Posted by: macahajo | January 31, 2012

Ring Worm, Mango Flies, and Other Culture Shocks!

Vision Trip to Yaounde, Cameroon: January 16-27, 2012

We arrived in Yaounde, Cameroon on Tuesday, January 17th. The kids did great traveling in the air for 17 hours plus a 2 hour lay-over in the Zurich airport. Our potential city team leader picked us up from the airport. It was dark, warm and hazy. The streets were busy with cars and people. We were back in Africa! Memories of our time in Niger came flooding back.

We arrived at the SIL Guesthouse after a brief visit with the city team leader, his wife & oldest son. Both of our kids were a little scared to be in this foreign country and they wanted to go home. Their surroundings were unfamiliar to them. It was dark. We had traveled a long way from home and they were tired. It’s a different world in Africa! And they felt it. Culture Shock!

The next morning though, the kids woke up and were doing really well! Josh said that he liked waking up to the birds chirping in Africa!

During our first 24 hours there, I heard about different worm and skin problems that missionaries have faced in Cameroon! One lady told me how almost all of her family had gotten boils, another family had a child who got ring worm, another child I heard about got Dengue Fever, and another woman I spoke with had to deal with the Mango Fly ☹ also called the Putzi Fly or Tumbu Fly common in East and Central Africa. THIS is nasty so skip the next 2 sentences if you don’t want to hear about what it is! The Mango Fly lays eggs in clothes hanging out to dry and if the clothes aren’t completely dried, upon contact with human skin the eggs hatch. The larvae burrow into the skin and could develop into fully grown maggots. Yuck!
Culture Shock!

But then Hannah came to us after only a couple days and said that she thought God wanted us in Cameroon. Hannah was ready. Josh was ready. Mark was ready.  But, I was not quite there yet.

Someone told me that when they came, their initial response was, “What am I doing?!” I appreciated hearing this because I was asking myself that same question! And it helped me to know that it was okay that I felt this way!  I wrestled with the thoughts of moving our family to Africa and was asking myself all sorts of questions: Do I want to do this? What if I don’t want to? Do I have to do this? What if I don’t? Can I handle this? What is going on?!?!  Am I willing to move to Cameroon, to help the poor & the needy, and to show them & tell them about Christ’s love? Will I go to the place where the Lord has directed our family to, for over a year now?

As I prayed about moving to Africa, Mark reminded me about how the Lord had led us.. so clearly. I could make excuses. I could go look for a place that would be easier to live, cleaner, and with fewer problems, but God is not leading us in that way. God directed our steps this last year to Africa, to Cameroon, and to Yaounde. And I knew that I would be unsettled in my spirit if we didn’t go.

Traffic in down-town Yaounde is busy and crazy!

Hannah & Joshua in Yaounde, Cameroon… doing fine and ready to go  🙂

One song that the Lord has used in my life during this past year is I Refuse, by Josh Wilson. It’s challenged me & motivated me to keep my focus on what He’s called us to.  The following is a portion of the song:

“… This world needs God
But it’s easier to stand and watch
I could say a prayer and just move on
Like nothing’s wrong…

I can hear the least of these
Crying out so desperately
And I know we are the hands and feet
Of You, oh God

So, if You say move
It’s time for me to follow through
And do what I was made to do
Show them who You are…

To stand and watch the weary and lost
Cry out for help
I refuse to turn my back
And try and act like all is well

I refuse to stay unchanged
To wait another day, to die to myself
I refuse to make one more excuse

‘Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care
I don’t want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse

To sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse

I refuse
I refuse”

The story of our Vision Trip to Cameroon, to be continued…

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