Thursday, 31 October 2013

Time flies when your having fun...and get'n stuff done!

Time flies when your having fun...and get'n stuff done! It's hard to believe Mom and Dad Hostetter have been here for over a week already. They arrived 10 days after we got back to Cameroon and it has been such a blessing having them here. They have participated in preaching, encouraging the Saints, helping reach out to gym members, cleaning up mold, doing laundry (which is a big ordeal here when the water doesn't come on everyday), cooking, playing with the grand-kids, helping the kids with morning devotions and school, etc. We also appreciate their advice on how to "excel still more" with the ministry as they have been on the mission field for over 30 years.

Tag team! The first Sunday Jeremiah's parents were here we drove to Douala to assemble with the Saints. Jeremiah did the Sunday School class about freedom in Christ (Romans 6, 7, & 8 are some of my favorite chapters in the Bible!) while Jeremiah's dad preached about being disciples of Jesus. Great team work men of faith!

This may look like Jeremiah in the picture of above but this is Jeremiah's dad preaching. Jeremiah likes to say "like in the Bible, if you've seen the son you've seen the father." :)

Jonathan and Hannah with some of the children in the congregation. I encourage Hannah and Jonathan to overcome being too shy and to be friendly to the new people we meet because we are bright lights for Jesus.

We've had several Cameroonians visit us and sometimes they bring meals for our family. This is one of my favorite Cameroonian foods, ekwa. It's made with ground coco yams wrapped in casava leaves and boiled in a sauce that consists of red pepper, ginger, garlic, onions, palm oil and fish.
We have put Mom H to work! She got us all caught up on laundry which is a big ordeal since the water is on sporadically and we had lots of clothes and sheets to wash due to mold. She has also been cooking us delicious meals so I can work on other things.

Grandpa and Jonathan after taking an adventure and finding some arrows for his homemade bow. It seems like some of the funnest things for kids are also the cheapest! :)
Grandpa and Hannah with the beautiful bouquet they made. 
Carys is such a happy baby and she has been enjoying extra attention from Grandma H.  
Mom H found a snail and Hannah wanted to keep it as a pet. She is responsible for feeding it, giving it water and cleaning out its "cage." She takes it out several times a day to play with it and named him Mordecai. Who knew a snail would make such a good pet? Teaching a kid how to care for a pet is one of many ways to teach them how to be responsible.

It's been hard on the kids not having a routine in the States as we traveled around (though we had a super encouraging time there!) so it is good getting them back into somewhat of a routine. I have to be patient with myself and the kids as everything takes time and work. We also appreciate Mom and Dad H's advice about training up kids in the Lord. We really take their advice to heart as they have 3 of their own and many "adopted" grown up children who love the Lord with all their hearts.

This is a picture Jeremiah took of Mount Cameroon on which we live. " The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands." Psalms 19:1

More about how God uses Mom and Dad Hostetter's visit to help encourage us and others in the next blog!

Friday, 18 October 2013

Happy hellos and obstacles to overcome.

 Greetings from the slopes of an active volcano in Buea, Cameroon, Africa! It only took 32 hours to get here from the time we left Fayette, MO to the time we arrived in our house in Cameroon. It is a blessing to have all 3 kids be such great travelers. When we arrived in the airport we had a welcome party from a group of Cameroonians we've been working with. It was really nice to see them again and made us feel like we are making a difference in the lives of the souls here- to God be the glory!

Since being back we have had several people come and visit us. Brother Aaron on Jeremiah's left came to visit us along with 2 brothers from Maroua and Garoua in the far north of the country. 

Sister Pascaline is a lady that always enjoys discussing the Scripture. She is one of the ladies I am close to in Cameroon. While we were in the States she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Lydia Brittney Kudi. :)

The young men staying in our house did a good job looking after our house while we were gone and had it all straightened up when we got back. However, due to the intense rains and the age of the house it had severe mold issues, broken locks, electrical and plumbing problems, and roof leakages. We had to throw a lot of our clothes, sheets, pillows, etc away. I'm still working on cleaning the mold one room at a time.

One of the men that stayed in our house caught a thief in the middle of trying to break down the door. The neighbors wanted to kill the thief as an example to the other thieves that have been stealing from their homes but the young man let him go.

We had another issue concerning our gym. We left a friend in charge of the gym while we were gone and we asked him to keep the same gym times and not to accept new members until we got back. The landlady drove our friend and the old members away, took money from new members, and changed the times. Then she thought we weren't coming back so she decided to try to take over the gym and make it her own business. Things are working out but please pray that things get completely resolved with the gym.

I am so thankful for my Jeremiah's great example and Godly character. Through all the difficulties he continues to have a good attitude and focus on the positive. He also works from the time he wakes up to the time he lays down and yet makes time for the kids too. He is a blessing to his family and to all he meets. 

Hannah and Jonathan are adjusting quickly though they miss their friends and family in the States and in Ghana. Hannah drew a picture of Cameroon and wrote above it, "People I love are in this country." Jonathan likes giving hugs to everyone he meets. Carys is a smiley baby and wasn't effected by jet lag at all when the other kids stayed up until 1 am. :)

We will probably be in the process of settling in for days to come, but the joy we have in seeing people that we've invested our time and love in cannot be described. There have been so many warm greetings, and it is clear that we have made a difference in people's lives, and hope to be able to continue to do so, by the power of Christ. 

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Gearing up for going out!

Hello all! We thought we'd give you all a quick update before we head back to the beautiful country of Cameroon this Saturday, October 12th.

As many of you know we came to the States June 6th due to serious complications to my pregnancy caused by a number of sicknesses and bad water. PRAISE GOD that I was able to carry to term and deliver a healthy and beautiful baby girl on August 2nd. I am convinced it was due to the prayers of the saints. Thank you to all who were praying and also for the funds given to completely cover the cost of our plane tickets. We are humbled and grateful for the generosity of the brethren. God bless you all! Carys is now 9 weeks old and a healthy 14 pounds (off the chart for weight!) and 24.5 inches long.

After Carys was born and we knew that all was well with her we made plans to head west and make the most of our time while in the US of A. We visited friends, family, and Churches in Missouri, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Montana, Nebraska and then back to Missouri we went. It was more than encouraging seeing the brethren out west. When we got back to Missouri God opened more doors for us to visit friends and family and share with others about our work. We drove to Virginia and North Carolina then back to Missouri. It was also a VERY encouraging trip out east. Traveling all those miles with 3 little kids was challenging but definitely worth it! It is exciting to see others that are zealous for the Lord.

A few things on our to do list before heading back:
- pray, pray PRAY!
- Enjoy visiting folks in MO and start saying our "goodbyes" or rather "see ya laters." :'(
- Finish packing
- Take a really long HOT shower (it's the little things...:)
- Eat good ole American chocolate (can you tell it's me, Brittney, writing this post?)

We will miss everyone in the States but we look forward to getting back to serving in Cameroon. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we head back and face many obstacles. I know that just as your prayers helped with Carys your prayers will also help us as we help seek and save the lost in Africa! Thank you for being our partners, providing, and for your continued support in this great adventure for Jesus. We love you all and thank God for you!

                                                 The Happy Hostetters