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These Are Exciting Times!

We have now been back in Cameroon for a year! And what an incredible year it has been. Here are some of the highlights:
  • We built and furnished a translation/literacy house (see video at the end of the email).
  • We worked together with the Kwakum language committee to decide on an alphabet and writing system.
  • We developed a song and booklet to help teach the new alphabet.
  • We developed a guide on how to use the writing system.
  • We have now completed a 200 page manual for people who are already can read and write in French to begin to read and write in Kwakum.
  • By the end of August we will have completed a number of training workshops to be ready for Oral Bible Storying. 
What is probably the most exciting for Stacey and me during this period is that we will finally begin to do what we came to do. We feel like all of our lives have been in preparation for this period. Let me tell you what is coming next.

Literacy & Women's Bible Study | Sept 2019

As I mentioned above, Stacey has been working with the language committee to develop the alphabet, writing system, and to begin to write literacy materials. In September, Stacey will begin testing these literacy materials and working with those Kwakum people who will be teaching going forward. This is where the rubber hits the road. We are here to translate the Bible, but translation is not helpful if people cannot read. We have begun to test the writing system a bit and have been very encouraged by the results. In one meeting, I called Kwakum men and women to the front and had them read a story we wrote out in the new writing system. The majority could read it, even without a formal training. Imagine what will happen when people begin to go through the literacy classes!
 
Stacey is also going to start teaching through an evangelistic Bible study curriculum specifically designed to reach unreached people groups with the Gospel. Great emphasis is placed upon the character of God and man’s failure to live up to his holy standards. Many people groups have turned to Christ through this teaching (if you’re interested in watching a DVD about one such people group, click HERE). There are 70 lessons in the study and Stacey is looking for people who will pray for specific people to attend the studies, understand the Gospel, and turn to Christ throughout the duration of the study (1-2 years). If you are interested in praying for a specific Kwakum woman, please email Stacey and she will send you a short biography and, if possible, a picture.

Please pray for these studies as Stacey will be going to various villages first just asking questions that challenge their worldview and then will start teaching. Pray that the Lord would help her communicate in Kwakum in an understandable way and that many women would come to know the character of God as revealed in Scripture.

Oral Bible Storying (OBS) | Sept-Dec 2019

We have mentioned a desire to begin producing oral Bible stories. Because we are planning to begin the written translation in the New Testament (with one of the Gospels), we have been feeling the burden to help the Kwakum understand the Old Testament. One example I like to use is when John the Baptist called Jesus the “Lamb of God.” I asked a group of Kwakum people, most of whom had a good amount of exposure to the Bible: “What does it mean for Jesus to be the Lamb of God?” The majority did not have any real response, but one told me he was meek like a lamb. In some ways that is true, but that is not what John had in mind. John was talking about the sacrificial lamb who would “take away the sins of the world.” Why can a lamb take away sins? Well, for that, you need to understand the Old Testament.
 
We have toyed around with the idea of translating the OT first, and are currently considering getting some more training soon in Hebrew. But for now, we think we can cover some of the major issues through OBS. We will be producing summaries of important Bible stories that lead people to understand the need for forgiveness (a concept foreign to the culture). We will do this all orally, which takes away a lot of the complication of producing a written translation. And we will help people to understand that these stories are summaries and they need the whole of Scripture to really understand. It will hopefully give them some context, while whetting their appetite for more.

Translator Training | January 2020

Dave is also starting to produce training material for our Kwakum translators. A lot of the training will occur as we translate, but there are some things they will need to know up front. We will be covering some basic Bible knowledge, translation principles, as well as information about the grammar of the language they are likely unaware of. I have found some excellent materials that I will be taking from, including practice exercises in translation. The goal is to spend the entire month of January training and then begin written translation in February.
Meet Sophia
Sophia Thomasson just arrived to be the fifth-grade teacher for our kids. Sophia is a recent graduate of The Master’s University. We met her at Master’s when we were visiting while on home assignment as she is interested in Bible translation. Sophia was homeschooled growing up, trained in general education, and is very eager to begin teaching. While here she will also get the opportunity to see Bible translation first-hand and is planning on participating as well. We are so excited to welcome Sophia to our home and into our lives in Cameroon.

Praise God

Makyra. Last time we sent out a newsletter, we asked specifically for prayer for Makyra. Certain of you emailed us for specific prayer requests. We are thankful to say that the Lord has answered your prayers above and beyond what we thought possible. Makyra has gone from a hateful, discontent, angry little girl to someone who is thoughtful, loving, and thankful. Nothing has changed in our parenting or in her life’s circumstances. The Lord has simply heard our prayers and yours. Thank you for praying and glory be to God.

Coworkers. God has really blessed us with amazing Kwakum people to work with. We have been blessed over and over by their hard work and encouraging attitude. Praise the Lord for his grace to us in this area.

Finally! Praise God also for all of the work, support, and answers to prayers that allowed us to arrive at this point. We started pursuing missions 14 years ago and we are finally going to be translating God’s Word. We could not do this without his sustaining our lives, or without the support of his church.

Please Pray

Zoey. Since we saw such success in your prayers for Makyra, we thought it would be appropriate to ask for prayers for Zoey. Over the last year we have seen a change in Zoey. If you could pray that she would be open to correction and love peace. If you would like more specifics, please email Stacey.

Translation. Pray for wisdom as we decide which books of the Bible to start with. Specifically, we have grown more and more convinced at the need for the Old Testament to properly understand the New. However, we feel like we need more Hebrew training in order to do a faithful job. Please pray that we would make wise decisions as we think through this.

Literacy. As mentioned above, translation without literacy is fruitless. We long for every Kwakum person to be able to read the Bible. Please pray that Kwakum men, women, and children would be excited to learn how to read.
In case you missed it, here is a walkthrough of the new Itoo Kwakum (Kwakum House). This is where we will be doing literacy and Bible translation.
As always, we are so thankful for you and your prayers. If there is anything we can be praying for you or your family, please hit reply and let us know.

Dave and Stacey Hare
Copyright © 2019 World Team, All rights reserved.


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