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Walkie-talkie ministry takes off in Marshall Islands

Walkie-talkie ministry takes off in Marshall Islands

Walkie-talkie ministry takes off in Marshall Islands

Raston and Jewel Lanwe, Ministry Leaders in Imiej, Marshall Islands, have started a new and thriving walkie-talkie ministry to connect everyone in prayer on these remote islands. Photo Major Stephen Ball.

 

The Salvation Army’s ministry leaders in the remote Marshall Islands, Raston and Jewel Lanwe, have come up with an unusual way to share God’s word – by walkie-talkie.

Each day, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean where the 29 coral atolls making up the Marshall Islands are located, God’s word is broadcast over the air in this singular way.

The service is an outreach of The Salvation Army Imiej Corps, where Raston and Jewel are the leaders.

Just getting to Imiej requires some doing. To start with, it is located approximately 3675km south-west of Honolulu and 3865km north-east of Cairns. Travellers must first fly to the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and then charter a boat to the island of Imiej in the Jaluit Atoll. This remote island, part of The Salvation Army Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Division, has a population that fluctuates between 60 and 80 residents.

“It is a difficult place to live and serve, but that doesn’t stop these pastors,” said Major Stephen Ball, Marshall Islands Coordinator for the Hawaiian and Pacific Islands Division.

“They are remarkable servants of the Lord [who] work faithfully to teach the truths of the Bible and make disciples of Jesus.”

The Lanwes recently purchased two small hand-held radios.

“[Walkie-talkies] are very popular on our atoll since there is very little phone service available,” said Jewel. “At first we used them to keep in touch with each other, find out how people were doing and to share stories.

“Then, one day when I was reading Ecclesiastes, I found this verse: ‘Have reverence for God, and obey his commands, because this is all that we were created for’” (Eccl. 12:13 GNT).

“After I read it again, I felt the Holy Spirit and I prayed, ‘God, if this is what you want me to do, I will do it.’”

Remote Imiej Corps.

Jewel felt the Holy Spirit calling her to use the walkie-talkies for a greater purpose. When she spoke to her husband about it, he said: “We may not visit and pray with these people every day, but we will use this walkie-talkie and we will reach them with God’s Word.”

The Lanwes starting praying on the walkie-talkie daily at 7.30am and 7.30pm.

“After a while, everyone on Imiej wanted to join our prayer meeting, so they all went to Jabor [a nearby larger town] and bought their own walkie-talkies,” Jewel said. “I see God present every day and we feel his blessing as we sing and pray together.”

Originally from Majuro, the capital of the Marshall Islands, the Lanwes left their families behind when they came to Imiej to serve as Corps Ministry Leaders. Raston sings and plays keyboard, and Jewel’s creative gifts include timbrels, singing, devotion in motion and dance.

“It is remarkable to see the Lord working through the ministry of this young Salvationist couple in such a remote place,” Major Ball said.

“Through this new outreach effort they are able to bring the Word of God to people they cannot easily reach on neighbouring islands.

“God is blessing the work of sharing God’s love through this radio Bible study that they lead each day.”

This article first appeared at newfrontierchronicle.org/walkie-talkie-ministry-takes-off-in-marshall-islands/

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