We’ve been dreaming of a way to reach the islands of Chuuk for years. For many of the outer islands in Chuuk State and Yap State, the only form of communication is use of two-way ham radios owned by only a handful of people.
We planned for several years to build an FM station in Chuuk, but land is very difficult and complicated to obtain. An FM station on the Chuukese island of Weno would also have the limitation of only covering a small number of the islands within a 20-mile radius. We shipped tower sections to Weno with plans to build an FM station, but it seemed something was preventing us from building.
About a year ago, a friend called to ask why we hadn’t tried to use shortwave radio to reach the islands. Shortwave radio is very expensive, but I shared that we had considered building an AM station. Since an AM station requires an engineer to build and to maintain it, it’s not feasible to pursue an AM station on Chuuk or the other islands due to lack of technical support.
We moved forward with the idea of an AM station on Guam that could reach not only Guam, but the CNMI (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands) and the islands of Chuuk and Yap. An AM license is very difficult to obtain. Miraculously, we learned that KUAM-AM here on Guam would be shutting down their AM station in May of 2020. After some discussion, KUAM generously agreed to donate the license and their old transmitter! What a blessing!
Our sister broadcast ministry in Guam -- Adventist World Radio -- offered to host the AM station at their site! The engineers have put together a temporary antenna and we are now on the air at low power with the old transmitter covering much of Guam at 630 AM. Plans are in the works for a permanent antenna that can provide coverage across the islands.
We needed a new transmitter and again God provided with a quality used transmitter at half the cost of a new one! The used transmitter is such a blessing because it is a modern transmitter that is much more powerful and can potentially reach a much larger region than the new transmitter we had planned to purchase. And, this transmitter cost us just over $50,000 instead of the $100,000 we had planned to spend on a new transmitter.
Another ministry partner offered to match every donation that comes in dollar for dollar for the first $100,000! Thus far, $80,000 has been donated by individuals and, with the $80,000 matching funds, that brings our total to $160,000 already raised.
Within the next six months, we need to raise money for a permanent antenna and for the first nine months of operating expenses, including electricity and most importantly the development of Chuukese programs. Our total goal is $350,000. We still need to raise $190,000. Every gift given right now will be matched dollar-for-dollar for the remaining $20,000 in matching funds. Now is the time to give!
Help us reach the estimated 70,000 Chuukese speaking population in our region with your gift today! Donate here.