Monday, May 9, 2016

Working Myself Out of a Job

This is my last month in CAR/Cameroon!  I will see many of you in June or July.  Meanwhile I am
busy working myself out of a job!

Part of my goal before I leave is to have things in place so that the work I have been doing continues.  It is easy because I am here as an adviser and much of the work is being done by leaders of EELRCA (or EELC).  It is hard because one can never be sure that the training is enough or the arrangements of who is picking up responsibilities is clear enough. 

Last week I spent several days in N’gaoundéré (Cameroon).  I had a meeting with the National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cameroon to thank him for the church’s hospitality, talk to him a bit about what I have been doing, and take my formal leave of him.  He also thanked me, of course.

While in town, I met with the Christian Education team and the man who is translating the Sunday school materials from English to French.  I handed over the documents I had organized, interviewed the team for an article that will be in Living Lutheran in July (watch for it!), and we reviewed the next steps and responsibilities of each person (Cameroonian and Central African).  I prepared a duplicate binder for the Central African team and had sent it to Baboua a couple of days earlier. 

This project is advancing well.  Translation of the first volume from English to French advances well.  Once that is done, Central Africans will begin working on French to Sango.  Two artists are drawing pictures. Hopefully by the end of the year, the N’gaoundéré team can get the French version and the illustrations printed.  We are hopeful, but continued good progress on the work and arrival of more financial gifts are also necessary!

Tomorrow I leave for Bohong, the town a couple of hours north of Bouar, CAR, for the churchwide youth gathering.  It has been 4-5 years since there has been enough security to permit people to travel to such a gathering.  I will be leading a presentation, “Education revives the Soul.”  I will also be saying good-bye to people there. 

I have already been working to insure (as best I can) that project leaders I have worked with will be able to sustain and advance the progress we have made.

Today, I taught my last class at the Bible School in Garoua Boulai.  Next week they prepare for exams (which start May 23).  Their graduation is June 5 (although I leave for the USA May 28).  I hope that some of the pedagogy and planning we have worked on for two years will be stuck in their heads
There is always more work to be done, but change is also inevitable.  I will be sad to leave, but am looking forward to the next step in God’s plan for me (whatever that is!)
Here’s hoping that peace has come back to CAR to stay.


  1. You are doing the transition well. I have similar work to do in turning over my library and bookstore. People so warn me that things will be done the PNG way, so I have to understand the "improvements" I made will likely dissapear Oh well, at least I leave some good books behind.

  2. Very bittersweet time for you I am sure. I hope the seeds you have planted take root and that you have a safe journey back to whatever comes next!

  3. I will muss your blog and habe a lack of Information from CAR. Have a great time wherever you go ...

    1. Sorry for the automatic word correction