Travel Diary 2: READY TO LAUNCH

Dear Friends and Family,

Today was a simple day and an encouraging day. But there was something I neglected to mention yesterday that I’ll start with today. As many of you now know, I am interested in launching an ITEM Youth Ministry built on the foundation of apologetics. When I started to question Joseph about the youth in Cameroon, I got an answer I wasn’t expecting but it shouldn’t have surprised me.

REAL NEEDS AND FELT NEEDS

When working with anyone, their real need is to repent and receive the forgiveness that only Jesus can provide. That is the same for the youth in Cameroon. It is my hope and prayer that we can raise up a team of trained men and women who can go on the campuses and answer the hard questions student age youth are asking with rational, meaningful, thoughtful answers. But often, the felt needs get in the way.

Joseph told me that many of the youth here are turning to crime to feed themselves and many young girls are turning to prostitution. What is the answer? Here is another challenge. 

Joseph’s church has a food ministry and youth are grateful because many of them (youth) see the church as “takers” not “givers.” But like one senior pastor added today, you risk the thinking “if they feed me then I’ll repent and pray the prayer.” Salvation doesn’t work like that. Keeping the two separated and doing both effectively is a huge challenge. 

We will continue to move forward with plans for reaching youth from a platform of apologetics but we will have to keep these challenges in mind.

READY TO LAUNCH

The history of ITEM’s ministry here in Cameroon is as follows. My good friend and ministry partner, Nathan Chiroma, introduced me to Pastor Joel Ngoh whom he (Nathan) had mentored. Joel was in the English speaking area in Cameroon. We started the ministry there and handed it over to Corbin University faculty several years ago. 

Then I opened out ministry in the (mostly) French speaking capital city of Yaounde. We had a couple of seminars here and were in the process of selecting the ITEM team from the seminar participants when covid hit. So, this is my first trip here since the two seminars two-plus years ago. 

Impressive group

I was impressed by the group Joseph, Younde Area Coordinator for ITEM, brought together. They are a mature, educated group and appear to be ready to get things moving here. You will see their pictures in the picture album. Click on the link below. 

One, in particular, Genesis (his name) gave a great testimony of how teaching the ITEM E4 church principles to his church brought the church together. I hope to find that interview from a couple of year ago and send the link so you can hear the original interview.

COVID TEST

As I mentioned yesterday, I was given another test for Covid in preparation for my trip to Kenya Friday. It’s an interesting set up. Joseph told me that the government says they are to be free but looks the other was as the workers charge and pocket the money. Again, it’s a way to make a living when no jobs are available. We paid the man who promised to get my report to us today. Today is ending but he assures us I’ll have it in time. What we paid him is on the low end of what I pay in other places. So, I am not upset about it. It meets a felt need, I guess.

TECHNOLOGY

At the end of last year, many of you donated to our year end appeal that is now providing technological equipment to the teams here. I dropped off a Chromebook, video projector, and conference speaker phone in Liberia in a previous trip and am doing it again here, this week. 

I also distributed USB drives packed with almost 16 GB of Bible study resources, videos, and audio studies. These drives can plugged into a phone, with the right adapter cable, and directly into most laptops.

Thank you for helping ITEM take this next step into the use of technology in ministry.

Tomorrow, Thursday, is a day off. I pray that the covid result will come on time and will be negative. There is no reason for it not to be. Joseph and I will try to get the equipment working together. Internet here is not good at all. It is on and off and on and off. And when it’s on, it is terribly slow. I mean REALLY REALLY slow. Things didn’t work out today. Maybe tomorrow.

So, that’s it for today. PRAY regarding the covid test, that it will come early in the day to avoid adding stress before my planned departure on Friday. PRAY for the team that will now begin to organize mentoring groups. OH, and pray that I’ll remember to tell you about our discussion today about modern day prophets. 

Thanks in advance.

By His grace and for His glory,

Steve

Here is the link to the picture album.

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