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Dear Family and Friends,
We had an exciting day on April 20! Internet was restored to the NW and SW regions. I’m sure if you could see a graph of the internet usage that day it would have made a huge spike as everyone rushed to reconnect with family and friends, and businesses were able to resume their activities. Craig had just attended a gathering of hundreds of people who had met at the church to pray for a peaceful resolution for the ongoing situation in Cameroon. Shortly after walking in the door of our home, we were thanking God and Maureen was doing a “happy dance” as the internet was working after a long 3-month absence. We excitedly skyped our kids to tell them the good news!
Unfortunately, the situation in the country continues unchanged except for the restoration of the internet. That means the children are not going to school, there are rotating strikes and continued tensions. We ask your continued prayers for Cameroon.
In April we enjoyed an awesome time of fellowship and time in the ocean at our annual NAB Retreat. We had 2 full days of relaxation, sharing, and listened to some sermons from a pastor in the USA. We loved the chance to body surf and watch the waves crashing into the rocks. In the early morning we watched fisherman throw out their nets from paddle boats while spear fisherman worked their own areas. We watched them diving below the surface and popping up again without any equipment but their spears.
Right now we feel as if our feet are struggling to be in three places at once. Why? We both have plenty to do here in Bamenda but in July we will be starting our new work with Life Abundant Primary Health Care (LAP). We have attended meetings in Bamkikai and begun to familiarize ourselves with the ministry there. We have also been involved in coordinating work on the house we will be living in. Painting and repairs are needed and as we schedule and discuss things with electricians, painters and plumbers, we feel like we are back in North America “flipping houses” again! So that gives us two places to think about. The third spot is back in Canada. Maureen’s parents have sold their home and are moving to a seniors complex. This weekend they will be having a garage sale. Maureen is a bit of a garage sale queen so she and her family wishes she was there to help!
Recently, we read in I Kings 19 where Elijah had run into the desert and was overwhelmed. As he fell to his knees exhausted, an angel came to him and gave him food and water. It was enough to give him the strength to run 40 days and 40 nights. Talk about super food! The angel told him the journey was too much for him and then provided Elijah with everything he needed to carry on.
We do not feel overwhelmed at this point, nor do we see a 40-day run in our future but we are thankful that we have such a powerful and loving God that walks with us. It is wonderful to have the confidence in knowing that God will help us to focus on where we are while at the same time, we plan for the future. It is also great to know that God hears our prayers and is walking with our families that are far away from us!
Now that the internet has been restored, the work of writing continuing education lessons is moving along much better. However, the shut down caused Maureen to get behind schedule. Please pray she will complete the lessons by the end of May. In June, Maureen wants to focus on updating the training manual for LAP health workers.
Craig continues in his position of Acting Director of Cooperating Missions/Field Director until Cal Hohn returns in July. This time of year there are many meetings to attend and Craig has to travel out of Bamenda for many of them. The last of the meetings will be June 19 to 23 when the Cameroon Baptist Convention (CBC) board meetings are held in Bamenda. One particular challenge Craig is experiencing is working on Cameroon immigration issues. The Cameroon immigration system changes from time to time and we are currently at a point where we are receiving different information from different offices. Since we need to guide and assist all of the missionaries in immigration matters, we need accurate information. To do this effectively means we are able to help the missionaries avoid unexpected or unnecessary expenses and maintain valid immigration documents.
We would like to spot light one of NAB’s special projects in Cameroon. While many of you are familiar with the CBC seminary in Ndu, some of you might not know there is another CBC seminary in Kumba. Cameroon Baptist Seminary Kumba opened in 2001. This location is a long distance from Ndu and it is helpful for the people living in the SW Region. Currently the seminary has a partially completed classroom block. In order to be sustainable, the seminary must have a certain level of enrollment. In order to attract students, these classrooms must be completed. Of course, the completed classrooms will also provide an environment that is much more condusive to learning! Rainy season is starting now and without glass panes in the windows, only part of the classroom can be used or the students and their books get wet! $1200 is needed to complete one classroom and there are a total of three classrooms to be completed. We ask that you or your small group would prayfully consider partnering with the seminary to complete a classroom or part of a classroom. Your partnership will enable the school to train more pastors, missionaries to unreached people groups, and church workers. You can donate online at http://nabconference.org/give
Thank you for partnering with us in Cameroon!
Craig & Maureen