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

Rain, Refreshment and Reunion

Published on May 13, 2024

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We have just returned from a conference that we have attended during the years we have been serving in Africa, since 1989. It used to be small and only for doctors and wives and now has grown quite large and families can attend. We had 790 folks there during the two-week conference, which is held for medical workers in underserved areas. Debbie receives all the CME credits she needs to renew her license for two years. Rick receives a good part of what he needs to renew his license also. It’s a great time to hear testimonies of how God is working all over the world. We can get tunnel vision at times when we just focus on our little area, but our God is a Very Big God who never sleeps or slumbers and is increasing His Kingdom everywhere, visible and invisible. We especially enjoyed reuniting with people we had served with before in Mbingo. There were also times of refreshment during walks on the beach. Above all, we received spiritual refreshment as we were under the teaching of a missionary who had served in Chad and Singapore. He spoke on trusting God in different types of situations. This included “peaceful trust” in good times, “clinging trust” in challenging times, and “even if” trust. It seems we have been in the “even if” type as we keep trusting God with the work at Mbingo – “even if” the war continues after many years of prayers for its end.

Before leaving for the conference, there was a roadblock for two weeks in our region. We praise the Lord the road was open for weekend travel just in time for our trip. As we write this, we have returned to Cameroon, but not yet home. Roads are still blocked after four weeks. This unfortunately brings back bad memories of the three-month lockdown of last year! Guess this is a time for the “even if” trust.

Pastor Silas and family.

Pastor Silas with the donated bike.

We want to share a God story with you, to brag how God works even when evil tries to steal our joy. There is a pastor and his family who live in a remote village and have served there for three years. He had been saving for a motorbike to be able to get to his members’ houses and do outreach evangelism in nearby villages where there were no churches. He had saved 300,000 cfa (about $500). There was a used bike he knew of that he was going to be able to buy soon, but as he was out of his house one Sunday morning at church, the house was broken into and the money was taken. This was heartbreaking. About two weeks later, I received an email from a couple who wanted to help a needy family, and they asked us if we knew anyone who needed help. Long story short, the donation was given to this family. They now have a brand-new motorbike and helmet thanks to the way the Lord provided for them. We were just the middleman, but it was such a blessing to be part of God’s blessing to this family. When God wants to move, no one can stop Him, even thieves!

The pathology team, with volunteer pathologist, Kimberly.

Dr. Mbanga working diligently to keep up.

We also praise the Lord for his provision of seven volunteer physicians who came to serve in Mbingo for three weeks. One was a pathologist. With her help, the large backlog of cases that had accumulated during our travel in January and February was taken care of! Her stay overlapped with the first week of the medical conference, so she was in Mbingo, working during that time. This was such a blessing to Rick and to the patients and doctors who were waiting for results.

Another great praise is that Dr. Mbanga, the Cameroonian doctor who was training in Nairobi, is with us, serving in Mbingo. We are so thankful!

In His Matchless Love,

Rick and Debbie Bardin