Kristoffersen has been working for 6 years with the European
Baptist Mission in the far north of Cameroun, close to the
Sahara desert. We stayed in a village named Mokong, together
with missionaries from France and Switzerland. Since the northern
part of Cameroun is very dry, they can harvest only once a
year. If the crops fail one year, people are faced with famine.
People have lots of problems because of poverty, but in spite
of all the problems, they smile and laugh, and they sing and
dance, praising the Lord. And playing the drums, of course.
In Mokong there
is a big Baptist Church, and every Sunday the church is filled
up with people who want to worship God. The sermons are in
French, Fulfulde or Mofo. I learned quite much French while
I was there, but I had problems with Fulfulde and Mofo. Still,
when I couldn't understand the words that were spoken, I could
sense the Spirit of God very strongly, and I could enjoy the
singing and the playing and the drumming.
I couldn't join the women's meetings, because that was at
an hour of the day when I was working. But once I was able
to join a women's rally in Maroua, the main city of the area
(ca. 100.000 inhabitants). Women from the whole area arrived
in hundreds on trucks and lorries, singing and shouting. Seldom
have I seen such joy and enthusiasm in praising the Lord.
They all brought their small children. I slept in a guesthouse,
but these women slept all over the place, so when I went outside
in the dark, I really had to watch my step.
Once a year
there is a baptism. All the candidates have to attend lessons
for one year before they can be baptized. Here they are taught
from the Bible, and since many adults are illiterate, many
of them learn how to read going to Bible studies. I was present
at the baptismal service in Ziddim. On this Sunday in November
93 believers were baptized. What joy and happiness in praising
In Mokong EBM
supports a theological school which educates evangelists.
They study for 3 years there. If they want to continue studying
for a higher degree, they can do so in Ndikinimeki, which
is in the southern part of the country. Just before going
home to Norway, I had the pleasure of attending the celebration
of the final exams. It was a big celebration in the church,
with all the ca, 20 students and their families present. What
joy and happiness! The Africans really know how to celebrate!
But life in
Africa is not only joy and happiness. For people who get ill,
there are lots of problems. Health care and medical treatment
are very expensive for poor people. Since the area is so close
to the Sahara, sand and dust is everywhere. And this causes
diseases on the eyes. Tracom is a very common disease which
makes lots of people blind. Cataract is also very common.
To help in this situation, the mission has run a clinic for
twenty years, operating people with tracom and cataract. It
is the only clinic for such diseases in a wide area, so people
come all the way from Nigeria and Chad to get help.
There are also
a maternity clinic and a policlinic, and an AIDS project which
the Norwegian missionary Marianne Kristoffersen is responsible
for, helped by funds from the Norwegian government aid.
There are many
things I would like to share with you from my stay in Cameroun,
but I will have to stop here. I am very grateful to God that
He gave me the opportunity to serve Him this way, and I am
grateful for all the things that I have learned, and for seing
what God is doing in Cameroun. Please join me in prayer for
Cameroun and its people. God bless us all.
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