Sunday, 26 November 2017

Triumphs, Trials and Thanks!

 Greetings All! We hope you all have had a great Thanksgiving weekend and that God continues to bless you as you live for Him. Here's a quick update on various activities of the last few weeks. We hope you will be encouraged and enjoy this blog post!

We have had the opportunity to visit and revisit a couple of congregations this month. We visited the brethren in Bomaka, as well as in Bonaberi, which is in the city of Douala (around 3 Million people). I was blessed to have the opportunity to share the Word. 

The roads in Bonaberi left a little to be desired. 

The trip to Bonaberi was one of the last for our green machine, the Toyota Prado. It's been a great car for the last 2 and 1/2 years, and we were sad to say goodbye, but it was becoming quite expensive to keep running and maintained. Please keep us in prayers as we look for a new(er) replacement vehicle that we can find something that will serve us well at the right price.

The gym ministry continues to go well. We even started a Facebook Page for it! You can check it out by searching for Faith Builders Gym! 

Our house church services continue to move along. We are now doing a survey of the entire Bible, trying to do 1-3 books each week, to improve basic Bible knowledge and help people be able to put things in context of the rest of the Bible. 

Brittney and Elizabeth, two super workers in our school. Brittney runs the upper learning center (with my help) and Elizabeth helps as a monitor for the school. 

School continues to go very well. We finished up our 1st Quarter on Wednesday and the kids enjoyed being able to have a merit sale. If you ever want to send stuff for this (small school supplies, dollar store toys, etc... ) the kids really enjoyed this, and it helps them stay motivated. 

November has not been without its challenges. We have dealt with some health issues, as almost everyone in the family came down sick. Carys was the most affected, with both Malaria and Typhoid, but seems to be improving. Hannah and I also had a number of painful boils. We are grateful for your continued prayers and encouragement. 

After everyone being sick, and pushing hard to finish up the 1st quarter of school, we were so very grateful to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with good friends, the Schilinskis, and to have a few days off of school to rest and recoup. As we strive to thank God in times of sickness and challenges, we are also so grateful for times of abundance, times of fun and family. 

Thank you all so very much for all you do for our family, for the work in Cameroon, and for the family of God worldwide. We really could not do what we do without your backup, your support, your encouragement, your financial aid, and most of all, your prayers. Thank you so much! We love you all and think and pray for you. God bless you all! 

Thursday, 2 November 2017

An Eventful October

Greetings All! We hope this update finds you well in the Lord. Our last blog post, we shared about our first two weeks of school. A lot has happened since then. Right after we shared that post, things started to really heat up here in Cameroon. The discontent and civil disobedience that has been boiling under the surface for the past year now, boiled over in a very violent way. Protesters here in Buea and all over the Anglophone part of Cameroon decided to march and demand their independence from the rest of Cameroon. It culminated in terrible violence and many deaths on the 1st of October, as the government brutally cracked down on those who marched. You can read more about what happened here: and elsewhere on the internet. It was frightening times indeed, as we heard much automatic gunfire from our house, helicopters flying overhead, and intermittently received messages about ongoing violence.

As many had anticipated violence leading up October 1st, we hosted a number of people who's homes were in areas prone to violence. Our neighborhood remained peaceful even as other neighborhoods were rocked with violence. We thank God for keeping us safe and continue to pray for Cameroon. Things have for the most part calmed down, at least for now, but we pray that God will let there be an actual solution and resolution to the crises that has gripped Cameroon for over a year now. 

In the face of all this tension and uncertainty, we received visitors! Rhys and Sharon, Brittney's parents, came from Missouri for a visit of 4 weeks. We were also especially excited, as they brought our Hannah Ruth back with them as well. 

Dad had an opportunity to lecture at a nearby Bible school. 

There was much for our visitors to do. They shared in our home assembly. 

As well as teaching at Mile 16 on Sundays. 

They visited and shared with many who came by to speak with them. 

And we also enjoyed some wonderful family times together. We are so grateful for their visit and for the time they could spend with us. It was a very encouraging and helpful time. 

Once things calmed down, we were able to resume school. Things have been very busy, as we have more students and less teachers this year. We are grateful for the strength God provides. It is truly wonderful to have an opportunity to help these kids grow and develop in body, soul and spirit. Maybe next year, YOU or someone you know could come volunteer??? 

Our gym also continues to go well. Until next time, stay strong in the Lord and the power of His might! God bless! 

Friday, 22 September 2017

First 2 weeks of school 2017!

 Hey All! As you all know, one of our biggest focuses here in Cameroon is on education, especially focusing on training up kids in building Godly character, as Cameroon is a country where the majority of the population are kids. Well, you can imagine how much joy it was to be able to start up school again after not having been open since November of last year due to political unrest. The kids in the school are off to a good start and are just as happy to resume as we are.

"Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord." Psalm 34:11 Jeremiah is following the Psalmist's example of wanting to teach the children in the school more about God and how to please Him. 

The children are always eager to answer Bible questions. 

Yoder, our Miniature Pinscher decided to sneak out our gate and join us in school that day. The kids loved it!

P.E. time!

Having a basketball court has made PE and break time even more fun!

Making friends with the hope they will turn into sisters in Christ one day.
We are incredibly blessed to have Alima back from Ghana to teach in Cameroon for another school year. This is only possible because God did put it on the hearts of a congregation in the states to sponsor her. We are more than grateful for their care and support. 

There were many parents that wanted their children in the school but we had to say no due to the lack of staff. We do not charge school fees so we mostly rely on volunteers to teach. However, we have 1 Cameroon teacher, Rosette, who was with us last year and 2 part time Cameroonian monitors we have taken on which made it possible to accept more Kindergarten kids this year. Sophia (in the upper right picture) and Elizabeth (in the picture below) have been a huge help.

Elizabeth drilling the children using math flashcards. We praise God for providing various academic resources and able staff to give these children a quality education.

Story time with the younger pupils is a favorite for all involved!
It's always exciting when the children blend the words phonetically and read fluently.

F.B.E.M. offers both American and Cameroonian curriculum so the children will be well-rounded in all areas. The core subjects are Math, English, Science, Social Studies, Word Building, and Literature & Creative Writing. The Cameroon subjects are French and Citizenship though we plan to integrate more in the near future. Some of the extra curricular activities include Music, Physical Education, Art, and Home Economics. 

We are thankful to God for a great first 2 weeks of school. A few prayer requests for the school year:
1- Peace in Cameroon. Pray that we can continue to have the opportunity to provide high quality Christian education. Things are still somewhat unstable here, so we need prayers for protection and wisdom, that we can see out the school year peacefully.
2- Strength and Energy for the Teachers, and More Teachers for Next Year! We are blessed to have the volunteers and helpers that we have this school year. We are going to have 26 or 27 kids in school this year, praise God! Next year, Alima will return to Ghana, and we will need a volunteer to take her place. If you start planning now, you can be ready to come!
3- Resources- Buying chairs, ink for photocopiers, new desks, paying teachers, getting toilet paper and a multitude of other expenses are just part of running the school here. Please pray that God will supply the resources and finances we need to make this possible.

Thanks for reading, praying, and supporting! God Bless! 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Summer's End

 Hey All! Greetings from Beautiful Buea! After 3 months of almost non-stop overcast skies and drizzling rain, we are finally starting to have some sunshine from time to time, and when the clouds part for a little bit, it is quite a sight to see! Our summer/rainy season is coming to an end, and we are excited for the sunshine and for ministry opportunities (school resuming! HURRAH--- more on that next post!). We just wanted to take a minute and share with you all a quick update about the end of our summer.

A little cooler than usual this time of year. Down into low 60s in the early morning! Despite the dampness and rain, and mold growing rampantly, we are blessed with lovely temperatures pretty much year round here in Buea. You should come visit and see- hint hint. 

Things have continued to go well with the gym ministry. In spite of the rain, we still have quite a number of people turning up and are happy to have an opportunity to train with them and share a Bible thought each day. Abel has brought a number for our evening assemblies. I enjoyed hitting a new PR as well this month, ha ha. 

We have ENORMOUSLY missed our sweet Hannah, as she stayed behind in the US in order to spend some time with her grandparents. She is a huge help and blessing to our family and the ministry here. We look forward to seeing her in just over 2 weeks! Counting down the days! 

In August, we were able to travel up to Bamenda, in the North West of Cameroon for a homeschooling Co-Op for missionary kids from various organizations. Our kids really enjoy this time, and we also had a chance to help teach music... 


And Language Arts 
It was a lot of fun and a great opportunity for our kids. It was also a good "warm-up" for our new school year (more on that next post). 

We were grateful for the opportunity to also be able to visit a congregation we'd never been to before and have the chance to preach and encourage. 

Coming back to Buea, it was such an enormous answered prayer to see Kenneth and his wife and their new baby Janvier. You may recall that Kenneth's wife was accused (without any evidence) of a crime and had spent around 6 months in prison awaiting trial without being granted bail. This is while she was pregnant. We had been praying about this situation since February, and helping Kenneth out with some of the challenges of trying to get his wife out on bail. Finally she was released last month, and three days later had her baby. So glad to see them for our Sunday evening Bible assembly. 
We enjoyed hosting the Schilinski kids for 10 days also, as their parents traveled for a wedding. It was a lot of fun for us and them. We really are the "Host"etters. You should come and see! Hint Hint. 

Well, that about rounds up the end of our summer, at least what we have pictures of, he he. We hope you all are doing well and continue to shine wherever you are! God bless and we love you all.