Archive for the ‘Christians’ Category

CHRISTMAS: ONE FESTIVAL, TWO KEY CONCEPTS

Today is a special day for Christianity. Many non-Christians have also adopted Christmas out of solidarity or for personal convenience. It, therefore, seems appropriate to us to stimulate reflection on the deep meaning of this festival and its impact on humanity in the light of Luke 2:13-14: « Suddenly, a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God, and saying, « Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests. » (NIV)

These words follow the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ and his solemn announcement to the shepherds who tended their flocks in the vicinity of Bethlehem. It was at night. The timing could not be better to announce the birth of the Light of the world. However, the symbol does not stop there because the choice of shepherds seems highly disconcerting. Indeed, the shepherds did not have a good reputation at that time. People perceived them as dirty, dishonest, and unreliable. They were, therefore, on the margins of society. But curiously, it is on them and not on the political authorities, the religious leaders, or the business men and women that the choice of God falls to have the scoop of this announcement as exceptional as it is. But what is the deep meaning of this divine strategy?

The hermeneutical key seems to reside in the two fundamental concepts: « glory » and « peace ». Although the original text is in Greek, the terms dóxa (glory) and eirênê (peace) naturally refer to Hebrew realities because the first listeners were Jews. Thus, the glory does not only translate the external beauty and the excellence of the divine nature. It also reflects the Hebrew term kavod, which means « glory, honor, respect, distinction, and importance. » Thus, beyond the aesthetic dimension, the divine majesty is so immense that its weight is terrifying. As a result, human norms and conventions crumble like a house of cards before divine glory, giving shepherds the same value in the eyes of God as any other individual in society. The reasoning is simple: everybody is welcome since even marginalized people are now valued. Christmas is good news for everyone, without any discrimination. What about the second concept?

Here too, it would be aberrant to see in peace mentioned in this text the notion of absence of war and conflict conferred by the etymological meaning of this term in Greek. Instead, this word is deeply rooted in the Jewish cultural and religious context. Thus, « peace » refers to the Hebrew term shalom. It confers the idea of harmony in all dimensions of the human condition. It is harmony with God, with oneself, with one’s fellow beings, with one’s activities, and with one’s environment. In short, it is holistic well-being. At Christmas, God announces to humanity the solution to the multidimensional imbalance caused by the fall in the Garden of Eden. Through Christ, God is interested in spiritual, physical, psychological, social, economic, environmental, and integral welfare of His creatures. It is also under this holistic paradigm that the Lord Jesus placed his ministry through reading the passage from the book of Isaiah, which relates to it in detail (cf. Luke 4:16-19 and Isaiah 61:1 -2 [old Greek version]). Thus, the shepherds have become agents of integral transformation. They promptly assumed this responsibility, spreading the good news in their immediate surroundings (cf. Luke 2:16-20). We then understand that if the outcast can be catalysts for holistic peace, those with a more honorable social position can do it more.

Therefore, this profound message has a broader scope than a superficial reading of the text! The fact that the text is available today, even translated into multiple languages and within reach of the contemporary public, challenges us all. To celebrate Christmas in the spirit of the biblical story is to go beyond the peripheral, material, commercial or worldly dimensions to live the values it contains. As former US President John Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) so aptly said, « Christmas is not a day or a season; it’s a state of mind. »  Beyond Christmas’s lively and temporal character, human beings may draw from the depth of their relationship with the Creator of the universe and everything within it to be an instrument of peace in all its dimensions. In so doing, the world would be a better place to live. May it please the Lord to grant us the courage, wisdom, strength, and perseverance to be ambassadors of shalom, in words and deeds, in a world plagued by hostile forces and violence in its many forms!

Prof. Moussa Bongoyok

Christmas 2022

TSAMAHA Bienvenu loue le Seigneur en mafa -TSAMAHA Bienvenu is praising the Lord in Mafa – TSAMAHA Bienvenu a slèberdè Zhiklè a da’i mofa

TSAMAHA Bienvenu

Ndav nga a wuffè te man Zhiklè m’woy nga…m’va nga nshèffè a mèdèp.

Nous nous réjouissons parce que Dieu nous a aimé…Il nous a donné la vie éternelle.

We rejoice because God loved us…He gave us eternal life.

Valorisation des langues africaines au service du développement durable

L’Afrique est riche en valeurs culturelles et linguistiques. Elle compte en son sein 2 154 langues. Malheureusement, l’anglais, le français, l’arabe, le portugais et l’espagnol dominent encore le paysage académique, plus de soixante ans après l’indépendance. Que faire pour changer la donne ? L’Institut Universitaire de Développement International (IUDI) est convaincu que le développement du continent africain passe inéluctablement par la valorisation des langues et cultures africaines. Or, sur ce terrain, et malgré les imperfections relevées çà et là, les missionnaires chrétiens ont fait un excellent travail développant des alphabets pour des langues africaines en rédigeant des livres et brochures utiles pour l’enseignement, la santé publique, la formation professionnelle. En collaboration avec des Africains, ils ont aussi appris nos langues et traduit la Bible ou des portions des Saintes Ecritures dans diverses langues du terroir. Il revient à la nouvelle génération d’Africains, sans aucune discrimination religieuse ou ethnique, d’évaluer le chemin parcouru et de bâtir là-dessus pour redonner aux langues africaines ses lettres de noblesse de la maternelle jusqu’au niveau de l’enseignement supérieur. Un Bantou, par exemple, devrait être en mesure de soutenir sa thèse de doctorat en langue bantoue sans transiter par une langue étrangère. L’IUDI s’y attelle et exige déjà que ses étudiants et étudiantes rédigent les résumés de leurs mémoires et thèses dans leurs langues maternelles.  Bien plus encore, il travaille avec ses agences d’accréditation pour que, dans un proche avenir, la rédaction des mémoires et des thèses puisse aussi se faire dans les langues africaines, pourvu que les membres du jury aient les qualifications académiques nécessaires et soient en mesure de lire, comprendre et évaluer le travail en question.

Mais, l’IUDI ne veut pas s’enfermer dans le silo académique puisqu’il se veut aussi un mouvement de développement transformationnel. Or, la religion et la langue jouent un rôle incontournable dans le développement durable. Aussi l’IUDI lance-t-il un concours annuel de lecture et de mémorisation de textes rédigés ou traduits dans les langues africaines. Un avis formel de concours sera annoncé très prochainement sur Contributions Africaines. En attendant, veuillez affûter vos talents linguistiques. Ci-dessous, le Président de l’IUDI donne l’exemple en lisant le 1er chapitre du livre de Proverbes en mafa.  

L’Institut Universitaire de Développement International (IUDI)

University of International Development

https://iudi.org/

Africa is rich in cultural and linguistic values. It has 2,154 languages. Unfortunately, English, French, Arabic, Portuguese, and Spanish dominate the African academic landscape more than 60 years after independence. What can fellow Africans do to change the situation? The University Institute for International Development (IUDI) thinks that the development of the African continent inevitably requires the enhancement of African languages and cultures. However, in this field, and despite the imperfections noted here and there, Christian missionaries have done an excellent job developing alphabets for African languages and translating books and pamphlets useful for teaching, public health, vocational training, and translating the Bible or portions of the Bible into various local languages. It is up to the new generation of Africans, without any religious or ethnic discrimination, to assess the progress made and build on it to restore African languages to their former glory from kindergarten to higher education. A Bantu, for example, should defend his doctoral thesis in the Bantu language without going through a foreign language. IUDI is aiming at it. It already requires its students to write abstracts of their dissertations and theses in their mother tongues. Much more, it works with its accreditation agencies so that, soon, students will have the option of writing their dissertations, and theses can in any African language, provided that the jury members have the necessary academic qualifications and can read, understand, and understand and evaluate the work in question.

Nevertheless, IUDI does not want to lock itself into the academic silo since it wants to be a transformational development movement. Religion plays an essential role in sustainable development. It, therefore, launches an annual competition for reading and memorizing texts written or translated into African languages. A formal notice of competition will be announced very soon on Contributions Africaines. In the meantime, please each African is kindly requested to hone his or her language skills. Below, the IUDI President sets an example by reading the 1st chapter of Proverbs in the Mafa language.

The University Institute for International Development (IUDI) University of International Development https://iudi.org/

Prof. Moussa Bongoyok

The Prayer of Habakkuk

  • In what ways COVID-19 has impacted the local economy and even spiritual life negatively?
  • What do we learn from Habakkuk in such challenging times and how do we apply these lessons to our individual and collective lives?
  • Joy must characterize the life of a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. If there is no joy in your daily life, please watch as there is certainly a spiritual leak. Ask yourself these diagnostic questions: Am I complaining often? Do I have the tendency to blame others for almost everything? Do I talk to myself negatively? Do I dwell in my past successes or failures? Do I resist to change? Do I want to please everybody (which by way is am impossible task)? Do I doubt God’s wonderful plan for my life? Do I neglect my Bible study, church attendance, and prayer life? I am hiding to commit sin or life my life like an ungodly person without a respectful fear of God? Am I jealous? Am I envious? Am I afraid of what will happen to me given my current life circumstances? Bring these issues to the Lord in prayer and your will enjoy His peace and joy.
  • Prof. Moussa Bongoyok

The prayer life of Daniel: lessons for a victorious Christian life today

« It is our  Heavenly Father who pilots our lives. Despite the turbulences of life, everything will be fine. »Moussa Bongoyok

Yesu Kristi – Jésus-Christ – Jesus Christ

Extrait du film Jésus en langue Mafa (Mofa). Voix: Ndoumai Pierre et Moussa Bongoyok

REWBE TINIIBE UEEC-Douala/ On tuuba, Yesu baadi loraago- Repentez-vous, Jésus revient bientôt – Repent, Jesus is coming soon

Giimol Rewbe Union des Églises Évangéliques au Cameroun (UEEC) haa Douala dow ko windi nder Luka 17:34-37. Chant exécuté par les femmes de l’UEEC de l’église de Douala sur la base de Luc 17:34-37. Song performed by the women of the Union of Evangelical Churches in Cameroon, local church of Douala, based on Luke 17:34-37.

Unissons-nous – Let us all unite

Le Dieu Créateur est le Seigneur.

Et Jésus-Christ est le seul Sauveur.

Seras-tu en paix avec le Père

Quand tu fais la guerre à ton frère ?

C’est vrai que nous sommes différents,

Mais nos veines ont le même sang.

Chrétiens, cessons de nous faire la guerre.

Rejetons les armes de cette ère.

Unissons-nous, donnons-nous la main ;

Demeurons tous sur le droit chemin.

Que l’Esprit du Seigneur nous remplisse,

Que la mission du Christ s’accomplisse.

Livrons le bon combat de la foi.

Que le saint amour soit notre loi ;

Un amour vérité et service,

Un amour bonté et sacrifice.

Au paradis, point de divisions,

Ni d’humaines dénominations.

Vivons notre céleste patrie,

Et l’Eglise sera moins meurtrie.

Extrait de Moussa Bongoyok Joyeux malgré la Crise (Pasadena, CA : Trinity Press, 2002) p. 15

Chant de Noël au rythme de maray – Christmas song to the rythm of maray – Priscille et Moussa Bongoyok

https://bongoyok.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/priscille-et-moussa-bongoyok.mov

Let us rejoice because the coming of Jesus in this world brings deliverance from the slavery of sin!

Réjouissons-nous car la venue de Jesus dans ce monde nous annonce la délivrance de l’esclavage du péché!

Seigneur, que n’ai-je mille voix

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