Mit mond az?

Title is “What does that say?” in Hungarian.

A few weeks ago a colleague brought his computer in for assistance. This itself is normal. I’m on help desk Tuesday morning, and even outside of that people often come into the office looking for assistance. It’s always nice to keep get someone back working again, if they’re having trouble.

However, after he left I quickly figured out that this computer was in Hungarian. I usually only see computers in English or French. Hmm. This job turned out to be a little more difficult than usual. Luckily, I didn’t have to do too much, and the location of options on Windows is pretty standard. And Google Translate allowed me to know (approximately) what word I was looking for a times.

He’s another challenge I never thought I’d run into (I feel like I’ve said that more than once).

Pray without ceasing

Starting out 2019, we took a day to pray with other members of the Bible Translation work here in Yaounde and I was struck by the importance of praying all the time and for all kinds of things.  One of the things that we did during the day was write down big ideas that we are asking God to do this year.  I had a long list of really big things that I want to see God do this year and I know He will do even more than I can imagine!

The Finish Line is a prayer guide book from Wycliffe Bible Translators that might be useful to you in praying for the various people groups around the world.  This booklet focuses on praying for the projects that are close to the end, where the wait is almost over for these peoples to have God’s Word in their heart language.

You might also like to check out a new devotional called “At His Table” where you’ll see how you’ve been invited to participate in the kingdom of heaven here on earth.  You can download it free of charge.

 

When’s Spring?

In the tropics, there’s really only two seasons: rainy and dry. It’s hot all year long, but it’s either hot and rainy (where’s it’s not quite as hot) or hot and dry (where it’s really hot). Here in Cameroon you might be able to also say there are four: the big and little rainy season and the big and little dry season.

I, as an expat and import, often still think about the “regular” seasons of back home in Michigan even though here it bears no resemblance to what is happening across an ocean. I still say things like “Next Summer”, or “This Winter” even though it’s 85 degrees out.

The other day I was talking to one of my Cameroonian colleagues about something that we’d do in the future and I said, “We can’t do that now, but we’ll take care of that in the Spring”.  She said, “Oh ok.” seeming to understand — but then added, “When’s Spring?”.

i-DELTA AC3 2018

It might seem that i-DELTA has been mentioned a lot lately (in our newsletters and on Facebook), but that is only because it has been. This training program is sort of all consuming for its two-month duration.  The students and staff work long days, eating meals together and even taking breaks together, for volleyball or canoeing, but mostly learning together.

The daily routine starts with a time of prayer and Bible study together, usually with song. Then, all of the students take a 2-hour class together, while teachers of other courses prepare lessons, grade or collaborate.  At 10:30am, there is a short coffee break before the next 2-hour class, when they break into 3 separate courses according to their track.  There is a lunch break, but classes resume in the afternoon and finish at 4:30pm.  By this time, everyone is ready to get up and move, so there is usually a friendly volleyball game.  The students will have at least 3-4 hours of homework each night, so after dinner, they will get back to studying.

This year was Shannon’s first year serving as the course registrar, which includes handling all of the logistics for the course, but also helping keep the students on track and content.  With so many different cultures represented, it is not always a straightforward task. The 22 students who have survived this far come from 8 different countries and represent 17 different language groups.  Despite the many differences, we all become one big i-DELTA family after 8 weeks together.

This Academic Cycle (AC3) is the third and final year in the three year course which awards students the equivalent of a first year university degree in Translation, Literacy or Scripture Engagement.  They are mostly already involved in various community Scripture projects, so what they learn is immediately able to be applied to their work, and for many of them, they will also be training others and passing on the knowledge that they have acquired through i-DELTA as well.

Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope you are enjoying all of God’s many gifts and are as full of gratitude as we are!  We enjoyed a really wonderful time set apart to thank God for some of the myriad blessings we have.  While we often celebrate by gathering together for a feast with family in the US, our church here has also been celebrating the bounty of God’s provisions but with song and dance and giving of gifts for the next year.

Children dance and sing their way to bring gifts for the church.

And we were able to enjoy a (sort of) traditional Thanksgiving feast with some friends who are becoming like family.  We ate chicken instead of turkey and a type of orange squash instead of sweet potatoes, but it was delicious all the same.

Leaves made by Eila

Give Thanks

We are especially appreciative of the great team of partners, which includes our awesome family and friends, who support, encourage, and work with us to help make God’s Word accessible to all people in their heart language.

J’exprime à mon Dieu ma reconnaissance chaque fois que je pense à vous. ~Philippiens 1.3 (BDS)

 

Les Chenilles

One morning, a few weeks ago, we went outside and sat at our new picnic table. At that time, it was under a tree. It was a nice location since the tree provided shade against the tropical sun.

However, that morning we noticed a number of caterpillars (chenilles) all over the table. We brushed them off and sat down at the table. Then a caterpillar fell from the tree and landed near Eila.  Hrm. And these just weren’t any little caterpillars, these were large (2-3 inch) black ones with yellow spikes.

We started to move them into a bucket we had around. Remembering that I’ve seen similar caterpillars live in the open air markets here in Cameroon, I brought the few we had collected to the guard at our compound and asked if he would want them. “Well, yes, but there’d have to be more”, he said to us (in French) — but he would stop by at the end of his shift and pick up what we had.

So we went back and noticed that more had fallen from the tree above. We scooped those up into the bucket. Soon, every time we went by there were more caterpillars to be collected and by the end of the morning, we had quite a number writhing in the bottom of our bucket.

We ended up with more than this.

At the end of the day, the guard stopped by and we gave what we had in the bucket to the guard in a baggie.

The next day we asked him how they were , and he said they were very delicious. His son knew how to prepare them, and they are them with tomato, garlic, and lots and lots of piment (hot sauce).

We’re glad someone could use them.

 

 

Fall Photos

We don’t have pictures of fall, because there’s no autumn here! However, here’s some pictures to show what we’ve been doing over the last few months:

Brian worked with this intern over the summer. He created a web-based database-driven application to manage inventory. Here he is after presenting his project at his university.

Shannon assisting some of her i-Delta students with their projects related to narrative discourse in our living room.

Brian, in his office, helping a friend with some English lessons over lunch break.

Eila spending some quality time on the soccer field with friends. (Not pictured: friends).

Playing Minecraft? One of the Josiah’s favorite activities.

Josiah caught this lizard. Fortunately he’s on a catch and release system.

Thaddeus planting a geranium in our yard that he grew from a seed in science class. It is thriving.

Josiah at the Nyong river where we attended a baptism of some of the students from Eila’s school.

Thaddeus baked a Swiss Man cookie over October break. He decorated it with raisins, walnuts, and peanuts.

Eila painting nails with her friend in our backyard on our new picnic table. She only got a little bit of paint on the table.

Teachers Needed!

As you might already know, we need teachers in Cameroon.  For us and for nearly all the expatriate families that are serving in Cameroon, the schooling options are a huge part of how and why we are here.  This is true for those working with us in Bible translation, literacy and Scripture engagement as well for those from all sorts of different ministries – church planting, discipleship and mentoring, training of pastors and leaders, orphan care, youth outreach and so many others.  The ability for us to continue to work depends in a very large part on the ability of our kids to go to school.   For next year, the 2019-2020 school year, there are huge needs at nearly every level from administration and support to all varieties of ages/grades and subjects.  If you know any teachers who might like to make a difference in the world and who are interested in living in one of the best climates, let me know!

For The Greenhouse Learning Center (or Field Education System – FES), we need:
  • Preschool Teacher
  • Kindergarten teacher
  • Grade 1/2 teacher
  • Grade 3/4 teacher
For Rain Forest International School, we could use qualified teachers for 7th-12th grade in nearly every subject as well as an administrator!
What can you do?
1.  Pray
2.  Share the need.
Please like the FES Facebook page, and feel free to share it with others.
3. Come and teach!

Report on Wycliffe Bible Translators

The September/October issue of Mission Frontiers focuses on the work that God is doing through Wycliffe Bible Translators.  Though the entire magazine is devoted to the topic, it only  highlights a few of the ways that God is at work drawing people to Himself.  You can read it here: http://www.missionfrontiers.org/issue/archive/wycliffe-bible-translators1

And, I will add a quick story of how God is at work in Cameroon. This morning, I was  praying with five others : two were from Central African Republic, one American, one from Togo, and the last from Congo-Brazzaville.  Each of us shared something that God has taught us this week and we prayed together.  We prayed for the studies that they are doing and for their families back in their respective homes.  We prayed for the work that they will go back to and the impact that it could have.  All six of us are all involved in different aspects of Bible translation, usage, or literacy. Yet,  I am becoming more and more convinced that some of the most important work we do is praying and then walking forward in the next thing God has for us.  It might not seem like much, but I know that it makes a huge difference in innumerable lives.  And, you can join in this work too.  Please take a moment and pray for iDELTA and for Cameroon. Here are some suggested prayer topics.

Bayam Sellam

There’s a Cameroonian at the place where I work who used to work in the Computer Department. We grab lunch with every now and then. It’s nice to have someone else to connect with and he teaches me about Cameroonian culture and I get some additional French practice.

A few weeks ago, he asked me to help him improve his English — so we’ve been working through a little English learning book. In this book is a story about a market. We talked about the story and he would ask me what certain words meant. One that was confusing to him was  “hawker”.

“What’s a hawker?” he asked (we had this conversation in French)

“Someone who sells in a market and calls out to you ‘Come! I have things here’.”

“Oh! Like a buy-em sell-em”.

Then I had to stop him and ask him about these “Buy-em Sell-ems”.

He said, “They are the ladies who sit by the site of the road and lay out a mat with their goods. A buy-em sell-em”.

It turns out the French word here in Cameroon is “les Bayam-Sellam”.

A couple days later Shannon was reading a news site and found that word “les Bayam-Sellam”. She didn’t understand what it was referring to until she read it phonetically.