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Dear family and friends,
We have been back at work in Mbingo since February. It is a real privilege to be able to serve here. We are so thankful to each of you who make that possible through your prayers and support. I (Rick) am enjoying being back at the scope and also relating with patients and staff. Debbie is in her niche again in the HIV clinic, sharing with patients daily.
One of the aspects of our involvement in the local church here (Mbingo I CBC Church) is mentoring people who have requested to become members of the church. It is called the New Members Class and is a time of one-on-one interaction in Bible Study on a series of basic concepts of the Christian life. Debbie and I both enjoy being a part of this.
One Sunday morning, a young woman (Shanceline) and I began the first lesson, which is entitled, “Christ Indwelling Your Life.” I asked her to tell me about her experience with Christ. She responded like this. “I was born in a family that was so much dedicated to idol worshipping. My parents did their best to give us good moral upbringing but made us to understand that the idols we worshipped were our sustainers. My father was a witch doctor… When I was a young girl, a pastor lived near us. He used to come and preach to us. I told him that I was not a sinner. I wasn’t involved in lying or fornication. I was OK. But he told me that everyone is a sinner, that we are born that way and that everyone has to respond to Jesus personally. One night, after a visit from the pastor, my heart was so troubled I could not sleep. Finally, I got up and prayed. I confessed my sin and asked Jesus to be my Lord.”
I asked her how old she was at that time. She was 15. After doing some mental calculations, I realized that 37 years before that, Jesus was troubling the heart of a 9-year-old boy in Haltom City, Texas, halfway across the world. I had the same sense of my own lostness and need for Jesus and surrendered my heart to Him in 1964. I can vividly recall the sense of incredible peace that came to me that day and that still remains.
Shanceline went on to describe how difficult it was to forsake the ways of idol worship, which were so ingrained in her family life. “Back home, because of the fear of being disowned by my parents, I would always go back to idol worshipping. Each time any ritual was done on me, I would feel so guilty and dirty. I lived a life of slavery because I was scared to be disowned by my parents and my conscience kept judging me each time I did what I was not supposed to do. In 2006, I made up my mind that is was better to be disowned by my parents than to always feel so bad each time I did such acts. Though I went through so much physical and spiritual torment after that decision, God gave me the grace to stand on my decision. This finally made my family to see the might and greatness of my God and they decided to follow me. I am so thankful to God that, at last, I am not only saved alone, but with my household!”
One of the strongest evidences of the reality of Jesus Christ is His effect on the human heart. He has been convincing people of their need for Him and granting grace and faith for salvation for over 2,000 years and continues to do so today. He is not just a historical figure, but also the living, loving, active, sovereign Lord of the universe. As the Israelites were instructed in Deuteronomy 27:7, let us rejoice in the presence of the Lord our God.
We just learned that Dr. Mbanga, one of our former CIMS graduates, has been accepted to a residency in Pathology at Stellenbosch University in South Africa! We have been praying for this for more than a year. This is a great step toward providing quality pathology services for the long run at Mbingo!
Since the residency program that Dr. Mbanga has been accepted to will not provide any salary, we need to raise funds to support him, his wife, and 3 children during the 5-year residency. We have calculated that this will take about $20,000 per year. The NAB has designated a fund, the Cameroon Pathology Training fund (ID# 1301116). Contributions can be made on line through the NAB website at http://www.nabconference.org/give/online/cameroon-pathology-training or by mail to the NAB International Office. Please consider being involved.
In His Matchless Love,
Rick and Debbie Bardin