Lassin 2011

A calling to serve the Lord by helping a village to rebuild their church building and minister to the children.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"Road" to Lassin

3/31: 6 PM Local Time

It took us about 7 uncomfortable hours to travel 70 miles from Bamenda to Lassin.  To call it a road would be generous.  For the most part, it's unpaved and cratered with holes.  Though wide enough to accommodate two cars, the craters forced the drivers to weave left-and-right to avoid getting stuck or damage to their cars.  Some stretched involved steep grades which can be tricky when you have a fully-loaded 15 passenger van  and no asphalt.  We had to climb out of the van twice and meet the driver at the top of the hill.  To challenge the driver further, we often had to share the road with various animals.

Seats with little padding, covered in red dust, bumping along left-right/up-down/front-back, and with no air conditioning, the ride was say the least.  Just as I was about to voice my complaints, I saw, on the road in front of a us, a boy pushing a 'truck' filled with about 500 lbs of concrete blocks.  Up and down that truck went through the holes in the road.  I was humbled into silence.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rest Houses

3/30: 8 PM Local Time

From the airport last night, we drove about 5 minutes to a rest house managed by a European Baptist organization.  

We left that rest house and drove to the Cameroon Baptist Convention offices in Bamenda and stayed at the rest house.  Along the way, we were stopped several times (speed bumps and/or police checkpoints).  At most of those stops, vendors aggressively shoved their wares/food into our open windows.

For missionaries weary of travel, these facilities certain live up to their names.  Though nothing fancy, comfortable beds, electric lights, and plumbing are welcomed respites.

Douala International Airport: Introduction to "Motivation"

3/29: 7 PM Local Time

Our plane landed at about 7 PM local time.  Humidity was immediately apparently in the terminal, which was not fully enclosed.  Ongoing construction meant the walls opened to the outdoors, hallways were dimly lit (if lit at all), and the floor was untiled with long stretches of uneven concrete.

We had to be careful to stay together as we made it through the immigration lines.  Chaos grew with each checkpoint.  At the baggage carousel, many "helpful" men insisted on helping with our luggage and pushing our baggage carts.  As we went outside, the number of porters grew as each wanted a share of the expected tip.  We had to firmly refuse several. Apparently, it's not uncommon for fights to break out as these porters vie for Western groups such as ours.  At any time, there may be over 100 of these young men around the airport trying to earn some money.

Tragically, Cameroon is renowned for corruption (Google "Cameroon corruption" if you don't believe me.).  As we were leaving the airport, the officials insisted that we open one of our boxes.  From past experience, Darrell and others knew that this was the start of an attempt to collect 'duty'.  The amount would depend largely on the value of the items in the box.  They happened to choose the box with "Creation booklets" made by a group from FBCEG so we made it out the airport relatively unscathed.  However, as our luggage was being loaded onto our bus, an official looking gentleman walked up and secured one of the tires with a boot.  He demanded "motivation money" before allowing us to leave.  "Welcome to Cameroon," I thought.

As we drove out of the airport, the grass field around the parking lot was dotted with many young men.

"What're they doing there," I asked.

Darrell replied, "They're probably university students here to study.  This is one of the few public places with lights."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Home at last. Rest of the team should be driving from SFO to Sacramento/Elk Grove. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Joy and Sue are both fine. Visited Mbingo Baptist Hospital and New Hope Leper Settlement tonight. Now relaxing with some live worship music.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Our guide, Joy, cut her infected. She was admitted into the Hospital. One other team member, Sue, may have infected toe. Please pray for both.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Today is the 1/2 way point. Putting up the last truss right now. Pray that we can worship indoors this Sunday which will be the first time in ~3 years here.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Childrens ministry with more than 300 attending. Praise God!  Church in the background. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

In the evening it's 60s but humid. Most of us sleep with only a sheet and still feel warm. We've had several storms which wash away haze making the heat worse.
During the day it's sunny with a high of 75. In the shade with a breeze it's quite comfortable. But in direct sun it's quite intense where we're quickly burned.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Week has started well. Coordinator running to town tmrw for materials. Women's ministry also tmrw. Pls pray for both.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

1/2 day of work. Storm last night washed away haze so sun was intense. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 1 of work. Electricity: mostly no. Plumbing: no. Cell: yes!!
If anyone on the team needs to be reached for emergency, text Rick 916-601-1209.