MINISTRY TRAINING FOR POREBADA FAMILY : Part 2

Written by Min Tobitt

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Class of 2018 Graduates of Balasuna Bible College

Graduation Day for the 32 students at the Balasuna Bible College was held in early September and the young couple Jonathan & Theresa Bodibo from the Porebada Village in Papua New Guinea (see earlier story) have now graduated and have returned home again.

Some of their family members had travelled over to Balasuna for the ceremony,  so together with the Vanuatu students, a bunch of Aussies including the Oceania INC Chairman Pastor Ross Abraham, there was an international flavour to the Graduation service and the Solomon Islands National Pastors Conference which was also in session.

While the seven students from Vanuatu and Papua New New Guinea have flown home, the remainder of the Solomon students have also returned home to their villages mostly by truck or by boat. One couple will be pastoring a church on one of the man made islands at the far northern end of the island of Malaita. Others will be trying to catch a flight back to the far flung islands of Santa Cruz which are almost to Vanuatu….unless they can catch a boat that only travels once a month.

Some of the Australians present were from the INC Elevation Church on the Gold Coast. Led by Andy Backhouse the Global Care Director of the church,  teams from this church have been instrumental in helping with the renovations and building work around the College over the past year. So it was a time for them to join in the celebrations and also minister in the local Balasuna Christian School down the road.

Balasuna Christian School

 

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Surprise visitor to Balasuna

2018 Leonard Letana with Ps Sam Ghobeiti from Iran visiting
Pastor Sam Ghobeiti with the College Principal Pastor Leonard Letana

Written by Min Tobitt

On Monday 30 July, 2018, the students and staff of the Solomon Islands INC School of Ministries, also known as the Balasuna Bible College received a surprise visit from a pastor from the other side of the world. Pastor Sam Ghobeiti, a Persian pastor who now lives in the USA, ministers to Persians in Iran and other parts of the world. At the moment, he is assisting with pastoring at the Persian Church part of the Networx (INC) Church, Springwood, Queensland.

Having to suddenly exit Australia for a few days for visa purposes, Pastor Sam chose to visit Solomon Islands and spend a few days at the Bible College at Balasuna and this was hastily arranged with all concerned. While at Balasuna, he was able to share with the students about life as a Christian in Iran where there is persecution.

Pastor Sam was also invited to speak and minister in the local church at Balasuna and was a blessing to them. After he returned, he spoke highly of his experience and would love to go back again taking a team with him.

2018 Ps Sam Ghobeiti from Iran with maybe Junior
Ps Sam Ghobeiti with Junior

 

 

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

Gathering momentum in the Solomon Islands

Written by Min Tobitt, INC South Pacific

COLLEGE GRADUATION

A total of 21 students graduated at the School of Ministries at Balasuna. These students have returned to ministering in their villages or planting new churches. Since May, they have been living at Balasuna receiving teaching from local and Australian pastors in study areas of doctrine, Bible, Christian living and ministry foundations. Applications for next year’s course have already been received.

 

NEW CHURCH BUILDING AT AUKI

Several years ago, Pastors Levi and Melody Lauasi had his land, church and home buildings at Auki in Malaita taken from him by other members of the family. He graciously let them have it and set about obtaining new land and a new building with contributions from family, friends and fellow Christians some from Australia.

 

NATIONAL CONFERENCE AND CHURCH OPENING

In October, the attractive building was officially opened as they hosted the National Conference. A big crowd of believers celebrated with singing and dancing and praising God. The Guest Speaker from Australia Ps Kindah Greening helped to officially open the building and gave a word of prophecy for the church. Other welcome guests from Australia were Murray Townsend, INC South Pacific Chairman and Cynthia Kenzler, International Commander of KC’s International Youth Ministry and Frank Styles, Solomon Islands School of Ministries,

TRAINING PASTORS IN THE SOLOMON ISLANDS

Clement & Esther East Malaita 18 18 (2)

 

Photos: College property, College staff, 2016 graduates, 2017 students, raising pigs microenterprise.

The Solomon Islands INC School of Ministries more commonly known as the Balasuna Bible College is in session again having commenced in early May. There are 24 students this year coming from different islands and provinces from the Solomon Islands who will be trained over a 4 month period for pastoral ministry under the leadership of Principals Pastor Leonard & Elizabeth Letana with the help of Pastor Frank Styles from Australia.

 Since 1989, many pastors from the South Pacific nations have been trained as pastors of Christian Outreach Centre and the International Network of Churches.  The college had to close down from 1999-2005 because of civil unrest but opened again in 2005 and has been training pastors from the Solomon Islands since then. The bulk of the lecturing is carried out by pastors from Australia who pay their way and give their time to bless and impart to the future pastors. Financial support, printed materials and fund-raising projects also come mostly from Australian churches and church members and we are grateful for whatever support we get.

WRITTEN BY MIN TOBITT, INC SOUTH PACIFIC

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

  • Missions
  • BSB 704 024
  • A/C No. 01 00 00348
  • Ref: Balasuna