Posted in Africa African Traditional Religion Encouragements and Exhortations

Do you really believe in demons?

Moving to Africa has plunged us into a radically different environment. I joke with Stacey that we would be prime candidates for the voyage to Mars, having already journeyed to a new world. I can stand next to a neighbor, see with fully functioning eyes the exact same event, and walk away with a drastically different impression. This reality was vividly demonstrated a couple weeks ago when we endured a ferocious storm here in the village. People’s roofs were ripped off and flung into the surrounding forest. Lightning was striking all around us and the thunder was terrifying. Both Stacey…

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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 Africa African Traditional Religion Poverty

Vain Generosity

I wrote a few months ago A Case for Generosity in which I made the claim: “Being generous is so close to being loved that for the average Kwakum, they are indistinguishable.” My conclusion to this blog post was that, as Christians, when considering all of the variables for giving, we should make generosity a priority. I used in this argument a case study of a little boy named Patrick who was born with hydrocephalus. His family asked me to help get him a surgery and we decided to give. We found that our giving in this case conveyed great…

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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 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 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 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 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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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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