We first came to Cameroon in 1979. We were NAB missionaries for nine years, primarily in the 1980s, and then we lived in the States before returning in 2004. So that makes nearly 20 years here. After 6-8 months in Cameroon I came up with a new definition of “missionary.” A missionary seems to be someone who does lots of things they don’t have training for or know how to do, but since someone needs to do it, with God’s help they do their best. In my case, I was stretched by homeschooling, writing lessons for the national church’s Women’s Union manual, and even sewing a windsock for the Mbingo airstrip. (I kid you not!)
The most encouraging part of my calling is being encouraged and challenged by Christian women leaders here, including (especially in the early years) non-literate Christian leaders. Their commitment to church activities and serious memorization of Scripture put me to shame. We spent our first year in Cameroon at Mbingo Baptist Hospital, then we were transferred to Banso. Thirty years later we were again posted at Mbingo. When I attended the church Women’s Meeting, I met six of the same women who were my friends there thirty years earlier. Experiencing this kind of faithfulness is rewarding!
Quite a few people seem to think that missionaries are somehow “special” people. We aren’t doing something extraordinary; we are just being obedient to where we think God is sending us. We aren’t “super-Christians.” We have our struggles the same as everyone else. Working in another culture can be very frustrating at times (yes, every week, every day, too), but the assurance of the calling and the rewarding times are what keeps us here.
In my thirty years of experience with NAB international missions, I have never wished I had come to Cameroon under one of the so-called “faith missions.” There are many advantages of coming with a denominational mission. NAB is big enough to have the expertise needed in assisting missionaries, but small enough to be flexible for individuals’ needs. They are also small enough that when you have an issue or a problem to discuss, you have access all the way to the top, if necessary. The people in the home office know you and care about you; you are not just a name and number.
Learn more about their mission field here: