Most Esu people live as farmers in eight villages scattered over the hills of the northwest region of Cameroon. They often experience tension with cattle herders from another language community, near the border of Nigeria. Political insecurity in the region makes travel between villages quite dangerous. The Esu live in fear of kidnapping and attacks. Esu people have few opportunities for education and therefore risk exploitation.
English or Pidgin is used in local church services, but many Esu people have limited comprehension of these languages. So, it’s no surprise that most Esu people continue to blend traditional animistic practices with their Christian faith. Scripture in the mother tongue is the only answer to this dilemma. In response to repeated requests from the Esu community, CABTAL, OneBook’s partner in Cameroon, came alongside to guide them in a locally-led project.
The Esu team is very motivated. They have drafted most of the New Testament. The Gospels of Mark and Luke are published. An audio recording of Luke is being listened to in small neighbourhood groups and this has increased the Esu people's interest in learning how to read their language.
Recently, the crisis in the English-speaking region of Cameroon has greatly impacted the Esu project. Some have been killed and many are either hiding in the bush or have fled to larger towns. Others have found refuge at the CABTAL Regional Centre.
Our Local Partner
CABTAL (Cameroon Association of Bible Translation and Literacy) began in the early 1980s. An indigenous visionary organization, its goal is to see communities and individuals transformed through God’s Word in their own language and using their language for sustainable development. Its mission is to empower churches, communities and individuals to carry out Bible translation and language-based community development through linguistic research, functional literacy and Scripture engagement. There is a growing demand from indigenous Cameroonian communities for both literacy and mother-tongue Scripture.
Soap being packaged for distribution to displaced project members and their families.
Displaced project team members being prayed for and encouraged as they await food distribution.