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

 

If you would like to give to the work of INC South Pacific please use the following details:

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

 

 

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

MINISTRY TRAINING FOR FAMILY FROM POREBADA

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.

2017 Ps Kaia Bodibo with Odo's sister
Pastor Kaia Bodibo (on right) with her sister-in-law

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.”

2018 Porebada Church
Some of the local people at a meeting at the Porebada Village COC/INC Church

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.

2018 Porebada Church (3)
COC/INC Church meeting at Porebada Village

If you would like to give to the work of INC South Pacific please use the following details:

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

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