May 14, 2014 / Author: Communications
10-year-old Timmy enjoys reading a Bible Comic in his language, Arosi.
Solomon Islands is a country of great linguistic diversity but with little or no literature available in many of its 70 living languages. That’s why adults and children alike are delighted at the arrival of the first Bible Comics in 14 languages.The comics, which tell the story of Abraham, are available in the lingua franca, Pijin, spoken by around 332,000 Solomon Islanders, as well as in Arosi, Bilua, Bughotu, Cheke Holo, Gela, Gao, Kwaio, Lengo, Roviana, Sa’a, Simbo, Ulawa and Zabana.
“It has been wonderful to see children of different languages enjoying the comics,” notes Ledua Turaganivalu of the Bible Society in the South Pacific. “They told our team that although they thought their language was important, they couldn’t read it very well because they’ve had nothing to practise with. These comics will help them get familiar with the written form of their own languages.
Not just children
“And it’s not just children who are happy with the comics – the adults in the villages are also enjoying them. It is helping them to realise that God loves them and that their language is important.”
The comics are being distributed on various different islands by churches and other partners. SIL has been actively involved in distributing the comics alongside relief materials in the wake ofthe worst flooding in the country’s history in April. Twenty-two people died, and the homes and livelihoods of around 50,000 were destroyed. Thousands of people are still in emergency shelters.
“Arosi was very badly affected, so we sent rice and supplies in the first week after the floods hit,” notes Debbie Conwell of SIL. “We included a batch of Bible Comics in the Arosi language. Many other areas, including Bilua and Gao have also been very badly affected and there is going to be a food shortage for some time.”
Please pray for the people of Solomon Islands as they recover from the flooding, and that these Bible Comics will bless them.
The Bible Comics were translated and published as a joint project by the Bible Society in the South Pacific, the Bible Translation and Literacy Partnership and the Solomon Island Translation Advisory Group.
The arrival of the Bible Comics was a happy moment for those involved in the translation work.