One of the many new things I learned about this week (while visiting Cameroon) was the concept of the Inter-Church Committee. Before CABTAL (Cameroon Association of Bible Translation and Literacy) even begins a translation project, they spend two years in community mobilization: making sure the community is behind the project. The Inter-Church Committee, or ICC, is a huge part of this.
The ICC is made up of pastors from various churches in the community. Baptists, Presbyterian, Pentecostal or Catholic—whatever the denomination— are welcome to join the ICC. This committee takes ownership of the translation project and encourages use of the mother-tongue Scriptures in the community. The translation team is accountable to the ICC.
We were privileged to meet the Inter-Church Committee for the Aghem project in Northwestern Cameroon. The Aghem New Testament is now completely drafted and is going through the checking process. They hope to have the Scriptures in people’s hands by 2016.
We asked the Inter-Church Committee what their vision is.
One pastor answered, “We want to see the Aghem man have the Bible in his own language, and see the Aghem community transformed by having the Bible in their mother tongue.” Another pastor piped in, “Not everyone in our churches speaks English. When they hear the Gospel in English, they see Christianity as a foreign religion. When they hear the gospel in their mother tongue, it makes them know ‘This is our gospel.’”
–Hannah (visiting OneBook projects in Cameroon as the winner of OneBook’s Win a Trip to Africa Contest)