Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Going to Ghana!

Many of our best memories- our meeting, our marriage, our kids being born, and first ministering together took place in Ghana. For 26 years, Jeremiah lived in Ghana, while Brittney was there for 7 years. While we have now made our home here in Cameroon, and pray that God gives us 26 years and more of ministry here, there will always be a place in our heart for the saints and work and family in Ghana. This is why we are SUPER EXCITED that we have been given the opportunity to go to Ghana next month! We were interested in going, and then back in May, we had a very generous donation with the instructions that we should use it as Christmas/Birthday gifts. We got some equipment for our gym, some house things, and... round-trip plane tickets to Ghana!

We will be leaving on the 13th of December and returning the 11th of January. While in Ghana, we will be:
--- Preaching and teaching in the church there. 
--- Participating in the school- helping round out the first half of the year and start up a new year. 
--- Leading songs, youth programs, women's classes, and preaching and teaching at the Annual Ghana Family Camp.
--- Helping with the New Year's Program.
--- Leading a Mini-Youth Camp.
--- Getting some needed spiritual refreshing and encouraging, listening to great sermons, and reconnecting and encouraging our dear saints in Ghana. 
--- Working with the young men. 
--- Taking part in a BCA Alumni Meeting.
--- "Recruiting" future helpers for our work here in Cameroon. 
--- Encouraging fellow missionaries Binoy and Rebecca Thomas, Jeremiah's sister and brother-in-law who work in South India, as well as Jessica and Attah Osebreh, also siblings who work in Ghana, Jeremiah's parents Jeff and Sherrie Hostetter, and also Steve and Jennifer Icenogle, who have recently returned to Ghana and who are dear friends. There are about 20 kids in the mix as well, future generations of missionaries. 
--- See old students and encourage them. 
--- Enjoy some family time at Christmas.
--- Our kids will especially benefit from time with friends and family.
--- Much, much more... last time we talked to Ghana, they asked Jeremiah to do all the teaching and preaching our first Sunday there- Men's Bible Class, Sermon, and Sunday Night Class- we have a sneaking suspicion that we will be very busy, but believe we will come back to Cameroon renewed, refreshed, and revved up for the work here. 

Why have we waited till now to announce this? Well, we wanted to be sure that it could happen- to confirm our tickets, and also, to receive our visas. They were granted last week, and were paid for by the saints in Ghana, as they are all eager for us to come. We do not know when such an opportunity will present itself again, especially as we get more and more involved in ministry here, so we are especially grateful for this opportunity. 

A huge thank you to the saints in Ghana who helped make this possible, and our dear supporters who donated the funds for the tickets. God bless you guys! 

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Our Mighty Mitsubishi Montero!

When our 4Runner, which was a '95 and had been having numerous problems, spun out and rolled into a ditch and got severely damaged a few months back it was nothing short of a disaster. A vehicle opened up so many opportunities for ministry and travel and its loss was very disappointing, though we were grateful that no one got hurt. Since then, we had to rely on public transport to get around. That was a frightful, time-consuming and unreliable thing. A few examples of why we wanted to replace our means of transport and get something of our own again: A doctor that we recently talked with said that when she interviews taxi drivers here in Buea, ALL of them admit to drinking alcohol at least once a day- most more frequently. A few weeks ago, when Jeremiah was coming back from Douala to Buea, a trip that only should take 90 minutes, he sat for an hour waiting for the bus to load up. We had been visiting a village church, Maumu to preach and share. Unfortunately, taxis do not go there usually because the road is very bad. While you can get one there, getting one back is very difficult. We were unable to go back there as a family while we were without a vehicle, and this is one of the relatively easy-to-reach villages. Many villages are even more remote. Here's a road in Southwest that is actually pretty typical of much of the region.  

So, we made an appeal to you all- and WOW, did you respond. Within weeks, we had 70% of what we needed to replace our vehicle! Thanks to all those who contributed- we were truly humbled by your generosity! God is good and His people are generous, and so, after shopping around for several weeks, considering a number of different vehicles, we finally found one we really liked-  
It is a 2001 Mitsubish Montero Sport. It has 130,000 miles (good for its year), never has been in a serious accident, checked out on CARFAX, has 4WD, runs very quiet and smooth with room for five adults and luggage. (So you can come visit and take a ride). It has been really great so far, and we are super grateful for it! Here we are at a small town about 30 minutes (by car- 1 hour if you take public transport) from Buea, Ekona. We've been going there on Wednesday nights for Jeremiah to teach the Bible class. Here are a few more examples of how this vehicle has proven helpful. 
This is a good example of how the vehicle has opened up opportunities for  us: On Tuesdays, Jeremiah takes this road (a good example of how bad many of the side roads inside Buea are- He puts it in 4WD just to get in our gate sometimes) to go to teach remedial English here:
... at Baird Memorial College. Jeremiah teaches from 4 until 4:45. Hannah has been going with him and sits in on the classes- she is able to do most of the things as well as those who are supposed to be in Junior High. When we finish up, we have 15 minutes to get down to our next stop which you might remember:
Mile 16/ Bolifamba Church of Christ, where Jeremiah has been teaching the Tuesday night  Bible classes. Without a vehicle of our own, this would simply not be possible, as he could not walk back to the road, find a taxi and make it down  there in time. However, a vehicle makes this possible: and so we say "Thank you." Another example of ministry that we've been enabled to do thanks to having a vehicle is this: 

The Maumu Church is a small congregation that meets in a dirt-floored wooden building in the village of Maumu some miles from Buea. They are a young congregation which needs much strengthening and teaching. We were visiting them on Sunday when Jeremiah would teach and preach. However when we lost our vehicle, we couldn't go back- till this last Sunday! To get to the church building, we cross this stream. 

And park under this tree. Going back this is the road:

All this is very manageable and actually fun though with the new vehicle. It handles these rough roads well and thus helps us to get where we need to go safely, on time, and efficiently. We are again, hugely grateful to all those who gave to help us and we pray that God will continue to supply seed for sowing and that He will open up ever more opportunities for us to go and share. Thanks again!  

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Girls Gone Shopping

Me and Hannah we de go market fa go buy chop and tings fa house.

A lot of folks ask where we go shopping to get our food and clothing. Hannah and I brought along a camera during our last shopping trip to give you an idea of what our market is like...

This is the fruit section. You can get different fruit depending on the season. I am holding a delicious looking pawpaw in my hand while oranges (which are actually green here), grapefruit, and lemons surround me. You can get 5 pawpaws for 500cfa or $1. Sweet deal, huh? ;)

This is the bean, spice and vegetable section. I am thankful to God for the good produce He has blessed Cameroon with.
To the left you have your cow tail soup spices. Yes they use an actual cow tail to make the soup and no I have no idea the English names for the spices. The onion group is 500cfa or $1 and then she will dash me an extra onion or 2. The beans are 100cfa per cup which is about 20 cents.

Clothes section...

I like that the used pants are cheap so its not a big deal if I miss guess my size. Don't ask me where the changing rooms are. ;)

On the far left you have your used books section and next to that you have used bras and undies. Behind me are a pile of shoes you can pick from. Your choices are as follows: 1. New Chinese shoes that are expensive and will start falling apart within a week. 2. Used shoes that are of better quality but are molded due to the extreme humidity. Who wants to share foot fungi?! haha!

This cool guy asked Hannah, "I beg, snap me picha?" She did most of the picture taking. Clap fa her, "Well dun Hannah, dat is very gud!"
This picture was taken at the beginning of our shopping trip. At the same place near the end of our trip it was much more busy. As I was bargaining over the transport cost with a taxi another vehicle hit the taxi causing it to move enough to knock Hannah and me down. Thankfully we were ok and the riot that was upset with the guilty driver quickly calmed down.
I really feel like everyday is an adventure and I am thankful to God that though it's not always easy it is indeed an exciting life we live in Christ!