Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Cavalry is Coming!

Today I feel a little like the besieged cowboy hunkered down in the Alamo. I’ve been waiting weeks for reinforcements when all of a sudden the shouts arise and ripple through the air … “The cavalry is coming! The cavalry is coming!”

Yes, on Friday, we welcome the arrival of a very special missionary friend, Rev. Bettye Elledge, who is coming to Cameroon as an Individual Volunteer in Mission through the General Board of Global Ministries.

I have known Rev. Bettye for several years now, for she has just retired from my home conference, North Texas. I can’t exactly remember when I first met her, but Rachel and I got to know her well in the spring of 2004 on our trip to Zimbabwe. Rev. Bettye has long had a special relationship with Africa – she’s made many trips to Zimbabwe, been involved with mission organizations in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. And I think she became extremely jealous when she heard that we were coming to Cameroon last year!

So we have done everything we could to encourage her to join us, which she will be doing on Friday.

I consider her a wise and centered woman, a kind of “mother in the faith.” She prayed for and with me while Leah and I were considering becoming missionaries. I am so thrilled that we will be working together.

Her job description is still open-ended, but I suspect that she will help greatly in three areas: one, she is an ordained elder, so she can help serve Communion across our connection; two, she will be a wonderful teacher for pastors and other adults; and three, she wants to help start and manage income-generating projects in our churches.

For the next two months, Rev. Bettye will be living in our home, and then moving into an apartment nearby with … yet another member of the cavalry! We are expecting a second Individual Volunteer in Mission in late August – Ginger Cooper, who visited us in February with the Volunteers in Mission team. Ginger fell in love with Cameroon on that trip and had a long conversation with Maman Leah about returning. Things continue to fall into place and Ginger will be here at the end of the summer!

Yippee! I can see those horses now …