Posted by: macahajo | November 22, 2016


During our first two years in Cameroon, I had a language instructor who came to our house 2-3 days a week, for 1 ½ – 2 hours each time. In addition to learning from her, I studied on my own and tried to practice with French-speaking friends.

In August, I decided to register for a French course in the city. Because of the time and energy it takes to drive into the city, I didn’t feel like I could commit to a class during my first two years in Cameroon, but my schedule changed when the new school year began. Josh joined Hannah at her school. They leave just before 7am and don’t return until 4pm, which gives me more time during the day.

So, I make the stressful 45-minute drive into the center of the city, two days each week… because I want to communicate better with our national ministry partners and other Francophones. (Read more here about how different driving is in Cameroon:

I have an excellent teacher who speaks to the class entirely in French during each two-hour class. Sometimes, she speaks and I just don’t understand what she’s saying. But, she is very good. She tries again, speaking slower, or offering examples to help us understand.

What is one of the things that I enjoy most about my time? My class-mates! They come from China, Korea, Kenya, Uganda, Equatorial Guinea, Spain, and Germany.

Though we come from all over the world, we share many similarities: We are all foreigners residing in a country that is not our own, learning a new language and a different culture. We are all living a great distance from our homes… a long way from what is familiar and comfortable for us. We are far from our close friends and family.

It has been fun to get to know my class-mates, and it has been so interesting to learn why they are in this country. Some are teaching their first language to local business men and women while others work for their governments or NGO’s. I’m thankful for these new friends!


                                         lunch together at the local city park

Last Sunday, we hosted my class for an American Thanksgiving. We prepared all of our favorite traditional dishes that some said they had only read about in books!


The spouse of one class-mate studied in America. He said that he watched his class-mates leave the university for the long Thanksgiving weekends, but he stayed on campus. No one ever invited him for a Thanksgiving dinner! This story really touched my heart.


Many international students and workers are very open to friendship, and there is so much we can learn from each other. Whether we live in Yaounde, Chicago, or somewhere else in this world, we can be a friend, showing hospitality and God’s love to a foreigner.

In Christ, Cathy Lynn 



  1. Wow Cathy. What a great reminder. No one invited him to Thanksgiving? That’s really sad!



    Sheryl Gasser
    EFCA ReachGlobal
    Africa Division
    Field Base: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
    Field Phone: +255 785 202 902
    Phone from USA: 616-878-4976
    Ministry website:
    Personal website:
    [ReachGlobal-Africa-RGB small]

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