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It seems that the majority of news one sees in the media is negative and discouraging rather than positive and encouraging. We are always happy when we stumble across, or someone forwards to us, a piece of positive and encouraging news – a silver lining in the midst of challenging times. Here’s a silver lining story taking place amongst youth in Cameroon.
About two years into the civil war here in Cameroon (now into its third year), the leadership of the Cameroon Baptist Convention Youth and Students Department (CBCYSD) realized that thousands of their youth had become internally displaced persons (IDPs), no longer able to attend school, unemployed, and traumatized. After a number of prayer and brainstorming sessions, they proposed the idea of providing microloans for small businesses, as well as provide capacity building workshops on various topics. This idea grew and quickly became YEEP – Youth Economic Empowerment Program.
Initial financial support for YEEP came from other CBC youth who were not IDPs, were still in school, or still had jobs. Soon, churches, other ministries, and individuals started contributing. Generous donations even started coming in from abroad.
To date, over 400 youth have received trauma counseling, spiritual and personal development training, and small business skills, along with microloans or grants. A couple of testimonies we’ve heard from YEEP participates are:
“I am once again an asset to my family and no longer a liability.”
“I am now free from the bondage of hate. I can forgive even those who killed my mother and raped me.”
Cameroon has a young population with a median age of 18.7 years and 41.25 percent of the population below the age of 14. Cameroon’s youth of today are the nation’s leaders of tomorrow. Many have been adversely affected by the ongoing civil war. YEEP is making a positive and holistic difference in the lives of tomorrow’s leaders – spiritually, emotionally, and economically.
Our national partner, the CBC, recently launched its new website. We encourage you to take some time to learn more about the breadth and depth of ministries of the Cameroon Baptist Convention at cameroonbaptistconvention.org.
In our May newsletter we informed you of our role in directing the CBC Department of Cooperating Missions. This is one of ten departments of the CBC. Learn more about where we fit into the big picture of the CBC and her many ministries at cameroonbaptistconvention.org/cooperating-missions-department/.
CRISIS RELIEF FUND
The Cameroon Crisis Relief Fund continues to relieve much suffering resulting from the on-going conflict in the country. To date more than $220,000 USD has been donated and used to help alleviate the pains of loss, injury, and trauma. As we enter a season that focuses on giving, please consider donating to the Cameroon Crisis Relief Fund at nabconference.org/give/cameroon-crisis-relief.
- For the youth who are receiving a new start through YEEP, and for many more to have access to the program.
- Continue to plead to God with us for an end to the ongoing conflict and the resulting suffering.
- For the vision and resilience of youth leadership in Cameroon to develop YEEP.
- For continued health and safety in the midst of a pandemic and civil war.
God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us.
Ephesians 2:10 (GNV)
Calvin & Susanne Hohn
PO Box 1, Bamenda, NW Region, Republic of Cameroon