Missionaries Extend Alaska Adventist Radio Outreach
Ever since H.M.S. Richards took to the air waves in the United States and Adventist World Radio started taking the Three Angels Messages to the world via short wave radio, others have been sending God’s last message to a lost and dying world through radio. Following in this tradition, Alaska has been using radio to reach native Alaskans.
A small radio station was built in 2015 in Gambell, Alaska, a small village just 35 miles from Russia. The station began broadcasting in December 2015, but a significant challenge was how to effectively market the station in the community. An initiative to promote the station was started that included giving out radios with promotional materials/stickers, but, as with most grassroots efforts, finances were a challenge.
Fast forward to 2017 when Arctic Mission Volunteers Paul and Joan Marlow arrived in Gambell. When they heard about the radio project, they discovered most of the Siberian Yupik natives living in the small community had televisions, but few had radios. Realizing the wonderful opportunity for witness because the Adventist frequency is the only FM station they can get in Gambell, the Marlows committed to placing radios in every home and purchased 200 high-fidelity, battery-operated portable radios. Not only did they commit to the project financially but also personally by taking each radio door-to-door and visiting each home.
Getting to know their friends and neighbors has been a major boost to the radio program. Their neighbors have been pleased with the gift and are tuning in to Adventist programming in the small community. Some have even shared their favorite speakers and programs with the Marlows.
The FM station began as an experiment to determine the effectiveness and viability of radio evangelism in a remote Alaska village. Its success led to the creation of the Alaska Adventist Radio Network (AARN), which also airs over stations in Shungnak, Nome and Wrangell, with coverage for more villages in the planning stages.