Thursday, August 03, 2006

Ask The Cameroonian Missionary

Most of you know I'm kind of nosy. I like to refer to it as inquisitive - call it what you will. So imagine what a time I had living at the Nens and getting to ask them questions of all manners at the most random times during our trip. Listed below are some of the questions I asked them. Some of the answers might be summarized a bit.

Q - What do you worry about the most when it comes to raising your kids in another culture?
A - My biggest worry is that there is a large medical issue that cannot be resolved in-country. An accident, disease or something like that. We do have a special medical SOS type of medical insurance, extra than the normal, that we get via our mission organization.

Q - You have been here in the country for 18 months now. If you could boil it down to one essential and crucial piece of preparation, what would it be?
A - African Orientation Training - 3 months of not only technical skill training for living in Africa, but a real life training regarding communication, team work, etc. We landed on Monday. The orientation started on Wednesday with the three families in this term being split up into teams, given money and having to take a taxi from one side of town to the next. Over the next 11 weeks, we were trained in anything and everything having to do with living in Africa, with the eventual goal of living in a remote African village, which we did for three weeks. Making yogurt, skinning animals, prepping food, you name it, they taught it to us. Our village hosts couldn't believe we paid money to be able to live with them. It was much more difficult on us than our kids. At the end of the village section, our kids cried when we had to leave.

Q - How comfortable are you living here.
A - G - about an 7 or 8..
A - W - about a 7 or 8 living here in my house. When I'm out in the city, maybe a 5.

Q - Last significant book you read and why?
A - Andy Stanley's "7 Checkpoints for Youth Leaders", because the 7 checkpoints are significant themes and we used them to center the material for camp.

Q - Describe what kind of counsel you give to students thinking about full time or vocational ministry?
A - I tell them that it's a combination of getting involved in ministry, God speaking through the Scriptures and seeking the wisdom of mentor-type people. Students need to be actively involved and getting them involved in the ministry they come out of as leaders is a great way to have a check and balance for vocational ministry.

Q - Other significant books in your growth?
A - Journey of Desire, Eldredge; Lost Art of Disciple Making, Eims; Master Plan of Evangelism, Coleman [I gave him Unstoppable Force by Erwin as a gift]

Q - What was the first thing you did when you got here in terms of ministry?
A - The first thing was just to observe the culture. The team looked to me to give them some answers and a plan. But my job at first was just to observe and be a learner.

Q - [to Gbi, their daughter] Do you see movies?
A - Movies here are only in French. So we love to get DVDs from the States.

Q - Is there a McDonalds here?
A - There used to be one McDonalds, but business wasn't good enough so it closed.

Q - What are some of the options for schooling and your kids?
A - Home schooling, which we do right now. There is an American International school, but it is very expensive. There is also a MK school, run by Wycliffe/SIL, that we may look into when they are older, its better for middle school/high school.

Photo: CH, ADress and G, eating beef skewers from a roadside stand.

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