Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Catching Up at Home

In the last forty-eight hours, I’ve slurped down a couple of Dr. Pepper’s, eaten a true Methodist potluck, and watched a Rangers baseball game live on TV.

Yes, it is good to be home.

This partly explains why I have been remiss in keeping the blog updated. I’m currently touring North Texas area churches and preparing for a big weekend Mission Consultation in Allen, while Leah and the girls are keeping the home fires burning in Yaounde.

But I’m also recuperating from the busiest – and most historic – week in the life of the Mission. On April 21 and 22, we celebrated our newly-declared status as an official mission in the United Methodist connection. (Photos will be forthcoming of this important event, but I don’t have access to them at this point in time.) I haven’t yet had time to reflect on everything that happened during those two days, but the truth is … something important happened.

First, there is the administrative significance of what happened. We are official now. Period. End of story. The mission has been affirmed by the General Board of Global Ministries. The presence of Dr. David Wu and Dr. ST Kimbrough gave a stamp of authenticity to the proceedings.

And we were privileged to have the dignified and graceful leadership of Bishop Benjamin Boni at the meeting. There had been reservations about Bishop Boni’s appointment because, after all, he was not Cameroonian – he is a French-speaking West African, which made the Anglophones nervous and the Francophones curious. But he presided over the meeting with a gentle touch and a wise, wry smile. And he showed a genuine concern for the Mission by making an improvisational tour of churches when the meetings had concluded.

Emotionally, the meeting was good for the lay leaders and pastors of the Mission. They got a glimpse of good Methodist organization and Wesleyan “conferencing.” They saw, first-hand, that the church is serious about making disciples of Jesus Christ.

I sense that the Mission is turning a corner, and I am beginning to realize that my own job is changing. I have new things to attend to – the training of pastors, the formalization of the ordination process, the delegation of duties inside the Mission, the cultivation and care of church partnerships.

The job load isn’t gonna be lighter, but neither will it necessarily be heavier. It’s simply different.

But please … don’t make me think too deeply about what I have to do when I get back to Cameroon. Instead, can you pass the fajitas and guacamole … ?