As the CEO and General Director of the Cameroon Association for Bible Translations and Literacy (CABTAL), Efi Tembon provides direction and vision, facilitates change, raises funds, and mentors others. This organization strives “to mobilize and empower churches, communities and individuals to carry out Bible translation and language based community development through linguistic research, translation, functional literacy and Scripture engagement” as is written in their mission statement. Tembon’s Organizational Leadership Master of Arts added to his leadership abilities; he says, “understanding change, monitoring and evaluating how organizations work have helped me to contribute in the change process taking place at CABTAL today. My time at Crown really contributed in shaping my mind regarding spiritual foundations for the work we do. Today we are doing ministry with a result based focus as well as spiritual and social return on investment.” His investment into Cameroon is vast as his organization is translating the Bible in 66 languages, a ministry that is part of Wycliffe Global Alliance.
The Bible translation has led to tens of thousands of people downloading an audio New Testament reading in their native tongue. With small, inexpensive audio recorders, they have effectively taken God’s Word to the street to share the good news.
Another part of his ministry is developing books in native languages promoting functional literacy as the books address human rights, health issues, hygiene, and agriculture. With less than 80% literacy rate for the population, communities are reaching out to him for help. Communities are uniting because they must all be involved in these initiatives; each community is responsible for their own transformation. And transformation is happening as tribal leaders and others are coming to Christ and volunteering to teach others.
In addition to this work, he also co-facilitates an annual best practices conference for Bible translations ministries for 11 countries in Asia and Africa. This conference is shaping other missions. And Tembon facilitates the Platform for Impact for God’s Word in Cameroon which brings together different denominational leaders all working together to transform Cameroon. He received a letter of congratulations from the Prime Minister of Cameroon due to his work in this initiative.
Tembon started his MA degree in 2007 and continued working during the years he studied. He took classes while in the United States and also upon return to Africa where he not only directs CABTAL but is also the President of the Forum of Bible Agencies in Cameroon. The online classes worked for Tembon as he was able to participate even though in a different country than most of his classmates. He worried about how the discussions would go, “but to my amazement, we had great discussions and interactions with classmates and professors online.” Years after graduating with time to implement his knowledge and skills he says, “As I look back, my time at Crown was a very worthy investment in my life and in the ministry in Cameroon.”