Introduction / History
Simbali speakers constitute a sub-group of the Baining people, who are the original inhabitants of the Gazelle Peninsula in East New Britain Province. There are six villages where Simbali is the primary language spoken. These are located over a broad area in the southern part of the peninsula.
Though not a large group (pop. c. 500), the community has formed a local organisation to assert their interests on several development fronts. Alongside material interests such as logging and oil palm farming, the community would like to take initiative in developing their language, which forms a strong part of their identity.
What are Their Needs?
SIL seeks to come alongside the Simbali community through a programme called the New Britain Initiative (NBI). If developed, this programme would focus on training Papua New Guineans in translation practices and then mentor teams of national
translators as they work on the New Testament. The Simbali people want to be able to read God’s word in their own tongue and are enthusiastic about the prospect of being involved in this programme.
* For pastors of churches in the Simbali area to understand and teach the word of God well.
* For SIL leadership to have wisdom in planning the NBI.
* For the Simbali people to grow in their understanding of God.
* For God to make a way, through the NBI or another method, to provide his word in the Simbali language.
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