One of the first Bible translators for the Aghem people in Cameroon has been murdered during an attack on his village. He is the second member of the team killed in recent months.

Benjamin Tem was one of the original cohort of trained translation workers on the Aghem Bible translation project. He helped his people to read and discover the life-changing message about Jesus; through his efforts many started studying the Bible in small groups, hearing God speak to them in their own language for the first time.

He died on the night of 20 October, during an attack in the village of Wum. His death follows on from that of Angus Fung, a literacy coordinator, in the same village a couple of months ago. Benjamin leaves behind a wife and five children.

Wum is in the northwest region of Cameroon, an area that has seen considerable civil strife in the past few years.

In partnership with CABTAL (Cameroon Association for Bible Translation and Literacy), Wycliffe provided funding and other support for the Aghem Bible translation project. The Aghem New Testament translation was completed in 2016. Currently, translation work is proceeding on portions of the Aghem Old Testament.

James Poole, Executive Director of Wycliffe, said: ‘This sad news is a reminder of the urgent need for the gospel in Cameroon. There will be no lasting peace without the reconciliation that Jesus brings. We are working with local partners to ensure that all Cameroonians can read the Bible in their own language. Please pray that this would be achieved, and that people would turn to Jesus in the midst of the current crisis.’

Wycliffe has a Crisis Fund to help those caught in emergency or trauma situations, such as this one affecting the Tem family. Giving into this fund is one practical way to assist the Tem family. To give to this fund, please phone 0300 303 1111; email [email protected]; or give online via the website and select ‘Projects’ and enter ‘Crisis Fund’.

In the event that we raise more than is needed to provide support in this situation, gifts will be spent on responding to similar emergency or trauma situations.

Notes to Editors

1. For further information, call Jeremy Weightman on the Wycliffe Communications Team on 0300 303 1111.

2. Wycliffe Bible Translators seeks to enable all peoples to engage with the Bible in a language that speaks to them best. It does this through a range of activities, including Bible translation, literacy and Scripture use initiatives. Currently, Wycliffe has 363 people from the UK and Ireland serving 486 million people who speak 368 languages in 71 countries. Of the 7,300 or so languages spoken worldwide today, only about 700 have the Bible. Around 1.5 billion people (one in every five people) do not have the Bible in their language. As a result, translation of the Bible into people’s languages is one of the critical needs in world mission, to enable the growth of evangelism and discipleship ministries.

3. Images. You can download the following images to accompany the press release, by clicking on the ‘Image’ link:

Image 1 – Benjamin Tem at work on translating the Bible

Image 2 – Map of Cameroon with the town of Yum marked


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