Alumni Dave and Stacey Hare (Class of 2018) have lived and worked among the Kwakum people of Cameroon for the last decade. They have analyzed the language and helped create the first-ever Kwakum writing system. Now, they are translating Bible stories into Kwakum and teaching their friends to read and write in their own language.

One of their first literacy students was a young woman named Magui.

“Don’t Waste Your Time”

Dave and Stacey got to know Magui early in their time in the village. Handicapped as a child after contracting polio, Magui spent almost all her time at home.

When literacy classes began, Stacey stopped by Magui’s house to let her know. Her grandmother chimed in, “Oh, don’t waste your time on that one. She has never been to school. She’s crippled. She won’t be able to read.”

Stacey responded, “We will see.”

Only two students faithfully came to all the literacy classes. One of them was Magui. Sure enough, little by little, Magui learned to read.

“That’s Me!”

Magui also liked to sit on the couch in the back of the Kwakum translation house during translation sessions. As she listened to the Bible stories, her awareness of her sin grew. The problem was, when she realized what she’d done wrong, she would simply say, “I will have to do better next time.”

So, Stacey shared a story:

A boy found himself clinging to a branch in the middle of a river. His fellow villagers, unable to swim, sat by helplessly. When, finally, a man who knew how to swim came along, the villagers were shocked to see he did not immediately help the drowning boy!

Finally, after almost an hour, the man dived in, grabbed the boy, and brought him to safety. The rest of the village was thrilled, but they could not imagine why he waited so long. The man told them, “I have found when people are drowning, they panic. In their struggle to live, they often put their own life and mine in danger. But if I wait until they are exhausted in their efforts, they let me save them.”

When Magui heard this story, everything clicked. She exclaimed, “That’s me! I am the boy! All this time I have been trying to save myself. I need to give up and let Jesus save me.”

Not long after, the many people from the village came out to see Magui baptized in a nearby river. Magui has kept growing in Christ ever since.

Now, she serves as a tester on the Kwakum Bible translation team—a far cry from her years cooped up at home! The written word, and the Word of God, have reintroduced meaning into Magui’s life.

Magui’s baptism

Your Turn

Like Dave and Stacey, you can prepare at DIU to partner with communities around the world through language research, literacy development, and Bible translation. Explore our programs now to find the best fit for you.