People will not feel they are second rate … When Jesus speaks to them in the mother tongue they will say, “Wow, we are important!”
These are the words of Emmanuel, a local pastor in northwestern Cameroon. For the first time, the Scriptures are being translated into six languages in his Misaje area.
Each of the six language groups is among the Least of These — meaning they have fewer than 10,000 speakers.
Although the majority of Misaje people are believers, traditional practices such as spirit worship continue to permeate daily life.
So the translation teams will form a cluster to speed the translations, making it possible for the Misaje to receive God’s Word sooner rather than later. And they’re getting crucial help from some nearby friends.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors
Last December, the Noni people, who live in southwestern Cameroon, celebrated the completion of the Nooni-language New Testament. They now serve as a testament of God’s goodness and grace in Bible translation to the Misaje people. And because they know firsthand how daunting translation projects can seem, the Misaje Cluster team members can look to them for much-needed encouragement and advice. In fact, three Noni translation team members have graciously come to work alongside the Misaje Cluster teams.
What’s more, the Nooni New Testament helps the translators create their first rough drafts of the New Testament. How so? Well, through special translation software called Adapt-It. This works because Nooni is a related language.
“Developing the Misaje languages into written form and having Scriptures in their languages will help people think positively about themselves and their identity. Having mother-tongue Scriptures will also help each people group truly understand the message of the Word of God,” adds Pastor Nelson, from the Misaje area.
God is moving quickly to get His Word to the Misaje, and very soon they will know their true value.
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. —John 10:10, NLT