Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Hostetter's Happy Home

We are excited to share with you pics of our new home and are thankful for the many ways we will be able to use it for the Lord! It truly is an answered prayer as it was exactly what we were looking for as you will read about in the captions in the pictures below. (minus the many plumbing/electricity issues but can't complain b/c it is 1/2 the price of most other decent houses that are available to rent)

This is the house that God has blessed us with. It is a cozy house with a big yard and a wall around it for security. There are 3 rooms, 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, store room, office, living room and an unfinished boys quarters outside.
We have a decent size living room that will be a blessing as we have youth nights, prayer meetings, Bible Club during rainy days, Bibles studies with other families and more!
I really like that the living room has big windows to let lots of light in. This will help cut down on mold. There are bars in the windows to help keep thieves from breaking in.
This is the kitchen. It's a bit small but thankfully we have a store room. We will be, and have already been, using this kitchen a lot to provide meals, tea, snacks, etc for the many people that will come to our home.
The store room! Jeremiah built me a shelf to store stuff...what a sweetie! 
The master bedroom.
One of the bathrooms. We conserve water in buckets and barrels as the water only comes on for a few hours in the middle of the night. I am praising God that, through the concern of beloved saints in the US, money has been offered for a water tank. This will help me be able to sleep through the night AND have better hygiene esp as we use the house for so many programs.
This is the kids room. They sleep under a net at night to keep  them from getting malaria due to hungry mosquitos.

This is Jeremiah's office. We still have unpacking and organizing to do.
The guest room! Wondering where you might stay while visiting us? Here's the Hostetter's Hotel room. :) This room will be nice to have as we will have visitors from various places.
Want to enjoy a nice breeze with a cup of tea? The house has a nice porch that has already been used to  have Bible discussions with men from the Buea Institute of Biblical Studies.
This is the outside boys quarters. Here you see some of the barrels I fill up during the night. I am SOOOOO thankful I won't need to do this for much longer as funds have been given for a water tank!

Here is the wash room of the boys quarters.
Here is the bathroom for the boys quarters. There is still much work to be done such as buying a toilet, shower, doors and  paint that won't mold as well as getting windows and bars installed. We will work on it later as we get money and time to do so.
And here's an extra guest room that is in the boys quarters.  Right now I'm using it as a school room for Hannah and Jonathan.
This is what's left of the outside kitchen that I was going to use as a school room but as the landlady had it worked on, it collapsed. I'm thankful it didn't collapse while I was teaching the children!

Here's the front yard. Jeremiah used scrap wood to make a sand box. The sand cost 3,000cfa ($6), the old tire was 500cfa ($1) and the rope was 750cfa ($1.5). The total cost of this play area daddy made for his kids was $8.50! 
The kids play outside everyday that is doesn't rain...and even sometimes when it does. :) The tree that Jeremiah tied the rope on is a mango tree!
Some of the neighborhood kids from one of the Churches Jeremiah preaches at, playing and painting outside. It's so nice to be able to have a place for the kids to play.
Here is the back yard. Jeremiah is teaching Hannah and Jonathan to plant corn. It was a lot of hard work and even though Hannah complained a little daddy encouraged her to work hard as it will be fun to see the fruit of her work in 3 months when it's time to harvest the corn. We should continue harvesting the Spiritual field and though it can be tough at times we should trust God that He will cause growth that we will bear fruit from our labor.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Debbie, Brandy, and Cristina's Cameroon Trip Part 2!

For the 2nd part of the blog post concerning the trip with Aunt Debbie, Brandy, and Cristina I got thoughts from them after arriving home. I am very thankful for their great attitudes as 2 of them were not able to get home until 3 days after they were supposed to due to a bad airplane part on AirFrance. My 3rd visitor wasn't able to get home until almost a week later due to immigration issues. Though tears were shed, they trusted that God was with them the whole way. Overall they were blessed, as was I, by their mission trip to Cameroon!

"As me and my travel companions were driving away from the Hostetters Feb. 22nd, with tears in my eyes I realized not only was I going to miss them but the people who's lives we have touched and those who touched ours while there. I realized at that moment why the Hostetters have such a love for the people and why they choose to live in a third world country and the sufferings that go along with it. We are called to serve. The people are hospitable and are eager to give. I came to give of myself to serve the people and I found that the people wanted to give and serve me. Food, invitation to their home, a smile and always a hand shake. What seemed so far away became so near. I wish everyone could experience that in their life time." Aunt Debbie

"Hello everyone! Wow, it has now been one week since our return home. To all who followed our writings it was an end to a trip to Africa, to those who lived it, there was no ending to the journey. Only beginnings of new chapters in each of our lives. Sorry, i have not been able to post my responses to several reoccurring questions I am asked continually...1). Would I go again? Yes, I am looking forward with a hope of going. 2). Why would I want to go again? With that said, it is hard to explain without answering yet another question I am asked 3). What was the best part of being there? For me, it was to be able to wake up everyday and see the life within their bright eyes, hear the sweetness of each voice as they laughed, said "welcome", or "good day auntie brandy", and to feel the warmth of their gentle hugs...all while they were living in conditions such as they were. They were eager to learn and quick to share their life with us. Then at night, along with Brittney, Debbie, and Cristina. I would help spend the evening planning for the next days events and go bed, knowing inside that i was living for a purpose that was NOT my own. There is much to be said for living for a purpose that is bigger than ones self. It changes the perspective of life as we know it. The highlight for me was not that I went to Africa to help teach, rather, it was that I was the one who was taught. Life is full of things..without people and relationships, that is all we would have to look forward to...just things. I am forever grateful Jeremiah & Brittney for your friendship. For getting the opportunity to watch and learn as you love people enough to give your life in servent-hood, while raising beautiful children under the circumstances most of the world could not comprehend. You are amazing people created to live for a purpose that is not your own." Brandy

"It's crazy what value we put on "things" instead of what truly holds value. I'd rather be known as having a heart for God than one that dresses well and has nice things. I was created to serve and to worship the King." Cristina


Extra pictures of the crew together:

Enjoying Youth Day. Hannah and I got to march with  Afro American  Bilingual Primary and Secondary School.  After the march we were able to go to the Governor's house and make more contacts due to my Aunt Debbie getting a special invitation by someone she was sitting next to.

In the village after Sunday Service.

Showing them the market where I do most of my shopping. 

The crew after teaching a Bible Class at Afro American School.

The 3 ladies teaching and helping with the Sunday school class in Maumu.

Another village shot. The children really enjoyed having the ladies teach them and spend special time with them.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Debbie, Brandy, and Cristina's Cameroon Trip Part 1 of 2

Hi All! We had the opportunity to host My Aunt Debbie, Brandy, and Cristina for 2 weeks. It was the first time coming to Africa for all of them! I praise God that they were able to bless many here and also be blessed themselves. Here are some notes written mostly by Brandy, pics by Debbie, and inspiration from Cristina. Enjoy!

"We started the day going in town to help teach at the hospital on hygiene, nutrition, and exercise. The people were very receptive, asking questions, giving insight to their ways of day to day life, and hungry for suggestions to better their health and fitness :-) came home for a traditional lunch of rice and stew made by one of the Cameroon ladies helping during our visit. Soon afterwards, it was a trip in town for our fittings for the dresses we are having made from the material we bought in the market this week. Very anxious to see how we look in our "African" attire :) Back home to prepare and have the honor of teaching bible club for the surrounding children Brittney teaches several times a week...what a Blessing!!! Dinner, baths (from buckets as the water is only on an average of every other day here, if...) devotional family time, and now the wind down. Tomorrow will start early for us as we go in town to teach the children’s Bible lesson at the school...”

Brandy taught about health and nutrition, Debbie taught about the importance of stretching and exercise, while Cristina taught on hygiene.

"Today is the 1/2 way point of my volunteers, Aunt Debbie Lacy, Brandy Smith Deaver, and Cristina Lozoya, being here and so far their visit has been AMAZING. They have helped with Bible club, visiting people, volunteering in a local school, Sunday school in the village, making contacts, encouraging others (including me) and more! We've also gone to go to the trade fair, market, and a beautiful waterfall. We've had a great past week and I look forward to another great week ahead of us. God is good!"

Visiting a young lady from our gym.

My 3 visitors were able to encourage Cecelia with some of their favorite Bible verses.

We got to visit a Ethiopian friend of mine who showed us how to roast coffee from scratch. Beautiful lady, beautiful scenery and the best cup of coffee you will ever taste.
"Today was eventful as we took a trip over to Kumba to be with the children living at Mah Di's Orphanage. Both rewarding and bittersweet. Bible stories, singing, & craft time we all enjoyed. The children are smart, giving towards one another, and hungry for love and attention. The orphanage is ran by 5 ladies who own the land themselves and provide for them on their own as well. This orphanage receives absolutely no help financially by government assistance, private donations only. The children usually come to them from social services due to the mothers dying during child birth, the rest are collected just wandering the streets. Today there were 25 children ranging from 6 months to 17 yrs, sharing 2 rooms filled with only 5 or 6 bunk beds for sleeping arrangements :( Yet, their spirits were sweet and full of thankfulness."

"Today would be what we would call a day of rest :) However, there is still food to be gotten and cleaned thoroughly since the water has to be filtered, boiled for a while, or vinegar used with it for cleaning of fruits and vegetables. And there are only specific markets, butchers, bakery places, and people we buy from here. Not like our shopping at Homeland, Walmart, or Sam's...I truly believe most of the health problems and disease here arise from the lack of safe sanitation knowledge of their food storing & distribution, cleaning, and preparations and then passed through contact :( With that said, one can’t help but think it would be brought up to better standards if the people here had running water CONTINUALLY. As we come and go, there is always with us baby wipes and hand sanitizer for our personal use. For soap and water is not to be found unless there is some stored up where ever we go. Which one must know to ask for. Water has not been on for several days here as I type. Probably we will have to go and fetch water later for all our cooking, bathing, & cleaning purposes. Oddly, I am looking forward to this experience at least once. ;-)"

This is one of the places we go to fetch water.

Looks like we will have water to take baths today. :)

"Good morning :) its a beautiful day here in Cameroon! This morning we have had breakfast and are now packing for our overnight trip to Limbe`. Tomorrow is Jonathon's 3rd birthday & all he wants is to go to the beach to swim, go to the zoo (the zoological center is where the many types of monkeys & gorillas are amongst all the other animals...to a 3 yr old, its the zoo), and a hamburger!!!! Sooooooo.... FUN will be had by all!"

Swimming in a natural spring water near the ocean.

"Hello all! Today we rose for breakfast and then made ready to leave for the village of Maumu, church in the village . Bible class, communion, and Sunday service with Jeremiah preaching. We were sent off with bundles of bananas brought to each of us from the beautiful children since this would be our last time with them. Thank you for welcoming us into your community & homes. Good day my new friends. Back to Buea for lunch, relax time, preparations for our next few bible teachings with the school and kids bible club."

At first, I wasn't sure if I would have enough activities for my visitors but it turned out that they were so busy that we weren't even able to get to do everything on my list. So thankful for the many doors God opened for them to serve.