Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Cameroon is unlike anywhere else I have been. Considering that it was my first time outside of North America, this should come as no surprise. Our first night Shelby and I had a conversation about the trip and how everyone told us how much it would change us and how we were unsure of what that really meant. At the same time, the timing of the trip came at a point where we both needed it. For a while, I have been trying to figure out my life and what I am supposed to be doing with it.
When I had finished packing on my last day in Bamenda, I sat on my bed in Ma's house and made a few lists. Lists of things I had to declare at customs, a list of things I tried for the first time on this trip:
  • Kola Nut
  • Bitter Kola
  • Raffia
  • Cassava
  • Fermented Cassava (myobo)
  • paw paw
  • huckleberry
  • bushmeat
  • bone marrow
  • palm wine
  • lamb
  • achoo
  • ground nuts

Those were only the things I could think of in that moment, there are other things I tried that I didn't write down and because people were feeding us so often there were things I ate without knowing it. In addition to eating things for the first time I also made of list of things I had done for the first time:

  • first trip to Africa
  • first time in Cameroon
  • First time I have ever been called Pastor (in Cameroon if you are studying to be a pastor, they call you pastor which was difficult for me because I don't feel qualified)
  • I've never had my picture taken so many times
  • First time dining with the head of a political party
  • first time I have felt 100% completely totally and utterly confused
  • First time watching and participating in traditional African dances.
  • First time wearing and owning a traditional African dress
  • First time visiting a palace
  • first time stuck in a car which was stuck in a ditch
  • first time praying over a dying person
  • first time blessing a home

The second to last one (First time praying over a dying person) is the one that sticks out when I have reflected on my time in Cameroon. I have been with people that were going to die. I have visited nursing homes. I have prayed with people that were in hospice. But none of those people were facing their death so quickly. The woman I prayed with in Bafut was going to die soon. Essentially she had hours, maybe days. I'm studying and preparing for a life in ministry. I still don't know what aspect of ministry.

Being with this woman and praying with this woman freaked me out. I was petrified. I had never done anything like this and I doubted I could. I was afraid I would say the wrong thing. I was afraid I would pray wrong. I was afraid I would be the last prayer she heard. I was afraid for so many reasons. Then, a little voice in my head said "Let Go and Let God". It's weird that an AA slogan would pop into my head. Maybe it's because I've spent time sitting in on AA meetings and going to Ala-teen, or maybe it was someone specific telling me that. I'm not sure, but the voice was right. That was exactly what I needed to do.

So I let go. So I let God. I'm not really sure what I said. I honestly have no clue. I may have started with Dear God, but I'm not certain. I know that I ended with Amen. I was freaking out for know reason. It wasn't about me. I twas about God! God wasn't going to let me screw it up because God was in control.

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