Saturday, March 10, 2007

Sweet Sixteen Days in Cameroon

French Phrase of the Day: le buisson ardent; means “the burning bush,” as in the flaming shrubbery that Moses encountered in the desert. Not to be confused with a “boisson ardent,” which would be a hot … drink?

Face of the Day: Jean-Blaise Bikoy, pastor of Bethany UMC, Monatele: Pastor Jean-Blaise is quiet, but working hard in Monatele, a small town north of Yaounde. Recently, a member of his church donated a large piece of land to the Mission, and we are currently deciding when and how to use it! He is married, and has three small children.

Cameroon Fact: One of the people groups in Cameroon are pygmies, who live mostly in the forests of the East and South provinces. A recent estimate put their population at 40,000. These people are marked, not only by their relatively short height, but by their lifestyle of dependence upon the forest, which is rapidly being decimated by the logging industry. For a fascinating and in-depth look at the way of life of Baka Pygmies of southern Cameroon, visit this website,, created by an Italian anthropologist.

Mission Challenge of the Day: One of the best ways to become mission-minded is to become aware of what is going on in the world … the WHOLE world, not just the patch of land between New York and Los Angeles. Put down the tabloids, and forget what Britney is up to. Find out what is going on in the rest of the world by reading the International Pages of your newspaper, and by watching television news programs that focus on international coverage. And when you hear a story about Africa, ask yourself, “How will this affect Cameroon?” For example, France will be holding presidential elections this spring – the first round takes place on April 22. This has enormous implications for Cameroon, because France still wields tremendous power in government circles here. Will a new president pull France away from such heavy-handed involvement in its former colonies, or …? Or next time you hear about violence in Sudan, consider that a flow of refugees is making its way into Chad, which is on the eastern border of Cameroon. Will we eventually see Sudanese refugees here, too? Missional Christians know what is going on in the world, because this is the world that God loves and cares about.