Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Under the Table in Cameroon -- Day 25

French Phrase of the Day: pot de vin (pronounced a little like “poh duh vuh”); literally, it means “pot of wine,” but it’s slang for a bribe, something offered under the table. And yes, it happens in Cameroon!

Face of the Day: David Sen, pastor of John Wesley UMC, Yaoundé: Regional coordinator of our churches in Douala, Pastor David is actually living and working in Yaounde! He’s the pastor of John Wesley UMC, and is in his first year of classes at the Protestant Theological Faculty of Yaounde. Last year, Pastor Sen accompanied me on a trip to Alabama-West Florida, where he ate cheese grits and drank sweet tea for the first time!

Cameroon Fact of the Day: Corruption is a notoriously difficult problem in Cameroon. Twice, in 1997 and 1999, Transparency International ranked Cameroon as the most corrupt country in the world. In 2004, TI published results of a poll which determined that, worldwide, 1 in 10 people said they or a member of their household had paid a bribe in the previous year. But in Cameroon, the percentage was over 50 percent!

Mission Challenge of the Day: If you have a high-speed connection and 20 minutes, then I highly recommend that you watch the video at this address: It’s a documentary called “Kingsley’s Crossing,” made by a French photojournalist, who followed a young Cameroonian from the Southwest as he attempted to cross the continent and go to Europe, where he might find a new job and start a new life in order to help support his poor family back in Cameroon. It’s a disturbing, fascinating, and heartbreaking story. After watching, I urge you to consider the following question: under what circumstances would you be willing to leave everything behind – home, country, family – in order to have a better life? And, more importantly, what responsibility do global Christians bear towards people like Kingsley?