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If you’ve been reading our newsletter over the past five years, you know that the ongoing war in the two Anglophone regions of Cameroon continues to negatively impact the church and society. A culture of violence has taken root in society, as indicated by increased violence in schools, domestic violence, kidnappings, rape, torture, etc. In keeping with the holistic Gospel mission of the Cameroon Baptist Convention, a new ministry initiative was launched in 2022. The Peace and Transformation Initiative seeks to equip church and community leaders to lead individuals and communities in methods of restoring community wholeness by addressing personal trauma and the psychosocial effects of war. This initiative focuses on rebuilding a culture of peace and transformation in society through biblical and indigenous peacebuilding methods.
The first of many Peace and Transformation workshops was recently held in Bamenda. Impact comments from some of the attendees were:
“I now see conflict transformation from a different, more realistic and attainable perspective over previous theories I’ve been taught elsewhere.”
“I learned that conflict is unavoidable and can lead to destruction if not properly handled. Some other approaches are limited to just resolving conflict issues, often resulting in recurrence of the conflict. The transformation approach digs at exposing root causes before seeking quick resolutions for long-term peace.”
Please continue to give to the Cameroon Crisis Relief Fund.
Depending on One Another
As we wind down our life and ministry in Cameroon, we’ve been reflecting on what we know now that we didn’t know 23 years ago when we first arrived. We learned quickly to rely on the local people for even our basic living needs. This can be quite a challenge for someone coming from North America, where independence and self-sufficiency are high values. However, in the majority world, and certainly in Cameroon, living life depends on relying on each other, which, in turn, builds mutually trusting and beneficial relationships. We’d like to introduce you to a few people whom we’ve come to depend on and who in turn have depended on us. These individuals are much more than employees, they are family.
Ma Martina: Our faithful housekeeper for the past 14 years. The quantity of dust during five months of dry season and mud during seven months of rainy season gives a very different meaning to “house cleaning.” We’ve depended on Martina to keep the dust and mud at bay, and the income has helped her provide food, pay school fees, and take care of medical expenses for her family.
Ma Haggai: Our faithful cook for the past 14 years. Food preparation is still a very time-consuming task in Cameroon. Every household, no matter what level of income, relies on assistance with cooking. Everything is prepared from scratch, which also has a different meaning than in North America. Using beef means selecting a “chunk of cow” off the butcher’s block and deciding what to do with it. Chicken means buying it live and deciding what to do with it – think of the stories your parents or grandparents told of “when I was growing up. . . .” We’ve depended on Haggai to keep us fed, and she’s depended on this employment to educate her children and build a small house.
Joseph Peter (JP): Our faithful yardman for the past 12 years. In an indoor-outdoor living climate like Cameroon, if dust and mud are a challenge indoors, they certainly are outdoors. In the tropics, maintaining a yard and garden requires more than simple pruning shears. A machete is the standard trimming tool. We’ve depended on JP to keep our outdoor environment in order, and he’s depended on this employment to augment his small market business of selling second-hand clothing.
Tata Dieudonne: Our faithful driver and mechanic for the past 10 years. Most road conditions here are such that significant vehicle maintenance and repair work is required after each road trip. Dieudonne maintains the fleet of six NAB mission vehicles, as well as other vehicles. He drives us and other missionaries on long-distance trips. During such trips, he also serves as our security detail. We’ve depended on Dieudonne for safe and secure transportation, and he depends on this employment to help house, feed, and educate his family.
Tata Pierre: Calvin’s faithful administrative assistant and right-hand man for the past five years. Directing NAB’s integrated partnership with the Cameroon Baptist Convention, as well as all CBC Cooperating Missions personnel, would not be possible without the competence, skills, and servant heart of Pierre. We’ve depended on Pierre for taking care of so many details, and he depends on the employment to help house, feed, and educate his family. (And yes, Pierre is Dieudonne’s younger brother.)
Calvin & Susanne Hohn
PO Box 1, Bamenda, NW Region, Republic of Cameroon