“For I long to see you, that I may impart to
you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually
encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine” (Romans 1:11-12).
If flexibility is a key word
in Cameroon, a content spirit is a key complement. And sometimes humor is an ingredient of that
spirit. The first day of teaching
involved many different scheduling changes which affected the way in which we
approached our courses. Arrangements of
meals, rides to and from class, and the day’s events involve uncertainty. But it is refreshing when we can look at
Ebenezer (Philemon’s brother) being jolted awake by the cab driver or the
plumbing system at the school and laugh, taking it all in stride. Most of all, we feel greatly encouraged by
each other’s faith as we depend on the Lord together, knowing that He means
everything that happens for our good (Romans 8:28). He is our life (Col. 3:4).
Our team is encouraged by
each other as we have devotions together and pray together. When we feel discouraged, tired, or confused,
or happy about the way things are going, we pray with one another, whether it
be a scheduled time or not. Every day I
have felt very sustained and edified by the people on our team. We have different personalities. We have different backgrounds. We have different gifts. But we have the same Savior. We firmly hold the gospel by the grace of God
and point each other to our identity being in Christ when we have a poor
lecture or a good lecture, when our hearts feel worried or anxious, and when we
are rejoicing in the Person and work of Christ.
There is also encouragement from
the students. I am happy to see and hear
about students vigorously taking notes, asking questions, and responding well
to our material. And I am encouraged
about the honesty of some students as well, and their genuine desire to grow in
Christ and lead others to do the same.
Today, someone came up to me during a break and shared how a relative
passed away recently. We cried together,
prayed together, and spoke of the promises of God. To see the students’ faith in Christ, even in
the midst of their poverty and their trials and their suffering, points to the
power of Christ. And it points to the
value of Christ, whom they have known and loved through faith alone (Phil.
1:21; 3:7-11), and who reorients their thinking when they are at a loss for
words about their trials.
Here are some ways that you
can pray for us in the coming days:
- Tomorrow ends our first week of teaching. We are more than half way done with our time
in classes. Pray that we will finish the
material that we need to finish and stay on course and that God sustains us
through the lectures. Pray that during
our teaching (and all throughout this trip), we will be enthralled at the
beauty of Christ. Ask that their
practice when they leave a biblical theology class or business class will flow
from their love for Him.
- A few of us will be preaching on Sunday, and
all of us will break up into smaller groups to travel to a pastor’s town and
their church, visiting their families and friends. Pray for safe travel and that we would be
- Continue to pray for good health. As of now, we are all feeling relatively well
physically, but you can pray that we all get a good night’s rest every day to
- Students’ questions: Pray that we will be able
to understand what is driving their questions and be able to tell if they have
a good grasp of the material being presented.
For the team,