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Posted in Bible Translation Christian Missions Culture Newsletter

[NEWSLETTER] Bible Translation is Not the Goal

Years ago, while just beginning to learn about Kwakum culture, we asked a language partner for the worst thing he could imagine his son doing. His response was very telling. He said the worst thing he could imagine for his son was for him to get caught stealing. It was very interesting to me that he did not say “for my son to steal” but “for my son to get caught stealing.” This gave me an insight into the pressure of shame in the Kwakum culture. There is even a song that we sing sometimes in church that basically uses shame to…

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Posted in Africa African Traditional Religion Christian Missions

Do You Believe in Magic? (Part 1/3)

When I ask the question, “Do you believe in magic?”, if you are like me, what comes to mind is either Disney or that one song by the Lovin’ Spoonful. But magic (or witchcraft/sorcery/juju) has a much different meaning to many people here in Cameroon. Here are some recent examples I have heard of: People will go to shamans (French: marabout, Kwakum: kaah, Anglophone Cameroon: ngambe man) for protection, or to have curses put on their enemies. So, at many funerals a special ritual is performed to determine who put a curse on the person that died.Also at funerals, the…

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Posted in Africa Bible Translation Christian Missions Culture

How a theory of communication can help make disciples

Since our arrival in Cameroon in 2014, there have been a handful of people from our village that have attended church semi-regularly. The services are conducted in French and this group of people speaks almost exclusively Kwakum. These neighbors put on their nicest clothes, arrive at church, and…sleep through the services. This is very regrettable because our pastor just finished a very long series on the book of Romans where he clearly presented the Gospel of grace. When I asked my Kwakum-speaking friends what they understood at church, I would often get answers like, “I learned that we need to…

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Posted in Africa African Traditional Religion Poverty Prosperity Theology

Animism and Corruption

Most people that live around us live in constant uncertainty. They work hard: clear their fields, plant crops, frequently go out as the crop grows to clear the weeds, and hope for a good harvest. However, they never know if their crop will fail due to out of control fires, rodents, torrential rains, thieves, or for no discernable reason in particular. It is crushing when they come to us at a loss, all their efforts and money spent, with nothing in return. So, many turn to witchcraft. They speak to a “witch doctor” and figure out what sort of offering…

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Posted in Current Events Encouragements and Exhortations

3 Lessons From Abraham Piper

The other day, as I was looking for a John Piper quote, I came across the NY Times article A Pastor’s Son Becomes a Critic of Religion on TikTok. The article speaks of the rising popularity of Abraham Piper, son of John Piper. Abraham was originally excommunicated from Bethlehem Baptist, but then returned to the church four years later. Throughout the years I have seen some of his social media posts, and I have often found his attitude to be cynical and (honestly) concerning. So, now Abraham is rising in fame as an “Exvangelical.” His platform: criticizing evangelicals and the…

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Posted in Christian Missions Partnership Development The Hare Home

God has Provided a 7th Grade Homeschool Teacher, Already but Not Yet…

It is hard to believe that we are on the homestretch of homeschooling our children. The Lord has provided 6 different committed, godly young women to come homeschool our kids throughout our time on the field and this coming school year will be our last year of homeschooling our kids. After this year, we will be in the States for 8th grade, and then the kids will be in high school in the capital. The Lord has once again provided someone who is willing to spend a year with our family, making children do their math, and experiencing the discomforts…

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Posted in Africa Christian Missions Culture Culture Shock

“Saving Face” is Lying

What an amazing Easter! Stacey and I had the privilege of seeing our co-worker and friend Jean Pierre (JP) baptized on Sunday. Baptism is always exciting in our village because the river is a long walk from our church building. That means that the whole congregation (and even a bunch of people not a part of the congregation) end up singing praises to God all along the way. Baptism to me has always felt solemn, sacred, quiet. But baptism here is a party, a time for rejoicing, and very much like the arrival of a newborn. One of the most…

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Posted in Bible Translation FAQ

FAQ: How do you translate unknown concepts?

People ask us all the time how we translate a word/idea in the Bible that is not present in the Kwakum language. For example, the word “grace” is an enormous key biblical idea yet we do not have a word for “grace” (or even “gift”) in Kwakum. What then do we do? Before answering that question, there are a few underlying translation principles that you need to understand: You cannot translate what you do not understand. It is very tempting for our Kwakum translators to hear a word in Scripture (like cistern) and rush to provide a Kwakum equivalent. However…

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Posted in Bible Translation Christian Missions FAQ

Why Are We Staying?

I have seen an increase in missionaries coming to the field for a fixed term. That is to say, they come to the field with a particular term length in mind. Some will come for two, four, five, or ten years. Then, they return to their home country. From my experience, this seems to be the norm now. And when we talk to Americans, they usually ask us how long we are planning on staying. I will respond with, “our plan is to die in Cameroon (hopefully later rather than sooner).” Since this is a less common reply, I thought…

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Posted in Bible Translation Video

[VIDEO] Kwakum Translation: Step 4: Back Translation

This is the last of seven videos that we made describing the Bible translation process. In this video Stacey interviews Jean Pierre, who is our back translator. He takes our Kwakum translation and translates it back into French so that our consultants can interact with it and ask questions and make recommendations. Here are all of the videos: Kwakum Translation: Step 1: ExegesisKwakum Translation: Step 2a: DraftingKwakum Translation: Step 2b: DraftingKwakum Translation: Step 3a: TestingKwakum Translation: Step 3b: TestingKwakum Translation: Step 3c: Testing

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