenter, a 6-year-old child from Fiji.
“It shows you’re never too young to start being involved in discipling,” he said.
Fiji’s president, Jiogi (George) Konousi Konrote, attended a special May 6 ceremony celebrating the conclusion of the project.
Konrote, a Seventh-day Adventist believer, thanked the Adventist Church for its leadership in media ministry and presented each volunteer with a commemorative certificate.
Nick Lindsay, production editor at Australian-based Adventist Media, said he was glad to have been able to contribute to a project that points people to Jesus.
“This is the largest Project Hope that has ever been done,” he said.
“And it’s a bit different because we trained technical staff from each mission, and they were the ones who did the production.”