I believe what was put together during Mega Project Hope PNG exceeds the quality of much of the local content shown on PNG television.
In a landmark achievement for Adventist television, Mega Project Hope PNG saw 303 30-minute TV programs filmed in just 20 days at locations around Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Project Hope events enable HopeChannels across the world to build up a stockpile of local content for broadcast in their markets. This is the first time it has been attempted on such a large scale, hence the “Mega”.
“The largest Project Hope ever conducted in our world-wide Church did not happen by accident,” said Geraldine Przybylko, director of Media Ministries for Adventist Media Network. “It was God unifying His people and institutions to step out in faith and do even greater works so that our Church can broadcast HopeChannel across the nation to bring precious souls to Jesus.”
An international crew of 30 professionals representing 17 nationalities joined 25 PNG mission workers and more than 30 local volunteers to film and produce the programs. Hundreds of others were involved, including choirs, business people, pastors, academics and more. Featuring local presenters, the programs were recorded in English and Tok Pisin. A strength of the project is that now local people are trained in making television and can continue producing Adventist programming.
“These people are empowered and are ready to contribute to the Church where possible,” said Pastor Andrew Opis, communication director for the Papua New Guinea Union Mission (PNGUM).
“[It was a] humbling experience to see how locals were trained, new talent found and an incredible mateship develop between international and local crew,” project manager Edgard Lopez said. “We have made memories for a lifetime!”
The programs include sermons and evangelism, praise and singing, health, finances and personal testimonies. HopeChannel even used a remove-controlled drone to take aerial shots of PNG’s Parliament House, the first time this has been permitted.
With a demanding schedule and editors working around the clock, 82 per cent of the programs are already edited and ready for broadcast. The rest are close to completion. “In the land of the unexpected, we never expected to produce 303 30-minute TV programs in 20 days. This can only be attributed to God leading the project,” Mr Lopez said.
There were challenges however: many of the international crew were delayed in Singapore for two days due to aircraft mechanical problems; a protest in Port Moresby led to fuel shortages; a week was lost due to customs issues and there were problems with air-conditioning.
But in the end the project was a success.
“I was impressed with the quality of what the team produced,” said Kent Kingston, host of Record InFocus and one of the international producers called in to assist. “Not just in terms of the high-tech gear and ‘production values’ brought by the international team but by the quality of the stories told and issues dealt with by our local producers. I believe what was put together during Mega Project Hope PNG exceeds the quality of much of the local content shown on PNG television.”
That quality content is ready to broadcast as soon as HopeChannel secures its free-to-air licence—something that will hopefully occur before the end of this year.
“Thank you to the South Pacific Division and PNGUM who helped with funding, but especially to Pacific Adventist University which has been a major partner in providing venues for filming, establishing studios, assisting in organising air-conditioning, accommodation for international and local crews, catering facilities, transportation and support staff for the duration of the project,” Pastor Opis said. “Without them the project would not have been successful.”
Project Hope Fiji is planned for April-May 2016 in Nadi. The Trans-Pacific Union Mission would also like to produce 300 programs. Two permanent TV studios are currently under construction in the Fiji Mission, which is hosting the event. Project Hope Fiji will produce programs for Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Samoas-Tokelau and Tonga Missions.