OVERWHELMED BY the technology and pace of the Queensland Synod, the Youth and Sunday School Director of the United Church in Solomon Islands Caleb Saiqoro is currently in Brisbane for a month long education program.
Synod Communications Unit Manager Bruce Mullan met Mr Saiqoro while visiting the Solomon Islands, saw he had a gift for understanding computer technology, and arranged for him to work with the Synod’s Information Technology Services team to learn more about computer maintenance and networking.
Mr Saiqoro said Australia is very different from his home village of Munda.
“Nothing compares,” he said.
“Especially in the Synod office, the lifestyle, everything really.
“We have about six computers in our office and there are times when we have very simple problems, like a computer has problems booting up, but we have to ask people from Honiara to come and fix it and that costs a lot of money for the church.
“Ken [Griggs] and his team are very friendly and very open to help me. They are very generous people giving knowledge to other people.
“I thank God for what he has done for me to be able to come here and learn these things.”
During his visit, Mr Saiqoro attended several workshops including the State Youth Ministry Conference.
He will also spend a week at Emmanuel College on the Gold Coast studying computer hardware and software maintenance.
The biggest challenge for Mr Saiqoro however is spending a month away from his wife and two small children.
“The hardest thing is that the tsunami has just passed and there are still fears and rumours that there could be another one.”
Mr Saiqoro may be a little awed at the cultural differences between Munda and Brisbane, but is thankful for the opportunity.
“I am one of those people who was pushed out or dropped out of the education system, but I believe God has used me in this very special way. I am very glad to be here and to get this knowledge is something I don’t deserve.”
Photo : Synod IT guru Pete Evans shares his knowledge with Caleb Saiqoro. Photo by Osker Lau