Bible translation in the language of Rennell and Bellona off to a new start

In 2008 Nico and Pam Daams met David Tago from Rennell in the Solomon Islands. David mentioned that he and his wife Ribeka would like to attend the Christian Leadership Training College (CLTC) in Papua New Guinea, and were looking for supporters to make this dream come true. One thing led to another, and by the end of the the first two years at CLTC a solid partnership had been forged. David and Ribeka are now back home in the Solomon Islands for their one year practical before going back to CLTC for their final two years.

Because of their interest in Bible translation, David and Ribeka were invited to attend the first Isles of the Sea conference in February this year. During those meetings Nico gave David a few Old Testament books that had been drafted into the Rennellese language years ago. Both David and Ribeka started immediately to work on these old translations. Since they only had one laptop, Nico bought a new netbook for Ribeka with Isles of the Sea funding. With some help from other SIL colleagues at the conference the new netbook and transdlation software was soon up and running, and both of them went to work on the Old Testament. It is now four months later and Exodus and Joshua have been re-typed and in many places re-translated.

It was clear from the beginning that the churches of Rennell and Bellona need to be involved in the project if this translation work is to be accepted and used. So it was good to read David’s email sent to Nico and Pam recently:

“I had the opportunity to sit in with the leaders of the South Sea Evangelical Church (SSEC) on Rennell and discussed the work of translation on Rennell and Bellona and these are the outcomes: The SSEC people have agreed to have five committees to work on translation, one committee for each association, i.e. Tegano, Lughu, Kanaba, TNT and Bellona. The Baptist church has established their own group. SDA church is mobilising under Pastor Sammy to establish their own working group.”

Nico and Pam are planning to visit the islands later this year, to make sure everybody is on board, and they are all happy with David and Ribeka taking a leadership role in this project.