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The global community is a world of acronyms. We all use them, often without realizing it – until one moves to another culture. The world of missions is full of acronyms and Cameroon is certainly no different. We have been sent by the NAB and are accountable to the leadership at NABIO. But in Cameroon we are also accountable to the CBC where Calvin serves as the DCM, overseeing the CMF and collaborating ministry efforts with other CBC departments like HSD, TCED, ED, EVMD and FDD. Susie works with FDD overseeing MPAs and VPAs and regularly researches JEs and CRVs. She’s also chair of the RFIS board. We serve the CMF body made up of missionaries sent by BGC, WT, RG, GO and SIM. These colleagues minister in a variety of ministries and institutes like MBBs, MBH, SCA, BBH, HIV, CBTS, RFIS, CABTEL, etc. If you’re confused, don’t worry, after 20+ years, we still are! When Calvin does orientation with new missionaries, he hands them a sheet of close to 100 acronyms to become familiar with in order to function within Cameroon and the CBC context.
MKs and TCKs
Ysabelle and Elianna are not exempt from the world of acronyms. They are often refered to as MKs (missioanry kids) and TCKs (third culture kids) who live in the CMF hostel while attending RFIS.
Third Culture Kids are defined as “people who have spent a portion of their formative childhood years (0-18) in a culture different than their parents’… TCKs tend to develop their identities while living abroad, thus blending their “home” culture with the culture of the world around them. People who have attended international schools, who are children of diplomats, “military brats,” or children of missionaries are just a few examples of TCKs.” (http://denizenmag.com/third-culture-kid/)
A lot of helpful research and writing has been done about TCKs over the past 60 years. Families like ours have benefited much from this research that points out the pros and cons, the joys and challenges of being TCKs. Here’s a bit of what Ysabelle and Elianna have to say about being TCKs:
While acronyms like MK and TCK may help us understand important things about a person, they do not identify a person. Any of you who know Ysabelle and Elianna will know that they don’t like labels. Each of them is the unique identity that God is making them to be, and being TCKs is only making their identity richer.
If you’re interested in learning more about TCKs or how to interact with and minister to the TCKs around you, check out some of these resources:
While it certainly isn’t ideal to have our girls live seven hours away at boarding school, we are so grateful for the nurturing environments of both Rain Forest International School and the hostel they live, surrounded by other TCKs.
We mentioned in our last newsletter that the director (principal) of Rain Forest International School has resigned after the current year. If you, or someone you know, might be interested in filling this position, or any of the other needed teaching positions, visit: https://rfis.org/opportunities/
Cameroon Security Update
While the October 7th national presidential elections passed relatively peacefully throughout the country, the conflict between Anglophone insurgents and the Cameroon military continues to intensify and spread. This conflict has nothing to do with the recent elections. In the wake of the growing conflict, many people are wounded and killed daily, with hundreds of thousands becoming IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons). We are joining the Cameroon Baptist Convention in assisting with the mounting relief needs. To learn more about this and how you can contribute to the Cameroon Crisis Relief Fund, visit: https://nabconference.org/give/cameroon-crisis-relief/
We are always grateful for your partnership,
Calvin, Susanne, Ysabelle & Elianna