Voices from the Field Rick & Debbie Bardin Get to know Rick & Debbie

Happy Harmattan!

Published on February 14, 2023

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At church with Mia and Trace

This February finds us here in Cameroon. I don’t think we’ve been here for the whole month of February for probably 9–10 years. We discovered early on that the hot dry season wasn’t our favorite, and we loved cold and snow more, so we usually planned our month vacation or our furlough to cover February. The Harmattan is very heavy, and the dust around causes most of us to have colds and coughs. We got a small rain a couple of weeks ago, but besides that it hasn’t rained since mid-November. The rain usually starts in mid-March, so we pray for that!!

ICE event in Nashville with Bardins

At David’s basketball game

On the bright side, we had a wonderful whirlwind month vacation in the US since we last wrote. We got to spend the holidays with our kids and grandkids. We spent a couple weeks with each family. The wonder of Christmas morning was fun to be a part of at the Flashners’ in Florida. It was unusually cool while we were there, so no beach trips, but we had fun attending an activity at Sea World, neighborhood Santa party, playground fun, and just hanging out at their house playing store, house, dolls, chase, to name a few! With the Bardin family, we brought in the New Year with games, a movie, and fireworks! We also went to ICE at the Gaylord Hotel in Nashville, did an escape room event together, attended some of the boys’ basketball games and karate practice, and also just hung out at their house playing basketball, board games, video games (mostly watched them, they are past our level 😊), and made gummy bears; they also love a good game of hide and seek, and your IT! You can imagine we never had trouble sleeping at night this trip!

Bardin team at the escape room

At the Flashners’ neighborhood party

Enjoying the sea lion show at Sea World

When we got back to Mbingo, we both met a mountain of work and are still trying to climb out of that hole. We thank God for the telepathology system. Rick would really be totally overwhelmed if not for the cases that were done by volunteers using that system while we were in the States. Debbie has been involved in helping enter client claims for the Care & Treatment Centre in order for the department to be reimbursed by the HIV Free Program in place. After being gone a month, there was a lot to catch up on.

Our mission station is really changing. Two missionary couples, our dear friends and colleagues, are retiring. The Browns left in November, and the Palmers are leaving in March. We will miss them so much. We are also hopeful they will return from time to time for a visit! We are thankful for the Snells, Streatfeilds, and Julie Stone, who are still here with us full time, and others coming often!

As mentioned in our prayer requests (see PDF), Dr. Mbanga, the doctor you have been praying with us about for the last five years, is about to finish his training in pathology in Kenya by God’s grace! We are hoping that by our next newsletter we can report to you that he is with us here at Mbingo working with Rick!

Below are some pictures of special events we attended celebrating our friends here!

Abel & Doreen’s wedding

Reception after church wedding of Abel & Doreen

Caleb & Estelle’s church wedding; Caleb started as our gardener, then we helped him go to Bible school, he became a pastor, and now married! God is faithful!

The missionary pastors’ wives at December retreat

Jim & Carolyn Brown’s retirement

Dennis & Nancy Palmer’s retirement

In His Matchless Love,

Rick and Debbie Bardin