CAMEROON – HORIZONS OF HOPE CRUSADES
More than 5000 people baptized
This is the result of evangelism efforts made from March 5 to April 1, 2017. The Seventh-day Adventist Church in Cameroon, supported by the West-Central Africa region (WAD) workers got involved in the harvest of souls. It was a wonderful experience of evangelism with the concept total "membership involvement".
From the North to the South, from the East to the West, it was the same theme: Horizons of Hope. The personnel of the West-Central Africa Division (WAD) and the Cameroon Union Mission staff have covered the territory. Under the supervision of Dr. Same Vincent, Director of Evangelization at WAD, and the coordination of Pastor Jean Pourrat Meting, his collaborator in Cameroon, preachers came from the offices of the WAD in Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire), Lomé in Togo and Lagos in Nigeria.
Preaching during a crusade was the very first experience for Eto Samson, the fleet leader of the Seventh-day Adventist Church headquarters in Cameroon. "After the panic of the first few days, I grew up in my personal relationship with God. And my joy is immense to have served as an instrument. Previously, I was serving in driving the Pastor and I thought that was all I had to do. Today, I see that everyone can do something to proclaim the message of life. "
This worker has totaled more than 20 years of service and it is the very first time that he is involved in the missionary activity. He was not the only one. Many were in their first experience. In the end, all felt more impressed in their intimacy with God. As Pastor Koch would put it: “the most important thing remains prayer and communion with God.”
The experience spread to the entire territory of Cameroon with the mobilization of nearly three thousand small groups. Preparations have followed the principles embodied in the concept of Total Membership Involvement (TMI). Health programs, free consultations, donations of blood to hospitals during the Global Youth Day, home visits, assistance to the needy, bible studies in small groups, all these aimed at preparing the people to meet Christ.
At the end of the program, Pasteur Meting, who is responsible for evangelism in Cameroon, is amazed: "The Horizons of Hope campaigns gave us the opportunity to realize the real value of the 'Total Membership Involvement' initiative. Approximately 3,800 evangelistic sites were able to operate simultaneously. We had 511 public sites and approximately 3,300 small groups. The results speak for themselves: 5,042 baptisms already recorded. It is a big first time in our union. Glory be to God!" This performance is almost equivalent to the results of the whole 2016 year.
To baptize in a river. For some, this is not a commonplace fact. This is the case with Pastor Irineo Koch in the closing of Bonaberi's evangelistic campaign in Douala, the coastal city and economic capital of Cameroon, one of the hardest, most resistant cities to the gospel message. But God has allowed hundreds of souls to follow Jesus in this part of Cameroon. "I was amazed at this ceremony of baptism in a great river" said Pastor Koch.
The Church can still do better. Pastor Badu James, one of the preachers from the WAD headquarters, made an evaluation of the mobilization in East Cameroon: "The members were well involved. They could have invited more listeners to public sites.” The effort in this part of Cameroon has produced more than two thousand baptisms and a little more than a thousand backslidden came back to Church. Mrs Sessou Omobonike and Pastor Same Vincent Roger have made their contribution in the building of these results respectively in Batouri and Bertoua for a couple of weeks.
Wonderful conversions: An astounding conversion of a young Imam and his wife impressed the Church in Douala. The two were baptized in Douala. Two weeks before the campaigns, the man read and studied the Bible in Arabic, secluded in his room. At the end of these two weeks, he received the invitation for the Horizons of Hope campaigns. Evening after evening, all his questions were answered to his full amazement.
Convinced of the truth, he talked about it to his wife who followed him in this way. Eventually both of them decided to follow Jesus. This is when persecution begins. Deprived of the essentials, this couple received spontaneous help from Church members for their resettlement. For now, their security remains a real concern. Nevertheless, the new convert, trained in Saudi Arabia, is ready to preach the Gospel to the Muslims.
In Yaounde, another Muslim of Malian origin baptized against all odds. Pastor Elie Weick-Dido, leader of the Adventist Church in West-Central Africa, was the preacher of the site where the young Muslim student responded. He encouraged the young lady to stand firm. The latter will say all her happiness when she came out of the baptismal waters of Djoungolo 2: "I am very delighted and very happy. It's the best day of my life. For others, it is marriage. But for me, my baptism is the most beautiful day. I am united to Jesus by His grace. "
The joy of such an experience could not be hidden. The harvest continues. Pastor Same Vincent hopes that this interimreport will increase due to other baptisms in sight in April 2017. Depending on the trends of the visitors' responses to the various appeals, the figures could reach 7,000.
All the preachers returned with hearts full of joy and eager to repeat again and again such involvement in the mission. Pastor Stephen Bindas, Vice President of WAD and preacher at one of the sites in Yaoundé, did not hide his satisfaction when he left Cameroonian soil at Nsimalen airport: "I welcome this new vision of the administration of Our Church. It is really good to leave our offices and to scrutinize the realities of the ground, to carry out the mission. There was only one word: unity in action, unity in the total membership involvement.
The Adventist Church in Cameroon has just been established a Union Mission in 2014 and has just under 100,000 members in nearly 1,500 churches and companies. There are 163 pastoral workers. In the midst of the social crises and the war against the bloodthirsty sect Boko Haram, the Adventist Church in Cameroon faces colossal challenges. Hence the importance of the TMI initiative in order to achieve the goal of doubling the membership by 2020. MORE PHOTOS
Director of Communication for the
Cameroon Union Mission (CMUM