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Teaching kids to resist the Devil - Is God a polygamist? - Speak Bakoum by speaking English!
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Resist the Devil

We have mentioned in past newsletters how the Bakoum people fear evil spirits. This is what leads them to throwing food and water on the ground because they think that their dead relatives are hungry and thirsty. They also tie special cords around their waists meant to protect them. When we come across such practices, how should we respond? Should we tell them that they are just being superstitious? I do not believe that this is how Jesus would have us deal with these issues. Sure, I think sometimes the Bakoum people get themselves worked up about nothing. But it would be wrong to encourage our neighbors to act as though the spiritual realms did not exist. Instead, we believe that we need to help them conform their beliefs about evil spirits to the Word of God.
 
The Lord gave us a great opportunity to do this a couple of weeks ago as we did a 5-Day Club for the kids in our neighborhood. We discovered a curriculum already in French talking about Satan and the demons. Through our weeklong study we were able to study what the Bible says about evil spirits, the spirits of humans, and how we can protect ourselves from the schemes of the devil.
 
Perhaps the climax of the week was on Friday. I reviewed with the kids what we had studied that week. We talked about how the Bible does acknowledge the presence of evil spirits, but that it calls them demons. And the souls of human beings go either to heaven or hell when they die, and they cannot come back to earth. We even talked about how, in the story of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man was thirsty, but neither he nor Lazarus could leave their eternal abode to seek water. Further, we used Jesus’ encounter with those who said he used the power of Beelzebub to cast out demons to show that one cannot use the things of Satan to cast out Satan.
 
After the review time I drew on the board two kingdoms: the kingdom of darkness with Satan as king and the kingdom of light with Jesus as king. In the kingdom of darkness there are cowards, liars, thieves, murderers and those that practice magic. I think in my mind I usually skip over that last one, mainly because before coming here I never knew anyone who practiced magic. But here it made a startling impression. One cannot use things of the kingdom of darkness to combat Satan, and those who practice magic are in the kingdom of darkness. Then, using the passages that we had already read, I showed that the only way to combat the darkness is with the light. And the only one more powerful than Satan and his demons is Jesus.
 
But I also used this as a time to show our friends that evil spirits are not their main problem, even if they think they are. Their biggest problem is that they, in fact, were born into the kingdom of darkness. Their biggest problem is that they are far from God. And Jesus is the solution not only for protection from demons, but for forgiveness of their sins. It seemed to us like this message was communicated clearly, but please pray for these kids.

Speak Bakoum by Speaking English
It is always fun to find words in Bakoum that sound (almost) exactly like English words. Here are some examples of words in Bakoum that you can say now without even needing to go through language learning. Below, pronounce the English word and see what you are saying in Bakoum.

ENGLISH                                        BAKOUM
Knee                      means               "I"
I know                    means              "That's the way it is."
Cool                       means              "Power"
Chill                       means              "Cousin"
King                       means              "Edge"
Pool                       means              "Hair"
Is God a Polygamist?
Have you ever asked the question: is God a polygamist? Probably not. Well, we have noticed that the Bakoum Christians use a word in their language for God (Shambu) in services, singing, and praying. So, we asked a Bakoum man to tell us about Shambu. Who is he? What is he like? He told us that there are many stories about Shambu but he said one of them applied quite well to Christianity. He proceeded to tell us a mythological story about this god. He started in saying that Shambu had 12 wives. Each wife wanted a child so he pulled a flower out of the ground and started giving his wives leaves that would help them conceive. However, when he got to his last wife, he had no leaves left. So, he gave her the bulb of the flower, which she swallowed. She swelled over time with pregnancy and her stomach grew much larger than normal, in fact it was a kilometer long. The baby formed a hole in his mother’s thigh and was born out of this hole, which he then closed up. He was at that time a giant, far taller than any other man. So tall, in fact, that his head reached into the clouds. One of his uncles came and sang to him until he shrunk into the size of a normal man. And this son, our friend told us, corresponds to Jesus.
 
When he said this we were both speechless. It also puts us in a bit of a pickle. The word Shambu is the word that the Bakoum church uses for God. But there is obviously a lot of baggage with this word as well. God is not a polygamist, but Shambu is. When we get to the translation stage, we will have to determine if we can really translate “God” to “Shambu” in Bakoum. This will take a lot of prayer and wisdom. Please be praying for us as we navigate the many difficult translation decisions.
Pray With Us
- Pray that the message taught at the 5-Day Club would really penetrate into the hearts of these children. Pray that God would use it to confront their worldview and to give them hope.
- Pray for the few parents that came to some of our 5-Day Club sessions. Pray that they too would consider these truths and that the Lord would grant them faith.
- Pray that we would continue to grow in our understanding not only of the Bakoum language, but culture as well. Pray God would help us to write the tones of the language down correctly, that he would provide more kind hearted, patient conversation partners, and that we would meet our language requirements within this next year.
- Please continue praying for our son Elias. Since Bonnie (our tutor) left he has become even more difficult. Pray that he would turn to the Lord in times of transition and stress.
- The Lord has blessed us with a new tutor for the coming school year. Please pray Megan would mesh well with the family and that we could be a mutual encouragement.
Praise With Us
- The 5-day Club was really amazing. I do not think it could have gone better. Praise the Lord for the great turnout (50-80 kids each day), for good weather, and for good curriculum available in French.
- Thank the Lord with us for our growth in language learning. We just received passing grades in our most recent language assessment. Our language partner said that on a scale of 0-10 we were speaking at a level 6. We are very encouraged!
- Thank the Lord for our homeschool teacher Bonnie and her ministry to our family and her safe return to the states. More about that here.
- Praise the Lord that he has provided a tutor for the 2016-17 school year. 
Check out our 2016 VBS Videos on the blog. If you can only watch one, try video #4 where we talk about schooling and about the current need for Bible Translation.


2016 VBS Video Link
Thank you so much for keeping up with our ministry and for your prayers. As always, we would love to hear from you as well. Hit reply and let us know how we can be praying for you!

Dave and Stacey
haretranslation.blogspot.com
Copyright © 2016 World Team, All rights reserved.


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