Introduction / History
Three Wimbum clans inhabit over thirty villages on a mountain range in the North West Province near the Nigerian border. The Wimbum speak one of three dialects of Limbum. The Wimbum people are agricultural. Women farm such crops as corn, beans, greens, potatoes and peanuts. They also grow cabbages, bananas and plantains. Men typically grow cash crops like coffee, and eucalyptus trees, and handle the livestock, house building, carpentry, and mechanics.
SIL first contacted the Wimbum people in 1968. In 1981 translation began, and the final draft was reviewed by an interdenominational committee representing Baptist, Catholic and Presbyterian churches. A SIL member served as exegetical advisor to the translation effort. In 2003, the New Testament translated by SIL was published by the Cameroon Bible Society and was dedicated. The Jesus Film in Limbum, sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ, was dedicated at the same time as the New Testament. Hosanna ministries made it available on cassette for 76 listening groups throughout the area.
Now that the translation of the New Testament is done, there is a great opportunity for Scriptural teaching. From 2002 to 2004 a team of four SIL members worked with the church to encourage the regular use of the translated Scriptures. They established Scripture Impact Seminars, facilitated the recording of choir songs, and provided equipment for a printing shop run by Limbum speakers that provides facilities for printing Limbum materials. These activities are now under the supervision of the interdenominational Limbum Scripture Impact Association, based in Nkambe.
The Limbum language is being taught in 16 primary schools whose students are mostly Limbum speakers. The total population now numbers more than 180,000. There is one pastor for every 1000 people. More than 200 churches are in the Limbum-speaking region.
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