Sunday, September 19, 2004

At Mt. Olive UMC

A red-dirt road winds off the main road from Yaounde, into the bush. We followed that dirt road to Mount Olive UMC, where the congregation had prepared for our arrival by decorating the sanctuary with flowers and palm branches. The benches on the left side of the building were filled with children, wide-eyed and curious.

Pastor David has a unique story. He was uneducated and illiterate, when he experienced a true Pentecost miracle! As a young man, God simply gave him the ability to read the Bible! Since then, he has learned to read French, too. He has also attended some classes at the Protestant theological school in Cameroon.

His preaching style is high-energy. Lots of “Hallelujahs!” punctuate his sermon. But what was most interesting was the way in which he encouraged the members of his congregation. He reminded them that they were all, and every one of them, evangelists and apostles. This is an important message that needs to be heard by everyone who sits in a pew anywhere in the world. The work does not belong to the preacher alone, nor the missionary alone.To be a follower of Jesus Christ means to be committed – mind, body, and soul – to the kingdom of God, and to work toward bringing that kingdom to this earth. Every single one of us has a role to play in that work.

If the members of Mount Olive UMC in a tiny building in the middle of Cameroon can get that message, then there’s hope for Methodists in million-dollar churches in America, too!