Posted in Africa Christian Missions Culture

What Should Christians Think About the Bride Price?

We have experienced a lot of joy in discipling a couple who recently became Christians. They have been together for a few years now and have a son who will be 1 year old in May. When they were baptized they decided that they should not live together until they could be married. We have spent the last few months watching them prepare for the wedding, and they have been giddy! Throughout the whole process it was acknowledged that before they could be officially married the man would have to pay a bride price. A bride price is when the…

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Posted in Africa Culture

Tim Challies is Coming to Cameroon! (and you can help)

Some of you will be familiar with the Christian blogger Tim Challies who sometimes links to our blog. Challies is working on a new project with a mission organization called Frontline Missions and will be travelling with Tim Keesee. The project is called “Worship Around the World.” This is a documentary film series that will explore the different ways that God’s people worship him on Sunday all over the world. Challies contacted me to see if we thought the Kwakum church would be a good place to make a stop. I recommended that he visit the Baka church instead. The…

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Posted in Africa Culture Encouragements and Exhortations

Where there is no justice

An athletic neighbor once bragged to me that he jogged to a nearby village and back each day. I (a linguist) joked that I only ran when the police were chasing me. He looked at me completely seriously and responded, “Yes, I have seen that you Americans run from the police on TV. Here we just give the police 1,000 francs (about $2) and there is no problem.” It was funny for sure, but also really sad…because it was true. Throughout our entire time here we have heard various stories of injustice. For instance, one of our neighbors was beaten…

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Posted in Africa Culture Culture Shock Encouragements and Exhortations

Love in Africa: It Costs You Something

In my experience, being white in Cameroon is like walking around wearing a big neon sign that says “I have more money than I need.” And so, from day one, and nearly every day since, I have received many requests for financial help. In fact, for quite a while it seemed like that was the only type of conversation I would ever have with Cameroonians. Then the Lord blessed us by putting us in a house that was shared by a Cameroonian family. We drew close quickly with the husband who daily showed his love for us. But then one…

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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 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 Culture

Whiteman Magic and Deceptive Europeans

Just before we left for home assignment, I had an interesting conversation with one of our most trusted language helpers, we will call him Pierre (not his name). Pierre is very well educated and one of the only Bakoum people I know that enjoys reading (in French). I was driving him back to his village and recounting a story that I found to be humorous. I told him that fairly often people will come to my door and we will have this conversation: Them: “I have some chameleon eggs for you to buy.” Me: “Oh yeah, and why would I…

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Posted in Christian Missions Common Objections Culture

America is Better, Right?

If you were to come to live in my village, you would know that there is something wrong. It takes time, of course, to sort through all of the cultural differences. Some things feel wrong, but when you take the time to think about it, they do not have a moral component at all. For example, in Cameroon (following France) light switches go down for ON and up for OFF. Sitting talking to our neighbors, you would watch them prepare grasshoppers or rats for dinner. And you would think, “That does not seem right.” But, in reality, “right and wrong”…

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