Posted by: macahajo | August 20, 2014

The artist’s daughter

Imagine… You’re sitting down to eat lunch with your family, and your door bell rings. It’s someone asking for money because their child is sick in the hospital. You have never met this person before. They are either lying and deceiving you so that they can get some of your money. Or, they are honestly in need.

Imagine… When you open your front-door to watch your son run across the road to play with kids in the neighborhood, you see another person who you don’t know, walking in front of your home, who makes eye-contact with you, and says, “Can I have 1500cfa (about $3)?”

These things never happened to me on Boathouse Road in Pingree Grove, but they have happened to us in Yaounde, Cameroon.

We don’t know Andre well, but one time, he came to our door and sold us pretty cards with Africa pictures that he painted on the front. We have met many Cameroonians like Andre who work hard and find creative ways to earn a living.

Andre came by a few weeks ago. He told me that he needed 10,000cfa (about $20) because his daughter was sick, and she needed help. He asked if I would buy the 8X10 pictures he had with him, and that he would have more cards to give me next time.

Many years ago, when I was a student at Moody Bible Institute, a professor told us to pray about how to help someone in need. In Chicago, there were home-less people who asked for money. Instead of always saying yes or no, we were encouraged to pray about what the Lord wanted us to do.

Even though I didn’t really need the pictures or the cards, I felt led to give him an advance on the work he said he would do, so that he could take care of his daughter. I took two pictures from him that he sold me and went inside. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever see Andre or the cards he owed me again. I assumed that his daughter would be fine.

I didn’t see Andre for a little over a week. Then he came back. He told me that his seven-year old daughter died from malaria.   This was so sad to hear. Unfortunately, it is all too familiar in Africa where malaria is a leading cause of death in children.

I’m grateful that we didn’t just shut the door when Andre came by looking for help. But I wish that this story would have ended differently.

As we serve in Cameroon and regularly talk with people who express their needs, please pray that we would love our neighbor, that we would be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading, and that we would have discerning hearts.

In Christ,  Cathy Lynn



  1. Cathy, You were truly God’s love reaching out to him at a very crucial time. I doubt that he will ever forget the money you gave him. Even though the outcome wasn’t what was desired, you did what you could to help his daughter. I believe that act has opened a significant door for you to share the love of Jesus with him.

    • Dear Sara & Darlene,
      Thank you for your thoughtful words.
      We are thankful for the home that the Lord has given us, in the neighborhood that He has put us in. We are enjoying getting to know people.
      Before we came to Cameroon, we took Dave Ramsey’s class on money matters; it not only taught us to budget better, but it also reminded us about how we need to first give back to Him what is His. The Lord continues to provide for our needs, and every month we ask Him how He wants us to spend the funds that He gives us. It is a blessing for us to be able to help some of our Cameroonian brothers and sisters in Christ, and others who are in need.
      Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.
      Love in Christ,

  2. Thanks for sharing. I am sad for Andre and his family. But I am so glad The Lord has you right where He wants you. Not a day early or late…but right now. May The Lord continue to provide for you so that you can open the doors for so many more.

    God Bless Y’all

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