Introduction / History
The Bebeli people live in three villages near Kimbe, the capital of West New Britain Province. Their villages are scattered between settlement communities where people speak many other languages. Because the Bebeli live near an urban area and interact with speakers of other languages so often, their language is in danger of dying out. Children can understand some Bebeli, but usually speak Tok Pisin, the trade language, instead.
Education is important in the Bebeli language area, though the lack of jobs can discourage some people from continuing education. Most adults in Morokea and Banaule can read in Tok Pisin. About half of the adults in Mosa can read in Tok Pisin
For over 40 years, there have been churches in the Bebeli area. Almost all people call themselves Christians, but church leaders reported that some are nominal Christians. Even though the Bebeli language is dying out, some people asked for Scriptures to be translated into Bebeli and said that even though they understand Tok Pisin, they understand things better in Bebeli.
What Are Their Needs?
Missionaries are needed to help the Bebeli people translate the word of God into their language. With training, resources, and the support of local churches, the Bebeli people could work on translation themselves.
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