Breaking Barriers: New Testaments Headed to Cameroon in Six Misaje Languages

It is finished! The New Testaments in six different Misaje languages arrived by ship in mid-March in Cameroon. For 21 years, Chris Smoes has served in Cameroon with Wycliffe Bible Translators, an organization dedicated to bringing the Bible to all people in their “heart language”—the first language someone speaks at home. 

Chris was a Translation Facilitator in the Misaje project and then became the Translation Coordinator for the country. Chris and other staff worked with 23 national translators in Misaje to create translations of the New Testament in the six languages of that area.

The process? Very simply stated: each translation team used adaptation software to compose a pre-draft from a related language, followed by years of analyzing the best words for clarity in the context of the culture yet staying true to the original meaning. Next, proofreading, typesetting, and printing.

Celebrations will take place in December 2024. But the joy of having a Bible in one’s own language depends on being able to read. 

Kay, Chris’ wife, has her Masters in Literacy Development and is involved in training Cameroonians to teach literacy to their people. Through the years, she has led workshops and facilitated the writing of how-to booklets and primers for beginning readers.

Through their years in Cameroon, the Smoes have had to adjust schedules and locations to circumvent civil unrest. Kay’s passion for trauma healing has served well to aid people, especially children, to learn each is loved by Jesus. The next time you hold your Bible, be thankful you have God’s Word at your fingertips.

The Smoes have two children. Ethan attends LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. Clarisa is a high school junior in Cameroon. Chris grew up at Central Presbyterian Church and his parents Bob and Carolyn Smoes are long-time members.

 

To support their work, contact their Central Church connector,
Judy Summers, at 1judysummers@gmail.com

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