Wycliffe World Day of Prayer 2023

Each year on November 11th, Wycliffe Global Alliance organizations meet together across the globe to pray.

It is on November 11 because on that day in 1933, the founders of Wycliffe entered into Mexico and were able to do so because of God’s answers to their prayers. The start of the work in Mexico led to the founding of Wycliffe Bible Translators. So they set aside November 11th each year when Wycliffe organizations around the world meet together to pray to God in a spirit of Thanksgiving, Joy, and Dependence.

The Wycliffe Global Alliance is an alliance of organizations around the world serving together in the bible translation movement. CABTAL (Cameroon Association for Bible Translation and Literacy), which is a close partner of our work in Cameroon, is part of the alliance. SIL Cameroon is the organization we work with in Cameroon.

This video provide a brief overview of the day of prayer as it happened in Yaoundé, Cameroon. It is almost entirely in English, but there are small portions in French.

i-DELTA Continues

We posted about i-DELTA recently in our email updates, but i-DELTA continues. The two month program is intensive for both students and teachers.

Here’s a photo of Shannon teaching about the EGIDS scale to the students in her language development course. The EGIDS scale is a way to measure the status of a language in terms of its vitality or endangerment.

Fiber Optic Project Featured

We’ve discussed the fiber optic project which took place in Yaoundé this past February and March in our newsletters. This project was first discussed about two years ago. In many ways, it was just a start of a large project — although in some ways it felt like the end of a long journey as well.

This tells the story of that project from a different perspective, highlighted on the blog of JAARS, a partner organization who assisted us with the project. It highlights a long day of shopping when myself, a Cameroonian colleague, and our two visitors drove around Yaoundé looking for ground rods. Ultimately we were successful.

[They] were impressed by the persistence and creativity of the IT staff in solving problems. In the U.S. if you need a ground rod, you go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and grab one. Not so in Yaoundé. The group had to go to four stores before they found the ground rods, and it was piecemeal. They found some parts at one store and some at another. But this never bothered the IT staff. “Their mentality is, ‘We will find a way to do this. We will fix it,’” Jordan recalled. “And it was a great joy to see.”

– from the JAARS blog

You can read their story here.

The Faith of No Choice

Some of our friends recently departed Cameroon for a time of home assignment. I volunteered to drive them to the airport, so I knew that they wanted to leave at 5:30pm to head for the airport. I was also told that someone would be bringing an important delivery to my office some time today and I should bring it back to them. This was their passports.

I ended up delivering their passports to them at 4:30pm, one hour ahead of their departure for an international flight that evening.

I realized I would have not been able to handle the pressure of that tight timing.

When I handed him the package, I made a comment about how calm they were despite the late arrival of their passports, he said “We have giant faith, of course. Or, maybe, just no choice but to wait.”

And isn’t that what we really need?

We have no choice but to wait for what God has in store for us.

We have no choice but to wait for what is beyond our control.

Taste the World

When we go grocery shopping here in town, I’m always struck by what seems to be food from all parts of the world. It’s true that most of the packaged food here comes from France, and there are also locally made products on the shelves. However, it does appear to me that, in some way, Cameroon is kind of like an outlet store for the rest of the world’s food.

I’ve found pasta written mostly in Greek, oatmeal from the UAE, breakfast cereal from Germany, Pringles intended for sale in the Middle East (ironically made in the USA). Many of these products are dual labeled in English and Arabic, or another combination of languages.

I don’t know if my assumptions are true, but I do know that finding “Alexandrian Liver” flavored Kellogg’s instant noodles from Egypt, which I’ve never seen before in this same store — and may never see again, makes me wonder how they ended up here.

We Have Arrived

Thank you for your prayers! After a long journey from Detroit, we arrived safely in Cameroon late in the evening on Tuesday. We received our negative Covid-19 test results in plenty time to be printed before we left. The trip was smooth and all of our luggage arrived. God went before us each step of the way!

We are also thankful for the warm welcome we received to our quarantine apartment in Cameroon, with transport, groceries, and a meal waiting for us.

We are returning to our work and studies remotely and settling into our new routine. We hope to move into our home in Yaounde in two weeks.

It is a joy to be back on the field and be able to continue to support the life-changing work of Bible translation in Cameroon. We could not have gotten here without you! 

Thank you for being partners with us on this journey.

Local Response to Pandemic

There are a variety of responses even within the USA to stay-at-home orders and to instructions to be socially distant and wear masks.

In Cameroon, there has been a concerted effort by churches and local language development organizations to work together to provide reliable public health information in the local language.

The following article tells a little more about the ongoing efforts in Yaounde in response to COVID-19: https://www.wycliffe.net/covid-19-cameroon/


Snow Day

If you live in Michigan, you already know that a little over a week ago we got a record breaking snowfall. If you live elsewhere, well, it was a lot of snow for November.

The kids were ecstatic.

After missing out on snow for the past few “winters” they were really looking forward to getting a good amount of snowfall to make forts, snowmen, and to play in.

The kids got their wish fairly early this year and on top of all that, got a day home from school out of it as well.

In comparison, here’s a photo from November 17th last year.

April Photos

Here’s an overview of April in photos:

One picture of the “big event” for the 50th anniversary of work here in Cameroon
We all ran a twilight 5k “glow-run” which started in twilight and ended as it was getting dark.
Our church held a baptism service the Saturday before Easter. It was nice to celebrate with nine people who were baptised. The baptismal pool is behind the church and it’s hard to see what’s going on.
Our family selfie Easter morning.

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?”.