Introduction / History
The Ambele people are located in ten villages stretching for many miles down one valley; two of the villages are in another valley quite distant from the rest. On the whole, they live in a relatively remote area. Many of the villages are almost a full day's hike to the nearest road. The southernmost village of Olorunti is served by a road leading to Widikum. At one time, the bridge along this road had been washed out by one of the many frequent rainstorms occurring in this region. No running water is available other than the active streams in the valley, and there is no electricity. The rainforest is very thick, and the mountain slopes, steep. Nearly everyone travels on the many footpaths joining the villages. This village area would be considered a difficult allocation.
A definite need for Bible translation exists. Each village has two or three different churches, whether Catholic, Presbyterian, New Apostolic, or Church of Christ. Church attendance is low, and even those who are regular members have little Scriptural foundation to their faith. Church leaders admit that the majority of Christians equally follow traditional beliefs and practices. Comprehension of English and Pidgin are not sufficient to enable the people to grasp deep spiritual truths of the Bible, and they understand little of any language other than the mother tongue. A translation of some Scriptures is imperative, and we suggest that one wait for local initiative before starting a language project. In the meantime, a need for evangelism and training of leaders in the Scripture also stands. Both can be accomplished through long-term intensive Bible studies. Some Bible school students and nurses who visited found a positive response to their work, but one village eventually became unwelcoming.
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