As a teenager, my Uncle Jim introduced me to the world of stamp collecting and first day of issue covers. I still have two albums of first day of issue covers from US stamps that I collected during that time.
Years later when we were living in the Solomon Islands, I started dreaming of a stamp to commemorate Bible translation in the country. I wanted stamps that would honor the work of Bible translation and the language groups who have been blessed with a completed New Testament or Bible. In 2004 I visted in to the Solomon Islands Philatelic Bureau and began dialoguing with the director about the process of getting a stamp(s) approved.
It’s been a long process and it has taken the help of a number of colleagues to make it happen, but the stamps are now printed and ready for a release in early September. Thanks, Uncle Jim for getting me started on this journey so many years ago!
Here is a description of the stamp block:
Celebrating Bible Translation:
In recognition of the declaration of 2008 as the Year of the Bible, the Solomon Islands Philatelic Bureau proudly issues this stamp “Celebrating Bible Translation.” In the words of Prime Minister Dr. Derek Sikua, “There is no greater place to build the character of our people than from Biblical foundations and values.”
These beautiful watercolour illustrations tell the story of the arduous task of translating the Word of God (upper right) and after many years of hard work, the arrival of the printed Bibles.
Symbolically representing the arrival of the Gospel to the islands (upper left), the Bible is carried into the church on a ceremonial canoe. Following a thanksgiving service, the people rush to purchase the treasured Bibles (lower left). As the people read the Word of God in their heart language, it brings understanding and joy and refreshment (lower right).
The open Bible in the center of the stamp block features two Bible verses, Hebrews 4:12 (The Word of God is alive) and John 17:17 (Your Word is true), taken from the Solomon Islands Pijin Bible which was launched in 2008.
A Pijin Bible on a ceremonial canoe was presented to Prime Minister Dr. Derek Sikua on the 30th Anniversary of Independence. It is now part of a Solomon Islands Bible Display and is housed permanently at the National Parliament in Honiara.
From Varisi in Choiseul Province to Natqgu in Temotu Province, Solomon Islanders rejoice in having God’s Word in their heart language. The names on the perimeter of these stamps represent the languages which now have a New Testament or Bible. With more than 65 languages spoken in the Solomon Islands, church and government leaders are committed to seeing translations completed in each one.