Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mission Trip Update (Part 2)

Today I'd like to continue my report so that you all will have the opportunity to rejoice with us in God and in the opportunities He provided for Mark Daniel, John Horn, and I to share the Gospel with the Fulbe people as well as others in our recent trip to Cameroon. I'm also hoping that God will use these accounts to motivate and mobilize a missionary force from among us that He will use for His glory to call people to Himself whether they live in Cameroon, Azerbaijan, China, or across the street.

Well, once we left the Fulbe village of Waro Mango we headed down a road in the African Bush that we thought would lead us to Waza National Park as we were hoping to see some African animals in the wild. After a few hours and several miles of traveling it finally became obvious that the road we were on wasn't the road we needed to be on to get to the park. Keep in mind that Cameroon unlike the U.S. feels no compulsion to help travelers figure out how to get from one place to another by posting directional signs. The Cameroon government is quite content to just let people "figure it out". So, realizing we needed to turn back or spend the night in the Bush we decided to turn back and try again the next day. Little did we know that God had His reasons for not allowing us to make it to Waza that day and His reasons had to do with a special appointment He had for us the next day.

After getting a good night's rest, we awoke the next day ready to make the long trip from Maroua to Waza National Park. Wanting to be prepared for whatever or whoever God had for us we also loaded up the Proclaimer and our Gospel tracts with our personal gear. We arrived in Waza about mid-morning, paid the entrance fees, hired a guide, and off we went into the Bush looking for wild animals. God graciously allowed us to come upon giraffes, gazelles, monkeys, ibex, various kinds of birds, and lots of elephant tracks. We even ran into a group of "Forest Guards" camped under a large tree. These men spend days out in the Bush hunting for poachers. They were glad to see us and readily accepted our Gospel tracts and some snacks. It was now mid-afternoon and time to head back so as to be off the road before it got too dark.

The trip back was for the most part uneventful. We passed several police checkpoints with no problem and after a few hours we finally came to the last police checkpoint just outside Maroua. When we were stopped and ordered to park the truck we were surprised but didn't think too much of it when the police wanted to see our passports and the I.D.s of our Cameroonian friends. What we didn't know was that one of the young men traveling with us from Maroua had forgotten his I.D. So, now the police took this young man and his brother to their little shack alongside the road and ordered us to stay put. Essentially, they were going to keep us out there until we paid them a bribe to let the young man as well as the rest of us go. So the standoff began. Not willing to pay a bribe, we decided to make the most of our circumstances by pulling out the Proclaimer and sharing the Gospel with all who would listen. So while the police were interrogating our friends on one side of the road we were sharing the Gospel on the other side of the road. As the New Testament in Fulfulde was being played on the Proclaimer a crowd of people gathered around to hear it. Since many of the people gathering in the crowd also spoke French Mark Daniel and John began handing out several French Tracts. Then one Muslim young man who was working with the police this afternoon approached Mark Daniel speaking very good English. He also wanted to receive a tract not knowing what it was. Unfortunately, we had not planned on meeting English speakers in this area and so had not purposely packed any in our bags. But then John thought he might have one English tract stuck away in his camera bag. He looked and lo and behold he had one English tract. So he gave him the tract and when the young man read the title he became very agitated and approached Mark aggressively telling him adamantly that he was a follower of Mohammad. By God's grace Mark responded gracefully to this young man telling him that we were followers of God who loved Isa (Jesus) and that we were hear to tell him and others about Isa. The young man began to calm down and then told Mark that his name, interestingly enough, was also Isa. He also told Mark that he had already come to the realization that Isa was the Son of God. With that Mark began to proclaim the Gospel to him. The young man listened intently to Mark as he explained the Gospel. Once Mark finished sharing the Gospel with this Muslim young man the police ordered us to leave the area immediately. Young Isa wanted to talk more but knew we had to leave so Mark got his contact info and told him that we would send Alexis to meet with him.

This was God's appointment for us to make this day. This is why we couldn't find our way to Waza the day before. This was the reason John had only one English tract in his camera bag. This was the reason why our Cameroonian friend had forgotten his I.D. so that we were detained by the police and this was the reason why this young English speaking Muslim was working with the police on this particular checkpoint on this particular afternoon at just the time we arrived. God is indeed sovereign over all things and this includes the saving of the lost. We left the police checkpoint with great rejoicing and hopes that with all God did to make this "appointment" happen we may see our new friend Isa in Heaven one day.

I think this should do it for today. The next update will feature our trip to the orphanage with all its joys, challenges, and needs as well as the opportunities God is granting us to make much of Him there.

By-the-way, some of you have asked about the cost of the Proclaimer. They run $100 each. They are solar-powered, essentially indestructible, and very effective. We only had one on this trip and used it everywhere we went where Fulfulde is spoken. We left it with the church in Ngaoundere to use in their evangelism efforts among the Fulbe people. When we go back to Cameroon this September I would love to be able to take several Proclaimers with me to use among the Fulbe as well as to give to churches in the North who are willing to reach out to the Fulbe as well. The Proclaimer also plays the New Testament in Pigeon English which, is one of the trade languages of the South. We hope to give several of these tools away for churches to use in the South as well. If you'd like to help us purchase these great tools please let us know or simply send your check to Southern Hills Baptist Church P.O. Box 638 Copperas Cove, TX. 76522. Please make out your check to the church and write "Cameroon Proclaimers" on the notation line. You will receive a receipt for tax purposes from the church. We are packing our container in August so we will make this order by July 18. Thank you so much!

And if you are interested in supporting us financially we would greatly appreciate it. We are still in need of about $13,000 for our outgoing expenses this September. These are expenses having to do with purchasing supplies, tools, ministry materials, shipping, customs fees, and travel expenses in getting to Cameroon. If you would like to help with these expenses please send your check to Southern Hills Baptist Church at the address above and include "Outgoing Expenses" on the notation line. Again, you will receive a receipt for tax purposes.

Thank You!

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