Yambetta NT | Yambeta
The Yambetta community is centered ninety miles north of Cameroon’s capital city, Yaoundé. They grow cocoa and raise a variety of domesticated animals in a region of savannas and forests.
Only about 25% of the Yambetta population can read in any language. Most don’t understand French, the primary language of the church. Christians find cures from spirit healers, commit adultery and rely heavily on traditional religious beliefs.
An expatriate translation team began New Testament work in 1978 and produced the Gospel of Mark, but work was suspended before more work could be published. The church is using the Yambetta Gospel of Mark and also appreciates the mother-tongue lectionary materials the translators have provided.
A complete New Testament, translated church materials and an extensive literacy program should make a significant impact in the community. An initial group of 1,000 Yambetta speakers will be taught to use the translated Scriptures effectively.
News from the Field
Because the Yambetta way of life corresponds very closely to that of the Old Testament, church leaders feel that the stories will minister to the people in a unique way to clarify their understanding of God. Roman Catholic missionaries brought Christianity to the Yambetta area almost a century ago, and it remains a powerful influence in the community. A few Protestant denominations are also active in the region. Yambetta volunteers have been working on Bible translation since 1978.
The Yambetta community are of Bantu descent. Primarily farmers, they cultivate cocoa and raise a variety of domesticated animals in a varied landscape that includes both savannah and forest. Yambetta villages have little access to health facilities. People often resort to traditional cures through animistic practices. Adults encourage young boys to experiment sexually to assure their virility. They also push adolescent girls into sexual activity before marriage to demonstrate fertility.