Hair. We celebrated Labour Day May 1, a day businesses close to advertise and party! NGOs, large and small businesses and self-employed march in a parade downtown in front of a bandstand where the Governor observes. After the parade there is singing, dancing and lots of food throughout town. For example, hundreds of hair dressers in traditional garments made from the same printed material march together to represent their trade. They have great hair styles too! Speaking of which…
(Antoinette and Charlotte (Left) are two live-in houseparents at HHCH! Charlotte cooks but they both do a lot for Promise and the other children.)
Stomach. Win Our Nations proudly displayed banners for Faith Bible College, Helping Hands Meat Market, Helping Hands Car Wash and Helping Hands Children’s Home with several employees. The parade was followed by a [not] OSHA approved ride around Bamenda on the trailer to continue advertising. Our food: boiled plantains and beef Ndole (similar to spinach casserole). Delicious!
Heart. The night before the parade I stayed at the orphanage. The girls braided my hair, younger kids sang, and made fufu corn and Njama Njama! The kids are silly yet talk openly with me about cultural differences. They are inquisitive. They explained a new dimension of life in Cameroon. It is by no means luxurious but lacking nothing imperative. Flushing a toilet with a bucket of water or a handle, eating with your hands or a fork, or sleeping on a bunk bed in a room of 15 girls or pillow-top queen has no bearing on the desire to love or be loved by sisters in Christ. It is overwhelming how much I long to be integrated in their lives.
Feet. WON is moving forward purchasing land to expand in Bambui! We marked it with surveyors last week. When no contracts are in place, motivation for productivity is the almighty Franc ( 1 USD = 500 CFA). If you want something done quickly, plan on lengthy discussions and paying transport. Soon fence goes up for livestock on the land for the Meat Market. Processing overpriced runt pigs every week is a challenge needing a sustainable solution. The Meat Market is developing solid income for the ministry! We get rave reviews on meat products from locals and fellow missionaries. Bizarre to think God works in mysterious and delicious ways.
(Below: a lengthy discussion for a simple process. Patience is a virtue I struggle with.)
The land is strikingly beautiful. Far enough from the city to be peaceful yet seemingly rural. It lies an accessible distance to Bamenda (15 minutes) for supplies and 30 minutes from the preferred hospital in Mbingo. God made His faithfulness clear in giving this land to us.
Ears. Despite being completely in love with the Schilinskis and Cameroon, I struggle not having clear “purpose”. I ask myself “what am I doing here?!” It Seems I landed an incredible 10-month vacation at times. Others, the Spiritual growing pains are so unbearable I want to wash my hands of further progress and digress to lukewarm. Unfortunately, Revelation 3:16 says “So then, because you are lukewarm… I will vomit you out of My mouth.” Scratch lukewarm. A group of missionary women and I are studying the book of John. John 1:7 says “This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all, through him, might believe”. I believe so why am I here? This church? This job? This relationship? [fill in the blank]? God answered my question. Not because of a Spiritual epiphany but because I made an effort to study His Word. (Hint: God meets you when you come to Him). Matthew 28:19-20 says “Go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations…” and Acts 1:8 says the Holy Spirit gives us power to witness. Every believer’s purpose is to bring Light to the darkness, to point others to the saving knowledge of Christ. Sometimes it is in specific ways, sometimes not!
Eyes. God gives us unique abilities for His glory. This means I have this divine appointed role; I believe God so He has a specific purpose for me! Right? In my shortsightedness, I failed to see my definition of a “purpose” is much smaller than His! I assumed it meant a specific job title (I.e. director of assisted living, missionary at Helping Hands in Bamenda, the next profound speaker at a women’s conference, etc.) Do I need a man-made title to fulfill plans of the God who created the Universe? He already told me what to do yet I become preoccupied with everything but that job. Well done Satan, the mental hamster wheel is clever indeed but that is enough.
Mouth. Accepting the creed “Go ye therefore” knowing I have the power of the Holy Spirit in me makes the rest details. Not everyone is a preacher or missionary. We are called to obey which is our first witness – people witnessing the difference in us. The second witness is us telling others what we have witnessed change in us. Everyone is seeking freedom from darkness. Not everyone has recognized that yet so plan on committing to the role of living what you believe, knowing what you believe so the Spirit can guide you to sharing His love with people you encounter.
Hands. Look at your hands. With mine I hit volleyballs, hug my mother, give treats to HHCH children, swat mosquitoes, type blogs, etc. My hands are multi-functional. Just because they do not have one specific purpose does not mean I stuff them in my pockets until their divine purpose is called out from the heavens. I use them when needed. Now my purpose is to ride on parade floats, share the Word with kids, watch a land survey, eat bratwursts, email pals, teach music or revise business finance documents. I am still a circus but a burden has been lifted. If you do not know what part of the Body you are, relax. All are necessary and most are multi-functional. God is the Head of the body so it is not your job to think for the Body. Be used how He needs you with the talents you now possess.