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Can We Be Thankful?

Published on November 16, 2017

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Dear Family and Friends,

In Cameroon, as elsewhere, this is the time of year dedicated to thanksgiving as the harvest has ended. Churches hold thanksgiving services on several Sundays. But can you be thankful in a place where the English-speaking people perceive themselves as marginalized, where the courts are not functioning? Can you be thankful where the schools have timidly started with little enrollment after an academic year lost to a strike. Can you be thankful when Government compromises/limits the internet service, when livelihoods are adversely affected by weekly general protest strikes. Yes, though we may be frustrated and discouraged, we can be thankful!

Why can we be thankful? We can be thankful because the above-mentioned problems all stem from mankind’s sin nature, yet we have a God who is just and merciful. Our all present God sees every injustice that goes on, including the sin guilt of each one of us and knows how to fairly, truthfully and righteously judge. Better yet, in His mercy God sent Jesus to atone for our sin guilt and the sin guilt of those who are oppressing us. We can be thankful because everyone has the potential to be reconciled with God and with fellow man. We are thankful because God loves and cares for us in every situation. The harvest is coming in.

On October 1, 1961, British Southern Cameroon was granted its independence from the United Kingdom (and joined French Cameroun to be the Cameroon of today). The date October 1 has become a rallying point for those who see the secession as the solution to the current Anglophone marginalization problems. So, when the weekend of October 1 was approaching this year we received news from the Governor’s office of a curfew for that weekend banning all meetings of more than 4 people (this would include church services) and the banning travel outside of your respective division (a division is comparable to a county in North America).

Please pray for God’s justice and mercy in Cameroon.

Back in the Cameroon Baptist Convention (CBC) Finance and Development Department, after years of prayer and planning, Mr. Ntam Ephraim has been proceeding with his orientation to take over as director from Walter at year end. Pray for a smooth transition and for Mr. Ntam Ephraim as he faces immediate challenges. The implementation of the new accounting software has not yet reached a full satisfactory level. One of the stumbling blocks is that the software installers came from Nigeria and they are trying to address our problems by remote computer internet access, but since the Government has again limited internet access they are unable to do so. At the directive of the French Development Agency, that gave the CBC Health Services a large loan for infrastructural development, a consulting firm, Mazars from Douala, started in August to review the transition the CBC has made to the OHADA accounting system this year. Meeting their information requests while managing a lot of other transitions and keeping the financial and accounting systems moving forward has been quite taxing on Walter and the staff of the Finance & Development Department. Yet we are thankful that with God’s help and Mr. Ephraim’s leadership, we can be hopeful in meeting up with these challenges.

We remain thankful for the partnership of individuals and churches, while facing the complex culture and demands of these times, that they are giving prayers, encouragement and support for ministry in Cameroon. In short, we have much to be thankful for. God is indeed good.

In Christ

Walter & Florence