Monday, March 31, 2008

Cameroon FAQs

I’ve been back in the States for a couple of weeks now, reunited with family, and praying about our future. In the meantime, I’ve received a bunch of questions about what’s going on from friends all over the country – in emails, phone calls, and through the grapevine. So let me use this post to answer those “frequently asked questions”:

Q: What is the status of the United Methodist Mission in Cameroon?

A: The Mission will continue to be one of the high-priority Mission Initiatives of the United Methodist Church. The General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) will be sending missionaries to Cameroon to continue the work, though these appointments have not yet been announced. But the work will continue, and the Mission needs your support – financial and spiritual – to go forward!

Q: Have things returned to normal in Cameroon, following the riots and unrest last month?

A: Yes, as far as I know. In an attempt to quell the unrest, the President had announced a rise in salary levels for civil servants and a decrease in basic foodstuffs. These changes are due to take effect on April 1st, 2008. Hopefully, the government will keep its promises and things will continue to improve.

Q: What will happen to the pastors of the Cameroon Mission while they wait for a new Mission Director to arrive?

A: Again, things will continue as normal. Pastors will receive their monthly salary support, rents will be paid, and the various ministries and programs will continue. And financial gifts to the Mission may continue to be made through The Advance, as before.

Q: What will happen to the Magruder family?

A: We have settled down in Plano, Texas. We’re currently living with Leah’s parents, but are looking for more permanent lodging! The girls are enrolled in Plano schools, and adjusting very well to American life again. Rachel made the drill team, Chloe is active in a dance group, and Mallory attends an after-school Science Club. Leah is looking for a job, while keeping track of the girls’ busy schedules. I have received an appointment to be the associate pastor at FUMC Rowlett, where I will be working with my friend, Rev. Katherine Lyle. My job starts tomorrow – on April 1st, and I’m excited about this new phase of ministry.

Q: Our congregation supported your family as our church’s missionaries. What shall we do now that you’re no longer on the field?

A: Through the General Board of Global Ministries, you have multiple opportunities to continue to support the mission work of the United Methodist Church. You may choose to shift your support to another missionary, working in another place. The Advance office of GBGM would be happy to suggest names and locations of missionaries on the field who need support. You may also choose to continue to support the work in Cameroon, by sponsoring the next missionaries appointed there. Or you can choose to support any number of Advance mission projects, including work in Cameroon, or other West African countries. Again, this information can be obtained by contacting The Advance.

Q: How are you doing? No, seriously … how do you feel?

A: The time at home has been healing and refreshing. Most of all, Leah and I have been absolutely blown away by the support of our friends in the North Texas Conference. I have received numerous phone calls expressing love, support, and encouragement from clergy colleagues, as well as supporters, former VIM team participants, and administrators. Everyone has embraced us warmly, and welcomed us with open arms back into the North Texas church family. At times like these, we are so grateful for the Methodist connection!

Q: What will happen to this blog?

A: After much consideration, I have decided to bring this blog to an end. I will not be deleting it from cyberspace – I’ll leave it here for posterity’s sake. But it has run its course – time to move on to something new. I am going to take a break from the blogosphere for now, but am sure that I will be returning again shortly. When I do, I’ll put a link here. Thank you for being faithful and curious readers … see ya again soon!