Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Soaking Up Cameroonian Sun -- Day 13

French Word of the Day: arc-en-ciel (pronounced like “ark on see-el”); you learned the word “ciel” earlier (it means the sky, or heaven). Thus, this expression means “rainbow.” One of the popular evangelical French hymnals is titled, “Arc-en-Ciel.”

Face of the Day: Charles Ndobe, pastor of Fiango UMC, Kumba: I met Charles on my first trip to the Southwest Province back in early 2005. He had received Bible and leadership training from another ministry, which had apparently withdrawn from Cameroon. He was a high school teacher, but wanted to be a pastor. I gave him a couple of books to read, and asked him to start a prayer group. Two years later, they are an extremely active congregation, with ministries for children, youth, and women. I heard him preach myself for the first time at the pastors’ retreat, where he spoke with great insight on Nehemiah 4, and the need to do God’s work clothed in the full armor of God.

Cameroon Fact: After attending the African summit in China, President Paul Biya welcomed a two-day visit from Chinese President Hu Jintao recently. Yaounde residents were treated to a new series of billboards featuring the two presidents shaking hands and grinning. And traffic in the city came to a virtual standstill during those days. During the visit, eight new trade accords were signed between the two countries. For more information on what transpired, visit this article from Reuters: “China’s Hu visits Cameroon, pledges $100 million.

Mission Challenge of the Day: In the psalms, there are a number of special “songs of ascent,” most notably Psalms 120-134. These were originally written to be sung by pilgrims as they made their way up Mount Zion to visit the Temple. These psalms always remind me of Yaounde, a city built on seven hills. Anybody who has been here remembers that the roads go up and down, ascending and descending, wreaking havoc on clutches! Today, in your prayer time, try reading Psalm 122 – but everywhere you see the word “Jerusalem,” replace it with “Yaounde,” and replace “Israel” with “Cameroon.” Then pray it! “Pray for the peace of Yaounde …”