I am visiting the Aghem project in Cameroon this week. Amazing to see the commitment, hard work, and impressive results of this dedicated team. Random impressions and statistics:
- The average salary in the community is about 60 cents (Cdn) per day.
- Attendance in literacy classes has increased from 1,903 students last year, to 2,924.
- 7 schools have mother tongue classes; one secondary school has 835 students attending a weekly class.
- There are 40 trained literacy teachers. The youngest are aged 16, 15 and 14! (See story in The Link January 2011.pdf)
- Even though the two translation teams were working on Revelation and Galatians this week they took time to translate passages from Isaiah 58, Isaiah 66, Psalms, and copy previously translated passages from Matthew, for Palm Sunday services.
- Acceptance of the Scriptures in the community has exploded in the past 6 months. It is actively being used every week in 12 churches, and promoted in many more.
- One of the results of this has been an over 50 per cent increase in attendance at churches using mother tongue Scripture. One church had to start a second service! Others have standing room only. . .
So you want to pass catechism and have communion this Easter?
A Catholic priest has a catechism class of 147 students. He is so convinced of the importance of Scriptures in their own language, that he is requiring them to memorize the Lord’s Prayer, in Aghem, in order to graduate (this week)!
When asked what challenges the translation teams face, they immediately answered, “High expectations from the pastors!” One Presbyterian pastor comes every week to see which passages have been freshly translated for use in his preaching. The translation teams are considering monthly deliveries to community pastors, of translated passages printed on their ink jet printers. Neat to see such hunger for God’s Word in their heart language!
–Wayne Johnson, President
(on site in Cameroon, April 15, 2011)