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 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 Book Reviews Encouragements and Exhortations

Father’s Day Book Review: When Church Conflict Happens

My dad recently published a book called When Church Conflict Happens. I have been planning on writing a detailed review, and since Sunday was Father’s Day, I figured it was fitting to do it now. Whereas many of us would like to pretend like church conflict does not happen (at least not in our church), this book demonstrates how to identify different types of conflict, get to the root of it, and deal with it in a biblical and godly way. Keep in mind, the author is my dad, so this is probably not a completely unbiased review, but I…

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Posted in Book Reviews Encouragements and Exhortations

The Neglected Weapon Against Hate

The other day I was talking to a Cameroonian friend in my living room who told me that she had saved up enough money to go down to a local medical clinic. After a battery of tests, it was concluded that she had malaria and typhoid. She went to the clinic pharmacy, and, in reading the price tags of the prescribed medication, was relieved to find that she had enough money. She started to pay for the medication when the clerk behind the counter increased the cost for no apparent reason. Now unable to pay for the needed medicine, my…

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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 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 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 Encouragements and Exhortations

Lessons Learned from Jesus on the Pain of Rejection

I often tell my kids, “If you want to avoid a life of criticism, stay home and sit on your couch. It is when you venture out to help people that you find yourself in the cross-hairs of criticism. Your greatest acts of love will be those that are the most scrutinized.” This proves to be true in the life and ministry of Jesus. When he healed the blind, made the lame walk, and the dead rise, suddenly his critics appeared out of nowhere saying he must be demon possessed. As he walked through this world full of compassion and…

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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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