Balasuna Business 2018

Written by Min Tobitt, INC South Pacific

Around 35 students are currently arriving for the 2018 session of the Balasuna Bible College…also known as the Solomon Islands INC School of Ministries. The starting date is Monday 30 April. Students from the different provinces of the Solomon Islands, and some from Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu are being welcomed and settled in by the Principal Leonard Letana and his wife Elizabeth and also  the INC South Pacific Chairman Murray Townsend, who will be lecturing them for the first two weeks.

 

 

One student couple have settled in already and are the first Australian couple to attend the College as students. Denaye and Jacob (alias ‘Yapie’) Grobler originally from Western Australia are members of the CityNet Church at Beenleigh, Queensland. In order to prepare for a possible future ministry in the Solomon Islands they are attending as students this year.

 

 

They have had a couple of extra weeks to settle in and help with getting the College ready.  In these photos, they are checking out the pigs that are raised to help support the needs of the College. However, most of the support for the students while at the College is through the donations of individuals and churches of INC Australia.

We shout out a big tribute of thanks to the volunteer workers from Elevation Gold Coast, Global Care and others who have been helping to renovate and refresh the College buildings which were built back in 1989.

 

 

We also thank all those who have contributed their time, their teaching gifts, their finances over many years since then.  Here’s a brief look at the history.

BRIEF HISTORY OF BALASUNA BIBLE COLLEGE

The Balasuna Bible College was the result of the vision of Innisfail COC led by Pastor Kevin Dales. A team of builders went there in 1989 and built the College and Murray & Diana Townsend were placed in charge, They served in that role for 10 years and during that time many pastors from the islands of the South Pacific were trained there. Over a 6 month period, lecturers from Australia and New Zealand assisted by spending two weeks each year to impart to and train the students.

There was a break of 6 years in the life of the College between 1999 and 2005 as a result of the ethnic tension that prevailed in the Solomon Islands. In 2006, the vision for the College was launched again with pastors like Murray Townsend, Santo Gullo and  Kevin Dales leading the way.

Innisfail COC was again involved and people and churches around Australia gave financial support as they sponsored students to be trained as pastors. There have been some attempts at more self-sufficiency and the students have only been from the Solomon Islands. Pastor Willie Tagadaena took on the administrative role of Acting Principal during 2006 & 2008 and then Pastor Leonard Letana was appointed the Principal.

Click on and place cursor over photos for identification

 

 

 

If you would like to give to this ministry, please use the following details:

  • Missions
  • BSB:  704 024
  • A/C No:  010000348
  • Ref:  Balasuna

HIGHLANDS EARTHQUAKE PAPUA NEW GUINEA

WRITTEN BY MIN TOBITT, INC SOUTH PACIFIC

Positioned on the Pacific’s “Ring of Fire” the people of Papua New Guinea are not strangers to earthquakes and tremors. Over the past year there have been 400 earthquakes ranging from 1.5 to 7.5. Over the past week the earth has been shaking in the West New Britain area up to 6.9 magnitude with warnings of tsunamis. But life generally moves on as the people adapt to each situation.

However, on February 25 this year a 7.6 magnitude earthquake near Tari in the Southern Highlands has had a disastrous effect on a large area. Huge landslides have changed the shape of the mountain ranges as they slid down into river valleys covering village homes, burying many people and polluting the water supply. During the following weeks there were a reported 59 aftershocks of over magnitude 5. This has created fear, displacement of an estimated 35,000 people, roads being damaged and unemployment with the closing down of Oil and Liquid Gas companies until they assess any damage to their facilities.

received_1956278121101964

Food, water and medical supplies and water have been the priority with PNG, Australian and International Aid flowing in mostly by air transport. This has been made more difficult with limited communication and long standing deadly tribal fighting in some areas. On March 15, UNICEF estimated that 275,000 people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance including 125,000 children. Some disturbing reports are now emerging concerning the health and welfare of women and children who have had to flee their villages.

The INC South Pacific Office in Australia has had limited communication with the pastors in the region and is in a position of waiting to assess what is being done and what their most urgent needs might be. Some reports from Pastor Ben Solu in Mendi, which is 100 kilometres away from the epicentre, spoke of a number of people in that town being buried by landslides and damage to housing. The foundations on his own house are all cracked and every time there is another tremor they wonder if the house will fall down. He has been told that two COC/INC churches in the Kutubu area have collapsed.

Pastor Alex Koyaiye from Kaupena sent through the following photos of road damage in his area which is a long way from the epicentre so it demonstrates the savage force of the earthquake.

Any further reports will be added to this INC South Pacific blog site. In the meantime pray for them.