Posted by: macahajo | February 24, 2015

he laughed at me again…

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Probably the most common question I am asked by friends in the US is “So, what’s it like in Cameroon?” Lately, it has been difficult to answer this question because I am beginning to accept the differences as normal for our daily lives. But every once in a while I have an experience that stands in such stark contrast to my life in the States that I am honestly shocked. I had such an experience this past weekend.

Last Saturday, Trinity Volleyball hosted an eight-team tournament. Dare I say that there are major differences in hosting a tournament in Cameroon?

The club director, Didier, and I began planning this tournament months ago and set the budget. In the US, most of our money would go to renting a gym. We might purchase t-shirts for uniforms, and budget to buy our team some food. Other than that, we would be set. Here though, things are a bit different.

First, Didier told me that we need to have trophies for the winning teams. Clubs won’t show up to tournaments without trophies.  We also needed to purchase good volleyballs to use. Now in America, we could go online or to a store and find the best deals. Here, our options were much more limited and we were forced to overpay.

Next, we needed to talk about food. I thought that maybe we could ask for food donations from people who we know here, and sell the food. Or maybe get a Cameroonian to make food, and sell it. Didier laughed and shook his head. He said, “That is not how we do things here in Cameroon. We must provide food and drink for the teams if we want them to come. Nothing fancy, but something filling for them.”

So, as I began to add up the totals for our budget, I looked at Didier and asked, “How much do we charge for teams to enter tournament?” He laughed at me again, but this time even harder. Didier said, “We don’t charge them to come. We are inviting them so we need to take care of them and provide for them while we host them.”

It was quite the education for me. For the first time, I was confronted with something I truly felt like I knew and understood what to do, and realized I had absolutely no clue what protocol or expectations were to be met! I felt so ignorant.

But moments of humility are so good for the heart! To realize how limited I am focuses me on how I must depend on God even in areas that I feel knowledgeable in.

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Oh and one more difference? We get to proclaim the Gospel unashamedly and openly to a group of students who may or may not know Jesus. Best difference ever.

Serving Jesus,  Mark


Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing, Mark. That really is different. I especially like the last and greatest difference – the opportunity to share Christ!

  2. Dear Mark, Thanks for sharing the cultural adaptation process. I hope you continue to enter the culture in humility(Phil 2). Sounds like you are doing a great job. Proud to be your colleague in the greatest endeavor in the World, Ken Benson MissionPREP


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