Training Reflection: Cameroon ( 14 – 20 March 2016)
It has been a long time since I have been so challenged to move outside my comfort zone. It is only in times like this where one realises how strong the draw of personal comfort really is. Cameroon is one of the few Central African countries that can claim relative social and political stability, but around 40% of the population still live in poverty, and there is only 1 trained doctor for every 5000 people or so. I was very challenged by the discrepancy in wealth the local people have there compared to what we are used to in South Africa. Things we consider necessities are a luxury for millions of the Cameroonian people. Praise God for shaking me from my luxurious way of thinking.
Hygiene is a secondary concern to selling enough product to get by, and road obstructions and potholes are commonplace
Over and above the training I went to give, my main priority for this trip was to identify and begin training up a team of people to take TWNAF movement forward in Cameroon. While not as many people attended the training as we hoped, God provided key leaders from different communities and backgrounds to sit through what they called a “life changing” experience. At the start one could see their uncertainty as to what they had let themselves in for, but as the training progressed they started opening up.
I had to spend a lot of time reasoning around the issue of culture and its influence on them as Christians. Sometimes it took a lot of explanation and wisdom from above to be able to answer, but after a while I started hearing comments like, “that is exactly true in our society!”, as they started catching the infectious vision of the Kingdom Culture. I stand in awe and humbled when I think back on how God used me to address critical, yet very sensitive issues on both a cultural and personal basis. I really experienced the principle of Luke 12:11-12 as I spoke to them and answered their heartfelt questions on faith, culture and fatherhood.
I spoke on 3 occasions to church communities and was met every time comments about how refreshing the content was and how relevant it is for humanity today. On the final Sunday just before taking the bus to the airport, a lady from the church where I spoke pleaded with me to stay a few days longer to also train them in the principles of manhood and fatherhood. “Why didn’t we know about this training happening here in our country?” she said with a disappointment that was clearly visible.
Since my return I have been in contact with the team there, and we can rejoice that God has indeed answered our prayers. There are already 2 trainings planned over the next 3 months where TWNAF principles will be transmitted. Two of the pastors — a man and a woman — have already organised formal trainings, with Arsene training his Sunday school teachers with the objective of involving the fathers of the children. Please pray for Arsene and Rose as they seek to inspire the rest of the team and give leadership to further TWNAF in Cameroon.
Thank you for being part of the team that started TWNAF in Cameroon. Now continue to pray for the team we left behind, to take this forward to where men (and women) in Cameroon will be restored in order for society to be healed and so God can bless that nation and “restore the land”.