You never know where a “delay” will lead!

Efi Tembon (incoming director of the Cameroon Association of Bible Translation and Literacy) shows a sample alphabet chart to explain the development of literacy and Bible translation in previously-unwritten languages in Cameroon.

When the deadline for his trip to Africa was looming and his necessary visa for Cameroon was still not in hand, program manager Martin Engeler sent an S.O.S. from Calgary to Wayne Johnson in Ontario.

On his way to Ottawa for other meetings, Wayne drove to the Cameroon High Commission in Ottawa to collect the visa personally, where he just “happened” to meet the High Commissioner himself. This man is of the Awing people in Cameroon, where OneBook has recently begun funding a project for literacy and Bible translation. Wayne was more than happy to explain the connection.

The result: an invitation to come and share more about the exciting projects in Cameroon. Wayne immediately accepted! Two weeks ago Efi Tembon, incoming director of the Cameroon Association of Bible Translation and Literacy (CABTAL), and Wayne were able to report firsthand on the work being done in his home country, not just with the staff at the high Commission, but also 20 other Ottawa-area donors and MP’s.

OneBook’s presentation was warmly received. The Assistant High Commissioner, of the Kenyang people, had always hoped to see the Scriptures in his own language. Efi was delighted to explain that the Kenyang New Testament was recently completed, also through OneBook’s investment. The former High Commissioner to Canada, who is from the Oku language group, is now Cameroon’s Prime Minister. The Oku Bible translation and literacy project is now in its third year. When he learned of the development being done in his own mother tongue, through the partnership of CABTAL, OneBook, and the sponsorship of individual Canadians, he was thrilled!

As a result of all of these happy “coincidences,” OneBook has a standing invitation to visit and share our work at the Cameroon High Commission. Perhaps the most heart-warming of all was this note received a few days later:

“We thank you for the interest in making it possible for everyone to read and understand the word of God in his/her mother tongue in Cameroon. I know by God’s grace, the work will be completed one day. May the Lord Almighty be your strength. I equally want to thank you for my copy of the New Testament in Kenyang—my native language. Have a Blessed day.”

(signed)
Assistant High Commissioner
Cameroonian High Commission, Ottawa