Traveling - Wells - Culture Learning

View this email in your browser
Our Mailing Address:
Dave and Stacey Hare
BP16 Dimako, Cameroon
Join us in praising God…
- For giving us peace and joy in the midst of translation.
- For keeping us healthy and safe thus far.
- For guiding us to work among the Bakoum.
- That our children are loving it here.
- That we found a house to live in.
- That we arrived in “winter” here and thus it has not been nearly as hot as we thought it would be!
Please join us in praying…
- That the public school situation would be a good option for our kids.
- That God would help all of us maintain and grow in our French.
- That the Lord would keep us safe on the roads and that we would stay healthy.
- That we would get to move into our house by November.
- That Dave and I would be filled with the Spirit and full of wisdom as we daily deal with situations that we have never had to face before.
- That the Lord would provide us with a great language partner who knows the language well and also knows how to whistle (great perk in learning a tonal language).
- For our friend Richie Rice who is currently raising support so he can join us in the new future as a church planter. Pray for the Lord to give him as good of partners as he has given us.

"I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken."  Psalm 16:8

It is true that the Lord has been our confidence, our stability, and our joy during these past two months of major transition. The difficulties that we had anticipated of living in Africa are now a reality. But to be honest, we have been pleasantly surprised at the Lord’s grace in our lives through the incredible peace we have felt. We know that there will be more challenging days to come, but we also know that the Lord will be there with us making perfect his power in our weakness.

Our Last Two Months
We spent the first month of our time in Cameroon traveling to various cities to meet various leaders within our mission organization. We went through a lot of orientation and learned how to live in Africa. We were told how to navigate the markets and then how to prepare our food (i.e. how to bleach our produce, pass our bread through fire on the stove, and how long to freeze our flour/rice/beans in order to kill all the bugs in them…gross). We must say that we have been floored with how long it takes just to live here. Since we have to make all our food from scratch and take extra pains to ensure that we get all the bugs out and such, we find that food prep could seriously be our full time job (not what we came here to do).
We also discussed with experienced missionaries various contingency plans, what to do in medical emergencies, and how to maintain a healthy work/family life balance. Through it all, we have in some ways felt like little children that are meeting their favorite sports heroes. The courage, perseverance, and wealth of knowledge that we have found in the lives of the missionaries here is astounding. For instance, we met a couple zealous women who are close to 70 years old who just now arrived in Cameroon to serve the Lord. We are also currently staying in the home of Wycliffe missionaries who not only translated the New Testament but also have an entire theological library in their home so that local pastors can come and check out books. The locals have told us that these missionaries’ knowledge of the language is so good that they even taught it to the people themselves. We are so inspired and encouraged.
We then spent two weeks in the capital to meet with various linguists, and after that moved out to a city called Abong Mbang where we will stay until we move into our people group. We consider moving into this house “real missions.” Since this part of the house has not been lived in for years, we were greeted by all kinds of bugs, which we found even in our beds and literally crusted to the walls. We also went for 10 days without running water which meant Dave had to walk to the local well and carry water back (sometimes taking up to 3-4 hours!). We are getting used to working by candlelight at night and scrubbing our laundry with a bar of soap. This has been a major life change for us, but we see God’s hand in it in that we are really beginning to understand the lives of the people that we will be ministering to. We are beginning to really see how much work it takes to put food on the table and keep one’s kids clean and healthy. And when we have been tempted to complain, the reality that this is “just life” for all those living around us has silenced us. It has been an honor to experience what so much of the world experiences on a daily basis.
The highlight of our new living situation is that we are sharing this house with a believing Cameroonian family (the husband was actually discipled by the missionary family who previously lived here). We spend a lot of time talking to them about their lives, the state of the church in Cameroon, African Traditional Religion, and the need for Bible translation. We are also learning the norms of Cameroonian culture from this family and what to say/not to say. Yes, we have already managed to offend them in our state of cluelessness, but they have been very gracious and are helping us understand the mindset of those in this culture.

Translation Matters
When we arrived in Cameroon, we had in mind to minister among a people group we visited four years ago, the Bakoum people. However, we were immediately faced with other groups that desperately needed a translation and thus that caused us to go back to the drawing board and prayerfully consider going to a different group. After many conversations with seasoned missionaries and various Bible translation organizations and much prayer we decided to stick to our original decision and translate for the Bakoum. We made this decision because it would truly mean pioneering a new people group which is something that Dave and I really want to do and also because it is linguistically strategic. There are other linguistically similar languages that surround the Bakoum that we hope to also translate for.
Thus, we have found a house to rent among the Bakoum and are currently seeking to make it livable. In the state we found it in there were plants growing in our bedrooms. So from now until probably November the house is being renovated and once it is ready we will move in and start language study.
In regards to the Bakoum, in our dealings with them thus far we have come to realize that there will be many challenges in living among them. We have also been told that they are against development, that they are resistant to the Gospel, and enslaved to alcohol. We understand that without Christ, true hope is not possible, and yet we approach our ministry with a newfound sobriety, as we know it will be hard.

What is Next?
Soon after we move into our people group we plan to conduct a formal linguistic survey to determine if there are various dialects within the language, where exactly all the villages are located, what the church situation is like and so on. We will take a week or two to travel to various regions of the people group and after that we will start studying Bakoum. Once the survey is over, we will commit the next few years to (Lord willing) mastering the language, doing linguistic analysis, and studying the culture. We are very eager to begin this process.

Family Life
In the midst of much transition, our kids have been doing remarkably well. All four kids are now “kindergartners” in our home school program. Dave and I alternate days teaching them and both of us would agree that homeschooling has thus far been one of the joys in this chapter of our lives. They of course all love the dirt and bugs here in Cameroon and are very happy. However, they are excited to move into our house as this season of transition is not always fun. In fact, the other day Kaden asked if we were going to live in our car.
The kids have been faced with a lot. We have gone to villages where the people literally own nothing and sleep in the dirt. In one particular village they saw a little boy who had recently fallen in the fire and whose eye was seriously burned. They now know all about breast-feeding and realize that some children do not wear clothes because they are poor. I have led them in a time of ever-so-fervent prayer as their dad went next door to confront a man who was severely beating his 16 year old daughter. This has led to many good conversations in our home and we pray that they too will come to know the Lord and have a heart for this place.
When we move into our new house we hope to put the children in a local French-speaking public school for half of the day (and then they would spend the other half with us doing homeschooling). We have not heard good things about the educational standards in the schools nor about the corporal punishment/shaming that is practiced. However, we want our kids to have their own lives and their own friends here and we think that going to school would be a good means to that ends. Nevertheless, we would love prayer for wisdom as we want to do whatever is best for them. We fear that they are losing the French that they learned in France.
Thank you
We know that we often give a word of thanks in each our newsletters, and we really cannot help but to do it again. We cannot emphasize enough how intimately related our “success” is to your prayer. We attribute a relatively smooth transition to God’s grace in our lives given in response to your prayers. Thank you for being so faithful. And please keep it up, this is only the first two months, and we, Lord willing, have 30 years to go.

We also wanted to thank you for those individuals and churches that have given financially. We bought a vehicle while we were in France and it was waiting for us when we arrived. We may not have a house, but we have a car and that has been a tremendous blessing! And it has equally been a blessing to have the money we need to build a well for our house and get it to a livable condition. We are so blessed. Thank you so much.
Again, thank you for your partnership with us in our ministry,
Dave and Stacey
P.S. If there are any churches or individuals out there who would like meet our future co-laborer Richie to find out more about his heart for church planting and discipleship among the Bakoum, please let us know so we can put you in contact with him. We are eager to have this brother beside us on the field!
Copyright © 2014 World Team, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp