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:
- BSB: 704 024
- A/C No: 010000348
- Ref: Balasuna