Early this year, the 28,000 residents of Majuro, Marshall Islands, had their first opportunity to begin enjoying daily Adventist radio programs, thanks to a new station called Joy 90.7. Matt Dodd, manager of Joy FM – the original Guam-Micronesia Mission (GMM) station on Guam – joined forces with Adventist World Radio (AWR), the North American Division (NAD), and church members to fund and operate the station.
“Joy FM has played a major role in growing the Adventist church here on Guam and in the Northern Mariana islands during the past 27 years,” says Ken Norton, GMM president. “We believe the same result is going to happen on the other islands throughout Micronesia, and we can’t wait to see what God is going to do through these newly-established radio stations.”
Brook Powers, chief engineer and site manager for AWR’s shortwave station on Guam, coordinated the installation on the campus of the Majuro Seventh-day Adventist school and church. He also conducted training on tower maintenance, programming, electronics, and solar panel operation. A smaller tower with a repeater was constructed at the Laura church and school, on the opposite side of the island. The radio signal leaves Majuro and will get picked up and retransmitted on a different frequency.
Two Majuro Bible workers – Darrel Riklon and Elson Jinwa Maita – will keep the local station running and will train others to help keep the broadcasts going 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Joy FM has supplied the Majuro team with one year of programming, which includes Bible studies, music, and more. As the team managing the Majuro station gain experience, they hope to tailor the programming to specific needs, adding interviews, children’s Bible stories, music, translated material, and more to the mix in Marshallese and other languages.
Maita and Riklon are looking forward to adding local programming as soon as possible. “Time will be split for various people groups – those primarily from Majuro, Fiji, and the Philippines,” Riklon says. “This station is for the people of the Marshall Islands.”
“All the programs we’ve been playing already are very interesting. … It’s important to have a station because it is another way to reach out to people,” Riklon says. “Sometimes we can reach people by going house to house, but with the radio station we can reach them when they turn on the radio inside their houses and in their cars. Every day, everywhere they go, they can listen.”
“We need to spread the gospel message to the world,” Riklon adds. “Most of the time the listener, the resident, doesn’t really understand the truth about Jesus and the Bible.”
Radio is taking hold in other islands as well. Saipan transmits the Guam broadcast, while the Ebeye transmitter was completed in January, with Kosrae finished shortly after. Three more stations are planned for Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Palau. More than 380,000 potential listeners live on these islands.
by Kimberly Luste Maran, Assistant Director for Communication, North American Division
To read the full-length North American Division version of this report, go to awr.org/stories/majuro.