being more with less

Called to Cameroon

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This past summer, August to be exact, I had the honor and the privilege of being called to Cameroon. Five of us went on a mission trip to train church leaders in Restoring the Foundations ministry. This was my fourth mission trip in the past two years. I have come to learn to expect the unexpected and was very exciting to go on an adventure to Africa.

IMG_1313We left on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning right after our church service. We arrived thirty six hours later in Buea, Cameroon. I could say so many things about this trip but that would take a small book, so I will share some of the highlights and a video that I put together.

I have always dreamed of traveling the world. Two of the many places on my list are Paris, France and Africa. I could never have imagined that I would travel to both at the same time. Though, I also never would have imagined that I would only be passing through Paris and not even get to see the Eiffel Tower, but that is a story for another day. This story is about Africa. Cameroon to be more exact, and its beautiful landscapes, like Mount Cameroon, and it’s beautiful people.

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We first arrived in Douala, Cameroon in the afternoon and were greeted by our wonderful hosts. There was a SUV to pick us up, a poem written just for us, and beautiful bouquets of flowers from their region. We were then taken over to a nice restaurant for dinner. This was just the beginning of what ten days of hospitality would look like.

Our first evening in Cameroon was spent having dinner in Douala and then heading up to Buea. Rush hour in Cameroon is like nothing we would imagine here in the states. The roads and traffic make I-95 look sane and slow paced. Since traffic is so bad, we stayed in the city for dinner to give a chance for traffic to die down a little bit. It was a nice dinner, and I ate goat for the first time. It was very good, and at first, I thought it was beef. The cuisine in Cameroon is rich and earthy, with many types of fish, greens and fruits to choose from. We were never left wanting for food, though some of the offerings, like Cameroonian plums, are much different than our food here in America. After dinner, we were off in the craziness of the traffic from Douala to Buea. The journey took several hours. Along the way we encountered multiple lanes of traffic, multiple types vehicles, such as taxi motorcycles sometimes carrying as many as four people on one motorcycle. We also encountered goats, cows, tolls, and fog (it was the rainy season). At last we arrived in Buea at the base of the beautiful Mount Cameroon. Since it was the rainy season, everything was lush, green, and in some places muddy.

Our time in Buea was very busy. It was full of teaching, prayer ministry, worship, and visiting. We taught seventeen pastoral couples, each from a different church, how to do Restoring the Foundations Issued Focused Ministry. They caught on quickly and were already very familiar with deliverance ministry. They all were very excited to add this powerful tool to their ministries. All together we had six long days of teaching. During this time, we got to know these couples well, and I fell in love with the Cameroonian people. I made a few friendships that I hope will last a lifetime and look forward to seeing them again this summer.

We had many opportunities while in Cameroon to pray for people. We were invited to the Mayor of Buea’s home. We got to spend time with him and his wife and pray for both of them. We also had the opportunity to visit one of Cameroon’s senators in his home and pray for he and his family as well. We also got to pray for and encourage many of the people who took care of us. We prayed for our drivers, the ladies in our house who cooked for us, and the many people who we met during out trip. It was and honor and a privilege to be used in such a way and I was blessed as much as they were.

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We had many rainy days and many rainy nights where we went to bed to the sound of rain on the roof and African singing. We had a wonderful day out to see Cameroon. We saw the lava flow from where mount Cameroon erupted many years ago. We saw a beautiful waterfall that had once been a place where witchcraft was practiced and now is a place for people to come and pray. I had a nice little tumble down the hill at the waterfall and was thankfully caught by our driver who was looking out for me. I spent the day very damp, but it only dampened my mood a little. We saw the Atlantic ocean, which is Africa’s west coast, and that fact sort of still boggles my mind. But most of all, we just got to be with the people of Cameroon, here their stories, worship with them, and share life together in the beautiful presence of God. The first day there I had a moment where it really hit me. Here I am in Africa and the Lord is here with me. He is everywhere and the same everywhere. Sounds so simple, but yet the revelation was so powerful to me in that place. In gave me new insight to the scripture “I am with you always, even to the end of time”. There was not a day that went by on my trip, that I didn’t think and repeat to myself “I’m in Africa” over and over again…. I would think it “I’m in Africa” The entire trip was amazing. It was a dream come true. It was beautiful. It changed me. I grew in the Lord. I made new friends. I loved it and I can’t wait to go again.

Be Blessed My Friends,

Leah

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Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)

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This week’s Poetry Tuesday feature is Broken Vessels by Hillsong. I thought it went well with my last blog post about brokenness. I love these lyrics. We are set free, mended and whole, and we are his treasure set inside a jar of clay. Beautiful song. Hope you enjoy! Be Blessed my friends.

Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)

All these pieces
Broken and scattered
In mercy gathered
Mended and whole
Empty handed
But not forsaken
I’ve been set free
I’ve been set free

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
But now I’m found
Was blind but now I see

Oh I can see it now
Oh I can see the love in Your eyes
Laying yourself down
Raising up the broken to life

You take our failure
You take our weakness
You set Your treasure
In jars of clay
So take this heart, Lord
I’ll be Your vessel
The world to see
Your love in me

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
But now I’m found
Was blind but now I see

Oh I can see it now
Oh I can see the love in Your eyes
Laying yourself down
Raising up the broken to life

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
But now I’m found
Was blind but now I see

Oh I can see it now
Oh I can see the love in Your eyes
Laying yourself down
Raising up the broken to life

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
But now I’m found
Was blind but now I see

Oh I can see it now
Oh I can see the love in Your eyes
Laying yourself down
Raising up the broken to life

Journey To Betel

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Hi friends I know it’s been a while. God has me on an interesting journey this year. I just got back this week from my second mission trip of the year. A team of us went to Betel ministries in England. Before this year, I had never been on a mission trip or thought much about going on one. Now I am amazed by what a mission trip holds for all involved and would recommend everyone to go on at least one trip.

On both trips this year, the first one to Haiti and the second one to Betel, I tried hard not to have any expectations and to let God lead my every step. Even if I had an expectation it wouldn’t have mattered. Nothing could have prepared me for either trip. On both trips I have been stretched out of my comfort zone and like a rubber band I will never completely snap back to where I once was. I am forever changed…. For the better.

Betel is an amazing ministry. They help the homeless with addictions get back on their feet and to find The Lord. I got the opportunity to stay in the women’s house with my team and many ladies that are part of the program. There were 21 of us all together. Let me say that community living by itself, changes you. Sharing rooms, bathrooms and being on a strict schedule is a sanctification process all of its own. Then serving, working and praying along side of those in need, both humbles you and changes you.

The women at Betel are broken but so beautiful and in love with The Lord. These women, who have been through terrible things, have such soft hearts and an incredible love for Jesus. I was left feeling humble and ungrateful. These women are quick to serve, quick to honor and quick to share their story with 100% transparency. Every morning they do praise and worship and the presence of God was heavy. It made me think of the scripture that God is close to the broken hearted. As in Haiti, I was left with indescribable feelings and emotions. I made friends that I hope to see again. I was left wanting to be more for God. Just like in Haiti, I left feeling that I came home with more than I gave. Servitude in the Kingdom is a beautiful thing. When we set out to serve each other, we all come out better on the other side. I hope to see more of that here in my own country and in my own church.

So today I am grateful for everything God is doing in my life and for the journey he has me on. I am grateful for the friends I have made this year. I think of them and pray for them often. I am thankful that God cares enough for me to not leave me as I am, put to keep changing me daily. I look forward to more trips in the future and am grateful The Lord walks with me hand in hand on this journey. I want to thank each of you out there for reading my blog and special thanks to the people in my life who are on this journey with me. Only in heaven will you truly know how much you mean to me. Be blessed my friends.