Posted in Encouragements and Exhortations

Don’t Waste Your Church Scandal

A couple of Sundays ago, I was made aware of two churches that lost their lead pastors to disqualifying sin. In my travels around the US the last few months, I have heard story after story of church leaders failing in major ways. These church scandals have lead to heartbreak, division, and in some cases the dissolution of entire churches. As I have been visiting churches, I have seen some that have responded well to these challenges and there are a few observations I have made that I would like to share. There are no heroes There is a common…

Continue Reading...
Posted in Encouragements and Exhortations

God Works Witchcraft for our Good

For the most part, Westerners tend to live materialistic lives, focusing almost exclusively on the physical realm. However, in our time in Cameroon, we have come to realize that the Kwakum worldview is dominated by the spiritual. One area in which this spiritualized worldview is particularly evident is in their suffering. Kwakum people believe that sickness and other suffering almost always originate from witchcraft. In general, when experiencing sickness (or really any misfortune), the Kwakum go to a witch doctor. In the case of many problems, the witch doctor prescribes a ritual washing. After such a washing, the bath water…

Continue Reading...
Posted in Africa Culture Shock Encouragements and Exhortations

Fear God. Honor the Emperor.

Sometimes culture differences between Cameroon and the US can be pretty shocking. In Cameroon, for instance, and I am not even joking…children respect their elders. I know, it’s a bit hard to believe. This means that when adults are talking, children are seen and not heard. Though I am certain when youth get together they sometimes badmouth their parents, you would never see it in public. This attitude of respect carries over to authorities for adults as well. When the president of the Kwakum language committee arrives to any meeting, people stand. They offer him the seat of honor. Again,…

Continue Reading...
Posted in Encouragements and Exhortations

The Discipline of Gratitude

We often hear comments from friends and supporters that they wish their children could come and visit us in Cameroon for a time. What they mean is that their kids have been expressing attitudes of ingratitude or entitlement and they believe that some time spent in an African village will help them to see how much they have to be thankful for. We all chuckle, and sigh, with the recognition that we are not going to fly a child to Cameroon just for an attitude check. However, whether these parents know it or not, there is a greater problem with…

Continue Reading...
Posted in Audio Bible Translation Christian Missions Encouragements and Exhortations God’s Work in Cameroon

[AUDIO] Podcast and Sermon

Dave was interviewed this last week for a podcast and also preached at The Mount Church in Clemson, SC. You can listen to them at the below links: PODCAST: Around the King’s Table Pastors George and Brian of The Mount Church in Clemson sit down with Dave Hare to discuss translation and ministry in advance of Missions Week at The Mount. SERMON: Habakkuk: Global Missions with Dave Hare Dave preached a sermon which describes our ministry in Cameroon, and also traces through major themes in the Book of Habakkuk.

Continue Reading...
Posted in Bible Translation Encouragements and Exhortations

God is not Like Us, and That’s a Good Thing

There is a major principle in the world of translation: “You cannot translate something you do not understand.” What this means for our project is that before we can even attempt translating a passage into Kwakum, we have to make sure we understand it ourselves. As our team has wrestled through various passages, there have been many times in which the Kwakum translators have posed this question to me: “Why would God do that?” Let me give you a couple illustrations. The first one comes up right away: “Why did God put the tree of the knowledge of good and…

Continue Reading...
Posted in Encouragements and Exhortations

The Important Role of the Tormented Soul in Missions

“Remember when you see a missionary coming home broken in body and weary in soul, it isn’t the privations or dangers or things he’s done that leave a deep hurt; it’s the things he couldn’t do that break his heart.” –Anonymous missionary As we are about to return to the States, I find myself returning with a great heaviness of soul. Why is this? It is because of the sickness? The hunger? The dangers that were faced on the field? The tireless work? No, none of the above. Like the quote above says, it is because of all the brokenness…

Continue Reading...
Posted in Africa Christian Missions Encouragements and Exhortations God’s Work in Cameroon

“Suffering for Doing Right is my New Normal”

Of all the sorrow, frustration, and pain we have felt during our time in Cameroon, this last week has proved worse. The spiritual warfare has been so intense that I have found myself crying day and night. Without going into too many details, there is one Kwakum person I have invested in more than anyone else and has become my closest friend here. This young man is currently furious with me because I confronted him in sin. At least for now, it appears that he is walking away from the Lord. All at once I feel a deep sense of…

Continue Reading...
Posted in Encouragements and Exhortations

Death, Miracles, and Tears: The Loss of a Baby

About three years ago I took a girl in our village named Mami to get an ultrasound. At the clinic I met her boyfriend named Koo who was visibly concerned about her pregnancy. So much so that he made a deal with God: if his baby survived, he would dedicate his life to the Lord. Despite the audacity of his prayer, the Lord did save the baby and (after studying the Bible and coming to understand the Gospel), Koo gave his life to Jesus Christ. Within the next three years, Koo and Mami got married and have been studying the…

Continue Reading...
Posted in Encouragements and Exhortations

The Tyranny of the Church Building

Back in 2013-14 we had the joy and challenge of spending a little over a year language learning in France. The challenge was mostly the language learning and the joy was mostly France. I really love France, a beautiful country full of nature and history. I was able to visit Paris once during this time and was struck by the magnificence of the city. One building that stuck out in particular was the Cathedral of Notre Dame. The building is immense and beautiful, drawing one’s eyes up to heaven and causing the heart to glorify God. The sad, stark contrast…

Continue Reading...