Sunday, February 7, 2016
Sunday, January 24, 2016
My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? (James 2:2-6)
likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works (I Timothy 2:9).
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7).
One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God (5-6).
Sunday, January 3, 2016
If you have followed our ministry for a while, you know that we have spent a good amount of time with the Baka people. We visited them during our field visit, we lived among them for a few months while waiting for our house to be built, and we work right next to them here in Dimako. If you were to come and visit the Baka, one of the first things that you would notice how desperate their physical plight is.
The Baka have for known history been hunter/gatherers and therefore lived as nomads, never settling in one place. However, with the growth of the non-Baka population, deforestation, and other hunting, the Baka are starting to have to change their way of life. This has been extremely difficult, leaving many of them near starving and in terrible physical health. There has just recently been at least one death in our area of a Baka baby because of measles.
On top of all of their physical problems, the Baka are a people lost in their transgressions. They fear spirits and often live in drunkenness and violence. They have many great needs.
To help meet their needs, the Lord has led a woman named Jenn Jessee to come to Cameroon as a nurse and care for their physical needs, while working alongside other World Team missionaries to also meet their spiritual needs. Her care and concern for the Baka people has even led her to adopt a Baka baby, who was in rough shape after the death of her birth-mother. Annabella and Jenn are now in the States nearing the end of their 6-month furlough.
I am writing this to point out that in order for them to return to Cameroon to help the Baka, they currently need more monthly support. In her November newsletter (read it here) Jenn says that they were still in need of $1000 per month. I would ask that you consider your current financial situation and see if there is not room to help this godly woman as she does some of the hardest and most needed work in Cameroon.
Please check out her blog: http://jennjessee.blogspot.com
You can support connect to her support network by going to: http://us.worldteam.org/give/index or by mailing in a SUPPORT CARD.
Sunday, December 20, 2015
It is interesting that while we are far away from all things “Christmas-y,” (cold weather, carols, crowded malls, and parties with family and friends), I have never had another Christmas that has been more focused on Christ. The reason for this is because this holiday season has been filled with new-founded sorrows that only Jesus can remedy.
To Those Under Life’s Crushing Load…
Oftentimes I will go on a walk in the evenings and I pass many women who are on their way back from their fields. They are carrying baskets on their backs that are filled with wood they will use to build their evening fire and the crops that will soon become their dinners. These baskets are so heavy that on one occasion, I tried to pick one up and I could barely lift it off the ground. And these women walk with these baskets for miles each day, in rags, in flip flops, many of whom are suffering from hernias or other diseases.
I could not help but to think of these neighbors when our family sang the popular Christmas Carol “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” the other evening. I would dare say that in a mysterious way, this song must have been written for the frail women who I see day in and day out walking “beneath life’s crushing load.”
So, to those whose bodies are bent down due to lives of labor, my prayer that they could one day rest beside the weary roads and hear the angels sing that that the Savior has come. And that he will one day come again and make a new world where there will be no more slow painful steps, no more bodies bent over, no more laboring to survive. This famous carol expresses perfectly my wishes for those I live among:
All ye, beneath life’s crushing load,Whose forms are bending low,Who toil along the climbing wayWith painful steps and slow,Look now! For glad and golden hoursCome swiftly on the wing:O rest beside the weary road,And hear the angels sing!
To a People Filled with Envy, Strife, and Quarrels…
God has called us to a divisive people, a people who are quick to anger. All too often there is violence in the streets and people aggressively screaming at one another. The other day, Dave even saw a woman walking down the road belligerently yelling at…a bird.
So to those who do not smile, whose mothers had few kind words to give, who defenses are always up, who do not yet know Christian love and warmth, who have never known a true friend, whose lives are filled with arguing and division, may Jesus come into your lives. May he silence all the strivings and quarrels and fill the whole people group, the whole world, with heaven’s peace.
O come, Desire of nations, bindAll peoples in one heart and mind;Bid envy, strife, and quarrels cease;
Fill the whole world with heaven’s peace.
To Those Steeped in the Darkness of Animism…
Our pastor mentioned the other day that as the end of the year approaches, usually there is an increase in witchcraft and animism in our region. Often accusations fly with each death, “My child is dead because so-and-so put a curse on her through sorcery.” Whether or not there was a visit to a sorcerer, suspicions are high and trust is absent.
And so, once again, a familiar Christmas carol expresses perfectly my prayer for this people: that Jesus would come and disperse the darkness that surrounds us.
Oh come, though Day-spring, come and cheerOur spirits by thine advent here;Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
And so, this not-super-festive Christmas season has been a blessing in so many ways. It has been a reminder to me that it is Jesus Christ is the one who has come to carry our sorrows, heal our diseases, put us in right relationship with his father and with our fellow man. And he is the one who will come again and put everything as it should be. Come quickly Lord Jesus.
Sunday, December 13, 2015
There is a story that the Bakoum people recount to their children. The story is of two fragile deer, a mother deer and a baby deer. These deer were frolicking through a lush green valley when one day the mother stops and looks seriously into the eyes of her offspring. Her tone takes on an air of seriousness when she explains that there are hunters who set traps in the valley to kill deer. She explains to her fawn that she must be very careful or else she could be entangled in a trap. The daughter deer laughs at her mother and calls her old fashioned saying that this is a progressive new world and things are like that no longer happen.
Making Excuses for our Children’s Sin
Mislabeling Their Sin
How Excusing and Mislabeling Sin Harms our Children
Vague, Powerless Prayers
Blind to the Need for a Savior
Sunday, December 6, 2015
Sunday, November 29, 2015
Each “ko ko” had a different tone and thus this, in the mind of a Bakoum speaker, is not just one word repeated over and over but instead is 5 different words. Whew! I suppose that this can serve as a reminder to pray for you missionary friends learning tonal languages.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
An ancient story tells of a monastery with a very difficult monk - a contentious, obnoxious, arrogant, and divisive man. If an argument erupted, odds were very good that he was somehow involved. Any group of murmuring brothers almost certainly had his name on their lips. This monk had no friends but many enemies, and finally even he grew tired of the animosity and left the order. While the brothers rejoiced, the abbot quickly realized his loss. He pursued the contentious monk and tried to persuade him to return. When the monk asked why he should come back to a place where clearly he wasn’t wanted, the abbot offered to pay him a salary if he would just rejoin the monastery. Imagine the other monks’ consternation when they say this hapless fellow walk back into the compound! When they discovered he would receive a salary to live their, they grew furious. One marched over to the abbot’s office to ask for an explanation. The wise abbot responded, “This brother, as troublesome as he may be, nevertheless teaches you patience, kindness, and compassion; that is why we need him here. No one else can teach you the lessons he teaches” (Sacred Parenting, chapter 9).
Sunday, November 8, 2015
And my ultimate favorite animal story from the survey is when we arrived in one village, we were greeted by a group of rowdy people carrying a baby civet (our neighbors call it a chat-tigre). So, I held this little tiger-like creature that I’ve never even seen before (even in books) on my lap during the survey.
All this to say, the survey was not at all dull.
For those of you who did not see our post about this on Facebook, we are looking for a godly young lady to come live with us to homeschool our kids (4 2nd graders) for the 2016-2017 school year. Here are some details for anyone who might be interested:
- A strong walk with the Lord and a life committed to the practice the personal spiritual disciplines.
- A strong recommendation from your local church.
- A love for and experience working with kids of this age.
- You do NOT have to have any experience as a teacher but we ask that you come with a willingness to learn and to work hard to ensure they receive a good education.
- Must be at least 18 years old.
- Must apply through our mission agency, World Team, and be willing to raise funds to support yourself for your 9 month stay.
- Homeschool the kids (generally this is 4 days a week, 5-6 hours a day), be willing to work one on one with them in areas where they struggle.
- Prepare daily individual lesson plans from the suggested lesson plans available.
- Volunteer for activities during the group homeschool session.
- Assign and encourage students to give a presentation during the spring group session of something that they have studied throughout the year.
- Be responsible for checking out all curriculum materials, taking care of them and checking them in at the appropriate time.
- Be willing to watch the Hare kids when Dave and Stacey both need to attend language / Bible translation committee meetings (this happens rarely).