Saturday, May 05, 2007

Report from Buea: A Renegade Sunday School Teacher

The following is the Annual Meeting report made by Pastor Henri Amabibi about the work of Buea UMC, another English-speaking church:

"The United Methodist Church, Buea, has continued to worship in the O.I.C. buildings and as earlier reported, this place is not suitable for church engagements as this is a school which does not give us a chance to hold our usual evening engagements regularly.

"However, we have been given authorization by the Mission Director to look for an alternative place of worship. This has not been easy as we continue to encounter difficulties in getting another location, which might be more suitable especially as some dignitaries have left the church for the reason established above. Another point which has caused the dwindling number of Christians is transfer of personnel by government, especially as we are in an area crowded by government officials.

"The Christians continue to be involved in personal evangelism within their residential areas, hence a slight increase in membership has been experienced as compared to the previous year, even though many people continue to be skeptical in worshiping in a classroom, especially as Buea is the Provincial Capital and former capital of the then British Cameroon.

"The church was involved in caring for the Cells previously planted by them. The Pastor paid three visits to the Pendamboko Cell and two visits with the Layleader to the Banga Bakundu Cell. These Cells have however died off, as there was no able leader to man these cells. Both cells had previously complained of lack of literature to educate adherents on the doctrines and beliefs of the United Methodist Church, no Missionary visits and no communion or baptisms.

"We have been paying our tithes to the Mission Office.

"We continue to do child evangelism within the families as this will help in church growth. The Sunday School is not progressing much as we lack a trained personnel to handle especially the children; our former Sunday School teacher having absconded with all Sunday School literature in her possession. Several appeals to her to return the materials have fallen on death ears. This has been reported to the Mission Director previously; and to avoid more problems, we stopped.

"The Pastor was involved in baptizing some members into the church in Bonakanda cell group last year, while others were admitted and awaiting confirmation. We are doing our best educating Christians to be interested in Bible study, so as to grow in their faith and practice."