Posted in Christian Missions Literacy

Hurdles to Literacy and God’s Grace

Hurdles When we first moved to Cameroon, I was introduced to the machete which is all so common in daily life here. It is used to kill snakes, cut fingernails, slice vegetables, clear a field in the bush, plant seeds; it is used for absolutely everything. And yet, I had never known life with a machete, so I frankly didn’t see the immediate value of it (that has since changed). If “my people” have survived for generations without a machete, is it really that important? This is exactly the same question that is often asked among illiterate people when being…

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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 Christian Missions Culture Shock Encouragements and Exhortations

To the Unhappy Missionary

The last few weeks have been hard. It has not been one hard thing, or even something major, just a steady beating of difficulty. In this short period of time our washing machine broke, our remaining solar batteries (the others were stolen) quit charging, I messed up our generator, and our water pump mysteriously stopped pumping altogether (meaning no hot water). We have made a lot of good progress in Bible storying and literacy, but the success has also been marred by critique. It seems there is always someone ready to let me know what they don’t like. We have…

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Posted in Africa Christian Missions Encouragements and Exhortations

3 Characteristics of a Godly Missionary

In his daily devotional entitled For the Love of God, Volume 2, DA Carson notes three privileges/responsibilities which ought to characterize the ministry of all those who “teach the Word of God to the people of God.” All three of these responsibilities are reflected in the ministry of Ezra who “had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel” (Ezra 7:10). Carson says that all three aspects of Ezra’s ministry are necessary for anyone who teaches God’s Word, but I would say that this is especially…

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Posted in Christian Missions Encouragements and Exhortations

Off the Soapbox and into Missions

Speaking from the perspective of one demon to another, Randy Alcorn writes in The Ishbane Conspiracy: “Unfortunately, the Enemy is a subversive opportunist. We must continuously feed them secondary causes. Otherwise, they could see through the smoke and mirrors and turn to His primary cause.”  The other day someone came to my house and told me about a neighbor who had given birth but soon after the baby stopped breathing. The woman telling me this was visibly upset and I too was in shock, having seen the pregnant woman walk by my house for the past few months. In the…

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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 Africa Christian Missions Encouragements and Exhortations

Of Sandcastles, Ecclesiastes, and Missions

We are currently getting some beach time here in Cameroon (one of the perks of living in the tropics). At the same time we have begun studying the book of Ecclesiastes as a family. These two facts have resulted in many great discussions with our kids. Just the other day we were out building a sandcastle together on the beach. Moats were dug, walls were mounted, and challenges were hurled at the sea. However, it did not take long for the ocean to riposte with a foamy wave of wrath. As our walls tumbled, Makyra, our oldest daughter, cried out:…

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Posted in Christian Missions Encouragements and Exhortations

Lesson learned from Janner Wingfeather

People have asked me if I ever feel like just giving up on missions. We try to be honest on our blog about our lives here and sometimes when people hear the difficulties they feel like it is just too much. Of course, they are usually thinking about the things that are not that hard, like cockroaches and snakes. Those things are just annoying. What is hard is watching babies die, seeing people fighting in the streets, knowing that most of our neighbors are living incredibly difficult lives without God to comfort them, and knowing there is little to nothing…

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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 Christian Missions Mobilization Partnership Development

We’re Not Lone Rangers

I think that many Christians have a false idea of missionaries: namely, that they want to go off on their own and do ministry by themselves. Often we think of David Livingstone who literally disappeared into Africa to do his work and was hardly ever heard from the last six years of his life. In fact, a newspaper had to send a large party led by Henry Morton Stanley to find him. As far as I can tell, Livingstone liked this way of life. He was the quintessential lone ranger missionary. But is this normative? Should we send out our…

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