Monday, June 29, 2009

Teacher's Seminar

Sorry for the delay in postings. We have been preparing teaching seminar material that will go on for 3 days. Today, Monday, was the first day. Whew :0 - we made it :)
The teachers started arriving @ 8:00 am. Since it has been raining & raining, their arrival continued all morning long. Although it is not unusual for them to arrive late (we call this cameroonian time:), the rain does slow them down tremedously. Either direction, going up or down the mountain, can be treacherous. Total teachers = 23
Mom Chamberlin opened up with devotions. Then Mr Drew led his discussion time, - Team Work. He is really getting good at his sketch art. Ms Dana then did two sessions - 1) characteristics of a Godly teacher; 2) five basic learning rules of ACE. Mrs. D & Mrs K you have done well. Mrs Sheryl then did two sessions; - 1) Spiritual Gift test; -2) Different learning styles. The class will be getting their results of the spiritual gift test tomorrow.
We broke for lunch around noon. Everyone eats together & food was provided thanks to Mom Chamberlin. It was one of their favorite dishes to eat (greens w/ fufu). They eat it without using silverware, we Americans were allowed to have a fork:) All I will say about the dish, is that Sheryl could not finish hers, due to the extreme heat. (Sweating of the brow & upper lip.) For some reason all of the nationals found this very humorous.
We have spent this evening studying for tomorrow. Continue to pray for each of us. This is a new experience for us, and we want our teaching to be interesting & effective.
We appreciate all of you who are commenting on this site, hotmailing us, & posting on facebook. Keep it coming. It is so nice to hear from home.
Good Night ;-)

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Food.

Some have been asking us about the food here. Well, in a word wonderful! The only thing that has been hard to stomach for all of us is their plums. They are not sweet but very bitter. The people boil them for a few minutes then fry them in hot oil for another minute or two. Dana was the only one that got through the whole thing and that was with the help of a little sugar packet from the plane. That has been the only speed bump in our eating experience. The rest has been AMAZING! From the jellof rice to the ndolei to the wonderful tilapia fish and home made fries that we had tonight, and lets not forget about their aboundant fruit supply including the delicious mangoes that we can pick from our porch. Everything is a little different than you would expect, but always good. They even found a way to make greens taste good. Drew and Sheryl found coke to drink and the rest of us enjoy that too but we are trying to drink a lot of water. They have a very good drink here called d'juno. It is a fruity drink that is a little like fruit punch. Almost everything we can compare to something we have at home. Their pumpkin tastes like potatoes, their bread and pineapple jam tastes like pineapple upside-down cake, their pears are avocados, their oranges and lemons are green. Everything seems a little backwards here, but what an experience! We were thinking we would come back 15# lighter but with this food we are afraid we will come back with some unwanted, excess baggage. There has only been one or two times that some of us have had something not agree with our stomachs. So far our biggest problems has been trying to think how to sneak some of this great food back home with us.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Drew sharing the message with Liberman

What used to be Dana's curling iron.

Today Mr. Drew(as they call him here) worked with a man that works here named Liberman on fixing up one of the classrooms. Later Drew sat down and shared the Basic message of the Bible(that Eric Himelick showed us at our revival). Liberman's eyes lit up and he thanked Drew for sharing it with him and said he had been waiting to find some way he could witness to others. What a great feeling to be able to bring a needed message. They are the same age and both have two children so they are finding a lot in common. Drew is invited to share the basic message of the Bible with Liberman's soccer team. He is excited about the way the Lord is opening doors. The girls enjoyed a nice hike down and back up the mountain/ very big hill today. It felt great to stretch their legs and get some exercise. We worked all day on preparing for the teachers conference and preparing pictures for Mrs. Chamberlin's blog and cause on facebook. God has answering prayer and we are excited to be in His Service.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Sunday Church service, Monday, & Tuesday

We came into church to the sound of singing and drums. It was a nice welcoming sound. They sing for about 45 minutes before they start any preaching. As we came in a lady greeted us and led us straight to the front seats so everyone could look at us. The music was amazing. Sheryl did the best with the rythym while the rest of us tried to clap along, but after awhile the song leader broke into, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" the Spirit of God was felt and when God is there you can not help but feel at home. The children did a song called "Making Melodies". It had plenty of motions with it and it was such a joy to see & hear the children. God is so good! The jet lag was pretty strong so the eyes were feeling pretty heavy by the end.
We went upstairs to the appartment for a nice lunch and then rest. For the next two days we got to rest up some, tour the mission compound, and meet the orphans and staff here. They are all so nice and welcoming.
On Monday, we slept in a bit, jet lag was still impacting us. We made a trip into the city, checked out the market, and exchanged some money. Most stores are the size of a small bedroom. It was raining so we did not explore to much. We are saving that for another day. Many discussions took place, along with planning how the rest of our time would be spent.
On Tuesday we were able to start some projects and finally get through on the internet which made a world of difference to us. We all had a big sigh of relief as we finally connected. We are happy to be here but we need that connection with home. Thank you for all of the prayers and the ones who have left us notes on our blog and e-mails. They are so great to receive. We will do our best to be worthy of your support and show Jesus to all we meet.
Haley was able to celebrate her birthday with the orphans (although it was 2 days later) by taking her birthday cakes (Little Debbies) & popcorn, down to share with them. We also enjoyed a special time of singing with 3 of the young people.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pictures to view

We are going to post pictures on Dana's facebook for now, until we figure out how to get them on the blog.

Cameroon Introduction

Now that we let you know that we are here and safe let me go back and tell you a few more details about our adventures so far. It began at the airport in G.R. we arrived with a two hour window feeling confident and happy to be on our way. When we got up to check in the attendant asked for our passports. We explained that we didn’t have them, just photocopies, because the embassy did not send them to us in time and that the passports were waiting for us in Newark, NJ. The attendant typed a lot then made a phone call, then typed some more. Finally, she said I cannot let you on the plane without your passports. We explained again but she said I can’t let you on. She gave us a number to call to plead our case. We called and the Lady said she could not help us either. We stood in line again to get up to the counter. When we finally got up there we asked again and told her that the phone number didn’t help us. The attendant said she didn’t think she could help us but she picked up the phone and made a call. After about two minutes she hung up and said, “Ok, they let me do it. But you will need to check all your luggage back in at Newark and start all over again.” We said “Ok, gladly.” So we picked up our tickets and ‘ran’ to our plane which was now loaded and ready to leave. We made it. We were a little shaky but on our way.
After our plane landed in Newark we claimed our 17 pieces of luggage which Drew and Haley sat with while Sheryl and I took a taxi three miles to the FedEx building and claimed our envelope containing our precious visas. After returning to the airport we stood in line for about two hours and rechecked in our bags. Finally all was done and we found a nice food court near our gate and had some lunch. Soon we were joined by Mrs. Chamberlin and we enjoyed some time of visiting before boarding the plane for our first 6 hour flight. That ride was nice. We followed that flight up with another 7 hour flight full of rowdy/crying children and rude argumentative adults. THAT was an experience! In the process some of us had our ankles swell very badly but by the time we began to descend into Douala they were forgotten for the time being. Haley will remember the descension well. You know those brown bags they put in the seat pouch, well they're not just for hand puppets. Next came what was supposed to be a hour and a half drive over to Limbe but… that trip took over 7 hours due to there being one bridge that leads in and out of Douala designed with2 lanes going both ways but while we were on it they made it 5-6 lanes going out and one coming in. Eye popping experience but we had an amazing driver who made it to the mission safely.
Next came sleep. We were given a lovely apartment to stay in. We were greeted with little wall geckos outside our door. They are helpful little guys that act as bug catchers. Thanks to our little chameleon at school we are all pretty great with them. Haley woke up the next morning there was one sitting on her windowsill in her room looking at this strange new person.
The weather is surprisingly very nice. The breeze makes it so nice and the view, ah, the view is amazing! If you just look out around you see beautiful mountains and the Ocean. We are surrounded by mountains and islands. We will take pictures but they won’t do it justice.
Now for some Dana moments… we went in for breakfast the next day and I took my curling iron over to the power strip, plugged it in, and walked out while it warmed up. A few minutes later I saw Bro. Paul Light go in and do something with it. When he came out he was rubbing his finger that now had a little blister. I thought, ”Oh, He burned himself on my iron.” I went into look at his invitation and saw my curling iron was now melted into three pieces. There voltage is like twice what ours is and requires a converter. Less than 12 hours here and I almost burned the mission down, I burned Bro. Light and now my hair is a lost cause as well. What a start! Watch out, Cameroon, Dana has arrived. Since then I have endeavored to be more careful so I don’t get put back on the plane early. They were all very forgiving.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

We have arrived

It's Sunday afternoon here in Cameroon. We made it in last night @ 1:30 - 2:00 AM. Flights were long and so was the ride from Douala to Limbe. The ride consisted of 9 people in a van with 24 pieces of luggage strapped on top and in the back of the van. The drive out of Duoala was very slooow going. (Sitting in one spot for 15-30 minutes to move only 25 feet was typical.)
It is beautiful here and so are the people. We are taking the afternoon to rest and slowly settle in. Thanks for all the prayers that was said for our safety. God definitely had His hand on us, protecting us. We have many stories to tell just from our first 48 hours. So expect more to come. Love you all - Drew, Dana, Sheryl, & Haley.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

6 hours and counting

It's midnight and we have all luggage packed. We will be headed out of Evart in 6 hours, making our way to Grand Rapids to catch our flight. Great news - the visas have been issued. We will catch up to them at Newark airport. God is definitely been watching over us and our plans. He is soooo faithful.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

8 days & counting

Sheryl would like to thank her GLFC family. We had a charity day @ work today (Jeans for Cameroon) to raise funds for supplies & the expense of shipping supplies. Thanks to all you who were able to contribute, your support is very much appreciated. I would also like to give a BIG THANK YOU to my lab family - thank you for your support, for your prayers, and for taking good care of my DXC baby while I'm gone :) :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

More Prayer Requests

Victor's surgery went fine. Continue to pray for his healing and for Claudine as she prepares to return to Cameroon while Victor stays in the US to recover. Also we still need to obtain our Visas yet. It's starting to cause a bit of anxiety in at least one of us (sn). Thank You for all the prayers being said on our behalf.