Last week our Bakwé colleagues met with a number of regional pastors and youth leaders of the Bakwé Harris Church. The Harris Church is an African Independent Church. You can read more about it here. The point of the meeting was to solicit the help of the Harris Church both in translating the Bible and promoting literacy in the church. The leaders were encouraged and promised to help us. They asked us to call another meeting in the near future so that more could be present. Representatives from Kpéhiri asked for us to help start a class in their town (the furthest Bakwé town in the north of the Bakwé region).William Wadé Harris, the founder of the Harris Church, emphasized the importance of God’s Word during his preaching tour in the early 1900’s. Finally today, almost 100 years later, the Book is being translated into Bakwé! But, a Bible that cannot be read is not very useful. This is why we are training teachers and helping start up reading and writing classes in an increasing number of Bakwé towns. We also are preparing to provide an audio recording to go along with all of our printed literature. About 40 titles are now available in the language ranging from health booklets to folktales. Also available are the Gospel of Mark, the Gospel of John, and the Epistles of John. Galatians and James will be published this year with Luke and Acts next in line. Some of these publications are now available as PDF files here under the “télécharger” drop-down menu.
June 6th is just around the corner and preparations are going well. Benjamin and I will be meeting with Kjell Christophersen every week now to get his input on the two booklets that we want to provide the Bakwé microentrepreneurs –one on assessing the feasibility of a business; the second, on basic accounting principles. I just got Alexis, my Bakwé colleague and co-translator, up on Google Calendar so he can see our proposed schedule for the three weeks we are together. Amazing this technology! I’m sure there are more web tools we could use to more effectively work at a distance from each other. If you know of any, let me know.
Yesterday I sent off our back-translation of Galatians and James to our translation consultant who will be checking both epistles in June. A back-translation is a rather literal translation from Bakwé into French. It allows the consultant to see behind our translation as he keeps his eye on the Greek text during the verse-by-verse checking process. This literal back-translation allows the consultant to also see some of the idioms and grammatical structure of Bakwé.
Rick Trader, a good friend of mine from college days, started a non-profit organization that focuses on ministering to families in Russia. Visit their web site www.boneem.org to find out more. Boneem puts aside some ‘tithe’ money for the Bakwé ministry from the monies donated to Boneem. Recently Boneem bought almost 1K worth of audio equipment and donated it to our Bakwé colleagues. This audio equipment will be used in Africa to make audio CD’s of all our published literature in the Bakwé language–from health booklets to Scripture.Although this generation of Bakwé are learning to read, it will be another generation or more until the society as a whole becomes literate. Today most families have at least one ‘boom box’ with a CD player, so audio CD’s will reach a larger number of people in this generation than the written page will. Thank you Boneem!