KRB Update #2210 – Cameroon 2017
Keith R. Brinkman with Mercy Ships 03 October 2015
‘Salama’ from the Africa Mercy here in Madagascar. We have exciting news as seen in the title ‘Cameroon 2017’ that I wish to share with you. Nearly three years ago, Pierre Christ, our Government Liaison, began faithfully pursuing new relationships in Cameroon in hopes of facilitating a future ship visit. Since then, two delegations from Cameroon have visited the ship and another two Mercy Ships delegations have visited Cameroon. I was with the delegation in March 2014 when Pierre and I traveled to Yaoundé, Cameroon. In order to facilitate a ship visit, we need to have a signed protocol with the host government. Recently my friends, Harmen and Andrea, went to Cameroon to help with the final stage of protocol negotiations. Then our Group Managing Director Donovan Palmer and Pierre arrived in Cameroon and were able to sign a protocol and committed to work towards a field service for the Africa Mercy there in 2017-2018.
A quote from Donovan, “At the heart of the agreement is a deep desire in the Cameroonian government to partner with Mercy Ships – to treat as many people as possible and offer capacity building projects as well. In the coming weeks, we will negotiate and sign a secondary agreement called an ‘Accord de Siégé,’ which we hope to complete by mid-November. This agreement will pave the way for assessment teams to conduct research and address issues to be resolved with the government. We have been invited to come in 2017 in order to allow adequate preparation time for the programs envisioned. In the meantime, our proposals include capacity building programs that will begin before the arrival of the ship, enabling us to fully leverage the ship’s visit.”
If you can read French, here is a link to the article on the internet: http://www.cameroon-info.net/stories/0,68059,@,cameroun-sante-un-navire-hopital-de-l-ong-americaine-mercy-ships-bientot-au-came.html
For me, I am excited for this new country with a large population, people who are bilingual as it is French/English, which will help me with communications. I have learned more about Cameroon from recent friends with a Christian missionary organization who have served there many years. I may be on one of the assessment trips, but that has not been determined yet. Now you may ask “ok that is 2017, what about 2016?”, our leaders are still making a final decision and I will let you know when we know.
Back here in Madagascar, the first new patient I have connected with is Patrick and he comes from Taolagnaro. He is in his 40’s and a father of four. His work is riding his bike village to village selling used clothes. He borrowed money for a surgery but it was not successful. So he has continued to pray for three years for his healing from a maxillofacial tumor. He heard the announcement on the radio in his local dialect about the patient selection. He was screened by our team, accepted and made the four day bus journey to get here. He is a catholic man and so thankful to God for his healing. His surgery and recovery has gone so well that he will be able to return home to his family and community soon.
Just yesterday I met three young boys with cleft lips, all from Manakara. A bit shy and not accustomed to foreign people, but it didn’t take long to be doing fist bump. They will have surgery next week. I will be visiting them and their parents especially while they are with us on board in our hospital.
Photo: Patrick on the left in the red coat and Hermann was translating for me – he is in the middle. We are at the HOPE Center for Sunday worship.
Together we are following the example of Jesus bringing hope and healing to the world’s forgotten poor.