After a long process, the first Adventist World Radio affiliate FM station in Indonesia is up and running. Located in Manado, in the province of North Sulawesi, the station is named Radio Angkat Nafiri (translated as “Lift Up the Trumpet”).
“It is not easy to get an FM license in Indonesia,” says AWR Asia/Pacific region director Jonathan Wagiran. “In this case, the whole process took two and a half years. For the first six months, the station is restricted to broadcasting for 12 hours per day. After that, it will be able to increase to 24 hours a day.”
There had previously been an Adventist AM radio station in this area more than 20 years ago, but it had closed. The current leaders of the East Indonesia Union Conference were enthusiastic about restarting radio work, so they approached AWR to partner with them on the initiative. The conference purchased land for the station in the mountains outside Manado, a city of half a million people, and built the studio. AWR provided the tower and equipment, training, and funds for the license.
After the dedication ceremony, AWR held a series of training sessions, which was attended by 37 people, including local church members. Three staff members – a station director, technician, and announcer – are now working with more than 10 volunteers to produce programs in Indonesian. (A few news segments in English will also be aired.) The volunteers assist with writing scripts and serving as announcers.
“It was God’s plan that we connected with AWR,” says union president Noldy Sakul. “The church members are so happy to have a station, and they are preparing more sermons to air in the future. For the first few months, we are doing soft programming and using a lot of music, although we are allowed to have a sermon every morning. Later, we can change the programming and increase the power of the station. There are 45 radio stations in this area, but only five have government licenses, and we are one of them”
Wagiran says, “Since there is already an Adventist hospital and university in Manado, having an Adventist radio station makes it possible for them to complement each other. Radio staff can bring in experts from the institutions to use on their programs, and the station is an effective means of communicating with the community.”
Many church leaders have witnessed the effectiveness of radio in their territories. Alberto Gulfan Jr., president of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division, says, “When I was a young pastor in the Philippines, years before there was AWR, I decided to do a 15-minute radio program three times a week. As a result, two churches were established in the Central Philippines. Since then, I have always believed that radio is one of the finest instruments God uses to tell the world about Jesus.”