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Posted in Uncategorized

Greatest Need in Bible Translation

I saw on Twitter that someone used Google Translate to translate the words to Smash Mouth’s song “All Star” into Aramaic and then back into English. These were the results: It is funny to read because you can kind of get a taste for what the original said, but it sounds so bad. It’s English, but it’s not. Well, there is a reason that we don’t use Google Translate for Bible translation. For one thing, there is no Kwakum option on Google. But mainly because computers can’t do translation. You need people for that. The Difficulty of Translation At some…

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Posted in Africa Christian Missions Culture Culture Shock Encouragements and Exhortations

“Culturally Competent” Yet Still on the Outside

This last week, Dave’s drafting team was working in our village. Watching them work and talk, I was reminded how I have come to consider them to be some of my closest friends. We are united in the Lord, in the work, and in our love for one another. During our shared meal, this group of guys started telling some of their traditional folktales, full of wild arm movements, animal imitations, and silly faces. They were cracking up to the point of crying, sometimes having a hard time getting the words out, and slapping each other on the back for…

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Posted in Bible Translation Christian Missions Oral Bible Storying Video

[VIDEO] Kwakum Bible Translation: Step 2a: Drafting

The first step in Bible translation is Exegesis, which leads to a front translation. The second step is called Drafting. In this stage we work to understand the text as a group, then develop the first draft of the text in Kwakum. Over the next four videos we will be describing the process of drafting. In this video, I talk to Koo (one of our translators) about the first part of the process of drafting: understanding the text. The most important concept here is: “You cannot translate a text that you do not understand.”

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Posted in Africa Christian Missions Common Objections FAQ

FAQ: Aren’t Missionaries Really Just Colonists?

Someone recently asked us to address this accusation: “By developing an alphabet and insisting these indigenous peoples of color learn a written language, you are acting as oppressive Western colonists.” While it is true that there are some similarities between missionaries and colonists (i.e. both left their home cultures and both come to bring about change) there are enormous differences. Here are a few: We come to give. Have you ever heard of King Leopold II of Belgium? If not, check out Dave’s blog HERE. King Leopold boldly came into Africa (specifically the region of the Congo) and claimed it…

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Posted in Bible Translation Christian Missions God’s Work in Cameroon Newsletter

[NEWSLETTER] Progress!

This has been a crazy year, and it has been a while since we updated you. I am glad to let you know that we have seen some great progress!  In the area of Bible translation, you probably know that we have decided to work on Old Testament Bible Storying. We started working on some stories at the end of last year. Then, we went through the process of translator selection, choosing seven men and one woman to work on the project. We had a training time, working through topics such as: basic translation principles, how to deal with unknown…

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Posted in Christian Missions Encouragements and Exhortations

How NOT to Choose a Career

When I was a kid, many people told me I could pursue any career I wanted. I went through a number of desired careers including (but not limited to): comedian, doctor, and insurance salesman. In high school, a career counselor looked me in the eye and said: “Ignore all that stuff. You have limits, you can’t just do anything you want. You need to figure out what you are capable of doing and pursue that. But if you can find something that you love to do, you will never work a day in your life.” I like this advice for…

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Posted in Africa Current Events Encouragements and Exhortations

When does a protest become village-burning?

People have asked us for our take on the racial tensions in the US and although I haven’t spent much time following it, this week I watched a video of people vandalizing a Target. The images I saw were strikingly similar to the violence we constantly hear about on the English-speaking side of Cameroon. I think the burning, pillaging, and violence we find here could shed some light on the conflict currently taking place in the States. The Anglophone Crisis: A Little History Relations between the former British colonies and the former French colonies have been tense since the independence…

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Posted in Bible Translation Video

[VIDEO] The First Step of Bible Translation: Exegesis

We thought we would do a video series on the various steps behind the Kwakum Bible translation project. We are still new at this and learning a lot along the way and yet we thought we would share what we have been doing thus far. Throughout the series, you’ll be hearing from our 8 Kwakum colleagues as well as Dave and I. (Also, you’ll notice a woman sleeping in our translation center…She is a blind woman that lives in our village who likes to come just listen as we translate…and sometime she sleeps too.)

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Posted in Bible Translation Encouragements and Exhortations

4 Steps to Pursue Diversity in Bible Interpretation

One day, near the beginning of his public ministry, Jesus was approached by a Roman centurion. Jesus had already been doing some shocking things; just a few verses before he touched a man with leprosy, healing him. So, maybe his disciples were growing accustomed to his “different” methods. Maybe his offer to heal the Roman’s servant would not have seemed so strange. They may have been surprised to hear that the centurion believed that Jesus could heal from a distance, but I suspect what surprised them the most was when Jesus replied to him: “Truly I tell you, I have…

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Posted in Bible Translation Christian Missions Encouragements and Exhortations

A Case for Diversity in Bible Interpretation

I would like to make a claim at the outset of this post: proper biblical interpretation requires diversity. Specifically, we need to study the Bible with people different from us in order to best understand the meaning of the text. This claim is not unique to me and when I have heard it in the past, I have brushed it aside. My reasons for rejecting such a conclusion were: 1) as a believer, I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit who guides me into all truth (John 16:13), and 2) I believe in the perspicuity (or clarity) of Scripture. By…

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