Day #8: Pray for Competent National Translators

I once admitted to a pastor that I was hesitant to preach in churches because of James 3:1:

“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”

This pastor responded to me: “Do you think that the judgment is going to be LESS strict for those who are translating his Word?!” His warning has been well received. As we begin Bible translation this term, we are going to be producing the text that future Bakoum pastor’s will preach from. Our task is both difficult and serious. Of course, Stacey and I will be careful in our exegesis and translation, we are only two parts of these extremely complicated machine of Bible translation. We will be working daily with men to wrestle with the meaning of the text. Then, other translators will take that exegesis and translate a rough draft. Then, another team will examine the draft and make recommendations. After revising, we will then have others who will bring the text out on the street and make sure that people understand what is translated. Then more revisions and more tests. We will also have a consultant that will check for accuracy and make more recommendations. All of that to say, we will have a team of people working together. And a problem in just one of those steps can slow down (and potentially stop) the entire process. We are desperately in need of good workers.

  • Pray that the Lord would provide us with Bakoum speakers who are competent and hard working.
  • Pray that we would have at least one Bakoum speaker willing to wrestle through the exegesis of the text.
  • Pray that we would have Bakoum speakers that are willing to go out and read the translations to neighbors to make sure the correct message is being portrayed.
  • Pray for Stacey and me during this process, pray that we would understand Greek, Hebrew, and Bakoum well enough to make sure we are all doing a good job.
  • Pray that we would have a competent consultant who has the time to review our work and make recommendations.

Author: David M. Hare

Dave is a husband, father of four Africans, and is currently helping the Kwakum people do Oral Bible Storying and Bible translation in Cameroon, Africa.