Introduction / History Most Baelelea people on the northern end of Malaita Island in the Solomons consider themselves Christians. Christian workers first arrived here in the early 1900s, but today Baelelea believers still keep rules and perform rituals — some of them church-related — to try to please God and earn His favor.
These kinds of performance-based teachings stem from a deep animistic root in which people seek to appease and manipulate ancestors and other spirits. The New Testament in their mother tongue will help believers understand who God is and what Christ did. Then they will be able to recognize and stand strong against false teaching.
Many of the Baelelea families make their living through farming or fishing. But the national economy is weak. School fees are a heavy burden on most parents. Communities also need basic health services.
Young people often leave home to study in the city for high school. But after they've graduated, most can't find jobs in the tight city markets and don't want to return home to the rural occupations of their parents. This dilemma is creating a jobless generation.
Several local denominations currently use published Bible portions in North Malaita. As the New Testament is finalized, the teams will focus on distribution of the printed text, oral readings, audio recordings and literacy initiatives.