Where in the World?
The Christian Leaders' Training College is located on the island of New Guinea in the country of Papua New Guinea (PNG). PNG shares the world's second largest island with Iryan Jaya, which is an Indonesian province. PNG is a little larger than the US State of California.
PNG is part of a group of Melanesian islands which includes the Solomons, Fiji, and Vanuatu. These islands are in the South Pacific and are located north and east of Australia.
The college is around an hour's drive over sometimes bumpy and flooded roads east of Mt. Hagen in the Western Highlands Province of PNG.
Highlands History and Geography
The highlands of PNG were first visited by westerners in 1933 when a group of Australian gold seekers followed river valleys overshadowed by 4,000-meter peaks into the interior. (The highest peak in PNG is Mt. Wilhelm at 4,509 meters.) At that time people thought the center of the country was entirely mountainous. However, these miners found over a million stone-age people living in the mile-high verdant Wahgi River Valley.
Incredible Linguistic Diversity
PNG is one of the most linguistically diverse areas of earth. There are over 800 spoken languages. To enable wider communication between tribes, the country has two trade languages: Motu and Melanesian Pidgin or Tok Pisin. Motu is spoken in the southern coastal regions, and Tok Pisin is spoken all over the island.Chi ldren who are blessed enough to go to school, learn English from the third grade onward.
The single-women, degree and certificate classes at the college are taught in English. Student wives are able to take classes in Tok Pisin as part of a special wives' program. This program is designed to minister to non-English speakers. However, a few wives, who are qualified to take the English-instructed classes, are welcome to attend.