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During the past three years, we’ve gained a new appreciation for the word shalom. In the midst of ongoing civil war, and a pandemic added to the mix, we, and the people around us, long for God’s shalom. Shalom is usually translated with one English word, peace (or one French word, paix). While peace is a beautiful thing, the Hebrew word shalom encompasses something more rich and full – wholeness, completeness, well-being, tranquility, prosperity, and security (source).
Shalom very much parallels Jesus’ teachings on the Kingdom of God, or Kingdom of heaven, so we pray as Jesus taught us to pray, “Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
Recently, the people at the Bible Project produced a very good Church at Home lesson on peace/shalom. We encourage you to take the time to read, listen, and watch the lesson here. Or at least take a few minutes to watch the video.
The uncertainties of the ongoing war and pandemic are adversely affecting millions of Cameroonians. What is the response of the Church to all this suffering and unknown? As God’s image bearers and agents of the Good News of God’s Kingdom, what
The Cameroon Baptist Convention, our national partner with over 1,500 churches spread across the county, has and will continue to have a significant role to play in the reconciliation of communities that have been torn apart by war resulting in despair, distrust, hurt, and anger. God’s shalom is needed more than ever. The Cameroon Crisis Relief Fund makes it possible for the church to begin now to emotionally and spiritually heal and to train and equip individuals who will be key instruments of restoring shalom in their families and communities. We are humbled to play a small role of administration in this ministry of reconciliation and restoration.
can be our (the collective Church’s) role to help bring shalom? As common people we may need to leave the peace negotiations to the powers that be, and the discovery of a vaccine to global scientists, but we can remain engaged with the Cameroon Crisis Relief efforts. (For more information on the impact of the Crisis Relief Fund check out the Eighteen Month Report).
Elianna has been home with us since mid-March when schools across the country were closed; she successfully completed all her course work online by early June. She’s been spending her holiday weeks sleeping in, hanging out with us and Melody (the dog), working a few hours in Calvin’s office, and working on pre-reading and assignments for her AP English Language class she’ll be taking this year. We’ll be taking her back to boarding school before the end of August to begin her grade 11 year. Rain Forest International School will start with a mix of online and in-person classes so as to limit the number of students on campus at any given time.
Ysabelle has been working long, hard hours in Kelowna, British Columbia. She has also enjoyed reconnecting with her former kick-boxing club now that they’ve reopened. It’s been over three years since she’s been able to engage with kick-boxing and loves every minute of it. She will return to university campus in September. Most courses will be online, but she has one drama class that needs to meet in person so has permission to be live on campus.
Shalom Aleichem – Hebrew greeting
Asalamu Alaikum – Arabic greeting
Peace be to you – Jesus’ greeting to his disciples and our greeting to you
- As we partner with the Cameroon Baptist Convention to provide relief amidst ongoing suffering.
- For Ysabelle and Elianna as they begin school in new and restrictive ways.
- For tools and resources to equip people to be resilient amidst trauma and become peace agents.
- For the generosity of donors to the Cameroon Crisis Relief Fund (CLICK HERE TO GIVE).
God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us.
Ephesians 2:10 (GNV)
Calvin & Susanne Hohn
PO Box 1, Bamenda, NW Region, Republic of Cameroon