The South Pacific region’s newest Hope Radio station has hit the airwaves, with the aim of sharing news of 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 on the air for the first time. Radio announcer Tarataake Angirio made the first transmission, later saying that it was a historic day for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in that nation.
“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 based in Suva, Fiji, is scheduled to officially open on Thursday, December 13, 2018.
“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 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 concrete slab for the 50m (164ft) radio transmission tower base. In recent weeks, riggers Dale Dawson, Dale Main, and Chris Nilsson from Sydney, Australia, 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 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 licence, according to Dunn. “Our radio licence was 91 MHz, but we discovered, much to our chagrin, that up to 70 percent of the cars on the island — being second-hand Japanese imports — have radios that only receive up to 90 MHz,” 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 [and] who held a licence 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 licence, and the commission has now awarded 89 MHz to Hope Radio,” he said.
The new station is aimed at reaching 60 percent of the approximately 119,000 citizens of Kiribati, where the Adventist Church has historically struggled to find a voice, leaders said.