Bible Translation & Literacy
Number of Speakers
The Nzime people inhabit the rainforest of southeastern Cameroon. They are subsistence farmers growing manioc, plantains, maize, cocoyams and beans. 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 the access to health care is minimal.
The Nzime people struggle with problems of infidelity, conflict in polygamous marriages, alcoholism, and bondage to shamans who demand a high cost to determine the source of curses and stop their effects. 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. Syncretism of Christianity with traditional religion has crept into the church, and most people do not enjoy a personal relationship with Jesus.
A group of Nzime pastors approached OneBook’s partner, CABTAL, to request help with these goals: setting up a literacy program, revising the New Testament, translating the Old Testament, publishing the full Bible, and making an audio recording. Together with the leaders of the Nzime church, OneBook’s aim is to see more people within the Nzime community reading, studying, and applying God’s Word to their lives, as well as sharing their faith with their neighbours.
Since the start of the project, literacy teachers have been recruited and literacy manuals are being revised. The interchurch project committee members have been trained and are reaching out to representatives of all denominations, inviting them to join the committee. Translators have been recruited and began training in IT and Paratext translation software. They are progressing on the draft of the book of Genesis.