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Nzime

Old Testament

Country

Cameroon

Language(s)

 

Nzime

Speakers

40,000

Church leaders and their congregations from the rainforest community dream of fresh Scripture in the heart language with audio recordings for their people. The vision: God’s Word enabling spiritual change!



the Need
The Nzime people inhabit the rainforest of southeastern Cameroon. They are subsistence farmers growing manioc, plantains, maize, cocoyams and beans. They are also hunters and trappers who sell animals in the markets. Some people work for cocoa and coffee plantation owners and others own small businesses in nearby towns. Few have had a chance to go to school, and access to health care is minimal. The Nzime people struggle with addiction, conflict in polygamous marriages, and bondage to shamans who demand a high cost for healing and protection from curses. In the 1870s Christianity was introduced by foreign missionaries and today about 73 percent of the population attend church, although this is often out of familiarity, and many people do not enjoy a personal relationship with Jesus. The New Testament was translated into the Nzime language in the year 2000 and is well-used in Nzime churches. As Nzime church leaders considered a reprint of the New Testament, they recognized that access to the Old Testament and literacy classes were needed to further transform the Nzime community.
The Project

Nzime project team members, trained by staff from our national partner in Cameroon, have made the commitment to:


  • Revise the New Testament.


  • Translate the Old Testament and make it available, along with the revised New Testament, in print and audio format. 


  • Develop mother-tongue literacy materials and hold literacy classes in different villages. 


  • Promote the use of mother-tongue Scripture in churches and engage the language community with God’s Word.

Translation Progress

Drafted

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9

Community-Checked

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9

Quality-Checked

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9

The Gift of Self Control
Everyone in the village knew that if Vany got angry, they’d better watch out! She walked around with a chip on her shoulder and often exploded with unkind words. However, Vany didn’t really like being angry—she just didn’t know how else to manage her feelings. Vany was reading translated portions of Proverbs one day when she read chapter 14 verse 17: “A quick-tempered person does foolish things, and the one who devises evil schemes is hated.” She felt a twinge deep inside; the words of Scripture cut deep. Vany put the book aside and prayed right then and there, saying “I’m a fool. Lord, please help me to be patient with others.” The next week a disagreement erupted in her family, and everyone steeled themselves for Vany’s explosive temper. This time she just walked away. Vany couldn’t deny that something was changing! She continued to pray for the Lord’s peace, and he continued to change her from the inside out. Rather than a fiery temper, she found herself on fire for Jesus. Today, Vany is known for her calm and peaceful nature. Praise God for this enormous change in her life!
From Learning to Loving
Ernest was a young man when his friend invited him to join a Bible study group for young people. In this way, Ernest began reading the entire Bible. These studies got him quite interested in Jesus and planted the seeds of a deep love for Scripture. Next, a friend invited him to go to church. Ernest started going every week, as he was always eager to hear the Bible teaching. After he had attended church a while, Ernest joined the choir and started composing Scripture-based songs in his heart language. He composed some of the first songs ever in his language for the region’s Catholic church. In time, Ernest became a renowned balaphone player. Today, Ernest is putting his love of the Bible to work as a translator in the Nzime Old Testament project.

“The schools are becoming more interested in language learning. . . . We are seeing great enthusiasm among the students.”

Project Coordinator

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