Voices from the Field Kristi TenClay Get to know Kristi

Uncomfortable Uncertainty

Published on May 25, 2020

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  • Pray for our teachers and students as they continue the struggle to finish the year online.
  • Pray for the teachers who are scheduled to join us this summer – that they will be able to continue to develop partnerships despite the limited interaction possible in the US right now and that it will be safe for them to join us in time for next school year.
  • Pray for peace for all of us in the midst of so much uncertainty.



  • Praise God that we managed to get our teachers all shifted into our online learning environment and that we are making progress.
  • Praise God that our mission community has remained COVID-free up to this point and the numbers in Cameroon do not appear to be growing as quickly here as they have elsewhere. (Pray that these are accurate numbers.)


Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6–7


COVID lockdown week 8. Online school week 4 . . . only 4 more to go.

On Wednesday, March 17, the Cameroonian government went from denial and ignoring the situation completely to shutting down all schools, the borders, and more in a single evening. Between then and the beginning of the next week, almost all students had come to pick up books, I (with the help of friends far and wide!) had managed to get access to an online system and learned enough about how it worked to train my teachers, and by Tuesday my entire teaching staff was set up on separate tables, appropriately ‘distanced’ from one another for training and to start building their classes online. It has not been an easy transition for anyone, and the journey has had many bumpy roads, detours, and roadblocks for many. But we are so thankful that we have a good God who is faithful and has not left us alone through this. We are so thankful that as life circumstances continue to stomp all over the dreams we HAD held for this year, that our one true hope remains. Though not through our own strength or ability, we ARE surviving . . . though we long for the day when we can once again aim for ‘thriving’ instead of just surviving.

The COVID numbers are rising more slowly here than in many countries, but the degree of confidence we have in testing and reporting is limited. The country itself has relaxed some restrictions this week, but within the missionary community not much will be changing yet. Just like everywhere else, the uncertainty of everything is overwhelming. What is ‘safe’? What is ‘wise’? Will our teachers and students survive another 4 weeks of online schooling? Are they actually learning anything? Will families be able to pay their tuition? Will we be able to bring any of our community together on campus for graduation and goodbyes? Will the teachers planning to join us this summer be able to raise support during this crisis? Will they even be allowed by their missions and the Cameroonian government to come to Cameroon? Will we be able to start school on campus in August?

Uncertainty is not comfortable. Our lack of control over the situation is not comfortable . . . but then, growth rarely is. We are all being stretched and challenged in different ways each new day. Contentment is not found in comfortable. Contentment is not found in control. True contentment can only come from the one who IS a certainty and who IS in control. I was in the midst of a study of Philippians when this all came crashing down on us . . . and it speaks to me very differently than it did only a few short months ago! I challenge you to re-read Philippians and consider Paul’s contentment, his hope, his attitude, and then compare his circumstances to our own – pretty convicting!

Overall, I can’t complain. I am incredibly blessed! I have everything I need (and more). I am ‘locked down’ on a beautiful and spacious compound attached directly to our amazing school campus, (We were discussing today that we may have the largest and most beautiful ‘private’ compound in all of Yaounde!) and, I couldn’t ask for a better ‘bubble’ of people to be ‘stuck’ with. This is what living in community is all about! School continues to keep me MORE than sufficiently busy, and when I allow myself to take a break from that I have enjoyed hosting movies, crafts, and baking times with the kids and teenagers within our bubble. The teens on our compound have even stepped up to serve as the “RFIS grounds crew” to keep up with the mowing on campus until we can safely bring some of our employees back!

When I wrote my last newsletter, our current situation wouldn’t have existed in my wildest imagination . . . I wonder what our world will look like in another 3 months? I have NO clue, but will hold strong to the hope and the confidence that GOD DOES.


Kristi TenClay

412 Colorado Ave NW, Orange City, IA 51041, United States