Yves (from Montreal, Que.) and Christine (from Calgary, Alta.) have been serving Bible translation in Francophone Africa since 1994. They began their work among the Baka pygmies, a hunter-gatherer people group in the rainforest of Cameroon, but they had concerns that these pre-literate people would not relate well to God’s Word presented in book form. For this reason, the Léonards chose to translate the great stories of the Bible into oral stories, told in the traditional mode of storytelling used by the Baka people.
When the Baka heard God’s Word in this familiar way, a bridge was created for Christ to enter their hearts and culture. The Baka Story Bible, which is told orally, sung in their cultural style, and written and illustrated in booklets, continues to be the foundation for evangelism and discipleship among the Baka.
Upon completion of this translation in 2013, Yves and Christine joined their three adult daughters in Calgary. But the Léonard’s work continues in Africa. Yves is now a consultant. He partners with The Seed Company, assisting other African people groups to access God’s Word orally as the Baka have. Yves makes regular trips to Cameroon and other countries in Central Africa, where he holds oral translation workshops and trains African translators to be consultants and facilitators for oral Bible storying.
Christine continues to develop literacy materials for the Baka so they can increase their access to God’s Word. For both Yves and Christine, there is nothing more thrilling than seeing people groups get excited about Christ through His dynamic Word in their mother tongues! Yves and Christine would love to have you join them in this pursuit through your prayer and financial support.