It is 1:05am in Queens New York as I continue to travail in the jet lag world. These are very small worries, and I thank God that I can work in the quiet of the early morning. It is now in this peaceful time of the morning, after New Year party noises have died down, after my own fatigue has subsided, that my mind reflects on a very busy but productive three weeks in Cameroon. Since sharing everything will be impossible, I would just like to highlight some few moments.
This C-Life trip had a few goals, hire a Country Director, who will create a committed team to lead C-Life Cameroon. Second find a location for C-Life and third getting all the legal documentation for C-Life finalized. These steps will allow C-Life Cameroon to begin recruiting young leaders for the program.
We praise the Lord because we hired a country Director, his name is Eyong Tabe Raymond. He comes to us with close to 30 years of experience in the public sector and the Church. We will feature more about him soon. We also hired an Accountant Ebuh Randy and Communications Director Tchemty OzongAshu on a part time basis until July which is when we will provide them a more permanent contract.
Before I left, we had a one day on-boarding training with the team, where I shared the detail C-Life vision including, C-Life values and culture as well as performance expectations. This training allowed us to share a meal as a team as we got to know each other.
We thank God that we have finished our article of association and Bylaws for C-Life Cameroon and it is under review and should be ready for the first official board meeting for C-Life Cameroon at the end of January. This meeting will kick-off our legal registration process.
Unfortunately we were not able to secure a location yet, but this is top priority for the country Director and his team as the weeks go by. We were able to see several different apartment options, which will meet our specifications but did not necessarily meet our timing for availability. So that in itself was encouraging.
Two highlights make the top of my reflections. The first one was an invitation to speak on servant leadership at the nation’s capital Yaoundé, at the prestigious school of public affairs and international relations called IRIC. This was an event organized by a nonprofit lead by Fidele Djebba called Rayon de soleil (Translation: Ray of light). This organization focuses on empowering women, through leadership, civic responsibility and community development. I trained 200 women from across the entire country, on servant leadership.
The audience also included some facilitators from the university and other civic groups. It is hard to put in words the whole experience, but I can sum this up with one word “Hope”. These young ladies gave me hope for the future of Cameroon. Their drive, hunger for change and desire to be a part of the solution was extremely motivating.
The complement I received the most about the talk, was my ability to interact on a personal level with them as well as how I blended my faith with my teaching on servant leadership. It was just another confirmation that faith in the market square is something Cameroonian youth are wanting more of.
My last highlight was at 4:30am at the national radio station called CRTV. I was on a 5:00am program called Morning Safari with host Francis Ateh and Becky Tchonko. Our topic was leadership in Africa, how appropriate! I was joined on the show by a Harvard grad, Cameroon national called Peter Ngu Tayong, he runs a cross discipline leadership center and speaks and teaches around the country on leadership. This show is heard daily by over 2 million people. We received several emails and hits on our C-Life website because people heard the radio program.
Click here to listen to the full Morning Safari episode on African Leadership and enjoy at the beginning of the show an African rendition of the Christmas classic “Drummer boy”.
I cannot thank you enough for your prayers and financial support and commitment to C-Life. This 2016 is our official roll-out year. We countdown to September 2016 where we will have our living facility with at least 30 young leaders committed to the journey of lifestyle leadership development. It is after this time, that we will report to you real stories of life change and impact happening through the hands and feet of our young leaders. It will be at this time when our young leaders will not only be learning but they will have the opportunity to take the message of servant leadership and work as worship all around the country, from primary schools, middle schools, high schools and the marketplace. We believe you will have a front row seat as you participate in how God can transform a nation one leader at a time for the glory of His name, the good of His people and the advancement of the gospel.
I close with words said by Paul in 1 Thes 1:5-7, which I want to be the testimony of our work in Cameroon and in Africa as a whole.
“5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power… 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia [Buea, Cameroon and Africa]”.