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 once told us that there is a saying in Cameroon, “If you do it without me, you do it against me.” The idea is that including everyone is very important. We have been to all of the villages, we have sent formal invitations, and we have opened the meeting up to all of the Kwakum people. Now is the time to communicate that this is not a project for the “white people” or for the “smart people” or the “rich people.” This is a project by the Kwakum people for the Kwakum people.
However, the beginning stages can sometimes be the most contentious. We have had a lot of success with our small groups and choosing the alphabet and other aspects of the writing system. But, we would really love your prayers. Specifically:
- Pray that everyone that comes to the meeting would be eager to work together.
- Pray that people would catch the vision for literacy and Bible translation. School tends to be a place where people are scolded here, we want to make the Kwakum House so welcoming that people can’t wait to learn.
- Pray that this building would be well used and that many would come to take classes.
- Pray that the Lord would provide faithful men and women to be a part of translation and teaching literacy.
- Pray for wisdom as we do writers’ workshops and develop literacy primers and other reading materials in Kwakum.
Here is a quick look at how the future of our project is shaping up:
- March 30th – dedicate the new building, encourage people to participate.
- Now – December 2019 – work with Jean Yves Belinga to get the literacy program up and running.
- Summer 2019 – December 2019 – begin to do oral Bible storying through the Old Testament. We are hoping to do ~12 stories that give much needed background information before beginning to translate the New Testament.
- January – March 2020 – train Kwakum Bible translators.
- April 2020 – begin working with these trained translators to translate the Bible into Kwakum.