Sure I am not on vacation but being with amazing people in an amazing country such as Cameroon, I feel like I am cheating the system! It gets even better when you take a vacation while on vacation! Our destination was Kribi, Cameroon. Creation reflects it’s creator. So when I foolishly think I have seen enough amazing places on this planet to think I have an understanding of how incredible our Creator is, God takes me somewhere new and laughs at me.
Kribi is stunning. Barely touched by the deadly kiss of commercial tourism. There is enough economy to eat well but not enough that drowns out the moonlight over the water after the sun goes down. It was a great time of year to go. It was quiet, comfortably warm to stay in a swimsuit the entire time but cool enough to sleep at night. We enjoyed the holiday with four missionary families in addition to ours. It was amazing when we had our own church service on a patio overlooking the ocean on a cool Sunday morning. Granted we had 28 in attendance so it was not a small gathering! Great reminder that although church fellowship is important, God is not bound by physical or proximity limitations (2 Timothy 2:9). How astounding is it to think if we could even invent one novel creation as simple as a seashell, we would have monuments erected in our honor. Yet, God having created it ALL, is hard-pressed to receive due credit. Fortunately, the creation speaks for itself by its complexity, of whom it was made (Romans 1:18-21).
We enjoyed boogie-boarding, climbing and swimming in waterfalls, kayaking down a river that leads to the ocean, napping, quiet devotional time to the sound of the waves, tending sunburns, incessant de-sanding and eating (a lot). I kayaked down a river away from the ocean and it was eerie in a spectacular and silent way. There was nobody around, not a wrinkle in the water and all you could see were the giant cage-like roots of African trees heavily protecting the border of the water from the dense foliage behind them. You could hear so many different animals and birds yet I never saw them. It is deafening and silent at the same time when you are aware none of the sounds are from people…the ones who would save you from a giant snake or hole in the kayak. I may have an unhealthy amusement with danger because the thought of something going awry made me want to keep going more. Besides, Holly had already done it so it must be safe, right?
We had a bonfire on the beach one evening. We enjoyed s’mores and hot dogs. If you think hot dogs are sketchy in America, have one in Africa. Good news is, they taste the same (good when burnt)!
My favorite part of the trip was being surrounded by kind, loving people brought together by various paths to rest and edify each other in the Lord on holiday from their work in Cameroon. We have different missions but work for the same Name. This trip, I brought everything I needed to come back to the States to be with my parents at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota since Kribi is near the airport in Douala. At that moment we were unsure if my father’s ongoing weeks of illness were attributed to cancer or something else. Either way, I recommend sitting around a fire next to the ocean with fellow believers to cope with anxiety while waiting for impending news. They were comforting in their presence alone. Praise God we found out it was not cancer on the drive home! My return home may still be prior to December. Thank you to everyone for prayers and support and continuing on as well! Mom and Dad are troopers.
The great news came about 30 minutes before home of our 12 hour journey. We had kid and dog puke both directions but arrived safely having a great ride overall! At home, I take for granted the likelihood of arriving at destinations safely via any means of transportation. On the way down we waited in line behind a bus accident. We saw bodies stacked on the back of a truck with straps securing them because there were too many to take back at once. Allegedly, five of 30 survived but we failed to see how even that many could have lived. The wreckage looked like a scrap yard. The bus was completely torn open from colliding with another truck. That made the other wreck sites we saw pale in comparison but boy do you praise God when you set your feet on solid ground at home. We are not guaranteed another day, another trip or even another breath. First Thessalonians 5:16 “Rejoice always.” We have so much to be thankful for no matter what is going on!