Philip Nelson works with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cameroon and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Central African Republic. June Nelson is a nurse in the Pan African Academy of Christian Surgeon’s clinic. To support the Nelsons, or another of the ELCA’s nearly 250 missionaries, go to www.elca.org/missionarysponsorship.
This last weekend was very exciting for me. We brought a group of Imaniiya here to Ngaoundéré to two of the church services on Sunday. The church members got a chance to see and meet the Fulani people that are coming to believe, even with the persecution that they have been through recently.
At night a group came over to my house and three of them asked to be baptized. They asked to do this at night because they wished to do this in secret. I am not a pastor so we called Pastor Abdulaye Jean, who is a chaplain at the Hospital here, to perform the baptism. I will give them English sounding names to protect their identity.
Sally is a beautiful young woman of 17 has been going to high school here in Ngaoundéré. She will be staying with a Fulani family in Ngaoundéré, who are Christians. One of the wonderful things about this group of Imaniiya is that, even though they come from a Muslim tradition, they worship with their women giving them voice in their worship.
Adam, 36, has lost his cattle due to the persecution he has suffered since starting to follow Jesus that he went through. He led the singing of the group and loves to make up songs to express his faith. He will be returning to his village as a child of God.
Abner, 33, has been with the group in Gomana for several years and has joined the children in town to learn to read and write in French. He is being taught by the son of the village chief.
On the south side of our house here is a rose bush that is blooming right now. The smiles on the faces of those baptized reminded me of the blooms that are just opening now full and beautiful, infectious both in radiance and warmth. God is wonderful; please pray for these people as they go back to their village and take up their changed lives.
on August 26th, 2011 at 3:37 pm
Thank you for sharing the courage of Sally, Adam, and Abner. They are new members of my understanding of Hebrews 12:1-2.
Your story reminds me of two other Bible passages. Like Adam, Paul in Acts 16:22-24 had suffered for his faith, but in Acts 22:23-29 Paul avoided a flogging by revealing his Roman citizenship, and with you, Adam was baptized at night in secret for greater safety.
Years ago my young daughter’s question, “Why does it get night?” evoked an astronomical answer, but later I found a theological explanation in Psalm 104:20. Now I could add to it that sometimes night allows people to live their faith in less threatening circumstances.
Blessings to you in your ministry.