New Gbaya Bible editions bring joy

Posted on July 24, 2012 by Global Mission Support

Anne and Willie Langdji are ELCA missionaries in Cameroon. They serve in the areas of health ministries and sustainable development and are also Western Africa regional representatives. To support them, or another of the ELCA’s 225 missionaries, go to

Recently ordained Pastor Rita and her husband.

Recently ordained Pastor Rita and her husband.

There are around 250 languages spoken in Cameroon. Since their arrival in the 1920s, American Lutheran missionaries have been involved in translating the Bible into Gbaya, an important language in the region where they were working. The first edition of the Bible was dedicated in 1996. But on June 9 this year in Garoua-Boulai, a second edition and a first edition with the deutero-canonical books were dedicated, to much celebration. Present were local church leaders from both Cameroon and the Central African Republic, but also Dr. Philip Noss, a Lutheran missionary kid and prominent linguist who oversaw this translation work, as well as a 92-year-old priest from France who has made this his life’s work. The Spirit will use this event and the availability of new Gbaya Bibles to work for reconciliation in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cameroon, which is still struggling with internal unrest.

The next morning, the EELC’s Bible School in Garoua-Boulai  graduated 21 new lay catechists, including one woman. And the new Gbaya Bible was proudly open on the laps of members, catechists and pastors during the service.

The local congregation almost blew the roof off the church when National Bishop Thomas Nyiwe introduced Pastor Rita, one of the first three women ordained by the EELC at the beginning of May.

Joy, joy, joy!

Thanks for your continuing support and prayers!