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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Posted in Christian Missions Encouragements and Exhortations God’s Work in Cameroon

The Life of a Sower: A Life of Faith

A few years ago I was talking to a missionary that had worked for ~20 years with a people group in the Philippines. He and his wife had labored diligently to translate the Bible into a minority language, working along the way to teach the people about Jesus, meeting their physical needs, and loving them deeply. After they had finished the New Testament they printed each precious page, shipped the copies to their village, and…watched them sit on the shelf. After all their labors, no one was interested. How tragic! How difficult! Can you imagine working for so long among…

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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 Christian Missions

The Mercy of the Wicked is Cruel

The righteous know the needs of their animals, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel. Proverbs 12:10 I can remember the moment when the meaning of the second half of Proverbs 12:10 finally made sense to me. I was standing out on a cold morning in front of an abortion clinic in Kentucky. I was holding one of my then one-year-olds and trying to talk to a woman coming in for an abortion. I was speaking quietly, letting her know that there were other options available. She looked sad, afraid, and honestly, she looked like she was listening to…

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Posted in Africa Christian Missions Newsletter

[Newsletter] Why we do what we do

Since we have returned to our village in August 2018, we have met a young couple that has reminded us why we are doing what we are doing. The young man, named Ko has been an orphan since he was 8 years old. When his parents died, he went to live with his aunt who had him work for his stay in lieu of going to school. Ko has shown interest in learning more about the Lord but confided in Dave that there was one thing holding him back: he cannot read and thus not read the Bible. When Dave…

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Posted in Christian Missions Common Objections Culture Encouragements and Exhortations God’s Work in Cameroon

3 Internet Accusations Against Missionaries

The death of John Allen Chau in India has brought out an onslaught of internet hatred. While some of this hatred has been aimed at the methodology of this particular missionary, much of it has been against Christian missionaries in general. And as much as I would like to imagine that these comments represent only those who are not believers, I fear that such thinking has also invaded the church. So, I thought I would address some of the accusations…1. Missionaries are not wanted. In the surprisingly not so distant past, Europeans still had control over Cameroon (where we live)….

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Posted in Africa Christian Missions Poverty

A Case for Generosity

When we came to Cameroon on our vision trip in 2010, I asked our colleagues for their highs and lows of Cameroon living. Without exception, each person told me that one of the hardest parts of living here was dealing with money. Knowing about these challenges we read a ton about the subject before crossing into a new culture. We found that most books written for Westerners moving to Africa deal extensively with the question of finances. We have already written about some of what we have learned from books like African Friends and Money Matters (read HERE) and When Helping…

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