Boost to Mission Work in Fiji

Bible Society Fiji Mission Board Members & some of the Comic translators with the David Comic at the launch.

On the 22nd of March, 2021, Bible Society of the South Pacific launched a David Comic in the following dialects:

1. Tavuki, Kadavu.

2. Naitasiri

3. Bau

4. Lau-i-Cake

5. Maumi, Tailevu

6. Toga, Rewa

7. Wainimala

8. & Fiji Hindi

We were blessed to have Rev. James Bhagwan (Pacific Conference of Churches General Secretary) as our chief guest. The comic was launched at the Jovili Meo Mission Center at the Pacific Theological College and we had the translators and church leaders present to witness the auspicious occasion. Watch the Launch address by Rev James Bhagwan of the Pacific Conference of Churches.

Watch some of the pictures from the launch event that had all Bible Society Staff, Board Members, some of the translators of the David comic and some of the donors of the Fiji Mission.

22.3.2021 David Comic Launch pictures.
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FIJI: Ba Translation Project Update

In all my trips to Ba, I planned and travelled on Sunday afternoons. This is to allow me to spend Sunday nights in Ba or near, so that we can start the review sessions on Monday mornings. I treat the review work just like my regular 8.00am – 4.30pm work in the office. So we work with this many hours every day to cover and finish my targeted seven chapters of any book that is to be reviewed on a single trip. For example, Mathew with its 28 chapters was reviewed with 4 trips, Mark with 16 chapters, was reviewed with 2 trips, and John with 21 chapters was reviewed on 3 trips.

Our next book is Romans. With its 16 chapters will be covered in 2 trips.

My February trip took place on February 16 – 18. My target was John chapter 8 to 14. Our venue for this review work was the Ba Mission Assemblies of God church in Yalalevu, Ba. We were hosted in this church by its Senior Pastor Rev. Jone Lesu.

Rev Jone Lesu is a longtime friend and supporter of Bible Society. He has a big church with a good size congregation. Until this project started, the frequency of our interaction has grown due to frequent request from us to use his church – as the venue for our work. Both our February and March reviews was carried out from his church.

On the February trip, I worked with only 2 reviewers. While it still went well, we all felt the need for one or two more people to be added. This was solved when I called and asked Rev Nakeke’s help. Rev Nakeke got back to me in no time with the names and phone numbers of two gentlemen. So by my March trip, I worked with a four member review team.

My March trip took place on March 15- 18. We covered John chapters 15-21 and thus completed the book. The new additions to the team were good and fit in well. They were quick learners and good contributors too.
We finish the book of John before the first Corona virus infected person was announced for Fiji. We are looking forward to our next book which is Romans, which according to our review work plan should be reviewed in the next quarter.

The Four reviewers are:
1. Meli Naivalu (Nailaga, Ba)
2. Mosese Soro (Varavu, Ba)
3. Savenaca Naliva (Sorokoba, Ba)
4. Vatukilagi Ratu (Natalacake, Ba)

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TONGA: Bible Work in Tonga

Translation work on the Tongan Contemporary Old Testament began with a translators workshop in October 2014 conducted by Dr Daud Soesilo. Seventeen translators were involved. In April 2015, the project was officially launched. The translators were given the “Book of the Twelve” to begin with. By the end of 2016, the first draft of the OT had already finished. Currently, we are up to stage 2 reviewing this project while also reviewing the New Testament to be combined with the OT, as the Tongan Contemporary Bible. The work is ambitiously projected to be completed at 2023.

The Launching of the Book of the Twelve
In line with the working objectives of UBS that once some part of a translation project has been completed then it can be launched as a way of informing the church, we had aimed to do the launching of the Book of the Twelve during the Annual Conference of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga. This is because, the Free Wesleyan is the mainline denomination in Tonga.

The Conference lasted from Monday the 24th of June to Monday the 1st of July, 2019. Prior communication with the church leaders and the local Bible Translation Committee in Tonga resulted in the leaders of the Free Wesleyan Conference agreeing to launch the Book of the Twelve on the opening night of the Conference by presenting it to the King of Tonga, His Majesty King Tubou VI. This was considered a great privilege for the project. The organization of the launching was for the chairperson of the Bible Translation Committee in Tonga, Lord Matoto, to present the work to the King but he was not available. So, I was asked to present the Book of the Twelve to the King on the opening of the Conference.

BSSP had printed 500 copies of the The Book of the Twelve. We are dividing it up between the denominations that are taking part in the translation of this project – Roman Catholics, Wesleyans, Free Church of Tonga, Constitutional Church of Tonga, Tokaikolo Fellowship and the Anglicans. The aim is to get copies of this part of the project to church members to read and if possible to give us feedback for the reviewing stages 3 and 4 of the Tongan Contemporary OT.

The Director Translation BSSP Rev. Apenisa Lewatoro visited the Tongan Translation Projects from February 25th – March 2nd, 2020. Rev. Lewatoro expressed his appreciation to Mr. Viliami Falekaono for organizing the meetings and also to the Catholic Church in Tonga for the provision of their facilities for BSSP programs since the beginning of the project.

Rev. Lewatoro carried out various activities involving discussions on the status of the Tongan Contemporary OT project, the installations of Paratext 8 for a couple of translators, a one-on one Paratext Training, the checking of the Tongan Bible (West) “Word List’ and Book of Psalm spot checking. The team are currently working on the translation of the Tongan Contemporary Old Testament and the proofreading of the scanned text of the Tonga Bible (West).

The Bible Society thanked God for the support from all the Churches in Tonga and individuals who are involved in the two projects. BSSP also thanked the UBS and donors of the project.


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FIJI: Final Proof-reading of the Fijian Study Bible

When I came into BSSP 2005 as a volunteer, the Fijian Study Bible Cyclopedic index review was already an ongoing task carried out twice a week by a team of reviewers. How far back the work started and those involved in translating the encyclopedic index, I do not know. But work on this material continues down the years till this year. They were some untranslated pages and some missing pages that had to be translated or retranslated by the late Pastor Mosese Waseiyaroi and retired school teacher Tevita Lala.

Plans to final proofread both the bible text and the study materials that will make this bible a study bible took place at Coral coast Christian camp on the 19th of November to the 22nd, 2019. Thirty five readers from different age groups, denominations, and backgrounds took part in this 3 days & 3 nights of proof reading camp.


We proofread the whole bible text and finished about 84 per cent of the study materials. The 35 participants of this exercise expressed great joy and enthusiasm participating in this part of the process and talked about the how fortunate they were and how beneficial the exercise was to their own understanding and spiritual life.

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Bible Week Booklets

Bible Week Booklets for downloading
BW English 2017
BW Fijian 2017
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Trauma Healing Train the Trainers

An equipping session to train new facilitators for the Bible Society Trauma Healing program was conducted at the St Christopher’s Home in Nakasi (Fiji) on 9-13 January, 2017. Participants at the training included trainees from Davuilevu Theological College, Operation Foundation, Pacific Students for Christ, and the Bible Society South Pacific. Everyone were certified as ‘Apprentice Facilitators’ including the Bible Society Finance Administrator, Mr Isikeli Sila, saying, “The workshop was indeed an eye-opener for me in that
I can see now the importance of healing people of their hurts and past trauma otherwise their hurts can impinge their behaviour negatively.” The Fijian iTaukei translated Trauma Healing booklet is almost ready for use and the Society aims to run some workshops in three areas affected by Cyclone Winston namely, Dawasamu, Ovalau and Savusavu. The translation of the Trauma Healing book into the other languages of the Pacific is still in progress. The Society will be glad to work with interested churches and people who wish to know more about this Trauma healing program should you make contact.
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Fiji Translation – Ba Dialect “Gospel of Mark


  1. To complete the review of Mark chapters 4-16 (whole book)
  2. To recruit 2 or 3 new translators
  3. Give out the gospel of Mathew, Luke and John for translation
  4. Get the translators sign a Translation Contract.
  5. To pay the Translator and the reviewers team their dues.
Ba Dialect – Gospel of Mark Review in Ba

On Wednesday at 8.30 am, a team of 7 men and women gathered together at Ba Town Methodist church and carry out a verse by verse checking of Rev. Savenaca’s 1st translation draft. We started from Mark chapter 4 and we finish the day at 5pm reaching chapter 8. It was a slow start due to the majority of the reviewers not trained in the know how.

To help speed up work the next day which was our last day, we distribute the 9 remaining chapters to them to read in the night and mark off any corrections or improvement they suggested. At 6.00 pm we presented our sevusevu to the elders of Ba Town Methodist Church and also they presented theirs to us. We spend 2 hours of talanoa around the bowl discussing and answering questions about Translation work and Ba Translation project to an interested group of men.

On Thursday we started at 8.30 am again beginning at chapter 9 but unfortunately the volunteers still need to learn more. We pushed on to 4.30 pm but only managed to finish chapter 12. Since we need to complete the chapters from 13 – 16 I requested the volunteers if they are willing to continue tomorrow as it will be expensive if I go back to Suva and come back for the remaining chapters. With a little of dicussion the volunteers agreed in which this time the venue will be at Rev. Savenaca Nakeke’s residence in Nasolo.

On Friday the last day we started at 8.30am with just 3 people. By 9.00am everybody was in Rev Nakeke’s house was ideal for the day. It was quiet and away from town, with beautiful scenery and cool breeze throughout the day. They were a few ladies serving us with refreshments and lunch. We worked till 6pm completing the 16th chapter of Mark. Then I had to leave in a hurry at 6.00 pm to catch the last bus from Lautoka to Suva at Ba bus stand.

It was a 3 day of continuous checking of every verse in those chapters. I admired the endurance and the lively participation of those men and women. It was my joy to work with them.

Reviewers of the Ba Dialect – Gospel of Mark
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