Tuesday, 24 April 2012

A Special Project

Brothers! Sisters! We are excited to be able to share with you a great project that recently came our way! We hope you will be encouraged, and might even want to get involved in some way!

So, we recently rented a house that will be our multipurpose ministry building! We are super excited! It is a reasonably priced 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom, 2-storey house about half of a mile from our apartment, situated on a main road at a well-accessible junction. What a find in Buea! What are we going to use it for? A gym ministry, an after-school program, a library, a Bible-study area, a volunteers’ residence, an office, small assemblies, youth programs, and perhaps most exciting- eventually our school!

Our plan specifically is that downstairs, we can have our gym ministry, where we can offer physical fitness training and thus meet people to whom we will also offer spiritual “fitness training.” The dining room area will be for Bible studies with a table and some bookshelves of Bible study books. In addition to the Bible study books, we’d like to have a shelf of school textbooks. There is a high school right across the street, and a primary school not much farther down. We’d like to be able to have young people come and study in our library area when the gym is not going on, not only to build good-will and as a justification of our NGO, but also to be able to impact young lives for Christ! This triple-purpose area will also double as the dining room for any volunteers that we have. Speaking of volunteers, here’s another exciting thought…

Two young people in Ghana, products of the Christian school there (Grace Appah and George Owusu) have expressed interest in coming to Cameroon to help out with our work here. They are incredible young people and would be a HUGE help, increasing our impact manifold times. A number of others also have expressed interest in coming to help. Where will they stay? Well…

The upstairs has four bedrooms. The master bedroom has an attached bathroom.  This would be our volunteer’s quarters. Volunteers will have use of the kitchen, downstairs, and the dining room, and would be able to help out with gym memberships as well. Of course, we would only put people of the same gender in the house, but having this means that we could put the other gender in our guest room in our own home. Besides serving as a volunteer’s quarters, a second room upstairs will become our mission’s office, where we can meet people, work on lessons, and do additional Bible studies. Many will not take an NGO seriously that operates out of your home, so having an official office helps with getting status/recognition. Finally, the other two rooms are available as our school rooms! This is exciting. We could have a Learning to Read class in one room, and a primary class in the other.  (We probably won’t add high-school until Hannah is that age.)

So, what do we need? We have already been able to get some equipment and to pay the advance of rent on the place, by draining much of the start-up savings we had left, as we feel that this is a great opportunity and that it will greatly expand the reach and impact of our ministry, both immediately and in the long term. What we have done is really just a beginning though, and in order to do more, we need help, as the well is beginning to run dry. To be honest, many of the things associated with startup here have been more expensive than we initially estimated. For example, we have already had to spend over $800 just on immigration status. Appliances and furniture are more expensive than they would be even in the states. We are not complaining, but want you all to understand why this appeal. We do not want to strain folks, and will proceed with this project even if no one is able to help out, it will just be on a smaller scale and slower. We thought it best to however share with you all about this project, as there may be some who would be interested in helping out on a one-time basis, or who would be excited by it and might want to do something extra. Please, we are not pressuring or anything… it’s just something we are excited about that we wanted to share.  Here’s a short table of some expenses involved in seeing this project take off, so you can get an idea of what we are looking at.

1 Years Advance at $160 per month.
Weights and Bars-
~750lbs of weights at $1.50 per pound.
Benches, Squat Rack, Pull/Press Machine
To Protect the Floor
Changing Locks, Repairing Wiring and Plumbing, Other Work
Cardio Machines-
Rower, Stepper, Stationary Bike, and Manual Treadmill
(Bookshelves, Various Furniture for the Guest Room, etc…)
Of weights and equipment to and from Douala
Our best estimate of what we will end up spending. After start-up, additional work will be funded out of dues/contributions of members, as well as our monthly support.
What we’ve spent on Rent, Equipment, Etc… from our start-up savings.
What we estimate we will still spend.

So, that’s what we’re looking at. If you have any questions/contributions/advice, please let us know. We feel that getting this set up and running will really expand the work that we do here and open up numerous opportunities for Evangelizing, Educating, and Equipping, our Big 3 E’s here. Please let us know if you or someone you know would be able to help out! Thanks so much!

In Christ,

The Hostetters

The Front view of the house. The volunteer's room is upstairs on the right, the office will be upstairs on the left. The gym will be downstairs.

The gym area, with the library/study area in the back.

The kitchen for our volunteers and school.

One of the rooms we will use as a school room. These two rooms are in the back.

One of the bathrooms upstairs. It needs some cleaning.

Some of the equipment we've already bought.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

To the Bush and Back.

Praise God we are home safely from our trip to the village of Ntenako in the Mamfe area of Cameroon. To get there Jeremiah drove 2 hours on a nice paved road and then another 5 hours on a terrible dirt road. It reminded me of Jacob wrestling with the angel all night, Jeremiah wrestled with the car all day. lol! And why?! To show the love of Christ and share His Word. We have been studying with the Takem family for over 2 months now and Fredrick, the husband/father, wanted us to visit his village to share the Word, meet his relatives, and show us where he grew up. Despite the bumpy roads, getting eaten by mosquitoes, melting in the heat with no electricity, we had a great, productive and even fun week in the village. :) Now I will let some pictures do the talking:
One of the bridges that the Germans built during the colonial days.
A bridge that the Cameroonians built about 5 years ago.
The crew that went to Mamfe. Fredrick is on the far right.
A house in the village made of mud with a layer of concrete on top.

Jeremiah preaching to the villagers about the importance of relying on the Bible.
Jonathan loved village life.

A beautiful, precious soul.

Brittney reading Bible stories to some of the village kids.

A hunter and his meat...anyone know what kind of animal this is??

A boy climbing up the palm tree to get some coconuts for us.
Fredrick's aunt working on the farm.

Hannah teaching the kids how to play duck duck goose.

An old German walking bridge.
A picture of the river from the middle of the bridge.
A boy coming from the farm with mangos on his head.
A lot of the village kids work on the farm rather than going to school.

A motorcycle carrying a motorcycle.

Our bath and toilet area.

A pineapple growing on the farm.

One of the village kitchens.

Some of Fredrick's family we were able to share the Word with.

 We are thankful for the opportunity that we had to sow some seeds in this village. Lord willing we will be able to follow up and see growth. Perhaps Fredrick will become a Christian and go back to his village and preach to his people...maybe we will have to wait for his son to do so. It's exciting to think about what God is going to do with the seed He has given us to sow.

In Christ,
The Happy Hostetters

Friday, 6 April 2012

A Benevolence Opportunity

Something that we've always appreciated that God brings our way are opportunities to show His love and compassion through benevolence. Some weeks ago, such an opportunity came up when we visited a local church. There we met a 69 years-old man named Vincent Elumba in a sad situation. He is totally destitute- living in a single room, with nothing to his name but a few dirty, used-up changes of clothes, unable to work any more because of his health. He had a number of problems- high blood pressure, which was causing bad eyesight, a slowly growing cataract, and a horrid infection on his foot. He came up and asked if there was anything we could do to help. Seeing his obvious need, we were grateful that through the support of the Saints, we were in a position to help. So, that following week, I (Jeremiah), took him to the hospital for a check up. We did a number of tests (which is when we found that his BP was 198/120) and also had some x-rays done of his foot. They found that the foot, which has been infected since he cut himself accidentally with a machete while farming eight years ago, has become infected in the bone. We had to go, on another day, down to a different hospital in a different town to see a specialist about it. After a 7 hour wait, the specialist saw us, and told Vincent that he will need to amputate, as the infection in the bone would be very difficult to cure, and the skin has peeled back too much to regrow. He said that there was a good chance that the infection would eventually kill him, either by spreading, turning ulcerous, or becoming cancerous. Vincent was pretty shocked at this... and did not want to do it. He didn't know how he could recover, who would take care of him, or how to pay for the work. I told him that the money wasn't a problem- I knew that the Saints in the States would help. However, he still did not want to do it, feeling that he is so old (life expectancy here is in the 50s) that the several months it would take for the operation and then recovery would be to big a chunk of the rest of his life. We were able to get his BP under control with medication, and had his eyesight checked out. He ended up not using the glasses that we got, as his eyesight improved enough from his blood pressure returning to normal. After a few weeks we went back to the specialist, and after another 8 hour wait, we were able to see the specialist again. Vincent told him that he really does not want to amputate, and asked if there was anything else that he could try. The doctor understood and said that, though amputation was the only thing that could really take care of the problem and eliminate risks of further complications, he would let him try salt baths, honey wraps, and antibiotics. I also got him some multi-vitamins, as I know that his diet is not very good, and a walking cane to help support his weight. There was nothing else we could do for the meantime, but will try this and go back in a month and see what happens. Perhaps, with lots of prayers and carefully following the prescribed treatment, he will make at least sufficient progress that they will not still advise amputation. Vincent was really happy to see me when I went back last Sunday, and says that he is feeling stronger, his eyesight has improved, and his foot is not hurting any more. In fact, he told me he is just carrying his cane now for "nyanga" or to look cool. :) Please keep this in prayers. I am grateful God gave us this chance to show God's love. Pray that Vincent will see that (I think he does) and that we can continue to have a deeper impact on his spiritual health in the future. I am actually teaching at his church this month.

Vincent in the Hospital before treatment.

His infected foot before cleaning.
Getting his eyes checked out. 

Vincent with his cane at the assembly, feeling stronger.