COMMUNICATION

VIA RADIO . . . AND PRAYER

 

Pitcairn Island is one of the most remote spots on earth. This small dot of land, two square miles in area, is separated from all the large population areas by thousands of miles of ocean. Pitcairn has no airstrip or regular passenger or freight service. Even the postal service is hit and miss, as the islanders receive only four or five mails each year.

So how can a community exist in today's world without these regular methods of communication? Radio provides one of the major keys to survival.

The radio station, at Tarro Ground, maintains regular communication with the outside world. Tom, Betty, Irma, Kari, and Nig provide telecable service twice daily, six days a week, via Fiji. (New equipment soon to be installed will make it possible for Pitcairn to have international telephone service via Auckland, New Zealand.) The radio staff also communicates twice each day with any passing ships which may desire to contact Pitcairn for one reason or another. These times and frequencies are printed in international log books for the convenience of ship's crews who travel these oceans. So Pitcairn, though isolated, is not really cut off from the outside world.

The official channels of communication are also supplemented by private ham radio. Tom, Kari, and Nig are all licensed radio amateurs, and their stations greatly benefit the island. These technicians use their personal radio equipment to order supplies, to arrange chats between islanders and their relatives and friends who live elsewhere, and to get help in times of emergency. Of course every household has a short-wave receiver in order to hear news from around the world.

Radio communication remains an enigma to most people. How can a person speak into a microphone or touch a telegraph key on Pitcairn and be heard five or ten thousand miles away? Radio manuals explain the science in language that most everyone can understand, but still the idea of messages traveling on the airwaves boggles the mind. And yet millions of people use the mechanics of radio communications every day without thinking of the miracle involved.

If the genius of man has learned how to use the air for transmitting radio signals in order to talk with other men in distant countries, then surely an omnipotent God can hear the fervent prayer of one of His children here on earth. Pitcairn's daily contact with the outside world through radio is a continual reminder that God "hears the prayer of the righteous," (Proverbs 15:29).