Cameroon Near and Far

The last blog shared how we originally thought we would be in Cameroon for a long time, but things changed.  It was hard to leave because it felt like we weren’t following through and that a door was being closed, but a new door was opened – the internet.

My role as a Launch Coordinator has also been so encouraging about keeping Cameroon in our lives.  Instead of physically being in Cameroon, helping to orient new colleagues arriving to the country; I get to help prepare them on this end to go to, live and serve in Cameroon.  Since October, I’ve had the privilege to “launch” two single women and two families to Cameroon!

It’s so incredible that we get to continue to serve “in” Cameroon from Pleasant Hill, Missouri.

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Change of Plans

When our family left for Cameroon in 2009, we thought that would be our new permanent home.  David and I truly thought we would be Cameroon at least until the boys were ready for college.  When our health declined and the Lord made it clear it was time to leave Cameroon in 2015, we had mixed feelings.  Leaving Cameroon meant we weren’t going to be following through on what we thought would be our long term home and ministry.  We were happy to be reunited with family and friends in the US, but sad about leaving Cameroon.  We also questioned ourselves time and time again, especially while struggling throughout 2015 and 2016.

David started volunteering with the YouVersion Bible App immediately upon our arrival back to the US in 2015.  He began sharing some of the help tickets that he would receive with me.  We were amazed how many help tickets were coming from former colleagues in Cameroon and Cameroonians.  He not only could answer the help tickets that were in French or English, but he could also have that bond of continuing to serve Cameroon.

On Friday, David was answering help tickets and he received this ticket.  We are continually encouraged and amazed how God uses us no matter where we are planted and that the door to Cameroon wasn’t closed, it was just changed from actually physically being there to opening the door via the world wide web.

“Greetings  to u in the name of jesus . I will  be grateful  if I can have  a free bible. For now I don’t  have  one. I am in Africa .  Cameroon .  Douane . Bonaber. Thanks for understanding . “

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Joyeux Anniversaire

How is it possible that he’s 14!

Below are some fun facts about this incredible boy/young man.

  1. He’s lived on three continents.
  2. He can understand fluently in two languages, but will only speak in one.
  3. He’s shy and can stay very quiet, but then can burst out of his quiet bubble and be quite talkative.
  4. He has a photographic memory, especially with maps.
  5. He loves maps and geography and can’t understand why others don’t know where countries are all around the world and their capitals.
  6. At the age of six, he memorized the RER and Metro lines map while we lived just outside of Paris.
  7. He can share something profound one minute and the next minute call his brother a poop face.
  8. He loves to work and sees school as work, he gets upset when he doesn’t get a 100%.
  9. He’s now taller than his Mom and has bigger feet than his Dad.
  10. Condiments are his kryptonite.
  11. He could care less if his clothes match or his hair is combed.
  12. If it isn’t an elastic waistband, he’s not wearing it.
  13. He doesn’t understand why he needs to clip is fingernails and toenails.
  14. He’s a sweet, gentle young man with a soft heart who we love to the Moon and Back!

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Four Decades

Well, I’m officially 40 years old!  To some of you it’s a surprise that I’m only 40, with my skunk hair and all.

I had this big idea that I would come up with 40 tidbits (words of wisdom) for this blog, but that fizzled out.

I had a great day turning 40 in the Rocky Mountains, the only other setting that I could think of that would be equally beautiful would be the beach.  I feel like the mountains were a great place since I’m at the top of the mountain “hill”, maybe I’ll go to the beach for my 50th when I’m “over the hill”.

David and I don’t exchange gifts on birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, etc….  We give one another a card, but that’s it.  I was surprised that he ordered cupcakes in advance from a local grocery store in Estes Park.  He purchased decorations, spoke to those in charge of the family camp, etc… to make it a special day for me.  He even purchased me a sash to wear that he insisted I wear all around the camp.  Thank you honey for making it special!

We were on vacation with our church for family camp at the YMCA in Estes Park, CO next to Rocky Mountain National Park.

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Polish

Yesterday at church there was a woman visiting who was from Poland.  She doesn’t speak much English, yet she came to our suburban church to worship.  After the singing and announcements, Pastor Roger took his place to begin the message.  David slipped out of our row and went to sit next to the Polish woman.  He used the YouVersion Bible App to find Polish and looked up the Scripture reference so she could read the Bible in her heart language.  He also translated the bulletin into Polish the best he could.

I sat in our row next to Joshua reflecting on the times when we sat in church services not understanding what was being said and what was going on.  I praise the Lord for Bible translation and for the YouVersion Bible App that makes God’s Word accessible in thousands of languages at our fingertips.

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Renewed Fervor

Lately I’ve felt a renewed fervor in my role.  Sometimes when you work with many details and personnel issues, one can get a bit bogged down, however, lately I’m thankful that I’ve been seeing how privileged I am.

I get the privilege to get to know the individuals and families I work with.  I get to know the many things going on in their lives personally and professionally.  The ones I work with are called to their various ministries.  How incredible that those I serve go out of their comfort zones and go to the ends of the Earth to reach others.  Myself and those I serve are all operating under the same passion – getting God’s Word to those who don’t have it in their own language.

Those I work with are scattered throughout 13 countries.  Eight are translating the Bible into the language of those they serve.  One is helping with literacy so when there is a written Bible, those that speak that language can read it.  Four are working to educate children who are in the various countries with their families.  Two are working in administrative roles.  Two are working in IT roles and one is working in a health care role.  The impact is incredible and I get a front row seat – how awesome!

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Early Birthday

Two or so years ago in Cameroon, while having my hair cut under a mango tree by a friend, my friend and I started discussing our birthdays.  Her birthday is four days after mine and we were born in the same year.  What makes it significant is that this year means we are both turning 40!  We said on that day that we would like to be able to celebrate turning 40 together, if possible.

She ended up being in Canada with her family and we realized we were on the same continent around our birthdays, so there may be a way to celebrate together.  Another friend who lives near the US border on the Canadian side, who is a friend, who also served in Cameroon with her family and who we visited in 2012 in Canada, also could get together.  It was a plan!

Since the one friend returns to Cameroon in July, July is pretty much out, we have vacation in June and swim team, so June was looking like a no go, however, the last weekend in May was looking promising.  So, the date was set.  After discussions, the place was set.  I flew into Detriot and my friends picked me up and we had a great weekend talking into the wee hours of the morning, eating lots of yummy food, shopping and just being together.  It was great to be with others who knew me in Cameroon and who know me out of Cameroon.  Thanks ladies for a great time together!

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