Back in 1998, Cathy and I had just gotten married, and we were praying through whether God was calling us to missions. We began filling out an application with a mission organization that was looking for a youth pastor to minister to the upper class youth in Trinidad. The mission organization believed that many people over the years had focused on the most vulnerable in Trinidad, but not the more affluent parts of society. They identified that the more affluent could have a greater impact on society. They wanted to invest in future ministry by reaching this sector of society. God ended up leading us in a different way, but that philosophy and strategy stuck with me.
Fast forward to 2017 – to our life and ministry in Cameroon. Some of my time is given to mentoring and discipling youth at RainForest International School. This past year, while the youth pastor went on home assignment, I also organized and led the youth group at RFIS.
Half of the RFIS student population is Cameroonian – some of the elite in this country. They are the sons and daughters of those who have wealth and positions of power and influence in this society. As I have spent time with these students, my love for them has grown immensely.
I also began to see what an incredible opportunity there is to influence change in this country through mentoring and discipling these young men and women who are the future leaders of this country. I was reminded of the philosophy and strategy in Trinidad, from so many years ago.
The Lord has recently opened the door for me to begin serving as Chaplain at RFIS. This is an amazing opportunity to influence the lives of the next generation of Cameroonian leaders and impact missionary kids!
In addition to mentoring and discipling students, and encouraging them in their relationship with the Lord, I will be available to all of the students and staff for any issues they may have.
In this role, I also want to help develop the RFIS community service ministry, so that the students will see and understand the dire needs of the vulnerable in this country.
Please pray that the Lord would give me His help as I transition into this new role. Pray that the Lord would give me His wisdom as I minister among Cameroonian students, missionary kids, and RFIS staff. And also pray that the Lord would guide me as I begin to think about the next school year.
In Christ, Mark