The first speaker of the day was the chief of the village. He shared a story from his days of a child that if you greeted a white man in English you could end up with a penny. One day he did this and he was asked why don’t you speak your birth language? He was shocked at the response and didn’t get his penny. But he soon realized that the missionary wanted him to understand that things could be better understood in his birth language and this strange person wanted to learn it.
Those missionaries wanted to learn his language and because they understood that the Word of God could be better understood in the mother tongue.
The chief then shared two blessings, the first was that communication was better understood in Akosse and the second was that he was alive to see the dedication of the New Testament. He then remarked that this is not the end of decades of work but a new beginning for the Bakossi people.
Then he ended with the statement that he hopes all those who are visiting will be protected by our ancestors and our God. Those sitting around me just looked at each other to verify what we thought we heard him say. One of the great strongholds in Cameroon is the power that African Traditional Religion has over people. Even in the church there are many who do not see a problem with it.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
Please pray for the Bakossi people as they begin to read their own New Testaments and that all of us will not conform to to the patterns of this world. Pray for those who have had to turn away from their families because they understand that the worship of ancestors goes against God’s plan.