Posted in Africa Culture Encouragements and Exhortations

Where there is no justice

An athletic neighbor once bragged to me that he jogged to a nearby village and back each day. I (a linguist) joked that I only ran when the police were chasing me. He looked at me completely seriously and responded, “Yes, I have seen that you Americans run from the police on TV. Here we just give the police 1,000 francs (about $2) and there is no problem.” It was funny for sure, but also really sad…because it was true. Throughout our entire time here we have heard various stories of injustice. For instance, one of our neighbors was beaten…

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Posted in Africa Christian Missions Encouragements and Exhortations

Of Sandcastles, Ecclesiastes, and Missions

We are currently getting some beach time here in Cameroon (one of the perks of living in the tropics). At the same time we have begun studying the book of Ecclesiastes as a family. These two facts have resulted in many great discussions with our kids. Just the other day we were out building a sandcastle together on the beach. Moats were dug, walls were mounted, and challenges were hurled at the sea. However, it did not take long for the ocean to riposte with a foamy wave of wrath. As our walls tumbled, Makyra, our oldest daughter, cried out:…

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Posted in Africa African Traditional Religion Encouragements and Exhortations

Do you really believe in demons?

Moving to Africa has plunged us into a radically different environment. I joke with Stacey that we would be prime candidates for the voyage to Mars, having already journeyed to a new world. I can stand next to a neighbor, see with fully functioning eyes the exact same event, and walk away with a drastically different impression. This reality was vividly demonstrated a couple weeks ago when we endured a ferocious storm here in the village. People’s roofs were ripped off and flung into the surrounding forest. Lightning was striking all around us and the thunder was terrifying. Both Stacey…

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Posted in Africa Mobilization

A Praying Church and an (almost) Reached People

If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20  Most Christians believe that prayer is powerful. We believe the Bible when it tells us that Elijah prayed and it did not rain for three and a half years! We believe that when Moses prayed the Lord opened the sea. And yet, we tend to pray for the small, the immediate. We pray for health and safe travel, friends and family. What would it look like…

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Posted in Africa African Traditional Religion Poverty

Vain Generosity

I wrote a few months ago A Case for Generosity in which I made the claim: “Being generous is so close to being loved that for the average Kwakum, they are indistinguishable.” My conclusion to this blog post was that, as Christians, when considering all of the variables for giving, we should make generosity a priority. I used in this argument a case study of a little boy named Patrick who was born with hydrocephalus. His family asked me to help get him a surgery and we decided to give. We found that our giving in this case conveyed great…

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Posted in Africa Current Events Women

Delivering babies is outside my job description

I have lost track of how many times I have passed out at the sight of blood or of someone else being worked on medically. But today…I helped deliver a baby. Last night a friend called me around 9pm to have me and Dave take her to the local “hospital” to give birth. We picked her up, arrived at a facility only to find it almost vacant and completely dark (no electricity). A 25-year-old greeted us while carrying a solar lamp. She led us to a clean room and had my friend lay on a narrow table. This young nurse…

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Posted in Africa Culture Culture Shock Encouragements and Exhortations

Love in Africa: It Costs You Something

In my experience, being white in Cameroon is like walking around wearing a big neon sign that says “I have more money than I need.” And so, from day one, and nearly every day since, I have received many requests for financial help. In fact, for quite a while it seemed like that was the only type of conversation I would ever have with Cameroonians. Then the Lord blessed us by putting us in a house that was shared by a Cameroonian family. We drew close quickly with the husband who daily showed his love for us. But then one…

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Posted in Africa Bible Translation Christian Missions Culture Translation Theory

Why Do Missions in the Village?

Stacey and I have chosen to live in a village here in Cameroon and work directly with a single people group: the Kwakum. The longer we are here, the more we are thankful we have chosen this method. Just the other day my neighbor Patrice told me that several people in the same village died at the same time. I asked what happened and he told me that there was mbɔsɔ cyɛti, which they would translate into French as mauvais médicament ‘bad medicine’. I asked some follow-up questions, because I wanted to better understand what happened. I asked if it was tromadol, a…

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Posted in Africa Christian Missions Newsletter

[Newsletter] Why we do what we do

Since we have returned to our village in August 2018, we have met a young couple that has reminded us why we are doing what we are doing. The young man, named Ko has been an orphan since he was 8 years old. When his parents died, he went to live with his aunt who had him work for his stay in lieu of going to school. Ko has shown interest in learning more about the Lord but confided in Dave that there was one thing holding him back: he cannot read and thus not read the Bible. When Dave…

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Posted in Africa Christian Missions Poverty

A Case for Generosity

When we came to Cameroon on our vision trip in 2010, I asked our colleagues for their highs and lows of Cameroon living. Without exception, each person told me that one of the hardest parts of living here was dealing with money. Knowing about these challenges we read a ton about the subject before crossing into a new culture. We found that most books written for Westerners moving to Africa deal extensively with the question of finances. We have already written about some of what we have learned from books like African Friends and Money Matters (read HERE) and When Helping…

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