My daughter, Noai, has been organizing Bakwé flashcard parties to make and laminate flashcards for our Bakwé teachers who teach Bakwé reading and writing over in Côte d’Ivoire. The turn-out has been great! Good fellowship, lively conversation and jesting, and African music! We now have almost completed the first Bakwé Reading and Writing Primer and should have ten sets of flashcards made up by the time I leave on my next trip. A big thank you to everyone who has been able to help out!
Here is a song, ‘Ba pa -na ‘jü ‒sukuli, from the Harris Church choir of our village Touadji-II. We recorded this during our trip in June ’08. Perez, our Bakwé colleague, is the choir leader and the faint voice you hear leading the song. This song is an exhortation to put your children in school. The rattles are the only instrument that you hear, made from a medium sized gourd and covered with a net-webbing of shells. Perez is the one playing them. One hand holds the strings attached to the shell webbing, and one hand holds the gourd handle and pulls.
I love the harmony!
June is here. The old body knows its alive with the the nose sneezing and running. But its great! My bees are bringing in the nectar! Lisa’s garden looks beautiful! The flowers are busting out everywhere and some of the early crops –the spinach and first batch of lettuce — are already done. Now the strawberries are ripening and the zucchini are six inches long!
In the office I continue to work on the translation of Acts along with other Bakwé related work. Check out the “Ministry” pages of the web site and you will see some more content about the translation process, as well as a list of most of our Bakwé publications. I also have been working on getting ready for my trip out to the Bakwé in August/September. Part of this preparation includes meeting with the men who will accompany me and planning out what we want to accomplish.
Benjamin Nieuwsma will come out again to train my Bakwé colleagues in audio recording. His goal will be to record all the Scripture we have translated so far in audio format. Scott Hieronymus will be coming out for the first time and helping troubleshoot and set up computers and an office network. His goal will be to set things up so that the team can return to original settings without too much help. Dr. Kjell Christophersen will come out again to run a follow-up small business seminar with our Bakwé micro-entrepreneurs. Part of what he will be doing will be evaluating how the first three projects went.
We’ll be keeping you posted via this blog while we are over there, so keep checking back for more info and pictures. Have a great June!
Currently I am working on my exegesis of Acts and my suggestions for its translation into Bakwé. Alexis, my Bakwé co-translator and colleague, is behind and still finishing up his part of Luke. After he is done, we will go over Luke once more and make changes where they are needed.
The literary structure of Luke and Acts is fascinating! The two books go together, with the “Ascension” forming the middle of the story. Luke starts out in chapter two with a decree from Rome and Acts ends up with Paul in Rome preaching the gospel. Jesus’ preaching ministry takes Him through Galilee, Samaria, Judea and then Jerusalem. The preaching of the gospel by the Apostles and Paul starts in Jerusalem with the coming of the Holy Spirit, and then moves through Judea, Samaria, the Gentile nations, and then to Rome. There are many other structural things going on as well. Although I don’t generally like titles, I have been struggling with how to use them to help bring out some of the structural emphases that Luke has going on in Acts. Most outlines I have looked at do not do this very well. We’ll see if I can pull it off.
The most helpful book so far has been David Gooding’s book True to the Faith: a fresh approach to the Acts of the Apostles (London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1990). Another helpful book has been Victor M. Wilson’s Divine Symmetries: the art of biblical rhetoric (University Press of America, 1997). The narrative in Acts seems to be organized in part by five summary statements (6:7; 9:31; 12:24; 16:5; and 19:20). Vincent also points out (p. 196) that Luke and Acts each have a journey narrative in about the same place with about the same amount of text (Luke 9:51-19:40 and Acts 12:25-21:16). The shape of each narrative is a chiasm. The center of the chiasm in Luke’s Gospel is 13:31-35 with the words “…Jerusalem. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, …” The center of the Acts journey narrative is Paul’s speech in Athens to the Areopagus (p. 210). The mission of Jesus is fulfilled in Jerusalem in the Gospel of Luke. The mission of His disciples is centered on taking the Gospel to the nations.
Twenty six adults, from ten villages, came to our Bakwé teacher training course which ran from September 2nd through the 5th. Pastor Firmain and Perez ran the course and, from what I hear, did a great job. Four of the participants that came were women; two were non-Bakwé interested in teaching reading and writing in their churches. All the participants enthusiastically entered into the discussions and some brave souls even participated in getting up in front of the class to demonstrate what they had learned. On the last day of the four-day seminar, the group voted in a new committee for Bakwé literacy.
We are happy that Bakwé reading and writing classes are spreading into more villages every year. This year we have classes starting in the furthest village North and South of the Bakwé area. These two villages speak different dialects of Bakwé but are still able to use the primer with the teachers making some local modifications for their audiences. There are three main Bakwé dialects.
Our reading and writing primer is almost ready for its third printing. After a number of years of experience, we divided the primer into two separate volumes; one for beginner level and another for the intermediate level. We have third primer that we use for adult pre-literates.
We are still having trouble from time to time with our Internet connection in the village. This week the break in communication was caused by Perez’s computer crashing. Alexis got it running again by Monday the 8th and we’re good for now. What a blessing Skype, Google Calendar and Google Documents have already been when we have the connection! Skype is an Internet chatting application. Google Calendar allows us to see each other’s work schedules. Google Documents allows us to jointly edit documents online.
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