Cameroon – January 2016

Welcome to the Encouragement Expeditions blog! I should have had this up and running before my first expedition to Cameroon earlier this month. Since I did not, I will post what I wrote in my monthly email newsletter.

The number one question I have gotten since returning is, “How did it go?” It went fantastic! Next question, “What did you do while there?” In other words, “How were you an encouragement to the family?” First of all, I could hardly wait to unload the two bags of supplies and goodies that I took with me. I felt like Santa Claus and loved the smiles that came with each gift received!

0115160639cI spent time with the kids helping with school work, making crafts, playing games and feeding chickens. I heard some funny jokes. I watched kids play hard outside and enjoy sibling friendships. I played board games with the entire family – learning that a certain boy in the family is the master at winning. Together we all watched Home Alone 2 and quoted the movie the rest of the week – even when it was just me and Mark and Jess playing games alone at night.

In addition to helping prepare meals daily, I helped Jess prepare meals to freeze for after the new baby arrives. We reorganized the freezer. I sewed curtains for the guest bath and kitchen. And I worked alongside a budding seamstress as she sewed curtains for her room. She and I had quite the laugh about the not so straight fabric from Nigeria. I cleaned and organized the school craft closet. I went for walks with Jess.  Evenings were spent with Jess and Mark talking, laughing and a lot of time just listening. I prayed for each of them daily for the things they need or are facing.

I met their pastor, John. He came to visit that Sunday evening. He shared stories about his family, local legends and a mutual love of horses. Best of all, we prayed for each other. To know that I could be an encouragement to him just by visiting the Spanglers was a blessing bonus for me!

I had to return to the capitol, Yaounde, two days before leaving Cameroon. I was a little (a lot) bummed to leave the family a couple of days early. But God had a great plan for those days. I had the opportunity to have meals with and meet a number of missionaries living and serving there in the city. I also attended church with them that Sunday morning. I sincerely hope that my short time and conversations with each of the couples and families that I met was an encouragement to them as well. I’m certainly praying for each of them and the requests they shared with me.

Words cannot express how thankful I am for God’s calling to this ministry and for the support I’ve had from my family and friends. Thank you so much for believing in God’s work through me! One trip down and so many more to come!

Notable highlights:

  • Flight from Brussels to Yaounde – Cameroonians are some boisterous travelers!
  • Dirt in Cameroon is a rust orange color. Reminded me of my Texas Longhorns!
  • Poinsettias grow like trees! Beautiful!
  • You don’t need a microwave, tv or processed food.
  • You do need locally grown, fresh roasted coffee every day.
  • Flying in a helicopter and a Cessna are really cool ways to travel.

Where to Next?

That is a good question! Several possibilities, West Africa and China, are being prayed over now for early summer. There will hopefully be one or two other team members with me on the next trip as well. Please pray for where the Lord is leading next. And let me know if you know a missionary in the field who could use an encouragement visit!

Future encouragement visits to missionaries in the field are made possible through your financial support. Be an integral part of bringing encouragement to missionaries around the world by supporting the ministry with an ongoing monthly donation. Thank you.