Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Out and About, part 1

It’s been an intense few months for us.  We’ve been traveling a lot in the last couple of months and it has both yielded fruit and taken a toll on us.  The first thing I should say is that we’ve visited a lot of churches and small groups in the last several weeks and it has brought us sooooo close to meeting our financial needs for an on-time return to Cameroon in July.  Pray that the last bits fall in to place soon!

In addition to presenting our ministry and raising funds, there has been some interesting work mixed in.  So allow me a few blog entries over the next few weeks to recount the highlights.

The last entry I made a couple months ago was about my seven weeks in Dallas, which were fabulous for learning but hard on family.  I want to fill you in on a couple of things that happened in the aftermath of my classes in Dallas, both very good.

First, and this actually happened during my classes in Dallas, I was contacted about taking on a new (additional) role in Cameroon with our organization.  I was asked to become the Scripture Engagement Coordinator.  I was a bit surprised and replied initially that I thought a few others were more qualified than myself.  But it was explained to me that they are full up with other responsibilities and can’t take on this role.  So it fell to me.

As I understand it, the job will demand some of my time, but not more than probably one-fourth.  I am still going to be doing my regular work in Ethnoarts in addition to the new role.  The types of things to oversee are the budgeting of a few different programs that are already going on in Cameroon.  These are generally led by very experienced people, so it should be fairly smooth.

The second cool thing I did immediately after my classes finished was to pay a visit to the home base of some of our ministry partners on my way home from Dallas.  I visited the ministry called Faith Comes By Hearing.  I decided to go because in my new role, I will be overseeing some programs that we have been collaborating on with FCBH for several years.

Faith Comes By Hearing has a unique ministry in producing the Bible in audio format.  They have teams that travel around the world to make recordings when a translation is finished, folks at their home office in the US that edit the recordings, and others that produce and ship the finished listening devices.  The ingenious and durable Proclaimer is the most common means by which FCBH has delivered audio Bibles over the years.  Lori and I first saw one of these demonstrated before we joined Wycliffe and were struck by how ingenious, yet simple this device was.  Proclaimers are sturdy black boxes that look like a radio, but have firmware installed of the Bible in audio of a particular language.  The Proclaimer is powered either by plugging into a wall outlet, by an attached solar panel, or a hand crank if being used in remote areas.

Proclaimers being prepared for shipment (above)
Proclaimers also come in smaller sizes (below)

After Proclaimers are shipped by FCBH, the intent is to organize listening groups in villages throughout particular language groups.  That’s where we come in.  We find trustworthy people in the communities to lead these listening groups and subsequent Bible studies.  We have these groups up and running in several language communities throughout Cameroon and intend to add a few more as translations are finished.
I received a thorough demonstration of how the recording is edited, including the addition of sound effects and music.

My colleagues at FCBH are so professional and were wonderful to visit with.  It was great to meet them before assuming the duty of these programs.  The face to face should make our working relationships much better.  I’m so grateful for their hospitality and look forward to extending our partnership as the word spreads further!

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