Sunday, July 13, 2008

Solomon Islands S.A.L.T.

Honiara, Guadacanal, Solomon Islands

A Pijin SALT (Scripture Application & Leadership Training) course was conducted at St. Barnabas Cathedral in Honiara. Approximately 25, 000 people speak Pijin as their mother tongue in the Solomon Islands. Pijin is also spoken by 70% of the total population of the Solomons, which gives it a coverage of over 350,000 people!

Holi Baebol

The goal of the Pijin SALT course is to make the Scriptures relevant in every aspect of life in the Solomon Islands, including intercession and worship, evangelism, discipleship, works of service and theological reflection. SALT encourages pastors and church leaders to use the new Pijin translation to develop a love, wonder and understanding of the Scriptures in their own heart language.

Solomon Islands SALT course graduates and instructors

The Pijin SALT team will fly to Santa Cruz on July 16, where they will conduct a second SALT course immediately following the launching of the Natqgu New Testament, translated by Wycliffe Bible Translators Dan and Brenda Boerger.

6,497 copies of the Pijin Bible (Holi Baebol) arrived in Honiara days before the dedication aboard a ship from South Korea. The Bibles arrived just in time for the launching celebration!

The Governor General and the Prime Minister were among the guests who attended the launching at St. Barnabas' Cathedral, Sunday, July 6, 2006. This celebration was one of the major events during the Year of the Bible, and most of the service was conducted in Pijin, not in English. A specially commissioned 4-foot canoe built in Morovo Lagoon was designed to hold a copy of the Pijin Bible, and the canoe with its Bible was carried into the Cathedral during Sunday's launching service.

Then on Monday, the canoe and Bible were presented to the Prime Minister during Independence Day celebrations and put on permanent display in Parliament House.

The Pijin Bible translation project was sponsored by SICA (Solomon Islands Christian Association) and supported by several organizations including SITAG (Solomon Islands Translation Advisory Group) and the Bible Society of the South Pacific. The Solomon Islands Government contributed part of the funds needed to print the Bibles.

Primary Pijin translators Gerry Beimers, Robert “Bob” Carter, Aloysius Jack, Conrad Mountfort and Hilda Kwanae Steele were all present for the launching, having traveled from as far away as Australia and the United States.

Other international guests included former SITAG Director and current SIL International Executive Director Freddy Boswell, Wycliffe Australia Director Barry Borneman and dignitaries from around the world.