It was 2001, and I was serving in Ghana, West Africa when a colleague of mine asked me to go to Cameroon on his behalf. I had never been to Cameroon. It piqued my interest, and I found out it was a youth conference for the young leaders of Yaounde’. I didn’t know the leader but was willing to take a risk. I also asked my missionary friend, Jeff DeJarnett to join me from France. We arranged to go in the Spring of 2002 and met our new friend, Rev. Florence Fokoua of I-Care Ministry. We spent several days together speaking, praying, eating, and laughing, mostly at my inability to speak French. A bond was made, and at the end of our time, Florence approached me and asked (I would almost say demanded of me) that I mentor her. I made excuses and tried to brush it off, but now 13 years later I’m returning to Yaounde’ to teach, train, eat, laugh, and brutalize the French language. Florence is now my “daughter” and I am her “daddy.”
It began as a risk and almost a whim but has turned out to be one of the richest and most rewarding relationships I have in Africa. Florence is an amazing leader and I consider it a privilege to serve next to her in Cameroon and other places in Africa. Catalyst for Africa is facilitating two conferences in Yaounde’ over the next ten days. One conference will focus on missions and leaders are coming from Gabon, Chad and Cameroon and the second conference will be training key leaders in Yaounde’.
Pray with us that God will do a mighty work and change the hearts and minds of our African colleagues to take up the mantle of missions. Because you know…we are changing the world in Jesus’ name, one relationship at a time.