First Day of Classes in Douala
This post will also be on Training Leaders International’s site at some point soon.
Wed August 9, 2012
First day of class. The school is a long distance from the rest home so we needed to travel for a bit to get there. Once there we were met by no one and no information. This is not much of a surprise, but nonetheless it was disappointing. But it is Cameroon so Philemon and I waited. Slowly some students tricked in, but not the ones expected and no school leadership was still to be found over an hour later.
The students we met were former ones from Cameroon Baptist Theological Seminary in Ndu. It was a true pleasure to see them! Two of them were pastoring and one of those men was in the process to prepare to come to America to work on his Ph.D. I had a pleasant time catching up with them and simply sharing pastoral experiences. During this whole time Philemon was working his skills on the phone attempting to find any information as to our situation.
In time someone with the school arrived and helped Philemon on the phone. In time we received word that the students from Central African Republic (CAR) were somewhere in the city. The housing that they were to receive never happened so they had spent the night in some insufficient living conditions some distance away. To our surprise the CAR consulate called to check up on what was happening. It was then that we found out that some of the men were rather important in the government. In addition, all of the CAR men are what are known as “men of dignity” and should be treated with respect.
Eventually the students all arrived and Philemon started the orientation with singing. It was a joy to see these student lift up voices in thanksgiving and praise. Because of the mishaps early on we could not teach; rather we explained the courses and gave our expectations for the classes. After all the questions were answered we were left with an ongoing concern with how the CAR students would be housed. At the time of this writing it appears that sufficient housing has been secured, we will see if that is correct tomorrow.
What stands out so far? God has made a place of beauty in making Cameroon. His handiwork is evident all over the land. Sin has made its indelible mark on that land and with it you see much suffering and hopelessness. As an American, solutions come to mind in quick succession but then I remind myself that what is needed first is a revival of the Gospel in the hearts of this land and then changes shall be lasting.
I was again reminded of the great, far reaching potential of the vision of TLI. All of those who came from CAR are people of influence and the vast majority are pastors. What they learn here in the course shall affect many people we will probably never meet. People are starving because they do not know the Word of God and, worse yet, they have no real way to learn it. Through courses like this, that horrid reality can change.
We finished the day with former students from years past. We ate mutton and beef (Philemon and I had the lining of the stomach as well) with toothpicks around a table. The food was good, the pepper powder (I think it was a curry powder) was hot, and the fellowship was precious.
Tomorrow we start teaching in earnest, the days will be about eight hours of solid teaching. Much work to be done in such a short time. Prayers for our faithfulness and diligence are needed and requested. The same for the students. May we help equip the pastors here to make much of God because God’s Word makes much of Him.