[NEWSLETTER] Bible Translation is Not the Goal

Years ago, while just beginning to learn about Kwakum culture, we asked a language partner for the worst thing he could imagine his son doing. His response was very telling. He said the worst thing he could imagine for his son was for him to get caught stealing. It was very interesting to me that he did not say “for my son to steal” but “for my son to get caught stealing.” This gave me an insight into the pressure of shame in the Kwakum culture. There is even a song that we sing sometimes in church that basically uses shame to encourage church members to be obedient to God. Part of the song goes: “In the villages people are talking about you. Behind the houses people are talking about you. They are speaking about you, so you better obey.”

One of the most striking ways that shame tempts believers here is in regard to confession of sin. Perhaps this is true of all of us, but it seems particularly true here: people do not confess their sins (or even their errors). In fact, I have never heard a Kwakum person publicly admit sin or wrong. That is, until recently. [READ MORE]

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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.

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