Thursday, 15 March 2018

December to February Update

Hey All! It is hard to believe that it has been 3 months since we last updated our blog! Things have been quite hectic these last few months and there is a lot we want to share with you all. For one thing, this blog post is coming to you from the US of A! (More on that in the next post, which will hopefully come out next week.) But let's take a moment and review some of the stuff that happened since the last time we posted in December.

We were so happy to see our staff member, good friend and faithful disciple, Elizabeth, graduate from the University of Buea. I was honored to be asked to speak at the reception in her home. We thank God for some of the wonderful people with whom He has brought us into contact. 

Thanks for those who helped send money for our school kids' Christmas gifts. I think you could say they enjoyed them! 

We had another competition with our gym guys as the year drew to an end. The turnout was great and the guys really enjoyed it. Michael was our winner for the 3rd time in a row, squatting over 500 pounds and deadlifting 550. William, in the blue beside me is one of the faithful saints in Cameroon, and is a tremendous encouragement to me. 

We were greatly blessed to have my parents out for Christmas and the New Year. The kids really enjoyed having grandma and grandpa around and we appreciated them coming in spite of the tense situation in Cameroon. 
We had a fun barbecue/cookout for a large group of missionary kids from Rainforest International School who had come to climb Mount Cameroon in January. We really enjoy hosting people and encouraging through hospitality. 

Brittney, Alima, and Hannah had a chance to travel to the West province of Cameroon to take part in a women's retreat in January. 
Brittney got to teach and as always did a great job. Many were greatly encouraged by her presence there and also by Hannah, who was there for her 11th Birthday! 

We received messages that schools were being threatened in early February. People were rushing to take their kids home, as we were told rebels were in the area. We brought the school kids down to our house, closed up school and had parents come and bring a change of clothes so the students could return safely home. Thankfully the threats never materialized and school could resume that week. 

In February, we had a great opportunity for some of our staff to get trained in the ACE system that we use for our school.Elizabeth, Rosette, Lucy, Sophia and Mary all did a great job at the program.

Monday-Friday, our staff worked hard from 8 AM to 5 PM in an intensive Supervisor Training Program. It was such a blessing that this opportunity was available. 

Our staff got to experience the life of their students, raising their flags, working on PACEs, taking tests, using a goal card, scoring and more.  

A gentleman from Nigeria came and did an excellent job conducting the training. We are so grateful that God helped work this out, and for those of you who helped sponsor the training. 

We also had a wonderful chance in February at the end of the 2nd quarter, to take the school kids to the zoo, and it happened on Jonathan's birthday too! We hired a bus and went town to Limbe. 

The kids (and staff also) were fascinated by the animals at the zoo. God surely made some amazing creatures both great and small. 

I may be biased but I think we have some of the cutest school kids around. 

The Limbe Wildlife Center takes in animals that are illegally kept as pets and tries to rehabilitate them. Cameroon's wildlife is actually quite endangered as illegal hunting means we hardly ever see a wild animal. In fact, aside from birds, a few squirrels, lizards and snakes, I don't think I have seen any other wild animals in Cameroon in the past 6 years. 

After the zoo, we went down to the beach at Limbe and had a yummy meal of roasted fish. It was pretty delicious. Many of our students had never left Buea, and few had been to Limbe, which is only about 20 miles from Buea. 

We thank God for the chance to spend some fun time with our kids and enjoy the wonders of God's creation. So much happened in the last 3 months, we are humbled and grateful to our God who makes all these things possible. We also thank you all who help sponsor our students and school. You are making a difference! 

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Pictures and Projects

Hey All!

We hope this finds you all well and blessed. We just wanted to take quick minute to share with you a couple of pictures, and some ideas we had for some special "Christmas projects" in case you'd be interested. We'd love to hear from you to know how your year has gone and what are some things we can pray for you for the next year!

And if you'd like to come for a visit, we'll hook you up with some Christmas goodies... maybe some chocolate peanut butter balls. Yummm! 

Or if you prefer to not gain 15 pounds this Christmas season :D, maybe you can have some of the fresh greens we are trying to grow in our kids' garden. (You're welcome to them, that means less veggies that I have to eat, Ha Ha!)

I really enjoyed taking the kids that made Honor Roll out for a special meal. 
Hannah, Melanie, John, Onana, Joshua and Jonathan. Good kids here, we are blessed to see them growing in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and men. 

A pretty big prayer request: Cameroon is in a downward spiral of violence. Civil war is all but inevitable, and things seem to be heating up at an almost exponential rate. The last 2 months have seen a significant escalation in the crisis here. Fighting has been going on not even 100 miles away. Please pray for peace and resolution. God only knows the future, but without some Divine Intervention, things look grim. We need the Prince of Peace to heal this land's growing schisms. 

Well, Christmas time is here, and as usual, we like to share a few projects and ideas for those who would like to know of ways they can be involved with the work here. This year, we could especially use the extra help with these projects, as we have run into some unexpected financial hurdles in the last few weeks. 

1- Christmas gifts for our students. We'd like to buy a few small gifts for our school students. Some of them will not receive anything at this time of year. $5 a child would let us buy nice simple gifts for our students. There are 27 kids. If you'd like to help out with this, we would love to send you a picture of the kids with their gifts. School closes next week by Wednesday, so please let us know ASAP if you'd be interested in helping with this. 
2- Bonuses for our staff. We'd like to help our staff out with some end-of-year/Christmas bonuses. There are a lot of additional expenses facing families at this time of year... a little extra cash to help spread holiday cheer would be a big blessing. We have 7 full/part time school and gym staff... you could be a huge blessing to our hard-working staff for as little as $50. We'd like to give these out at our staff Christmas party next Saturday (the 23rd). We've done these above two things every year, but with our current financial situation, won't be able to move forward with them without some help. 
3- Staff Training Seminar: We have a great opportunity to help equip and train our Cameroonian teaching staff. There will be a special ACE (the educational system we use in our school) training session, the 2nd week of January, in Limbe, about 35 minutes away from us. Trainers and instructors will be coming from Nigeria for a week-long program. We'd really really like to send our staff for this program. The cost is $200 per person and we have 5 staff members we'd like to send. We don't know when such an opportunity will again present itself, so would really like to take advantage of it, but will need some special help to make it possible. 
4- Some Rent Help: As I mentioned, we have gotten hit with a number of unexpected financial expenses. We aren't in debt (yet), but things are fairly tight. If you'd like to help us out personally, we could use a little help paying rents this month... we have rents due for the gym, the schoolhouse, and our own house. We usually budget for these and save up... but as I said, due to some unforeseen circumstances, it is going to be very tight trying to meet all of these obligations. 

We know God will take care of all our needs, as He always has, but also know the generosity of our beloved family and friends in Christ, and the joy that comes with being able to give, and this is why we share these things with you all. We do wish you all a very merry Christmas and a blessed and happy New Year! God bless you guys! 

The Hostetters 

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Triumphs, Trials and Thanks!

 Greetings All! We hope you all have had a great Thanksgiving weekend and that God continues to bless you as you live for Him. Here's a quick update on various activities of the last few weeks. We hope you will be encouraged and enjoy this blog post!

We have had the opportunity to visit and revisit a couple of congregations this month. We visited the brethren in Bomaka, as well as in Bonaberi, which is in the city of Douala (around 3 Million people). I was blessed to have the opportunity to share the Word. 

The roads in Bonaberi left a little to be desired. 

The trip to Bonaberi was one of the last for our green machine, the Toyota Prado. It's been a great car for the last 2 and 1/2 years, and we were sad to say goodbye, but it was becoming quite expensive to keep running and maintained. Please keep us in prayers as we look for a new(er) replacement vehicle that we can find something that will serve us well at the right price.

The gym ministry continues to go well. We even started a Facebook Page for it! You can check it out by searching for Faith Builders Gym! 

Our house church services continue to move along. We are now doing a survey of the entire Bible, trying to do 1-3 books each week, to improve basic Bible knowledge and help people be able to put things in context of the rest of the Bible. 

Brittney and Elizabeth, two super workers in our school. Brittney runs the upper learning center (with my help) and Elizabeth helps as a monitor for the school. 

School continues to go very well. We finished up our 1st Quarter on Wednesday and the kids enjoyed being able to have a merit sale. If you ever want to send stuff for this (small school supplies, dollar store toys, etc... ) the kids really enjoyed this, and it helps them stay motivated. 

November has not been without its challenges. We have dealt with some health issues, as almost everyone in the family came down sick. Carys was the most affected, with both Malaria and Typhoid, but seems to be improving. Hannah and I also had a number of painful boils. We are grateful for your continued prayers and encouragement. 

After everyone being sick, and pushing hard to finish up the 1st quarter of school, we were so very grateful to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with good friends, the Schilinskis, and to have a few days off of school to rest and recoup. As we strive to thank God in times of sickness and challenges, we are also so grateful for times of abundance, times of fun and family. 

Thank you all so very much for all you do for our family, for the work in Cameroon, and for the family of God worldwide. We really could not do what we do without your backup, your support, your encouragement, your financial aid, and most of all, your prayers. Thank you so much! We love you all and think and pray for you. God bless you all!