Going on a missions trip is always a lesson in flexibility. You may go into it thinking you have an idea of what you will be doing and it won't look anything at all like you imagined. That is part of the excitement of it all. I'm a planner so this is not easy for me. It's interesting because you send your information out of all your skills and talents and then you wait. Every now and then I get an email that lets me know that they are working on what we will be doing and give me just a hint of what is to come. Drives me crazy as I try to read between every line to see if I can eek out just a tiny bit of information that isn't being said. In the end, I'm left trusting the people in charge - most whom I have never met.
As the days get closer to our departure I have had to ask a few questions about the plans for our family. A little over a week ago, we still needed about $3000 in our account. This was a lot of money to have to take out of our savings. We could do it but it would leave us with very little upon our return. I emailed to find out more specifically what we would need to pay for housing while in Cameroon. The email I got back just made me smile at how well God takes care of us. Found out the housing where we are going (Ndu) is half of what we were thinking. That was a savings of $2000! Shortly after this we were given gifts in person and more deposited into our account. Financially it is all falling into place - Praise God!
The other cool part of the story is also evidence of God's hand in this whole journey. Our family has been part of an AWANA program at Faith Baptist church in Minneapolis. Over the years we have heard about missionaries that they support in Cameroon and their church has also sent short term mission teams to Cameroon. I was thinking about one family in particular that homeschool their children and work full time as missionaries in Cameroon. In one of my emails to Wycliffe I asked if we would be able to get gifts to this family from their support church in Minneapolis. I was informed that we probably wouldn't see them because they lived in the mountains but the gifts could be sent on to them.
I guess within an hour from that reply, the person in charge of our assignment received a request from the Cameroon Baptist Theological Seminary (CBTS) in Ndu. The request was for a job through Wycliffe Associates to do construction work - mainly concrete. My husband has been finishing concrete for 20 years. It ends up that this is the same place the missionary family I had just asked about lives and works. She too saw this as God's hand and forwarded our name on to Eric Hagman, the Africa Area Director of Wycliffe Associates. Eric and his wife Tracey were long time members of our home church before moving to Africa, not to mention good friends of ours. Eric immediately replied that our family would be a perfect fit for the job. I still don't know what part I will be playing while in Ndu but I'm convinced it will fit me just as well as this job fits Drew.
This kind of thing makes me so excited. It's obvious that God cares about the details and was working out the pieces to the puzzle far before I ever even had a thought of actually going to Cameroon. Now here we are just one month before leaving and a few more pieces are revealed to me. I have no doubt we are right in the middle of God's plan for us as we prepare to live for 10 weeks in Ndu.