Saturday, January 08, 2005

Packing for a Road Trip

The Saharan winds have arrived – the city is covered in a smog-like fog and the temperature has dropped to its coolest levels since we’ve arrived. If I try real hard, I can almost imagine that I’m back in Dallas, experiencing a mild winter period.


Today I begin my big ten-day road trip to the South West Province. In this span, I plan to hold worship services at six of our churches, visit at least three prayer groups currently operating under the leadership of Methodist-related people, and meet the dean of a university that is open to campus ministry.

I have been looking forward to this trip for a few months; originally, Bill W and I had planned to go in November, but the rainy season tore up the roads into impassable conditions. Things have dried out a big (I hope), and so Pastor Billong and I are going to make the trip now.

This is the Anglophone part of Cameroon, so I am taking some extra special goodies for the churches – I have two boxes full of books that I brought from the States. They were rescued from a dumpster behind a Cokesbury bookstore! I’m also carrying some choir robes that I brought, donated by churches in Michigan. I’ve sent word that they will be given to any choirs that I hear perform on my trip!

And I am bringing something else that I am very excited about! I have 150 copies of “The Methodist Christian,” an 8-week Bible study course that I just finished writing, editing, and printing. It’s a sort of adult confirmation class. I will tell the churches that, when I return, I will confirm those who have completed the booklet and had it signed by their pastor.
I’m hopeful that this booklet will be useful, not only in the English-speaking area. When I return home, I will have it translated into French also, and begin distributing it to the Francophone churches.

In the booklet, I explain in very basic terms, the meaning of being a Methodist Christian. I have spoken before of the need for Christian education materials in French and English here. I just decided to go ahead and do it myself – it’s cheaper and easier to write it, lay it out, and have it photocopied.

(If you would like a copy, I would be happy to email you a Word document with the text of “The Methodist Christian” when I get home. Plus, I would love to hear feedback. I can still revise it before the French version gets translated. Send an email to

So … the adventure begins today at 10 am. Please keep me and Pastor Billong in your prayers for the next ten days. And, of course, pray for Mama Leah, who has to keep the home fires burning!

I will not be near a computer during the trip (unless I can find a halfway-decent cyber café, but not counting on it!), so this will be my last blog until Tuesday, January 18. Bet I’ll have some stories to tell …