Monday, March 26, 2007

Cameroonian, with a Red Ribbon -- Day 29

French Words of the Day: fils and fille (pronounced a little like “fees” and “fee-ya”); these are the words for son and daughter in French. Thus, I have “trois filles”; and Jesus is “le fils unique de Dieu,” or “the only Son of God.”

Face of the Day: Samuel Egbe, pastor of Mamfe UMC: Pastor Egbe is young and energetic, though sometimes his dreams run a bit faster and broader than the realities! Nonetheless, he named his last son after me, so I can give him the benefit of the doubt, right? …. His church in Mamfe includes a number of AIDS orphans, and he is looking for ways to support them as a congregation. He also oversees several prayer cell groups in surrounding villages.

Cameroon Fact of the Day: Since I have just mentioned it above, it might be good to deliver the statistics on HIV/AIDS, as compiled by the UN. According to their most recent research (2005), the number of adults living with HIV/AIDS (ages 15-49) was 470,000; 290,000 of these are women. The number of children living with HIV/AIDS was 43,000, with 240,000 left orphaned by the disease.

Mission Challenge of the Day: AIDS remains a challenge here, even if the numbers in Cameroon may not be as desperate as other parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Later this week, the Mission will send out its HIV/AIDS Awareness team on a weeklong trip to the Southwest Province. As a measure of support, you can do two things: one, pray for their trip, of course; and two, put on one of those little red ribbons. It's not about being politically correct or making a political statement; it's about staying spiritually and emotionally aware of the greatest epidemic of our time.