WRITTEN BY MIN TOBITT, INC SOUTH PACIFIC
Last month, the Balasuna Bible College in the Solomon Islands again welcomed students from the other South Pacific nations of Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea. This had not happened since 1998 when the Bible College closed down for a period of time during a time of civil unrest. (See previous posts on the College for more information).
Jonathan Bodibo with his wife Theresa and their two children (pictured above) have left their home in the village of Porebada in Papua New Guinea and their places of employment and have ventured forth to the Solomon Islands responding to the call of God to go to the Balasuna Bible College for four months of ministry training.
The Porebada COC/INC church is located in the largest village of the Central Province and is about 20kms from Port Moresby the capital of PNG. Until early 2017, the church was pastored by Jonathan’s late older brother Pastor Oda and Jonathan has been a part of the church since he was a teenager, faithfully serving there as a cell leader and helping the pastors and leaders. The church has grown from its first Sunday meeting under a mango tree back in 2000, becoming an annexe church and now is a healthy active local church belonging to the International Network of churches with up to 500 people who attend.
Pastor’s Oda’s wife Kaia recalls the early days of their experience. “ On Sunday night 7th May 1995 Oda was baptized by the Holy Spirit whilst we prayed in the room and this I believe was when the church started. The village at this time had only one mainline church and when Christian Outreach Centre came to the area they were the first Pentecostal church. We believed that God had asked us to start a church where Jesus was Lord and where His Holy Spirit was honoured. Persecution and opposition was experienced at first but we believed that if God be for us who can be against us and we became a part of COC/INC from 2000 until this day.”
Pastor Kaia now pastors the Porebada church with the help of 5 assistant pastors. Central Province is a large province which stretches along the southern coastline of Papua New Guinea. Their vision for the church is to see the extension of God’s kingdom by planting more COC/INC churches along that coastline. They look forward to the return of Jonathan and Theresa after graduation in September to be a part of that vision in whatever way the Lord wants to use them.
If you would like to give to the work of INC South Pacific please use the following details:
- BSB: 704 024
- A/C No: 010000348