Tuesday, March 20, 2007

True Friends of Cameroon -- Day 24

French Phrase of the Day: les faux amis (pronounced a little like “foes a-mees”); literally, it means “false friends,” but it is used specifically to refer to those words in English which resemble French words, but have drastically different meanings. For example, formidable means “terrific” or “marvelous” in French, rather than fearsome or dread-inducing, as it does in English.

Face of the Day: Bishop Larry Goodpaster, Alabama-West Florida: Bishop Goodpaster certainly deserves a “Face of the Day” shout-out. He’s been a "true friend"(!) and one of our biggest supporters! He’s visited Cameroon twice, has rallied support for partner churches in his conference, and serves on the Board of Directors for GBGM. Remember the Bishop these days, because it’s his busiest time of year – appointment time!

Cameroon Fact of the Day: Here’s another piece of Rachel’s report, this time concerning a ritual which honors the ancestors, still practiced in the Southwest Province: “In the village of Ndekwai, there is also the annual ritual of the Pouring of Libations. When this happens, the chief of the village stands outside the village hall with all the other elders. He holds a bottle of whiskey or palm wine and finds a flat, bare piece of ground ... He then pours it on the ground as he calls out all the names of chiefs and elders who have died in the village. This is to please the ancestors and gods as they watch over the village. In this village, as you might have noticed, the chief is the most important religious leader. He leads the rituals and is considered to be the most qualified for the job. There are witch doctors, but they are only there for the practical reasons, like sicknesses, communication with the dead, protection or treatment.”

Mission Challenge of the Day: Oops, I really missed a huge opportunity last weekend. Did you know that last Sunday, March 18, was One Great Hour of Sharing? That’s the day that United Methodists around the world celebrate the work of UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) by taking a special offering. If you have ever wondered where that money goes, look no further! Cameroon has received UMCOR money for a number of projects, including fighting cholera in Obala and famine in northern parts of the country. I’m sure it’s not too late to add a little something to your church’s offering …!