Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday started off in an abrupt way. The girls woke up to the news that the Ms’ house had been raided by bandits in the night. The whole Fomban crew, including the Ms, Loeschers, Barillas, and the guys had been up since 2 am. The men were out with the head of the police chasing the bandits throughout the morning. At the same time, everyone else in Fomban was at the Loeschers’ house having an impromptu prayer meeting and song service through much of the morning. It looked like the bandits were the same people who had recently raided the Loeschers’ house as well, so it was pretty concerning. We decided collectively to try and maintain as normal of a schedule as possible. For the girls, that meant starting VBS in Fombot that morning. We went ahead with Ellen and ran a fairly standard VBS. Joy directed the games, Heather did the music, I taught the kids about creation, and Elly taught a Bible lesson to some of the women of the church.

It was decided to have a full team meeting with our team and all the families in the afternoon to plan out the best course of action. The girls ate a pizza lunch with the Barillas after VBS and played with their kids for the rest of the afternoon until the meeting at the Loeschers. By the time of the meeting, seven of the bandits had been caught. This was a huge praise, as the probability of thieves being caught in this part of the world is pretty low, and the police had already discovered the gang and their meeting place. We didn’t know how large the gang was though, so we decided it was best for everyone to migrate to Bandjoun at least for the immediate future. The guys were going to go out to a bush church for the weekend, but that plan was quickly abandoned in the desire for as many male adults around as possible. Our team and the Barillas moved in with the Bachmans and the Loeschers and Ms moved in with Ellen. Our team drove back first so we could get our stuff from Ellen’s house, but on the way, we encountered a huge thunderstorm. We slowly drove through driving rain and wind through the mountains until we finally got to Ellen’s house safely. Thankfully, the storm passed while we were packing so we didn’t have to load our luggage in the rain. We eventually got to the Bachmans’ house and evaluated our situation. One silver lining was that our whole team was back together! We had been separated by an hour’s drive for our whole time in Cameroon so far except for Mbingo. So after playing Signs with everyone, we had team devos and gratefully went to bed. After all, the guys had only been up since 2 am…

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Dan Olinger

Chair, Division of Bible in the BJU School of Religion.

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