Airwave Angels: Using walkie-talkies to spread the Gospel

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In our fifth and final video from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, we visit the island of Imiej, where there’s no cell service, Wi-Fi, data or any other modern means of communication.

To work around this, The Salvation Army’s Ministry Leaders Raston and Jewel Lanwe got creative: they bought walkie-talkies and gave them to some of the residents of the remote island. Twice a day they use these radios to share devotionals, worship together and pray. 

The walkie-talkie ministry has become a unique way to bring the islands’ residents closer to one another and to God.  

Below is a transcript of the video edited for readability.

Jewel Lanwe: Since I was little, I wanted to be a pastor. 

Major Steve Ball: We’re in Imiej Island, which is part of Jaluit Atoll. This population on this island, and a couple of near ones, is about sixty to eighty people. This island here served as a regional headquarters for the Japanese during World War II. So, there’s a lot of remnants, including this one we are standing in here. 

There is no power grid out here. There’s no phone service and all that. They have solar panels on their homes. They can run some dim lights at night. There are no stores, so they will have to get over to Jabor. Even in Jabor, there is just little family stores that have a very small amount of stuff. You know, the basics like rice, spam, and corned beef, and different things like that. They do rely on the natural plant and the oceans, of course. 

The ministry they have here is Raston and Jewel Lanwe. They have traveled from another atoll, Majuro Atoll, where they grew up and their family lives, to come here and serve. So, they have chosen to come out here to a place that is unknown to most of the world. They have joyful spirit, and they just give willingly as they serve and lead the people here. 

Jewel: Before we came to this island, there was an invitation from our families in the [United] States; that we needed to go there so, we could find jobs and live there. God’s plan was quicker than our families’ plan. Instead of [us] going to America, God changed [our] course to these islands. 

Raston: I think this plan is from God to choose us to come to do his work here in this country. 

Aside from getting us together, we can use the airwaves to reach each other and hear each other’s voices as we do the task of working together. 

Raston: I brought walkie talkies so I could gather the kids together to offer them fun activities like solving riddles, questions from the Bible, so when I saw the adults were involved, I decided to provide family home morning and evening devotions.

Major Steve: It just became kind of an easy way for the people on this island mainly to communicate. People were starting to get on it, and they were asking for prayer. They were asking for a devotional, and so Raston and Jewel actually developed that into a community event. People would get on their little radios, and they sit in their homes, and they talk to each other, and they share their needs one to another. 

Raston: So long as we remind each other of God’s word, we strengthen each other. 

Major Steve: You know, the gospel is meant to go out into all the Earth. The Scripture says, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news?” And that’s what they are doing here in Imiej. People are growing in their faith. They are coming to the lord. They are understanding his great love in a much deeper way. 

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