Friday, 31 March 2017

Back in Buea!

Where to start?! We have been back in Cameroon for over 3 weeks now and things have been challenging but good. We were hoping that things would have settled down with the political situation when we got back from India, however, we need to keep praying as schools have been burned down and more. Through all that is going on we thank God that He has helped the ministry to keep moving forward.

Though schools have not started back up in the Anglophone zones we have been able to safely make home visits to tutor the students. I'm amazed at Jeremiah's God-given strength in all areas of his life. Despite some health issues and other obstacles he keeps pressing on.

Jeremiah, Rosette, Alima and I take turns making home visits. Here Rosette is teaching French.

Alima has been such a great help in the school and gym ministry, in the house, and has made lots of friends in Cameroon. While in Douala, Jeremiah bought her ticket back to Ghana and she is to return May 17th. We will miss her dearly! 

We have students from 3 different villages and several different areas in Buea. We have divided them up into 5 groups so they can be tutored several times a week. They are not to wear their uniforms or bring backpacks as to not appear like they are going to school, which they are not.

The gym ministry is BOOMING! Many shops and activities have slowed down but the gym continues to grow.

We usually have around 30 ladies during the evening gym session and more than that who are registered and come at other times. We will miss Alima leading Zumba after lifting and her sweet devotions on Thursdays.

2,000 cfa bills are the most common counterfeit money in Cameroon. Unfortunately, I didn't realize I was given one after buying goat the other day.

Home assemblies are going well and some of the guys are stepping up to lead.

Jeremiah teaching in the last chapter of Galations in the village of Bolafamba.

*A note on Jeremiah's health* In India he was diagnosed with H Pylori and GERDS. He has finished the meds he needed to take for the H Pylori but he continues to take meds for the GERDS and has drastically changed his diet. We are hoping he doesn't have to take the meds long term as it lowers your immune system and makes you more susceptible to typhoid which is common in Cameroon. He still has bouts of nausea in the mornings but we are still trying to learn ways to manage his symptoms.

Some kids like to play with their pets...

And some like to eat them. haha!

She isn't really eating her pet but she does enjoy a flavored snail on a stick.

On her own Hannah wanted to start having Bible studies with her class mate and neighbor Gaelle. I'm in awe of the lovely young lady is becoming.

Since being back from India I have enjoyed the many visitors that have come to the house to welcome us back.

The children have enjoyed it as well. :)

I'm thankful that after 3 weeks of no internet in Buea we were able to make a trip to Douala to update you.

Yes, that is a whole live cow in the back of that wagon!

Some other benefits of coming to the francophone city Douala for internet, is a little more shopping options and staying at a cheap guest house (usually only available if you reserve way in advance) which has a nice pool for the family to enjoy.

I'm eager to share with you more that is on my heart but some of it will have to wait until we are in person again, if the Lord wills. We hope and pray you all are doing well and are shining brightly in your corners of the world. We appreciate your continued prayers and support through our journey in Africa.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Adventures in India, Final Pt.

Hey All! I know we are sharing a lot about our trip in India. It really was a busy, productive, encouraging time! Here are a few more pictures, one more post, of other ministry that we were able to share in while in India. 

We enjoyed being a part of the house church that meets downstairs at the Thomas' house. It was encouraging to be able to share with the saints there and we hope to be able to encourage them in their faith.

The Thomas' kids are great kids, and it is inspiring to see them helping out in the ministry there, whether it's in school, house assembly, or other avenues. 
I enjoyed our Bible studies with this gentleman, Mr. Alexander. He is very zealous for the Word, and it was very encouraging getting to share in the studies that Binoy has with him. 
Mr. Alexander also invited us over to his lovely home to share a meal with his family, answer some Bible questions, and I had a chance to give a devotion as well. What inspired him in studying with Binoy was seeing his family, how they are all focused on the Word. 
One of the families in the assembly. Though there was a language barrier at times, it was sweet to know that we share a bond of the Spirit and a common faith. 
I also got to speak at one of the local assemblies in town. Gaius, one of the students in Kerala Christian Academy, translated for me. He is an amazing young man. 
Binoy and I were also invited to speak to a group of various people at a homeschooling and Christian family seminar, organized by a gentleman from Cochin. It was great to see people turn out who are concerned about their Children's spiritual as well as academic upbringing. 

Binoy is always looking for ways to make contacts which can bear fruit. He talks to pretty much everyone he is around and looks for spiritual interest. We even got to "crash" a wedding while there, with almost 1000 people! It was fun when asked how I knew the couple to tell them, truthfully, "Oh, I am the brother-in-law of a friend of the brother of the bride." No one even batted an eye, as weddings in India are huge and many are invited. We had some good discussion and put out some "hooks" for the gospel.

Evening devotions were an encouraging time. Jonathan loved having a bunch of boys to hang out with and be buddies. 

Our last Sunday in India, Binoy hired a ferry (things are quite affordable in India) for a couple of hours to cruise around the Cochin harbor as we had our Sunday evening assembly. That was a unique and memorable experience. 

Indeed, our whole time in India was truly a wonderful time. We were able to get much done, and were blessed to be with Binoy and Rebecca and their kids. We appreciate again all who helped make the trip possible. Thank you. Now, we are back in Cameroon, and it may be a while until our next post, as we only have internet when we come to Douala (such as to pick up bags that didn't arrive on time, which I am doing now). Please continue to pray for us as things remain unsettled politically, as we get settled back into the swing of things, as I adjust to my health issues, and as we continue to seek to build faith and transform lives in Cameroon. Thanks again! 

Monday, 6 March 2017

Adventures in India, Pt. 2

Grand Gospel Tour
One of the things we did in India, that I especially enjoyed was a tremendous trip with my brother-in-law Binoy Thomas, to visit, encourage and share in various cities in India. In 5 days, we had the chance to visit three large cities, with a combined population of over 30 million people, covering almost 4000 miles, preaching a combined 7 times, sharing many Bible discussions, meeting many brethren and both encouraging and being encouraged over and over. 
We took 4 different flights (3 different airlines). India has an excellent domestic air network at great prices.  
 Our first stop on the trip was the city of Mumbai (Bombay) which has over 20 million people, in other words, there are about the same number of people in this city as in the entire country of Cameroon! You can imagine the traffic was pretty heavy. 

We enjoyed being able to meet with brethren, and discuss scripture with people from all over. Our goal was to be an encouragement and a spark, but we were also encouraged ourselves. We were shown tremendous hospitality. 

Mumbai was such an enormous city!
The "Gateway of India," a landmark of Mumbai. 
Our next stop was the lovely city of Chandigarh, in the north of India. This city of over 1 million is very well laid out, as you can see in the picture above. 

Our goal in Chandigarh was to attend a Preachers' Seminar and to make connections and build faith. It was great getting to meet many brethren, and we both had an opportunity to preach as well. Binoy made such an impression, he was asked to speak again at their graduation ceremony following the seminar. I enjoyed tag-teaming with Binoy. 

 We made sure to only eat in the very best restaurants. :D The whole trip was planned at the last minute (due to my medical checkups), so we had to rough it a little. 

We stayed in dorms with others who were attending. Interesting Note: In India, lights and noise are not considered an impediment to sleep, so turning on all the lights and singing at 3 AM is not considered rude at all. 

We made the journey for the sake of connecting with brethren we had never met. In this regard, it was a huge success, as we were able to make friends and build relationships with many brethren. 

From Chandigarh, we flew out to the city of Bangalore (Bengaluru) which has a population of around 9 million people.  

We arrived in Bangalore on Saturday, and the next day, we both had the opportunity to preach twice, visiting three congregations between us. It was encouraging to see the faith of these people, sometimes in the face of opposition and persecution.  

Once again our goal was not only to speak and preach, but also to connect with people personally and establish and strengthen the bonds through which we can encourage them. We had some very encouraging conversations and hope to build faith. 

Late Sunday Night, we flew back in to Cochin, and returned home. It was a great trip, and I really appreciated the opportunity to see more of India and to meet so many people. Binoy is very zealous for God and striving to be used by him to impact a huge country. It was good to see. 

Well, this post is running pretty long and I STILL have more to share, so I will go ahead and share this with you all, and Lord-willing, get one more post about India out before we are out of Internet range on Thursday! Thanks again to all!