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During Ysabelle and Elianna’s spring break in March, we were able to visit the village of Allat. Allat is where we lived and served from 1999-2007. The girls had not been back to the village since 2008 and they wanted to once again see where they had grown up as infants and toddlers. Returning to Allat as a family brought back many fond memories. We even attempted to re-enact a couple of photos.
Saare Salaam Ministry Center
Since our transition from Allat to Bamenda in 2008, we have occasionally been asked what has come of the ministry to the F*lbe people, our house in the village and ministry center next to it. Since we were part of a ministry team of other expatriate missionaries and F*lbe believers, ministry amongst the F*lbe continued after we moved to Bamenda. Some of these team members have moved on as we did while others have come to join the work.
The Saare Salaam (Compound of Peace) ministry center was built in 1997 as a retreat and training center for the young F*lbe church. Some of you reading this letter gave funds for the building of this centre. Some of you even came to physically lend a hand with the construction of it. Thank you again. Though the F*lbe church is scattered throughout the region, including across into Nigeria, the church leaders often gather at Saare Salaam for fellowship, prayer and ministry planning.
Currently living in our former house are friends who help F*lbe believing communities learn how to read and write. Carolyn and Chris Jackson, missionaries with SIL, have been holding literacy courses at Saare Salaam for a few years now. People come from far communities to stay at Saare Salaam anywhere from 1-3 months to participate in a living and learning community.
A discussion about baptism came up during a recent session, resulting in spontaneous baptisms. The report and photos of the baptism brought memories of baptisms we held in the very spot at Saare Salaam.
Saare Salaam has also been used for F*lbe children’s camps. Lisa Belau, a missionary with World Team, has a heart for ministry amongst the children. The camps have provided opportunities of learning for the children that they would otherwise not have, and in a beautiful and quiet setting. Some of the children commented that they had only seen flowers in pictures before coming to Saare Salaam.
To everyone who had a part in funding, building and praying for Saare Salaam, we and many others continue to say “thank you.” Even twenty-two years after being built, lives continue to be transformed because this Compound of Peace exists.
Always grateful for your partnership,
Calvin, Susanne, Ysabelle & Elianna