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Cameroon Summer 2013

Douala, Cameroon July 12-26, 2013

We will be in Douala, Cameroon working with Dale Kietzman university to train pastors for the French speaking church of Cameroon and Central African Republic. We are expecting a minimum of 40 pastors to make the two day journey from Central African Republic to meet up with other pastors in Cameroon for the courses. Many who come from Central African Republic are pastors who also hold government positions. We will be teaching in English and it will be translated into French. It is an experience that one will never forget particularly as you watch pastors of over 10 years in ministry learn things for the first time and vow to try to bring change in their churches.

Follow along as teachers in the field offer their experiences as they share theological training with local church leaders.

Field Notes   Cameroon Summer 2013

Jul  25th,  2013The Church in Cameroon

Sunday I had the privilege of preaching at Faith Baptist Church near the airport in Douala.  Being with other believers here was a blessing.  To see their love of Christ was a testament to the fact that God is drawing men and women from all nations.  And their commitment to the gospel was refreshing because the pervasiveness of the prosperity gospel is so widespread in Africa.  They heard quite a different preaching style, but we believe and value the same Book.  My sermon was on Revelation 21 and my main point was that God dwelling with His people is the focus of the new heavens and the new earth.

Even with the gospel present in Cameroon for so long, there is a clear mission field in this country and in Douala.  Eighty percent of the people around the airport are Muslim, so the need for biblical leadership that is focused on proclaiming the gospel is clear.  But Benoit and I saw this church’s commitment to spreading the forgiveness of Jesus and are happy to know that the Spirit is at work here.

This was really made evident as we sat down with the elders of the church and talked for a couple of hours about eldership, their lives and families, and what brought them to come to leadership.  We got a taste of their hospitality as we ate together, and even were treated by a visiting choir who sang a few songs for us and then explained their mission. 

At the end of the day I felt exhausted, but it was a joy to spend time with believers from this part of the world and preach the Word to them.  You can pray that they will stand firm in their suffering and stand firm against sin as they anticipate being with Christ forever.


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Jul  23rd,  2013Church and Culture

Our weekend changed our weekly routine quite a bit. On Saturday we had our only day off of the trip. It was good to sleep in and have a break. We enjoyed a going to the market to buy souvenirs and gifts, and then we had a meal with a Cameroonian family in their house. It was quite a privileged to be able to discover more of the culture of Cameroon as we seek to minister with cultural sensitivity.

Sunday was another day to discover more of the culture as we separated in small groups to visit different churches. I had the privilege to visit Faith Baptist Church near the airport, where one of our students is a pastor. It was heartbreaking in some ways to see the huge material and leadership need of this church, but it was a good experience and made us more joyful to know the importance of having the opportunity to pour all we can into this pastor for two weeks. I visited the church with Andrew who got the opportunity to preach. Many appreciated his powerful gospel centered message, especially considering the appeal of the prosperity gospel in this region. After the service we enjoyed fellowship in the pastor’s house.

Having deepened our relationships with students here and our cultural understanding of Cameroon, we look forward to our final week of teaching. Please pray that we can continue to be healthy, safety and wisdom in teaching as some have more material to teach than time left.



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Jul  18th,  2013Laugh and Be Content…And Be Encouraged

“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 mutually encouraged.
  • 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 be sustained.
  • 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,

Andrew Johnson

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Jul  14th,  2013When It Rains, It Pours

Welcome to the rainy season! We have all arrived safely in Douala after long--and for some, challenging--flights. My flight from Paris was delayed, which meant John and Rhonda, Andrew, and Benoit were waiting for me when I arrived. Together we quickly made our way through the airport to be greeted by Philemon's sister (Remedy) and brother (Ebenezer). Philemon was not able to travel until Saturday, so only arrived a few hours ago.

We had not been here long before the rain began. We were sitting at supper last evening when it started...and continued...and continued throughout most of the night. Again this morning, the rains came down. At times it is hard to carry on a conversation when it is raining.

And like the rain, we have seen God's blessings poured out on us:

  • safety in our travel
  • rest last night in our comfortable rooms
  • hospitality of our hosts
  • refreshment through our times together in the Word and prayer 

Tomorrow morning, we will make our way to the school to make preparations for our classes. The morning will be busy making classroom assignments, meeting translators, and hopefully teaching. The students from Central African Republic have arrived in Douala. We anticipate more evidences of God's grace as we teach. Pray as we set up the classes in the morning, that we would make the most of our time. Pray for physical strength for us all, especially Philemon, who had a long journey here today.

For the team,


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Jul  12th,  2013Cameroon Team Departs Today!

Be praying for the TLI teaching team on their way to Cameroon today.  Lord willing they will arrive safe and sound tomorrow evening in Douala.



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