Sunday, March 29, 2009

We're here and we're still coming

Dan and Faith Eriksen and I arrived in Yaounde last night, Saturday night. We were at 2 different churches this morning, with Dan giving his testimony of God's work in his life through and after polio at 7 years old.

Please pray for the safe arrival of the rest of our teammates tomorrow evening, Monday.

Also please pray that my 2 large suitcases, filled mostly with materials and gifts for people here, would make it here from Paris--at least that's where I think they are.

And most urgent, please pray that Dan Eriksen's electric scooter arrive tomorrow from Paris. Air France wouldn't allow it on the plane as we came, but hoped to have paperwork that would allow it to be delivered tomorrow.

Thanks! Pictures soon.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Prayer and Praise

It seems all our main team members who live in Cameroon are suffering and/or grieving. You've already been praying for
Monique, Magdalene, and Silas.

Steve and Julie Anderson have just decided that Steve should come to Minneapolis as soon as possible to have some time with his father, Les Anderson, whose Alzheimers has taken a definite turn. Julie plans to come as soon as the Harvest project is done. Our team leader, Bob Horning, has assured her that we will be fine if she feels she should return sooner.

David Anderson also sends a prayer request:

Florence injured tendons in her ankle some months ago and they have not healed properly. Between that pain (when walking) and her arthritis, she has been unable to do all that she would like to do.

Finally, David sends this encouraging update about Clovis:

His surgery went well (Monday). He will need to be in the hospital for six weeks, then physical therapy. They are confident his legs will be much straighter, making walking easier. This puts a strain on his Mom, who must stay at the hospital with him to provide care. But she reports that there are now nine people who have come to Christ through her witness and Bible study! She says she has never had people respond to her witness this way before.

Praise the Lord, and please keep praying.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


We all are packing (or thinking seriously about getting started). Dan and Faith Eriksen and Noel Piper fly out on Friday, and arrive in Yaounde, Cameroon--Lord willing--Saturday evening. The rest of the team departs Sunday, arriving Monday evening.

We plan to keep you in on what's happening through this blog. So please pray that internet connections will work when we need them!

  • That we not forget anything that is crucial for our ministry
  • That we trust in God as we pack, not getting uptight
  • That our times with family and friends are close and sweet as we prepare to go
  • That we trust our families and friends into the Lord's hands as we go
  • That our times with God are close and sweet, getting us ready to represent Christ in Cameroon.
  • And that God do what only God can do–-prepare the hearts of the people we will meet there

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pray for Team Cameroon

Three of our main team members in Cameroon are undergoing personal difficulties and grief, while at the same time they continue in their normal ministry and family responsibilities. On top of that, they are busy with preparations for our team's ministry with them. 

Monique  Bessomo's husband, Maurice, seems to be somewhat better, but he is still hospitalized. Monique depends on public transportation to travel all the way across Yaounde to be with him.

Nungu Magdalene's cousin, Emmanuel, died recently. Magdalene feels a great deal of affection for him and he has been a particular support and help to her for many years. Also, he was a customs official who helped her find her way through the complicated system when she was retrieving our wheelchair shipments from customs at the port.

Nfor Silas lost a cousin, a 22-year old who died when his car crashed. The wake was at Silas and Mary's house. Then Silas traveled a full day one-way to return his cousin to their home village. He remained a few days there with his extended family.

Please pray for God's strength and comfort for Monique, Magdalene, Silas and their families. Pray that they might be Christ's channel of strength and comfort to their extended families and friends.


Just a reminder that the Cameroon team will be
prayed for tonight at 5:30 at Bethlehem Baptist.

Postponed surgery-Opportunity for the Gospel

 surgery was scheduled for Friday, but has been moved, probably to Monday. The Lord is saving up until the right time the prayers you have raised for him. And now we can add more. 

And pray for the glory of God to be seen in the hospital as Clovis's mother testifies. Florence Anderson writes

I gave her a Bible (New Testament) to take with her. . . . She called me last night to say that she has been having Bible study with others in the ward where Clovis is, and that five individuals have come to know Jesus during this time of sharing the gospel with them. She called to thank me for the Bible and to rejoice with me by telling of the salvation occurring in that hospital. She will continue to read and pray with those in the ward.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pray for Clovis

from David Anderson, Team Cameroon member

Clovis, a boy about 10 years old, is one of the students at the CEFED Special School in Santa, Cameroon. [He received a wheelchair during the 2007 Harvest Project.] . . . . 

A deformity in both knees has continued to make walking difficult, even with braces and crutches. . . . It has been possible for Clovis to go to an orthopedic hospital in Njinikom, a village north of Bamenda, where doctors from Holland will perform surgery on both knees on March 20, 2009. Read the rest of David Anderson's letter, including the story of how God has worked through the testimony of Clovis's mother.

Pray now for Clovis. March 20, the day of Clovis's surgery, begins in Cameroon when it's 6 pm today--March 19--in Minneapolis.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

You're invited.

Commissioning Prayer

Saturday, March 21
5:30 pm
Bethlehem Baptist Church--downtown campus

The 2009 Cameroon Harvest Project team 
will be prayed for 
near the beginning of the Saturday evening service. 
All our friends and supporters are invited.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Stick with me, and you'll go places!

from Faith Eriksen, team member

Shortly after my first husband died 12 years ago, God told me he had a job for me in Cameroon. I had never been on a mission trip, and I didn't know any missionaries.


I argued with God.  "I have no talents, education or skills that could be used in missionary work.  He said, "I don't call the equipped, I equip the called.  Remember how I solved the problem when Moses said he couldn't speak to Pharaoh because he had a speech impediment?" 


I said, "Yes, you sent Aaron to speak for him." 


"And you know what happened to Jonah when he refused to go to Nineveh." 


"Yes, and I don't swim very well."


I did get some information about Cameroon and I contacted my denomination for names of missionaries in Cameroon.  I corresponded with one woman for about 6 years.  But the Lord didn't speak to me again.


I met Dan in 2002. He said, "If you stick with me, you'll go places."  I didn't know he meant to the ends of the earth! Since we've been married, we've been to China, Brazil, and twice to Peru with Wheels for the World.  We thought we would go again to Peru this year.


But in November, we found out about the Harvest Project to Cameroon.  We knew immediately that we would be going. 


God had been preparing me for this for twelve years!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Comfort and Marguerite

The affection between Comfort and her sister, Marguerite, was obvious in their faces and physical closeness, and in the loving care Comfort received from Marguerite.

In order to move Comfort from one place to another in the house, Marguerite had to hoist her up and carry Comfort on her back. Comfort had a hand-pedaled cart she could use outside, but Marguerite had to get her out of the house and onto the bike. When they went to church, Marguerite had to carry her from the cart into the church.

We met the sisters during the 2007 Harvest Project. Now Comfort has a chair and can wheel herself around. As with most of the chairs, this is a blessing not only to the recipient, but to those who care about and for that person. 

200 wheelchairs…..200 churches or neighborhoods and families.  Pray that the impact of each wheelchair reaches far beyond just one person.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cries and Laughter

From Bob Horning, Team Leader

Not only are individuals impacted by these wheelchairs, but whole churches are impacted.  

We’ve mentioned Nfor Silas a few times on the blog.  He was a big helper in 2007 and has been working tirelessly preparing for us to come in a couple of weeks.  

I don’t think we’ve ever mentioned that we had the pleasure of giving one of the wheelchairs to Silas’s dad.  

A former pastor, he had several strokes years ago and had not been able to go back to church because he couldn’t make the two-mile walk.  Here is Silas’s email when his father was finally able to go back to church.


The happiest day in his life was on Sunday, 2nd. Early Sunday morning he told me I shouldn’t ride him to the church. He wanted to use his wheel chair. My younger brother helped wheel him to church. 

That Sunday I was the one preaching and my sermon was from Exodus 4:2&3. The title was "open your eyes and see what God has given to you." 

From the pulpit I saw the old man wheeled into the church. He has not come to the church for the last six years. 

He made his way to his old men’s choir where he was the founder some 15 years ago. Singing and dancing. I mean he participated in almost all the church activities that day. 

The whole church was touched as he told the stories of how he got the wheelchair and the other disabled people he saw in Santa. 

It was agreed upon, some men will wheel him every Sunday and during other church programs. Death seems to be a little longer away from him with all the happiness I saw in him. 

I can tell you the church was full of cries and laughter. Can I say it was a joyful sorrow?


200 wheelchairs…..200 churches or neighborhoods.  Pray that the impact of each wheelchair reaches far beyond just one person.

(photo: Silas and Gideon Nfor with their father and Bob Horning)


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Team Cameroon: Monique Bessomo

(Photo: Monique Bessomo with Julie Anderson and Silas Nfor)

The Harvest Project will work through 2 Christian organizations in 2 cities in Cameroon

In the capital city of Yaounde, we will be with Monique Bessomo, the Founder and Director of the League of Solidarity of Handicapped Women of Cameroon. She tells her own story. . . .

It’s not easy for me to explain why I had the idea to make the center to take care of handicapped persons. In some ways it’s the result of what I lived through.


It all began with the hard blow I had in my life: I was hit by a car when I was 13 years old. I was bedridden for a long time, undergoing surgeries in my upper and lower limbs, which left the joints of my right shoulder and right hip fused and unbendable.


This suffering since my youth placed in my path certain people who spoke to me particularly of the Gospel. These persons--my family, my friends, and some missionaries--helped me understand that, without a doubt, the Lord Jesus Christ wanted me to offer Him my life as it was, and that I should ask Him in prayer [what He wanted me to do]. It was thus that the idea of helping others came to me.


I got together some handicapped women and some other people to form an association called “League of Solidarity of Handicapped Women of Cameroon”.  

Profiting from my professional experiences, including training as an occupational therapist in France and 30 years in the Handicap Center of Yaounde, we created a rehabilitation center for the handicapped--men, women, and children.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

"Crazy" Woman Brings Wheelchairs to Cameroon

Here is a story whose winding thread leads to our ministry with Monique Bessomo in Yaounde, Cameroon.

A few years ago an elderly woman settled with her possessions under a tree beside a main road in Yaounde that Julie Anderson often traveled. Julie asked about her. People called her "the crazy woman"--why else would someone be so dirty, live under a tree, and talk to herself?

However, when Julie began to talk to the woman herself, she learned that she was not crazy. She was Marie Therese and she was a homeless widow and destitute because she had been turned out by her children.

Julie searched for a home for Marie Therese. A friend told her about another widow who might have a room, and she did. Marie Therese had a home again and no longer looked or sounded crazy. 

The woman who took in Marie Therese is the mother of Monique Bessomo. During  visits to Marie Therese, Julie became familiar with Monique and her work among people with disabilities. 

Knowing my involvement with Joni and Friends, Julie wrote me to ask if there was any way JAF could help Monique. 

That led to the work of the 2007 Harvest Project team in Yaounde, and to our return now in a few days.

I wonder if Marie Therese grasps that God used her to bring wheelchairs and walkers and the gospel to dozens of people?

(Photo, l. to r. -- Monique Bessomo, Noel Piper, Julie Anderson, Marie Therese)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pray for Monique

Monique Bessomo is the founder and head of the ministry we will work with in Yaounde, Cameroon. I'll tell her story soon in another post.

But now, today please pray. Julie Anderson writes from Yaounde:

Monique's husband [Maurice] is very sick - in a small hospital in a small town about 1/2 hour drive away. . . . I don't know the details. She came back to her center today thinking to meet with Silas and me, but found her new nurse (hadn't even yet started work) also very sick with convulsions. So Monique turned right around and went back to the hospital with her. [About that time] the hospital contacted her that she needed to come back anyway because her husband wasn't doing well. 
Silas plans to go again tomorrow morning, if she's available. (There's no phone connection in the area where the hospital is, so he'll just wait till he hears from her.)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Team Cameroon: Silas Nfor

I can hardly imagine how we Americans on the Harvest Project team last time would have been floundering around Cameroon if it hadn't been for Silas. 

What a blessing it will be to work again this time with a Godly man whose heart reaches out toward people with great needs, especially their need for Jesus.

Silas and Mary's home in Yaounde is the headquarters and hub of their ministry--Victory Vision--which grows out of skills and gifts God has given them.

Over the years Silas has been and is a cook, caterer, baker, shopkeeper, and Mary has had a tailoring business. He is the kind of person who eagerly picks up new skills and uses them to support his family and for the sake of the wider Kingdom of God. 

At any given time, a few young men from dire situations--orphans, for example--live in the Nfor's compound as apprentices to Silas. Before morning light, they fill the quarter with the warm fragrance of baking bread. Later they deliver the loaves to shops around the city. At other times, they assist Silas in event catering. All the while, Silas and Mary's goal is to help people find the gospel practical in their daily lives.

Silas and Mary labor long hours just to barely support their family. Life is hard, but still they reach out to others with the gospel and practical help.

We praise God for Silas's ministry of being with the Harvest Project team and the ministry of Mary and their children in sending him with us.

left: Silas's  earthen bakery oven / right: stacks of loaf pans

Monday, March 2, 2009

It's Julie's Birthday!

Happy Birthday, Julie!

Over here in the U.S., all your team mates will be asleep, Lord willing, when you wake up there in Cameroon. I hope you get online first thing in the day to know ALL day on March 3 that we pray it's a great day for you. 

Love from your big sister,

How to Pray for Joni Eareckson Tada

(This is the first time I'm posting twice in one day, so don't miss the previous post about Julie Anderson.)

Joni Eareckson Tada is the founder and hub of Joni and Friends. JAF ministers to and with people with disabilities around the world. Many people in many nations, including me, look up to Joni as a hero of the faith. She has been quadriplegic since a diving accident when she was 17 years old and lives and proclaims the sovereignty of God in all things. 

Justin Taylor, a friend of ours, writes today at his blog: "Friends who have seen Joni recently have said that she has been really struggling lately with her health and that she is in need of much prayer. . . . I asked her how readers of this blog could pray for her."

Let this be a reminder to us to pray for Joni, and to let her requests help shape our prayers for others we love who are suffering.

(Pictured with Joni is Judy Butler, her long time associate, whom she mentions in her prayer request list.)

Team Cameroon: Julie Anderson

(A reminder with many thanks: If you were thinking of making a donation on behalf of a Harvest Project team member, this would be a good time.)

In the interest of full disclosure: Julie Anderson is my sister. But I’m not slanted in my opinions of her as a Harvest Project team mate. Any of the others on the 2007 team would say a similar thing.

Julie is a fantastic team mother.

She has lived in Cameroon most of the years since 1984. She and her husband Steve are members of Wycliffe Bible Translators. Their son, Luke, grew up in Africa and is now a student at Bethel University in St. Paul.

Over the years, Julie has had many different kinds of responsibilities and opportunities as a Christian woman and as a member of the mission community. Her gifts of hospitality and help and mercy have shone.

In 2007, the rest of the team was the benefactor of those gifts and of her familiarity with Cameroon. Julie arranged our accommodations, including last minute scrambling when the guesthouse in another city where we were booked suddenly wasn’t available. With less than 1 day’s notice, Julie found a place for 16-18 people.

Along with other Cameroonian team members, she got us where we needed to be, found materials we needed, and fed us. Julie herself spent plenty of time at the market finding our meal fixings, even taking into account our personal preferences as much as possible.

This time, she’s adding the role of mentor as she helps others learn the ropes.

I am so glad God gave me Julie as a sister and that she is part of our team.