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Mfumte Cluster

New Testament

Country

Cameroon

Language(s)

 

Koffa, Kwaja

Speakers

27,600

For decades, two poverty-stricken Mfumte communities were excluded from every development scheme. Today, life-changing literacy skills are spreading. Passionate teams translate mother-tongue Scripture for a growing church.

Thank you! This project has been fully funded for the year!



the Need
The Koffa and Kwaja language communities are part of the Mfumte Cluster project, with Mfumte being an ethnic identity. Mfumte people live in northwestern Cameroon and eastern Nigeria. A river, which marks an international border, runs through the Mfumte homeland. Many villages are accessible only by narrow footpaths or a single dirt road which closes during the rainy season. Daily life is difficult for the Mfumte people. There is no electricity in the villages and only a limited supply of clean water. Families grow maize, groundnuts and yams, and harvest small amounts of palm oil for their own use. Children rarely attend school. Minimal access to medical care means typhoid and malaria claim the lives of many people. Koffa and Kwaja pastors want to equip themselves and their churches with the Bible in their heart language to have a deeper understanding of God’s message. They are displaying dedication and determination as they carry out their dream.
The Project

Koffa and Kwaja project team members, trained by staff from our national partner in Cameroon, have made a commitment to:


  • Develop the two languages and produce a dictionary.


  • Translate the New Testament and distribute it in print and audio format.


  • Provide mother-tongue literacy materials.


  • Hold literacy classes in their communities.

Translation Progress

Drafted

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82

Community-Checked

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62

Quality-Checked

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61

The Word Brings Peace
Pastor Emmanuel was looking forward to getting back home to the Koffa community. The surgery had gone well, and he expected to be released from hospital in the next day or two. But the air was suddenly filled with confusing noises, and he became aware that his bed was moving. Pastor Emmanuel was being rushed back to the operating theatre. Something internal had gone wrong and he needed another surgery right away. As the walls rushed past and the doctors worked, Pastor Emmanuel felt an unusual calm. He clearly recalled Psalm 91 in Koffa and recited it to himself in his head. Then his thoughts turned to 1 Corinthians 15:55: “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” Amidst all the chaos of this medical emergency, this Scripture quelled Pastor Emmanuel’s fear and reminded him of the powerful God in whom he could trust. At the next quality-checking session he attended for 1 Corinthians, Pastor Emmanuel testified to the power of Scripture in this critical moment.
Remarkable Change
Maria went to church each week. As a Kwaja speaker, she did not understand much of what was said. Services were not in her language, but that was just part of life on the Nigerian border. For many decades, Maria did her best to connect with God despite the language barrier. Then Maria heard God’s Word in her own language for the first time. What an amazing difference! Maria was so excited, she told her pastor that, thanks to the work of the translators, she could now understand the word of God clearly—something she had never experienced before. Influenced by Maria’s testimony, a leader at her church decided to change their language of interpretation to Kwaja.

NEW

Reaching Beyond Borders
In Isaiah 6:13 the Lord promised the grieving that he would trade beauty for ashes. The people of the Kwaja language community are experiencing this enduring promise as they live through the heartbreak of the Cameroon Crisis. When fighting drove the project teams into neighbouring Nigeria, they came to know people in village who, although they belonged to a different ethnic group and followed another religion, shared their Kwaja language. This period of displacement opened the door for Bible translation and literacy activities among Kwaja communities in Nigeria. When most of the project team returned to their villages in Cameroon, a contingent stayed back to continue literacy classes. Lawrence was among their students. Lawrence had always spoken Kwaja and knew it well, but he was excited to learn to read and write the language. He also liked hearing the Bible stories his teacher shared. As a strong follower of the majority religion in his community, Lawrence often found the stories sparked questions for him, and he and his teacher had many conversations about Jesus and the Bible. Lawrence soon put his faith in Jesus. The project leader explains that Lawrence’s curiosity about Christianity is not unique, “So many people in this area now are so eager to participate in any activity that concerns Bible Translation,” he says. “This hunger is even more than we observe in the villages in Cameroon.”

“Passing through bullets takes courage, and that is what we must to do get God’s Word to our people.”

Koffa Translator

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