Sunday, June 9, 2013

The girls started out early Sunday morning in order to get to the various churches on time. Breakfast of French bread and juice was picked up at a local boulangerie (French bakery, essentially) and eaten in Ellen’s truck on the way to church. Elly and Heather met up with the Ms to help them with the newest church plant in Fombot. The church has been around for two years and meets in a converted house among the other village houses. That morning, the girls only had 3-5 kids there, but Heather taught Sunday School and Elly taught them for junior church.

In Fomban, Joy and I worked with the kids as well. The Fomban church is fairly well-established and has a national pastor, assisted by the Barillas and the Loeschers. I got to play their keyboard for the combined part of church, which was pretty exciting. It was the first decently nice keyboard I had played in Africa so far – the one in Ghana had some interesting qualities, as I believe Dr. O mentioned. For junior church, Joy taught a lesson on the different ways people responded to God’s Word in Thessalonica, Berea, and Athens. We played a review game and then listened to lots of memory verses. The reward was a sticker on their chart, and the stickers were going up very quickly.

The guys had a unique opportunity to preach in the prisons. The Loeschers have built up a prison ministry for several years and have made many contacts within the walls. African prisons are a little different than American – dirty and with much less security. But, they provide an excellent opportunity to spread the gospel. Jordan and Robert both preached a short sermon to the prisoners. The Loeschers were excited to recognize a couple of Muslim guys there that had never attended before. These men had interacted quite a bit with the Loeschers in other facets of their prison ministry, but had never come to a Sunday morning service.

We all got together mid-afternoon for lunch at the Ms. We have quickly learned that lunchtime is very flexible. That afternoon, it was around 3pm. It was a fun time with Ellen, the Loeschers, Ms, and Barillas. Everyone brought delicious food, and if anyone left hungry, it was his own fault for sure. After lunch, we played games with the kids, including a rowdy game of UNO. Eventually, the missionary wives and team girls left for the local hospital to see a new baby born to one of the deacons at Fomban. We spent more than an hour there, and Dr. Carol had the opportunity to talk to some other women about the gospel. Then, the girls and guys split back up – girls to the Bachmans’ for dinner, and the guys back to the Loeschers. After dinner, the Bachmans asked us to share our testimonies, and in return, they showed us their video from their most recent deputation and caught us up to date on what has happened to them since. They had to leave northern Cameroon because of unrest there, and are currently occupying the Studdard home while the Studdards are away for a few weeks. We played with the kids afterward until their bedtime. That has probably been the biggest obstacle to journaling in the last week – playing with the kids. After all, given the choice between playing with a bunch of kids or sitting down at a computer by yourself and writing, which would you choose??? Seriously though, it seems to be shaping up as one of our big mission objectives here, and it’s a full time job. The kids are so excited to see some other Americans and besides, what kid doesn’t love a fully functional jungle gym like Robert or Joy? It really is a lot of fun, and I think the parents enjoy it just as much as the kids do.

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Dan Olinger

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

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