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Closure of Station No Hindrance to Nazarene Ministries in Micronesia

CHUUK, Micronesia- Amidst the trying times in their ministry on a Micronesian island, Nazarene missionaries Rex Ray and Pearl dela Peret find themselves doing more for the work of the Lord and World Mission Broadcast (WMB).

With the only government radio station shutting down due to equipment failures and financial issues, the couple has found innovative ways to continue communicating the gospel by all means possible. For example, the couple maintains a library of radio programs produced at the Regional Communications Center in Manila, most of which deal with women’s issues. These same programs in CD format are being made available to Nazarenes and whomever is interested in listening to them.

In the absence of radio programs, CDs become the “radio” and companion of many here in this remote island of Weno, Chuuk, a member of the Federated States of Micronesia. One husband commented that his wife has been listening to the same women’s program over and over again.

Until recently, the English program “Help From Above” was being aired over the islands via the government station. Such programming has been a source of encouragement and islanders have enjoyed the contemporary music played.

Rex and Pearl, who are pioneering a church here, are working closely with World Mission Broadcast to further the cause of the gospel. In coordination with WMB thru the Manila office, both are laying out the details for an indigenous program while awaiting the reopening of the government radio. Thru the program, the Bible is going to be presented in the vernacular in chronological order. Islanders are typically oral. They also need programs that will increase their awareness and knowledge of the Bible.

Tiriten Rain, a local evangelical pastor, told WMB in an interview that many Chuukese ministers are being appointed to the pastorate even without Bible school or seminary training. “We need help from pastors like Rex Ray,” he said. Pastor Tiriten has been utilizing sermon outlines previously prepared for the Nazarene members here. In addition, the local minister often preaches to his congregation using the materials prepared for a proposed WMB program.

Pastor Tiriten is preaching Nazarene beliefs and members are hearing new insights which have never been preached before. When people asked where he got his sermons, he proudly responds, “From Pastor Rex.” Rex is poised to begin a New Testament study with Pastor Tiriten and another pastor in the evening.

Using his own CB radio, Pastor Tiriten preaches the sermons and WMB-produced scripts to inhabitants of outlying islands who would usually huddle around a CB radio. At times, islanders request the pastor to lead them in worship. The result is a simultaneous holding of a worship service, with islanders being connected not via cyberspace, but via a CB or handheld radio

Pearl, on the other hand, is reaching out to Chuukese women, whom a local matriarch has described as often abused by their husbands. Through the Chuukese Women’s Council, Pearl is helping empower women through information, education, skills training, and a host of other resources. She also gets to present the Bible to the women. “I let a local woman read the Bible before we start our (activity)” she said.

Rafael I. Santos
Asia-Pacific Regional Broadcast Development Coordinator

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