Posted in Bible Translation

How Hard Can Translation Be?

I was once that young, bright-eyed, seminarian. I studied Greek and wondered at how easy it was to translate passages of Scripture that I already had memorized in English. And when I eventually heard that the vast majority of languages in the world (~91%) do not have the entire Bible, I was a bit shocked. I mean, we have had the whole of the canon for about 2,000 years. Surely, it should not be taking this long. How hard could it be? For those of you that are in the same place, or who at least are asking these questions,…

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Posted in Africa Bible Translation Christian Missions Encouragements and Exhortations

Kwakum Converts Baptized Yesterday!

Yesterday, we, along with about 50 people, sang praise songs to Jesus and danced in the streets for hours. Why? Like my son Kaden said, it was because we were joining in with the angels in Heaven who were rejoicing over sinners who had repented of their sins. We walked through villages as people came out of their homes to see what all the singing was about until we reached the river where three Kwakum people were baptized (two out of the three are our close friends). Let me tell you how the Lord has dramatically changed the lives of…

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Posted in Bible Translation Oral Bible Storying

How does Oral Bible Storying work?

Saturday marked the end of our second Oral Bible Storying (OBS) weekend! This is a really exciting time because now, for the first time, we have started to translate biblical content into Kwakum. We have spent a total of two weekends working on the Creation narrative from Genesis 1-2, and currently have a very good draft that we will soon be sending to consultants to check. I thought some of you might want to know what that looked like, and how OBS relates to Bible translation. This post is going to go through what we did for these two weekends,…

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Posted in Africa Bible Translation Literacy Oral Bible Storying Video

[VIDEO] Walkthrough of the Kwakum Literacy and Translation Center

The curtains are hung, the furniture is in place, the books are in their shelves. It is time to get this ministry party started. This literacy and translation center (“Kwakum House”) is designed to be a hub of Christian and literacy efforts among the Kwakum people. Our dreams for this place is that the Lord would fill it up with education and spiritual truths to bring change among the Kwakum and to bring about worship of Christ. In September, we plan to kick off women’s Bible studies going through Firm Foundations (an evangelistic curriculum that goes from Creation to Christ),…

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Posted in Bible Translation Christian Missions Encouragements and Exhortations Linguistics Oral Bible Storying

“There is only one true God”

A Recap on the Oral Bible Storying Workshop This last Wednesday we spent nearly 8 hours in an Oral Bible Storying (OBS) workshop with about 20 Kwakum men and women. Together we wrestled to understand the context and meaning of the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18. The goal of this meeting was to begin to give our friends an idea of what OBS is going to look like in the future. Particularly we wanted them to understand that it was going to be a lot of work. A goal that was achieved as…

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Posted in Bible Translation Literacy Newsletter

[Newsletter] The Kwakum have an alphabet!

A week ago, chiefs from various Kwakum villages, fellow missionaries, the town mayor, and hundreds of “regular” Kwakum people gathered together singing the words of the song that is written above. It was a time to celebrate two things: 1) The opening of the new Kwakum literacy and translation center, and 2) the dedication of the new Kwakum alphabet. The Kwakum literacy and translation center is a five room plus once conference room building which serves as a hub for literacy work, Oral Bible Storying, children’s ministry, and translation work. Two out of the five rooms are bedrooms which the…

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Posted in Bible Translation Christian Missions Encouragements and Exhortations Literacy

May they learn, may they change, may they teach

Yesterday morning Kwakum people from near and far gathered together for a joyous dedication of the Kwakum house, a newly-built center for literacy and translation. It was in this building that the new, approved Kwakum alphabet was presented. There was singing, there was dancing, there was a time of thanksgiving for those in America who helped fund the building project, and there were speeches given. A new alphabet song was sung. It started with: We are overjoyed that God has opened the door for a writing system in Kwakum! We are so happy with the letters that have come into…

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Posted in Bible Translation God’s Work in Cameroon Literacy Prayer

The beginning of the beginning | Pray for March 30th

It has been almost 15 years since Stacey and I started to pursue missions together. We have been through seminary, adoption, support raising, linguistic training, French, Kwakum learning, more linguistic training, and more Kwakum learning and analysis. The point of all of this work has been to be a part of bringing God’s Word to a people group that does not have it. Starting in November we began building a house, which we call Itɔɔ Kwakum ‘the Kwakum House’ where we will begin literacy and translation. That house is going to be opened and dedicated on March 30th. Another missionary…

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Posted in Africa Bible Translation Christian Missions Culture Translation Theory

Why Do Missions in the Village?

Stacey and I have chosen to live in a village here in Cameroon and work directly with a single people group: the Kwakum. The longer we are here, the more we are thankful we have chosen this method. Just the other day my neighbor Patrice told me that several people in the same village died at the same time. I asked what happened and he told me that there was mbɔsɔ cyɛti, which they would translate into French as mauvais médicament ‘bad medicine’. I asked some follow-up questions, because I wanted to better understand what happened. I asked if it was tromadol, a…

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Posted in Bible Translation Linguistics

Does Discourse Analysis Matter?

What is discourse analysis? How does it relate to Bible translation? Is it even important?

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