Saturday, January 29, 2011

After three hours on the football field Drew is beginning to look like a Cameroonian in more ways than one. The red clay here seems to cling and stain your skin like none other.
Drew and Bless compare legs.
Upon examination Drew found that a sore toe from "football" held a whopper of a blister. He might have to take it easy this next week until he can grow another layer or two of skin.

Saturday afternoons all the boys from the neighborhood start gathering in to the community field outside the mission house. It has been a great way for Drew to get to know some of the kids in the community and invite them to church the next day. I think it is working because last Sunday we had an extra 20-30 kids. Drew enjoys his time with them and the exercise.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Meet Some of our Orphanage Family.

Katie took the camera down to the orphanage to snap some pictures of her friends. There are some real sweeties here. A house full of 22 children on one floor and 31 people altogether can be pretty exciting at times. The girls have chosen Sunday evening for their special devotions and girl time, while Bless and Kent have chosen Friday night for their "boys only time" We are so blessed to be a part of these children's lives and cherish the moments when we can share some joy and laughter together.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Good News, Good snooze.

Every Saturday Mrs. Mary and Gaston hold Good News Club at the mission. This is one of several that go on though out the week, lead by various people. This week little Caleb, one of the orphans, couldn't quite keep his head up. After several jerks and twitches, Katie took mercy on him and laid his head on her lap to enjoy his nap in comfort. Katie is doing well with trying to get involved with the children's services, even if it is just watching the little ones for the time being.

Chapel time!

I have had the privilege of getting to lead the last two Jr. Chapels. With a room full of over 150 children it can be a bit challenging to keep their attention. Katie helped me teach them 'Jesus Love is a Bubbling Over' the first week, it was an instant hit! During break we have also taught them how to play four square and ninja. We are thanking God for the moments of fun as well as ministry He is giving that let us be a part of their lives.
One of the biggest blessing I have had was last week, when I was asked to do the Teens Chapel. The night before I had been reading in a devotional book and found the story of Damon and Pathios, a Greek Legend. I felt that God had given me that and so I started the chapel with that story of two friends who were willing to die for each other. As the story began the kids quieted down and the presence of the Lord seemed to settle down. In the end I was able to present to them a Saviour who longs to be our friend. The greatest friend we could ever have, loving us enough to die for us. A friend that wants to laugh with us, cry with us, and carry our burdens. I don't know if that was a new concept to some of them or not but the reality seemed to be sinking in and God was working on hearts.
What a joy to be a part of God's ministry. There is never a need to be ashamed of our God. He is worthy all praise and glory! Pray for the teens and children here, that they might truly come to know our Heavenly Father.

Monday, January 24, 2011

There Shall be Shower's of Blessing!

The back wall of the mission is in need of some repair, but before they could do that Drew needed to get the moss and crud off of it. What a blessing to have a power washer. Drew set to work, once the water, that seems to keep going off for hours at a time or even the day, came back on. It was going well, but as the school children were released for the day there were many curious eyes that gathered to watch. Soon they got bolder and were "assisting" Drew by first holding then shaking the ladder he was perched on.
The sprayer was pealing off the coat of moss and Drew didn't want it to get in their eyes, I am sure the "earth-quake test" wasn't felt to be necessary either, so he would shew them away only to have them return after his back was turned. Finally, he gave them what they had been hoping for the whole time, as he swung the hose he just kept going until he arched it right onto them. With screams of delight they would run away, pushing their buddies towards the shower as they went then they would return hoping for another blast.
After a little fun Drew did the finally shewing and returned to his task-ladder steady this time.
I caught the seen on camera, unbeknown to Drew, and thought I'd share it with you. Proof that missionary life can be a "blast!"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Liberman came to the door today and asked, "Are you ready to pick?" "Yes!" was my happy reply. I chose to pick the Mangos I could reach from the porch while he opted to climb the 3 story tall mango tree and pick from there.
I had fun picking them, arranging our fruit plater, and of coarse eating them. The fruit here is so sweet and juicy! We have loved making it a normal part of our meals. When our container comes with our little blender and ice cube trays, we will get to make mango smoothies, hummm!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Kent's First Pet.

Last night I was moving the broom when this little guy ran across the wall. I think a mama lizard just had babies because i have never seen one this small before. Being a good mom, I quickly grabbed a plastic bowl and captured him. After making a little cage for him out of a plastic bottle and mesh, I presented him to Kent. He was thrilled to have a pet. He could hold him for a little bit but then the little guy started high diving to the floor.
Kent got to enjoy him for the night but we let him go this morning. No worries, his brother has taken up residence on the suitcases in Kent's room.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Precious Baby

While we were still in the States we heard about a little Cameroonian baby who had been abused by her father. It was a big story because he was sentenced to 30 years and sent to jail only to buy his way out after a very short time, but what about the little baby girl?
She was brought to our orphanage in Limbe. The mission got her the medical help she needed and is now providing this beautiful little girl a home, where she is loved, protected, and cared for.
She still has a lot of trauma to work through but at least now she is in the hands of someone whom she does not need to fear.
There is evil in the world that I will never understand, but I thank God that He is greater and that through His Love He has provided us an escape.
As I heard this story and saw her, my heart was full of gratitude that God would allow us to be a part of this mission. You are part of this too! Thank you for your part in helping restore broken lives and giving them the hope of Jesus Christ! Please pray for this little girl, that God would heal her emotions as well as her body.

Hey,Grandpa, check out my fish! Ok, I didn't really catch it, my dad bought it from Liberman, who bought it from fisherman that were coming from the ocean.

This big one is called a Golden Fish. It had very interesting spikes on the side of its tail. It was very tough to cut though, we'll see how it tastes. The little one is called a bar fish and is really tasty. Kent and Katie were both having fun with the big Golden Fish. So much for don't play with your food.

Drew's Projects

It has been decided that part of the orphanage building needs repainted to
prevent moisture damage but first it needed cleaned. Under the mango tree there was a lot of moss and mold growing so Dad Chamberlin suggested Drew power wash it. The ladder reached to the second floor and Drew did what he does well, playing monkey, and worked on stripping the mess away.

The screens in our bedroom windows needed replaced so Drew along with Liberman replaced 7 window screen.

Brownie points on this job!

There was no good place in my kitchen for the stove to go so my wonderful husband built me a cement extension with rebar and cement. He lowered it quite a bit so his short wife could reach the pot. It was a messy job but it turned out very well and we are enjoying it.

This little guys name is Victory. He is one of the orphans here. He tried swinging sideways and bashed his head against a sharp edge causing an inch long cut that was quite deep. The nurse was gone so Drew had to fix him up. Before we get letters of concern or scolding let me explain the lack of medical gloves. Though we now have gloves at the time we had none so Drew was very careful as he shaved his head and bandaged it tight together. It has healed quite nicely and through it all this tough little guy never made a peep.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fish? Fish!!!

Kent slept through supper one night, it just happened to be our first fish dinner. We saved his a plate which included the tail of the fish. He was still a bit groggy when I placed his plate in front of him. The look on his face was comical disgust so I grabbed the camera and told him we needed to show his cousins, Connor and Derek, how to eat a fish tail. That perked him up a bit but he still had his doubts. He gingerly took his first bite. After that his whole attitude changed and he dig in. After licking the bones clean he began bringing the fish back to life by making it "swim" up, down, and all around. Dinner and entertainment, what a deal!

I Lost My Heart...../Tooth in Cameroon.

Katie has lost something that will forever remain in Cameroon...her tooth actually 2 teeth in 2 nights. The first one, as you can see, was with daddy's help. We didn't have anything to grab it with so he grabbed my corn tweezers or whatever you want to call them. He soon found out that they were too big to fit in her mouth so we handed him some floss. With one quick tug out it popped. Now the tooth fairy might fly all the way to Cameroon but first the ants take their turn. These tiny ants are everywhere and you cannot escape them. We laid the tooth on the dresser and the next morning look what we found. If you can zoom in on the picture it is amazing and in this case a little gross but they cleaned that tooth up better than any dentist could. This is our new entertainment source.

Happy New Year and here's your bag!

On the appointed day, New Year Day, Drew along with 5 others headed back to Douala to retrieve the missing bags. As they entered the airport luggage room they were able to quickly locate 2 of the 3 bags. After much searching the third was still not located so as they left they asked the airport attendant that had been helping them to please call them is he found it. They loaded back in the van and headed home, but before they left Douala they received a phone call from the attendant that the bag had been found so they turned around and returned to the airport. They found that the missing bag had been searched in one of the other airports and due to our new found talent of being able to stuff every possible nook and cranny and then some after that, they couldn't close the suitcase so they taped it together and stuffed it in a big plastic bag, thus making it unrecognizable. This suitcase contained all of our medicines from Mrs. Jones (which might have been what they were checking) and the kids stack of paces, so we were very happy to have it back. As it was New Years Day we knew the roads would be very busy so many prayers were going up for a safe journey. They returned after having only one minor scrape with another vehicle. After checking the damage they both waved it off and continued. Thank God for all answered prayers today!

New Year's Celebration!

On New Year’s Eve the church had a watch night service. It started at 10:00 p.m. with singing, African style with clapping, “dancing”, and a lot of joyful noise! At one point it was a greeting song so everyone went around singing, hugging, or shacking hands. Bro. Peter’s wife, a very sweet and bubbly person, came up to Katie, wrapped her in a big hug, and danced with her. It was a surprise to Katie but she broke away with a big smile. Later in her journal she recorded, that the service was so much fun! She got right into the singing and clapping along with everyone else. Singing was followed by sincere prayer and a service from Bro. Eko. As midnight approached we sang and prayed in the New Year. It was a very special service and a great start to our new life here in Limbe, Cameroon

Settling in

The kids have school around the table until their desks come in the container.

Katie enjoying her picture book from her friend Abbey and the quilt Grandma Derscheid made her.

Kent kills a cockroach.

My feather and flower arrangement! This beautiful table and chairs are our only decorative pieces for now. The church had them set up for our welcome!

Kent's bed was originally a bunk bed but we took off the top so he wouldn't have wood spit on him all night from the termites.
We have been surprised at just how tired we are this time. I know that this has been a bigger deal all around with long term preparations and different emotions to deal with but it has still been a surprise to us at the lack of energy we have. Of course the normal jet lag and time adjustment takes its toll as well as the heat. We lefts piles of snow and when we arrived it was 91 degrees, quite a change. Most days the heat runs high 80's to low 90's with the nights being much cooler. The Homiton (this is sands coming in from the desserts from the north and filling the air) makes it look like there is a dense fog or haze over everything. It leaves a brownish red dust over everything but we are told that that haze keeps the temperatures down by creating a barrier between us and the sun. The hottest months are yet to come so we have some time to adjust and prepare.
Doing the smallest jobs seem to wear us out but it is getting better as the days go by. Drink lots and rest when your body says and it eventually levels out. The bags are mostly unpacked except for the lost ones, we are praying they will be available as they said. It didn't take long for Kent to want his own room, we had the kids share a room while they get used to a new place. We don't have much to decorate with except the sheets we brought and the homemade quilts that Grandma Derscheid made for them with pictures of their friends and family. They have been a huge blessing, making the rooms cheerful and bright. My one luxury or folly, my peacock feathers and flower, made it here safely and only slightly ruffled. Mrs. Chamberlin loaned me a vase and they are sitting on the table as a pretty centerpiece. Little things seem big as we settle into our new home and I thank God for them.

Dude, where is my luggage?

The airport baggage claim in Douala is a zoo but thankfully this time went much smoother due to 5 men from the church showing up to welcome and assist us. It still took a long time but we felt much less frazzled. As Drew, Victor, and the men located luggage we stood to the side with the children. After checking and rechecking several times we found that 3 of our bags were missing, including, wouldn’t you know it, that hygiene carry-on bag I was required to check in. To report the missing bags Drew had to get in a long line of other unfortunate souls in a small, airless room. When he got to the desk he was relieved to hear that they could look up the missing bags on the computer and see that the flight had run out of storage room but they would be sent in 2 days. With that information in hand we headed out to the vans. Again we found that the journey was to be smoother. Arriving on a Wednesday held much less traffic and the van trip took only about an hour and a half. Now to see if our van could make it up the steep hill to the mission this would be the final challenge.
We were riding in the first of the two vans with Mom Chamberlin, the orphans, and two other men. We began to climb the hill but as it reached the steepest part it began to lose traction and slid back a little. We gave it a few tries before the men, Kent, Bless, and I climbed out. I followed the boys up the hill while Drew and the other men got behind the first van and began to push. Unfortunately this van was not 4-wheel drive and though the driver had it floored and the men behind were pushing it still proceeded to slide backwards. There were some concerned moments but finally the van got some traction and made it to the top of the hill. At the mission the vans were quickly unloaded and a delicious meal was waiting for us. It was a lovely welcome from the people here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

And We're Off!

5:30a.m. Tuesday morning our farewell party (Leah, Mom and Dad Herring, and Mom and Dad Derscheid) and us arrived at Grand Rapids airport. We arrived just ahead of the crowd and were able to get checked through after only a slight obstacle, that being that they had no record of Katie's tickets but we had all the paperwork and numbers so they got it fixed right up for us. Then came the final hugs and tears, that is always the hardest part. With a final wave we headed up the ramp to the security check in and boarding. The kids did a good job lugging their heavy backpacks and carry-ons. We told them they wouldn’t be so heavy if they wanted to leave their toys behind, but they opted to keep them. The first flight to Chicago was short and uneventful. Kent was quick to study the flight safety and escape plans on each flight and got after me if I wasn't paying enough attention to the instructors speech.

The second flight to Washington was bumpy but the kids slept right through that one. Washington was a 6 hour layover where we all ended up sacking out on some empty seats. As we boarded to fly to Brussels the flight attendant told us the flight had no room left for carry-ons so we would need to check our bags. I begged to keep the one bag containing our hygiene and change of clothes for the trip but to no avail. In Brussels and met up with the Chamberlins and orphans. Kent and Bless had a big reunion; they are going to be good buddies. Katie wore a big smile and gave and received hugs all around. The final flight went smoothly and we all got some rest (thank goodness for inflatable neck pillows, they were wonderful!)

As we touched down in Douala, we grabbed our bags and headed for the door to meet the biggest challenge of our journey, the Douala airport!