Introduction / History
The Dibiyaso people live on the grass-covered shores of lagoons along the Aramia River, in Western Province. Before World War II, the Dibiyaso, Bainapi and Turumsa tribes were nomadic, moving about in the large forested area north of the Aramia. Today these tribes all speak Dibiyaso and are virtually indistinguishable. International logging companies now harvest trees on the same land.
The Gospel first came to the Dibiyaso in the 1960's and 70's through national missionaries from the neighboring Gogodala tribe. The Dibiyaso still use the Gogodala New Testament, but they have trouble understanding it. They want to have a Dibiyaso Bible, and they have done what they can to begin the work. In August of 2001, they asked to attend an introductory translation workshop given for various language groups in the area by translation team members, Phil and Chris Carr, and mother-tongue translators from the Bamu language group. Pastor Gadila Inali and three other Dibiyaso men attended and worked diligently.
In April of 2002, a language survey team visited the Dibiyaso. They were welcomed with a 'singsing' of Dibiyaso praise songs and traditional style dances. Pastor Gadila and a teacher accompanied the team on the survey. During that time, pastor Gadila learned that he was to be transferred to a church outside the language area.
In August of 2002, the Carrs were pleasantly surprised when Pastor Gadila and two other Dibiyaso men arrived at a second translation workshop. Someone in the church hierarchy had decided not to move Pastor Gadila, saying, "He needs to stay there in Bamustu to work on Bible translation".
The Dibiyaso have shown that they truly desire to have the Scriptures in their language, but because of the lower level of education among the Dibiyaso, they will not be able to work as independently as the Gogodala. They need a translation team to work with and train them so they can accurately and clearly translate the Word of God for their own people.
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