Sunday, May 13, 2007

Hymnal Editorial Team Meets in Yaounde

The Cameroon hymnal is another step closer to reality. This past week, Rev. John Thornburg has been back in Yaounde meeting with the editorial committee. Here's a few pictures from the gathering:

The group met in the conference room at the new Mission Office. John's stated goal was to confirm the 70-80 hymns and songs that had already been chosen, and to introduce 65 new songs that he'd found in French and English. The work apparently went well, because by the end of the week, the group had a firm list of 150 songs that will be included in the final product.

The key to survival in Cameroon? ... drink plenty of fluids!! Lots of water, Coke and that terrific Cameroonian fruit drink, D'jino!! We're in the midst of the rainy season, but that simply means that the mornings are nice and cool, sweltering by mid-afternoon, and then cool off with an early evening shower.

Three members of the team celebrate the new celebrity status of Therese Nomo (left), who holds a copy of Reformed Worship, upon which her face graces the front cover!

The complete team, from left to right: Alexis Godonou, John Thornburg, Pastor Solomon Mbwoge, Pastor David Sen, and Therese Nomo.

I hate to steal John's thunder, but I am excited about the work of the team. Perhaps the most exciting thing that happened on this, John's fourth trip to Cameroon, was the fact that the editorial team seems to finally be taking over the ownership of the project. He and I were both worried that, in the end, the hymnal would be "John's hymnal," or "the hymnal that the Americans put together." But the team took over the passion -- and much of the decision-making -- for the book this time.

Significantly, one of the things that has changed was that the book was originally meant to have French and English on opposite pages. Now the team has decided that the French and English sections will be two distinct and separate sections of the book -- but with the same page numbers.

This enables the two sections to include some different songs, important for their region; but also allow French-speaking and English-speaking Cameroon Methodists to worship together at the same time.