Friday, February 23, 2007

Walk Like a Cameroonian -- Day 3

French Word of the Day: carême, pronounced kuh-rem, means Lent, as in the forty-day period of fasting and repentance that we are currently observing. Lent is still seen as mostly a “Catholicky” thing to do in Cameroon; none of our Methodist churches celebrated Ash Wednesday this year, for instance.

Face of the Day: Pauline Ntui, National President of United Methodist Women, Cameroon, Buea: Not a great picture of Pauline, I admit, but she called Leah this morning to ask for prayer. She stepped into a gutter and hurt her leg, badly enough to require a visit to the local hospital. Pauline always has a smile on her face, and whenever I visit, has prepared some local Anglophone foods. And there’s always usually a bunch of plantains, too. Pauline’s husband is a retired civil servant; her son is the manager of Capitol Hotel in Buea.

Cameroon Fact: The following short news item appeared in the February 23, 2007 edition of the Cameroon Tribune: “… freedom of association has rendered the country a very fertile ground for the implantation of churches. Without going into the polemics as to whether these new churches are good or bad, one cannot stay indifferent to some of their practices. The other day, a family took a sick child whom they believed was possessed by demons to a prayer session of one of these churches. The preacher, however, refused to touch the kid on grounds that the Holy Spirit was not yet ready. After the general prayer session, he called for the parents of the child to bring CFA 100,000 frs in a week's time for the child to be delivered. ‘We need the money to invoke the Holy Spirit,’ the shameless preacher said. What a hoax!”

Mission Challenge of the Day: Today is the opening of the first Douala United Methodist Church Regional Convention, which will be held at Galilee UMC. Please pray for all the pastors and members of the four Douala-area churches who will be gathering for a weekend of worship, preaching, evangelism and food! The host pastors’ names are Bienvenue Iloga Iloga, Bernard Mbehna, Sampson Ashu, and Victor Essama.