Saturday, 30 July 2016

Heading Home!

3 Days! We will be headed back to Cameroon in 3 days! It has been 4 and 1/2 months since we left on March 15th, so we are pretty excited to be headed back on Tuesday. We've had a great time here in the United States, being able to see so many of you, encourage and be encouraged, even if our time has been pretty hectic (we've sometimes joked that we need to get back to Cameroon to really rest, ha ha). As we turn our attention to going back to Cameroon, there is a lot of packing and preparing to do. We also wanted to share a few projects and ideas we have as we head back. Some of you, as we visited and shared about the ministry this summer, may like to know some ways you could get involved, some needs and projects that we have. Here are a few things that you can be praying about for us as we head out, as well as some ways to get involved in helping us hit the ground running! 

  • NEW STUDENTS: We are anticipating having about 6 new students this year in school, which will bring us to over 20 kids in school! 3 years ago, there were 0, so we thank God for the growth, even as we strive to be patient and ensure the highest quality and ability to make disciples. This is also a need, as we still need to sponsor about 4 of our students! If you would be interested in becoming a sponsor, you can email us or connect with us on Facebook! 

  • NEW VOLUNTEER: Alima Yaya will be coming over from Ghana to help out with this year in school, teaching the Kindergarten class and helping reach out to the young ladies and helping in the gym. We are excited that she has already been sponsored to come! 

  • NEW MINISTRY AVENUE: We are looking to start a new ministry outreach in Cameroon, offering basic Bible literacy courses in Cameroon via evening classes. This is not a Bible college, not aimed at training preachers, but is a sort of Adult "Sunday School" with a more academic format. Some of the classes we are looking to teach are: Writing and remedial English, Basic Hermeneutics, Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey, Christian Ethics, Basic Theological Principles, and Comparative Religions. Our goal is to help Christians be more skilled in the Word and empower them in their efforts to disciple others. If you would be interested in helping us out with some of the costs of textbooks and materials, please let us know! 

  • NEW MINISTRY TOOLS: Part of being effective in Cameroon means having the right tools to take advantage of ministry openings. This means replacing aging equipment, getting resources, tools, and technology that we can use for edification, education, and evangelism. In addition to our new Adult classes, we hope to also expand into media outreaches, producing literature and videos to use in teaching, to help equip people. We also continue to look to upgrade the gym ministry with equipment that we find or make, keeping things painted and maintained, etc... 

  • OLD HOUSE CHALLENGES: Getting back, there are always a number of expenses and challenges that arise from being gone for almost 5 months. These things range from peanut butter that went missing, a water tank that was stolen, pipes that are leaking, washing machine that needs replacement, to walls that need to be treated for mold and repainted (landlords don't do this), school rents that need to be paid, as well as a host of other maintenance and mundane things that have to get done. Pray for us to have the energy and finances to get everything done quickly that will increase our effectiveness. 

  • OLD FRIENDS REUNIONS: We are super excited to get back and see those we left behind once again. It will be great to get back to the saints that meet in our home as well as many of the saints we work with in various locales, to see friends and co-workers (especially the Harrises and George), to restart Bible studies, get back to the gym ministry, and start preparing for the school year! 

Sunday, 17 July 2016

USA Trip 2016, Part 2.

Hey All! Excited to be back in Missouri, safe and sound! God has been so good to us, taking us on a truly epic road trip. We did over 20,000 miles, and passed through 35 states! What a journey! It was so good to see you all and to be able to encourage and be encouraged. Here are some more pictures of our trip picking up from New York until we got back to Missouri! We will also try and update our blog one more time before we head out to let you know some ways you can get involved in helping send us on our merry way and some projects we have in mind as we head back! Thanks all!
While we were in New York, Brittney got news that her great grandma, who had helped take care of her when she was little, had passed away. She flew down for the funeral and got to see much of her family down there. 
While Brittney and Carys went down to Oklahoma City, I and Hannah and Jonathan headed west. Our first stop was in Canton, Ohio, where we got to reconnect with LONG (before I was even born) time family friends, the Royers and extended. What an encouragement and blessing they were and have been to the Hostetter family.

Next, I stopped in Wauseon Ohio, where I spent a few very uplifting days with the Harbour Family. I really enjoyed seeing the saints there and seeing how the Harbours are really building faith through relationships.
From Ohio, we drove over to the Windy City, and saw my good friends the Brady's in Chicago. They are a great young family, and it was great also to get Brittney back! What a treat! 
Iowa was our next stopover, where we spent a fun few days with our friend Bethann! We had great fun and got fed more than I thought humanly possible by her sweet mom (which is probably why we are seen working out, ha ha. 

A WHOLE Pie, all for me! YUM!

From Iowa, we jumped over to Nebraska, where we were encouraged to spend time with the saints in Bellevue. It was a blessing to be able to speak and share. 

Driving up from Omaha, we stopped over and saw Mrs. Patty. The kids really enjoyed her.
It was awesome to drive up almost to Canada, to Williston< ND, to see our long-time friends, the Icenogles, and visit with the saints up there. The Icenogles were missionaries in Ghana for many years. 

Billings, Montana, where we stayed with the Barils, was our next stop. The kids had a great time with their kids and Brittney was very encouraged by the extra time she got to spend with Jill.
We also saw the MIllers in Billings. Larry and Karin got engaged in Ghana, and were volunteers over there for some time. I was privileged to be able to share about there work in Cameroon with the saints there. 

Beautiful Helena, MT was next up, and we had a wonderful evening with the Alladas and Eckerles. It is always good to spend time with other young couples who are in Christ. 
It is also good to see families whose kids are almost grown, like the Keikkelas who we visited in Oregon. What an amazing family!
We also enjoyed our time with the McCords, Charles, Lavera, and Carolyn, who are Brittney's relatives. 

More encouraging times with the Keikkalas 
From Oregon, we headed back towards Montana, where we got to spend the night with the Danyos! Good for us, but SUPER fun for the kiddos! 

GREATLY enjoyed our time in GREAT FALLS. We loved being able to spend time with some tremendous families up there, and had a chance to present the work in Cameroon as well! Especially enjoyed our time with the Zech and Smith Families!

Another young family that is tremendously uplifting for us is the Reijgers. Jenny and Jon worked with us in Ghana, and have a tremendous heart for missions. It was so good to see them and their kids and the Godly direction they are taking and the sincerity of their heart for God. 

It was also great to see the other saints there in Bozeman, and to enjoy a campfire out at the Sutton homestead. 

From Montana, we headed south to Colorado for 2 days of camping out and mutual encouragement, teaching and preaching. 

Roger and Sherri organized this get together, and it was  really challenging and thought-provoking. 

Camping fun! What a great time! 
Colorado was followed by Salt Lake City, where we spent a few days with the ODell Family. They have some tremendous kids, and such a neat family. We were blessed by our time with them. 
Nick is a Lt. Col. in the Airforce, helping keep the world safe from Nuclear War (pretty impressive). We enjoyed his family so much... even got to see the Great Salt Lake, which was VERY VERY salty! 
From Northwest to Southwest, we made it to Albuquerque, where Brttney's Aunt Becky and her kids live. Sweet family time and Brittney also had a chance to share with and encourage a group of ladies, as well as be encouraged by them! 
Kansas was our second-to-last stop, where we visited one of my professors from Harding, Prof Warren Baldwin. What a neat guy, really had some good thought-provoking discussions. He and his wife and family and congregation showed us great hospitality! 

Our last stop was Oklahoma, where we got to visit our friends the Nichols again, see saints and encourage in Morris, OK, present about the work to Adult Sunday School Classes, have a kids' splash party to fellowship with the saints, speak at and attend a graduation, watch fireworks, spend time with family, and touch base with saints in the Northwest side of town.

SO SO much travelling, SOOOO many blessings. I realize this post is a little long. I hope you have enjoyed the pictures. They can only capture a few of the highlights of our trip... some things we were so caught up in, we forgot pictures! Really, there are too many names to mention, too many thanks to be said. God is good! Next blog post, we will try and share some of our plans as we go back, as well as a few needs/projects you can get involved with, if you were encouraged by our visit and would like to make an impact in Cameroon. Thanks to all and we look forward to seeing you next time!