Palau is not just one island; it’s an island country, an archipelago of several hundred islands and islets within an area of 180 square miles. It’s at the far western edge of the GMM territory, east of the Philippines, about 1,000 miles due north of Australia.
Peleliu, one of the Palauan islands, was the site of thousands of casualties during an intense World War II battle. Military relics from the battle are still visible on that island. In recent centuries, the islands have fallen under differing rulerships — Spain, Germany and Japan have exercised varying levels of control.
Following WWII, Palau was made a part of the United States-governed Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands but gained its sovereignty in 1994 under a compact of free association with the U.S.
Out of a total population of 21,000 people, there are more than 1,200 Seventh-day Adventist members, with approximately 350 students in Adventist-operated schools.