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Posts Tagged ‘Cameroon’

Race to 2025For a year and a half, I’ve talked about joining the Race to 2025. I missed last year, because that was the week of our move to Calgary. I skipped February because my Orlando blood hadn’t thickened enough. This week I finally committed. No more excuses. I’m in.

I’m interested in this race in particular because it’s raising awareness and funds for a cluster of languages in Cameroon that don’t have the Scriptures. Treating related languages as a cluster, where translation can be streamlined by working on nine at once, is an exciting development that’s speeding the pace of Bible translation. So I relish the chance to personally be involved in raising funds for the Bambalang and its eight language cousins.

Even more exciting, I’m planning a trip to visit this Ndop language cluster in November. We have five Canadian staff working among those languages right now, and it will be my privilege to see their work firsthand.

Will you join me? Our goal is to raise at least $50,000 for the Ndop project through the Race. You can participate in translation work for the Ndop languages by sponsoring our team.

Not convinced? Check out this video.

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“It is injustice to compel a believer to listen to the gospel in a foreign language.”
— Rev. Jotham Odongo, Church of Tanzania

Cameroon, Africa – When a French priest asked translator, Leonard, to read the Passion from John’s Gospel in Yambetta during Holy Week in 1980, Leonard saw the older women crying. They wanted to know where he had found that story about “this man who suffered so much for us.” When he told them it was the same Scripture read from the Bible every year, they insisted they’d never heard it before. Leonard knew then the enormity of his task.

Of the Yambetta population of 8,000 speakers, only about one-fourth can read. The majority of the population doesn’t understand French, the language of the church. Most have little idea what the Bible actually says. One resulting belief is that God is only concerned with the spirit; the body is not important to Him. The individual must find cures for illness in shamanism, assure his progeny through promiscuity and assuage his own fear as best he can.

Almost thirty years later, the Gospel is still hidden from the Yambetta people because, until last year, the tenacious translators have not been able to devote full time to their work. The team has completed a revision of Matthew and drafts of John, 1 Thessalonians and most of Acts. 2 Thessalonians is next on the agenda as they move toward an expected completion date in 2014.

As people read and understand Scripture in their mother tongue and apply it to their lives, common practices such as sexual experimentation, adultery, polygamy and shamanism will begin to change.

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