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Dear Family and Friends,
At various times in our lives we experience different rhythms in our days. For many of you, you are enjoying the last “lazy, crazy days of summer”. Others of you have traded the chats around the campfire for discussions about shopping lists of school supplies or other fall activities.
With our move to Bamkikai, we have traded our city days for country days.
In Bamenda, from 10 to 10:30 every night we heard the burst of the night bus horns announcing their departure from the city. Continuous and overlapping bar and karaoke music “rocked” us to sleep. Sometimes at around 4am we awoke to the sound of screaming. “Was that someone in distress?”, asked our unaccustomed ears. No, it’s just squealing pigs protesting being loaded onto trucks. A brief silence then pierced the night. By 5:30am we were greeted by the Muslim call to prayer and the Catholic church bells. Now the nights are “loud” with silence. If we are treated with any sound, it is a brief cacophony of crickets or the footsteps of the night watchman. Every creak of the house sounds loud without any outside noise to diminish it. The only constant has been the Muslim call to prayer that we hear each morning, however, here when the Muezzin begins the call at 4:45am, the compound dogs begin to howl! Shortly after that, as the sun sneaks up, the roosters of the neighborhood all compete to greet the day.
Instead of driving to church, we now walk down a dirt path and last Sunday had to pass through a small herd of sheep to get to the church. Our church has about 200 people attending, 2 choirs and a worship team, and we participate in enthusiastic singing and dancing every Sunday. Our service is in English and is translated in the local language of Lamso.
In our new work with the Life Abundant Primary (LAP) Health Care we live on an approximately 5 acre parcel of land. There are a number of buildings and houses on the land but there is space for some beautiful flower gardens in the English Garden style, vegetable gardens in the Cameroon mounded farm style and open spaces of green grass.
We are about a 10 minute drive from Banso Baptist Hospital (BBH) and about 2 ½ hours from Bamenda.
The LAP Administration Building is where we are spending most of our time. We start with staff devotions at 7 every morning. Maureen is the LAP Educator. She is rewriting manuals and preparing materials for a 12–week training course for village health workers. The next session will begin September 4th. Craig is assisting in administration and finance.
LAP began in the early 1980’s and has grown a lot over the years. In 1985 there were only 14 primary health centres (PHC’s) and today there are 54! These PHC’s bring health care to rural Cameroon and are making a difference in the lives of thousands of people every year. Some of the PHC’s are in villages of 500 people while others, still in remote areas, are in communities of up to 3,000 people. In 2016 they had over 70,000 patient encounters in the health centres. Along with health teaching and medical care, people in these rural areas also have opportunities to hear the good news. LAP’s mission statement says LAP exists to glorify God by promoting knowledge of His saving grace and by teaching sustainable spiritual, physical and mental health.
Thank you for your continued prayer as we transition to these new roles. We have much to learn and many adjustments to make. God bless you as you serve Him where he has led you!
Craig & Maureen