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Ring Road Cluster

New Testament

Country

Cameroon

Language(s)

 

Koshin, Laimbue, Mendankwe, & Njen

Speakers

45,000

After years of civil conflict, people in the Ring Road Cluster, now more than ever, need the hope found in God's Word. They observe how God’s Word steadies minds and hearts in neighbouring communities, and long to access this same hope in their own mother tongue.



the Need
The Koshin, Laimbue, Bamendankwe, and Njen people dwell in the tropical climate of northwestern Cameroon. Many people in the Ring Road Cluster rely on the resources they produce to feed their families. Few own small businesses or work outside their community. To ensure a fruitful harvest and protection from evil spirits, they bring animals to a priest who sacrifices them according to their traditional religion. About 30 percent of the people in these communities attend churches started by missionaries at the turn of the century; however, the vast majority do this only out of habit and practice a discordant mix of Christianity and their traditional religion. The Koshin, Laimbue, Bamendankwe, and Njen people don’t fully grasp the message of the Bible because the language used is not their own. Unequipped to fight syncretism, many church leaders fail to speak out against it. Now, after more than three years of civilian conflict in their region, people in these communities have a growing desire for Scripture in their mother tongue and the hope that is found in God’s Word. Church and community leaders approached our national partner organization in Cameroon for help.
The Project

Ring Road Cluster team members in all four language communities, trained by staff from our national partner in Cameroon, have made the commitment to:


  • Develop an alphabet.


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


  • Create mother-tongue literacy materials.


  • Hold ongoing literacy classes.


  • Develop Scripture engagement strategies within their communities.


  • Craft and tell oral Bible stories in their communities.

Translation Progress

Drafted

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9

Community-Checked

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0

Quality-Checked

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0

In the Storm
In the rainy season, monsoon winds hit the Laimbue community. Winds ripped away roofs and destroyed major structures in the villages, and villagers scrambled to save what little they had—the political unrest in their region had already left families with only what they needed to survive. While the storm continued to rage, a man stepped forward to tell a story. Speaking in the Laimbue language, he told the story of Jesus commanding the wind and waves to be still. He described how the disciples had been cowering in the boat during the storm, relying completely on Jesus to protect them. The story spread, and people welcomed this gospel narrative. They were comforted when they saw that Jesus was trustworthy and that He had the power and authority to calm the storms they were experiencing their lives. This man was a storyteller who had been trained through the project’s Oral Bible Story Program. Storytellers representing the four communities of the project were trained to craft and share gospel stories in their own community, paving the way for engagement with the New Testament when it becomes available. In the crises of the storms and conflict in their region, the circulating Bible stories have been a lifeline for community members in the Ring Road Cluster.
A Transformed Heart
Patricia was known in her community as a successful businesswoman, but she was not a generous person. Somehow, she was never in the room when collections were made to help others. However, whenever there were celebrations with feasting, Patricia was always present and found her ways to sit in a place of honour. One day, the pastor had Patricia prayerfully in his mind when he delivered a message on the two sons of Zebedee in Mark 10:35-45. The pastor first read the scripture in English, and then he repeated it in the Njen language with emphasis on verse 44 which says, “Whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.” He challenged his congregation to begin serving each other. This story went to Patricia’s heart like an arrow, and she felt humbled before God. The following week, Patricia was the first person in church, cleaning the dust off the benches and helping the elderly people find a comfortable place to sit. Her transformation continued over time. People noticed her change of heart and how she was now generous with others as well as patient, humble and loving. This is the power of God’s Word in the heart language.

“The development of the Njen language is enabling the Njen people to regain their significance and realize how important our language is and how much God values us as a people. This opportunity and privilege given to the Njen people is one that we cannot take lightly.”

Njen Chief

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