In Cameroon right now a strike is going on which has already resulted in the shooting deaths of at least two persons in the city of Bamenda. This is where several of our NAB missionaries live, including Elsie Lewandowski, Walter and Florence Grob, Craig and Maureen Moody, and Cal and Susie Hohn when they are in the country. So this is a matter for urgent prayer for the country, and for the welfare of those who are there to share the Good News about Jesus.
The strike centers around the language issue (something Canadians will be familiar with). Like Canada, Cameroon has both French and English as official languages, and – also like Canada – it has had its share of animosity surrounding the language debate. Right now the Anglophones are striking against what they feel are the unfair practises of the federal government with the respect to their language rights.
It is not clear to me where the CBC stands in all of this, but from social media I have seen that some Cameroon Christians have become politicized over the whole thing, such that their Christian witness may be compromised. It is not easy being citizens of two dominions at the same time (i.e. Cameroon and the Kingdom of Heaven), but it is our calling to be bridges between the two.
Please pray that our brothers and sisters on both sides of the Pond will better learn how to walk as Christians in the land of the living.
In the messages I delivered this past month for the ABA GO Team, the theme was “Missions? Still?”
We chose this theme because there seems to be a widespread feeling in North American churches that the work of international missions is done; that is time is past, and that we should now simply concentrate on winning those around us.
In one meeting of local pastors we talked a little bit about this idea, and those around my table expressed the thought that since people from all over the world are coming here, then we can safely satisfy the demands of the gospel by ministering only to them. That way the whole church can be involved, and you do not have to spend lots of money going somewhere else.
There is a lot of force behind this argument, especially when one sees the great job some of our churches are doing in reaching international students, refugees, and others for Jesus. However, the argument ceases to be compelling when we look again at scripture.
In Acts 1.8 Jesus tells the disciples to begin at Jerusalem, and work their way outward from Judea and Samaria, to the ends of the earth, being witnesses in the power of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 2 we find that the Holy Spirit has indeed come, and that – lo and behold – “Jews from every nation under heaven” were there listening to Peter preach the good news. Verses 9-11 show a kaleidoscope of peoples who hear Peter’s proclamation that day – and 3000 are saved!
Praise God! Internationals had come to Jerusalem and heard the good news proclaimed there. Did that mean that the Church was finished its task? That it need not go out into the ends of the earth – since the ends of the earth had come to it? By no means. The Church still needed to go out – whether through the force of persecution (Acts 8.1) or the prompting of the Holy Spirit (Acts 13.1-3). And we still need to go today.
It has been a busy month of October for the both of us. One of the things I have been doing is delivering the keynote address at several missions’ events that our ABA GO Team (Alberta Baptist Association’s Global Operations Team) has participated in at three different locations around the province.
This past week Steele Heights hosted the GEM (Greater Edmonton Missions) event, and it was a wonderful time of connecting and promoting international mission.
Last week we were at a similar event at Brentview Baptist Church in Calgary. While there I gave the keynote address in the form of a sermon (three times!) to the host church. You can find it by clicking here and scrolling down till you get to the October 23rd sermon given by Jeff Kilmartin (me).
The first week we were at Park Meadows Baptist Church in Lethbridge, for our inaugural missions’ event in the province. It was a smaller affair, but full of quality workshops and people! I truly thank God for them all – especially our gracious hosts in both Lethbridge and Calgary.