First day of class. The school is a long distance
from the rest home so we needed to travel for a bit to get there. Once there we
were met by no one and no information. This is not much of a surprise, but
nonetheless it was disappointing. But it is Cameroon so Philemon and I waited.
Slowly some students tricked in, but not the ones expected and no school
leadership was still to be found over an hour later.
The students we met were former ones from Cameroon
Baptist Theological Seminary in Ndu. It was a true pleasure to see them! Two of
them were pastoring and one of those men was in the process to prepare to come
to America to work on his Ph.D. I had a pleasant time catching up with them and
simply sharing pastoral experiences. During this whole time Philemon was
working his skills on the phone attempting to find any information as to our
In time someone with the school arrived and helped
Philemon on the phone. In time we received word that the students from Central
African Republic (CAR) were somewhere in the city. The housing that they were
to receive never happened so they had spent the night in some insufficient
living conditions some distance away. To our surprise the CAR consulate called
to check up on what was happening. It was then that we found out that some of
the men were rather important in the government. In addition, all of the CAR
men are what are known as “men of dignity” and should be treated with respect.
Eventually the students all arrived and Philemon
started the orientation with singing. It was a joy to see these student lift up
voices in thanksgiving and praise. Because of the mishaps early on we could not
teach; rather we explained the courses and gave our expectations for the
classes. After all the questions were answered we were left with an ongoing
concern with how the CAR students would be housed. At the time of this writing
it appears that sufficient housing has been secured, we will see if that is
What stands out so far? God has made a place of
beauty in making Cameroon. His handiwork is evident all over the land. Sin has
made its indelible mark on that land and with it you see much suffering and hopelessness.
As an American, solutions come to mind in quick succession but then I remind
myself that what is needed first is a revival of the Gospel in the hearts of
this land and then changes shall be lasting.
I was again reminded of the great, far reaching
potential of the vision of TLI. All of those who came from CAR are people of
influence and the vast majority are pastors. What they learn here in the course
shall affect many people we will probably never meet. People are starving
because they do not know the Word of God and, worse yet, they have no real way
to learn it. Through courses like this, that horrid reality can change.
We finished the day with former students from
years past. We ate mutton and beef (Philemon and I had the lining of the stomach
as well) with toothpicks around a table. The food was good, the pepper powder
(I think it was a curry powder) was hot, and the fellowship was precious.
Tomorrow we start teaching in earnest, the days
will be about eight hours of solid teaching. Much work to be done in such a
short time. Prayers for our faithfulness and diligence are needed and
requested. The same for the students. May we help equip the pastors here to
make much of God because God’s Word makes much of Him.