We usually try and keep our posts very positive and look on the brighter side of things here. We are truly blessed and consider ourselves happy to be here and be doing what we are doing. Sometimes though, there are things that need special prayers, not only for our ministry, but for this mission field. Cameroon is blessed in many ways, and a great country to be in for many reasons, but there are some concerns that we would like to share with you, just to keep praying about.
1- Insecurity issues. Cameroon recently declared war on the extremist Islamic Boko Haram terrorists of Northern Nigeria. For some time now, this group has been threatening Cameroon's security, especially in the north of the country. They have kidnapped a French family on safari, Catholic Priests and foreign workers. They have been using Northern Cameroon to transit weapons and supplies from the chaotic countries of Chad and Central African Republic. Finally, the President declared war on them, and intensified security operations against them. In response they have intensified attacks and violence in the north of the country. Very recently, they kidnapped the wife of a top level official, as well as a religious leader of the the Muslim community in northern Nigeria. Cameroon is responding with more troops, but the situation is dangerous. Please pray for Cameroon's soldiers and government to be able to get rid of these violent and wicked men so that the work of the Lord can continue unhampered. Here is a link to a news article with more information about this... http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-28509530
Here is a picture from Britain's foreign office advisory page on Cameroon showing the areas that are under threat. The area in the south in red is about 50 miles away. The threat there is rather due to former war with Nigeria over the Bakassi Peninsula as well as due to the pirates that roam in that area to hijack boats coming from and going to Nigeria.
2- Health issues- You know of a number of our health concerns here in Cameroon. It is a country with a struggling health system and in an environment rife with disease for many reasons. We have had a number of issues, such as malaria, typhoid fever, and so forth. However, there is a new regional threat that is pretty scary going on right now in West Africa- the Ebola Virus Disease. It first appeared in Central Africa years ago, but has now popped up in West Africa. Over 600 people have died in the last few months in Guinee, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, and this is out of 1000 cases. It has an extremely high fatality rate, especially amongst children- up to 90 percent. Last week, a man from Liberia died of Ebola in the most populated city in Africa- Lagos, Nigeria. He had carried the disease from Liberia on a flight to Nigeria. He was supposed to continue on to Calabar for an international conference. Calabar is just over the border in Nigeria. People come from Calabar to Cameroon and Buea every day. George boarded his boat to come from there. It is just a few hours ferry ride away. It is very possible that the Liberian man infected people in Lagos, which is one of the major transit hubs in all of Africa. Please pray for this situation, especially for the doctors and health workers who are trying to contain the spread. Recently, two Americans- a missionary and a doctor, contracted the disease in Liberia and many health care workers have died during the outbreak. For more info on this disease, here is a link to a news article. http://www.bbc.com/news/health-28544605
3- Good governance.
In order for Cameroon to tackle these and other challenges, there is a need for good governance. Corruption and mismanagement only make health and security crises worse. Cameroon has been taking some steps to improve on its governance, but it remains an uphill struggle, and it still remains in the bottom 25% of countries not only in the world, but even within Africa, it is 35th out of 51 countries in terms of governance. As the scriptures tell us, we are to pray for rulers and those in authority, so we implore you to also pray for Cameroon's leaders to have wisdom and the character to govern this nation through difficult times and trying situations. You can see more information about this and even specific areas or concerns to pray about at this link: http://www.moibrahimfoundation.org/interact/
We believe in the power of prayer and in the difference that you can make. We are grateful to be here in Cameroon and to be able to serve as we do. It is a beautiful country which we love for many reasons. We share these concerns for you to keep in your prayers because we believe that your prayers DO change things! Please continue to pray for Cameroon and to pray for us so that God will enable His work to be done.