Monday, 5 December 2016

Happening Happenings

Hey All! We wanted to take a moment and update you with what we've been up to lately. SO here's a post of some of our happening happenings. :D 

We Got Our Resident Permits! Every two years, we must get new resident permits, which enable us to legally live in Cameroon. Back in October, we started working on these, as the process is quite long and drawn out (and pretty expensive too). 

Getting our permits involved me (Jeremiah) making a trip to the capital of Cameroon, Yaounde to check on some paperwork. On the way back, my bus had to turn back, as the main highway that connects Yaounde to Douala and thus Buea had been washed away due to rain. 
Being unable to take the bus, I intended to board the train to get to Douala. By the time I reached Yaounde, the train was full (actually considerably overloaded). Due to this overloading, it ended up derailing, killing around 100 people and injuring hundreds more. I would have been on that train if I hadn't changed plans to take the bus, and then after rerouting, was unable to get a seat. Thank God for His protection, while our hearts go out to all those whose lives were changed. I finally got a car that went the long way round, and after 14 hours of travelling, made it safely home. 

Back in Buea, we spent many more hours waiting and waiting to get our resident permits done. Our kids did well, even falling asleep in the grass by the police station. We are so glad to finally be done with all the paperwork and thank God for guiding us through.  


 Speaking of Thanksgiving, we celebrated our 5th Thanksgiving in Cameroon a couple of weeks ago. There was lots of delicious food and good friends to share the meal. We are abundantly grateful for all God has done for us. We are truly blessed. One of the things we are thankful for: you our dear readers and partners!


We are also thankful for our friends and coworkers of the last two years, the Harrises. Last week, we sadly said good-bye to them, as they have returned to minister in the United States. They were a great help and blessing to have here, and will be sorely missed. We pray God blesses their efforts in the United States and also supplies the laborers needed here in Cameroon. 

The last week and a half, we have been unable to have school here. Teachers and lawyers in English-speaking Cameroon are on strike, and schools have been threatened to close. Last week, the University of Buea students decided to also protest, but were beaten up, mistreated, and arrested en mass. Fortunately no one died, and things are slowly becoming peaceful. Pray that this can resolve swiftly so we can resume school safely. 

We have stayed busy with other ministry aspects as school is closed. Sunday, I was invited to speak in a village on the other side of Mount Cameroon. It was encouraging to encounter the saints in Munyenge and have the chance to share the word of God with them. 


It took about 2 1/2 hours to get there, as the road was pretty bad. 
video

Today I found out that my shocks have had it and will need to be replaced. You can maybe understand why. Vehicles and transportation in Cameroon are one of our major expenses, not only because they get so much wear and tear, but also because the parts are 2 to 3 times more expensive. Still, I am very grateful for our great car. 

Since Brian and Jael left, we have moved down into their house. It has a much better supply of water, and also is more secure, with a wall around it. We have already made good use of it, hosting our house assembly on Sunday. 

Jonathan decided to invite some of his neighborhood friends for evening assembly. We have great kids, and love to see such displays of evangelistic concern. 


Finally, I would like to share with you a little idea I had. Basketball has been a part of our lives (Brittney's and mine) since we were kids. We both played in High School and I also played in University in Ghana (check out this throwback picture). If you have followed us for some time, you also know that I coached our school teams in Ghana for a number of years. Well, we would like to put a small 1/3 Basketball court at our school house. It would be something fun for the school kids, especially during the rainy season when the grass is wet and muddy. We also hope that we could have neighborhood kids over in the afternoons at times, to teach them to play and also share with them a Bible lesson or daily devotion like we do with the Gym. 


Here is the place we would put the court. We have talked to a contractor and were told that we could concrete this area for about $1000. The goal and post would likely be around $500. We would want to do this during the Christmas break while the school kids are not around. It would be fun to surprise them on their return and also let the contractor work undisturbed. If you would like to help out with this project, I wouldn't describe it as a NEED, but more of a Christmas wish so to speak. You can get a hold of me or Brittney on Facebook, or email us at hostetterministries@gmail.com. 
Love you all and God bless! 


Friday, 11 November 2016

Transitions

Yesterday, I took a trip to Douala, the biggest city in Cameroon, to do some shopping with Brian. We had to get some things that you can't find in Buea, as Douala is the port city and also has many more stores and selection. It was a good trip, we were able to find what we needed, and the 75 mile round trip only took 5 hours, (traffic is fairly bad, and you have to dodge wrecks... see pic below). 


The trip did get me thinking though, because the next time I go to Douala will be in three weeks, when I take the Harrises to the airport to drop them off and say farewell. For those of you who don't know, the Harrises' two year commitment here will come to an end on December 2nd. They will be returning to the United States, where Brian will serve as a minister for a congregation in Southern Illinois. 

We will greatly miss the Harrises. They are a tremendous help in many ways. Brian is a good teacher/preacher, and helps give lessons at our home assembly on Sunday nights, as well in villages on Sunday mornings. 

Brian also has been a big help with the Gym ministry, getting Bible studies with members, help running things while we were in the United States. 

We love that the Harrises are very evangelistic. They have both helped lead others to Christ while here, such as Paul and Elizabeth. 

The Harrises are a tremendous help with our School. I have been sick for a week, only able to go to school once this week, and in my absence, they run the learning center smoothly as always. 


They really have been a tremendous blessing to the ministry here in Cameroon. They are multi-talented, highly capable and zealous for the work of the Lord. More than that, they are our friends. I have especially enjoyed having Brian here (as Brittney has enjoyed having Jael) to talk, share ideas, discuss Scripture, hang out, laugh, and even suffer together (like going to the airport to look for lost luggage). 

(Our unimpressed faces... the luggage hadn't arrived yet, ha ha). 

(They're a lot prettier than us guys). 

Writing this post is hard. We are really going to miss these guys. We do though want to ask you to please pray about a number of things, as the next months will involve a lot of transition. 

- Pray for the Harrises' transition back to the United States and their ministry in Illinois. They are starting from scratch in many ways, as they sold all they had before coming to Cameroon. Pray that they can make a good transition and that they can make an impact for Christ in the United States. Pray also for their legacy here, that the seeds they helped sow will bear fruit that will last, that their time here will have an impact felt for years to come.

- Pray for the increased workload on us. As you can see, they help in many ways here. With them leaving, we must pick up the slack and carry more of a load. We know God will supply the strength, but please pray for us. 

- Pray for the increased financial responsibility on us. The Harrises helped with many of the financial needs of the ministry here, particularly the school. With them leaving, we must cover these costs now by ourselves. Our trip to the United States this past summer helped raise some one-time donations, but little increase in monthly finances, so pray that God will provide these operating costs that keep the ministry running. We trust Him, He has always provided, but appreciate your prayers as always. 

- Pray for us to be comforted. It is hard to say goodbye and we know we will miss not only their help, but also their friendship and presence. 









Saturday, 8 October 2016

School Begins!


After much planning and preparation the 2016-2017 school year for F.B.E.M. began on the 5th of August! What a joy it is to have most of the students back from last year and even 6 additional students. We had parents from all over the neighborhood asking us to admit their children in the school but after praying for wisdom we decided to stop with 23 students. We really want to focus on quality over quantity. What a blessing it is to be able to help shape and mold these precious souls into the character of Christ. We are constantly praying for wisdom and strength to do so!
 

Faith Builders Educational Ministry 2016-2017 School Year (minus 1 student)
Jeremiah does a great job leading opening each morning (Singing of the national anthem, pledge to the Bible, memory work, and devotion time)!



Mr. Brian in action!

Mrs. Takem teaching one of the French classes.


Teaching the Learning to Read class- my favorite!
 


We are so thankful to have Alima with us this school year to teach the Kindergarten class!


Mrs. Jael in double action! :)
Mr. George helps out wherever he is needed- we appreciate him a lot!
Mr. Takem teaching the computer class.
It was so nice having Aaron and Jessica with us for a few weeks. Here Mr. Aaron is drilling little Brian with sight words.
Mr. Hostetter working in the "older" learning center.


Carys isn't officially a student but she very much sees herself as one... she sees herself as one of the teachers too! haha
Mrs. Jessica was a big help too!
Break time fun! George also does P.E. with Mr. Brian and music at the end of the school day while I go to the house and cook (hence why there are no pictures of the music and P.E. class).

We are so thankful for the start up of a new school year. God has provided us with a great group of teachers and a fun group of children. We give God all the glory!
 

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Greetings from Cameroon!


Greetings from Buea, Cameroon Africa! What a joy it is to finally, despite slow internet connection and power outs, write after being back for almost a month now . We basically came back and hit the ground running and we are excited to share some of the things that have been going on these past weeks. God has been so good and we thank Him that the ministry continues to flourish.

VISITORS! Lots and lots of visitors. Culturally, it shows appreciation when you come and visit others and since being back we have had a lot of appreciation! :-) This is my friend Nelly and her lovely family.


It has been nice welcoming people into our home and seeing those dear to us here after 4 1/2 months. This is Brother Wilson and his sweet family.
I had the joy of getting a visit from Sister Barbara who lives in Douala.
Carys enjoyed the many visitors, too.


Not only have we received many visitors but we have gone to others homes. Here I visited sister Helen to give her Pidgin Bibles to give to another sister in Christ who is traveling to Italy to give a Cameroonian brother in Christ there, haha. It's good to have connections!


Here some of us ladies from the church are visiting our young Sister Cleopatra who is ill but thankfully is doing better than what she was a few months ago. Let's continue to pray for her as she is fighting what they think is bone cancer.



Coming back we had to deal with a number of challenges such as cleaning mold that was growing on almost everything, jet lag (kids were up till 3, 2, and 1am the first week!), a number of car problems, missing luggage for over a week, a number of "expected" unexpected costs that came up, our water pump not working, and so forth. Praise God that since then we have cleaned up the house (pretty much), have the kids on somewhat of a schedule, the car is fixed, and we finally retrieved all of our luggage! We know that God will continue to supply our needs.
A few days after coming back, some of the brethren had a youth retreat. It was fun to take some of these youth to the program.


Jonathan was happy to see some of his old friends and make some new.


With Sis Odette & Sis Vera.


Carys &  her Cameroon Grandma, Sis Esther.


Some of the women who helped with all the cooking at the Youth Retreat.

It was especially nice to see all the brethren at Mile 16 (Bolifamba COC) again who we have been spent a lot of time with as a congregation.

Jeremiah preaching the Word. He is an amazing preacher and is always good at giving good examples to which people can relate. He's a great encourager and motivator.

Jonathan eating with his buddy John after Church assembly.

We have been busy preparing for school that will start up next week on Monday. This is a picture of our Parent-Teacher meeting. It went really well and we are excited about the new school year!

The kids were measured for uniforms by our Sis in Christ, Bettina.



A sister in Christ, Comfort, was so excited to see the ACE school system being run in Cameroon which teaches the character of Christ and helps train up these precious souls in the Lord.. She lives in Russia and works for an ACE school there.


Our gym ministry keeps growing so we did some renovations to the gym building such as tearing down some walls, getting some new equipment and doing some painting.



Our Sunday evening home Bible studies continue to go well.

I don't have many pictures of this amazing guy but I really appreciate all that Jeremiah does. God really helps him to accomplish much for the ministry.

The next 2 pictures show the most exciting news that we can share since being back! Jael has been studying the Bible with Elizabeth Teke for several months now and a few days ago she decided to be immersed into Christ. Praise God!


Paul, a contact through the gym, was immersed into Christ after having several Bible studies with Brian and George. THIS is exciting!!!

We really do thank God that we have been able to hit the ground running. We continue to covet your prayers and appreciate your support, as we press onward and upward, serving the Lord here in Cameroon!