Hope Radio puts Kiribati President on the path to good health

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Celebrating Hope Radio's second birthday in December 2020. (Credit: Hope Radio, Facebook)

The Kiribati President and First Lady are participating in the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP) after tuning in to the local Hope Radio station.

President Taneti Maamau and his wife Teiraeng—regular Hope Radio listeners—are taking part in CHIP after listening to the station’s health messages. And they are already experiencing the benefits of the lifestyle intervention program.

“It seems that they want to continue on [the program] as they have seen very positive results,” said Hope Radio announcer Tarataake Angiraoi. “We praise the Lord for this great news.

“What makes the difference is prayer with the President and First Lady before they take part in the program every day.”

Indeed, Hope Radio is making an impact in the lives of many people in Kiribati. Launched in December 2018, the station is now the main radio broadcaster for the small island nation.

According to Mr Angiraoi, the national radio service has not operated for several months and the government’s own FM station has been broadcasting only intermittently, leaving Hope “as the only reliable and strong radio [station] that serves the people”. Government ministries are using Hope to broadcast their messages and raise awareness, including the Ministry of Health, which recently asked Hope to help it warn people about dengue fever.

“We are the main radio now and almost all of Tarawa is tuning in to us,” Mr Angiraoi said.

“Everywhere you go on both private and public transport, Hope Radio is being [played].”

Importantly, Hope Radio is reaching many souls for Christ through its spiritual programs and hope-filled biblical messages.

“Our Bible study follow-up team has been set up and undergone training for the past three weeks, and they are going out to homes next week and meeting those who have indicated their interest in Bible studies,” Mr Angiraoi said.

Trans Pacific Union Mission president Pastor Maveni Kaufononga said he had seen the hands of God leading the radio station from the outset. “How it was funded, how it was built and the running of it, God provided people to be there at every stage,” he said.

“We are so grateful for the impact that it is having in Kiribati. Our young people last year visited hundreds of homes, asking the residents questions on what they learned from this radio station. They were able to do Bible studies in many homes and also promoted their radio ministry.”

The station, a TPUM initiative, is located at the Kiribati Mission headquarters at Korobu, South Tarawa. Investigations are underway into how to extend Hope Radio’s reach to Kiribati’s outer islands.