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Duane McKey, right, holding a radio outside the Six Days Sari-Sari Store in Calapan, Philippines. Villagers hike an hour down a mountain to listen to Adventist World Radio at the store. (Photos: AWR)

10 Philippine Villages Request Baptism After Hearing Adventist World Radio

Duane McKey tells of an outpouring of the Holy Spirit during a major evangelistic campaign.

By Andrew McChesney, Adventist Mission

Ten villages are preparing for baptism on the Philippines’ seventh-largest island after listening to Adventist World Radio programming on local radio stations.

The villagers heard the Seventh-day Adventist message when nine radio stations started airing the programs on Mindoro, an island located five hours by car and ferry south of the country’s capital, Manila.

Adventist World Radio purchased airtime on the local radio stations, and its programs hit the airwaves several weeks before major Total Membership Involvement evangelistic meetings opened June 9.

Residents of two villages were convicted to join the Adventist Church before the meetings even began, said Duane McKey, who oversees the Total Membership Involvement initiative for the Adventist world church and serves as president of Adventist World Radio.

“This is something out of a missionary storybook that you would have read many years ago,” McKey said. “But it is happening here and now in Mindoro.”

He credited the outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the surge in interest.

Introducing the Radio

McKey, who has co-organized major Total Membership Involvement evangelistic meetings in Rwanda, Romania, and elsewhere, introduced radio to the church’s outreach efforts in Mindoro.

McKey was appointed president of Adventist World Radio in January, and he hopes to make radio a key part of future evangelistic meetings, including with daily broadcasts in Tokyo before nationwide evangelistic meetings in Japan in 2018.

The ongoing meetings in Mindoro are being led by 49 Japanese pastors and laypeople who are preparing for the 2018 campaign in Japan.

The nine radio stations airing Adventist World Radio programming reach nearly the entire island of 1.3 million people, as well as people on several neighboring islands. The programs are broadcast one to three hours daily. It was not immediately clear how many people have tuned in for the Adventist World Radio broadcasts or how many people would be baptized as a result.

McKey said he was delighted when two village chiefs contacted Adventist World Radio to request Bible studies before the evangelistic meetings even began.

“They said, ‘Please send us a teacher because we have been listening to the Adventist World Radio broadcast and we want to become Adventists,’” he said.

The chiefs also offered land to build Adventist churches.

Two Japanese pastors now are preaching in those two lowlands villages, and several Adventist churches have sent Bible workers to help prepare the villagers for baptism later this month.

  • Duane McKey, right, visiting one of the nine radio stations airing Adventist World Radio content.

  • A billboard announcing evangelistic meetings on the island of Mindoro in the Philippines.

  • People attending an evangelistic meeting on the Philippine island of Mindoro.

  • Filipino children listening to the evening presentation at an evangelistic meeting.

2 More Villages

Residents of a third village, located high in the mountains, contacted church leaders to request baptism after listening to several weeks of programming.

“At first it was only one family, but now it seems it is the whole village,” McKey said.

Church leaders have scheduled a June 24 baptism for the villagers.

McKey said a fourth village is also in the mountains but it doesn’t have radio reception. To listen to the Adventist message, the villagers walk down the mountain to an Adventist-owned store in Calapan, a major city. The owner plays Adventist World Radio programs in the store, which is called the Six Days Sari-Sari Store because it is open every day but Sabbath.

“We went to the store today and were there with the villagers when the programming began with AWR's theme song, ‘Lift Up The Trumpet,’” McKey said by e-mail Wednesday. “As soon as the song began to play, the villagers began to clap. We thought they were doing this because we were there but, no, it was because they love the program so much! They clap every time it begins with ‘Lift Up Trumpet!’”

McKey noted that Mindoro means “gold mine” in the local Tagalog language, a nod to its history as a gold mining island in Spanish colonial days.

“Precious people, yes, more precious than gold, are making decisions for Jesus,” he said.