Eddie and Sue Arthur

Closing ceremony

God speaks every language – after all he created them.

In Bamenda a few days ago, I attended the closing ceremony of the final
workshop of the Introduction to Translation Principles Course. Edward and
David from Bamunka completed the course and got their certificates. Pastors
and various influential people from each of the five language groups
participating in the course were invited. I was watching the audience when
Luke 22:24-27 was read: first in English; then in Bamunka, Bambalang, Aghem,
Pinjin and Awing. People reacted – some with surprise, others with delight –
when they heard the passage in their own language, perhaps for the first
time.

I was impressed by the speech given by Pastor Ezekiel, one of the Bambalang
translators, to the invited guests on behalf of all the participants:

“God is not the God of the white man, but of all heaven and earth and
therefore of your language group. Bible translation is a difficult and
hectic task – but it is a task for everyone. If you have put effort into
learning to read the white man’s language (either English or French), how
much more should you put effort into learning to read your own language.”

He urged everyone to support the translation projects: learn to read,
encourage others to learn to read, join the team, become a literacy teacher,
give financially, pray.

And on behalf of the trainee translators, he said, “We promise to do our
best on our part.”

The same message was reinforced when all the course participants sang a song
which went:
“Talk to Jesus in your tongue, he will hear – he will hear as your
countryman!”

John Hamilton in Ndop, NW Cameroon

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