123…The Army extends its reach

The Salvation Army is officially at work in the Solomon Islands.

With the General’s approval, Feb. 1 marked the official opening of Salvation Army work in the Solomon Islands, bringing the number of countries in which the Army is operating to 123.

The Papua New Guinea (PNG) Territory will be responsible for the work, with funding from the Australia Eastern and Australia Southern territories.

A feasibility study into the potential for Army work in the islands was proposed in 2005. The PNG Territory conducted the study. That territory, along with the Australia Eastern Territory (who funded the study) had expressed interest in mission outreach to the islands.

Provisional approval to move ahead came at the end of 2009. Later that year Major Soddy Maraga, form the PNG Territory, was appointed to oversee the work.

By late 2010, Commissioner Andrew Kalai, PNG territorial commander, confirmed that regular Army meetings were happening in the Solomon Islands, with soldiers being sworn in and local officers being commissioned. Two soldiers are already planning to apply for officer training.

From an international news release

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