Jesus is doing big among the Baka
“Big things, big things, Jesus do um for me. He butter my bread and He sugar my tea. Big things, big things, Jesus do um for me!â”
This joyful song is a favorite at a small but growing church in the jungles of Cameroon. Truly, Jesus is doing big things among the Baka! The church anointed Nestor as their first elder. And the following week, in a small waterhole under a canopy of trees, Nestor helped baptize several members of the village.
The Baka and the book of Acts
World Team workers have been discipling Nestor and a several other men from the village who meet on Wednesday afternoons to study God’s word. “Not as many men come as there used to be, but those who come are serious. We’ve been having a great time going through the book of Acts”.
There are great parallels in Acts to the Baka lifestyle. The Apostle Paul’s on-the-go pace may seem unusual to us, but the Baka have no problem identifying with long trips, going from place to place to share the good news, and no permanent home base. For centuries they lived as semi-nomadic hunter-gathers in the forest. But logging, technology, and exposure to outside groups have forced the Baka to change their way of life.
Holistic Church Planting
Our team’s holistic approach to church planting aims at meeting the community’s pressing physical and spiritual needs. Reda is a doctor who helped pioneer the Baka ministry with her husband Phil in 1991. She provides medical care otherwise unavailable in such a remote location – from stitching up a machete cut to easing the pain of an AIDS victim. Phil applied his knowledge of agriculture to test a variety of food crops suitable for the region.
Heidi joined the Baka team in 2010, picking up where Phil left off. She’s passionate about helping people discover sustainable ways of feeding their families. Her hands-on demonstrations include topics like: preparing a field for planting, more efficient means of propagating bananas and plantains, and making compost. Her most recent project is experimenting with building a simple enclosure for chickens using local materials and constructions methods well within reach of any Baka person. These lifestyle improvement projects are helping the community adapt to a more rooted, agriculture-based existence.
All our work here – medical care, agriculture, literacy work – is done in Jesus’ name with a desire to bring lasting change. And lasting change happens when lives are transformed by Jesus and healthy churches reach out in love. That’s why we’re so excited about what God is doing in Nestor’s life. He is a faithful man and demonstrated leader – ready to shoulder more responsibility leading the young Baka church. Pray for Nestor, and his wife and daughter, as they serve the Lord in the village. Pray for the men who study together on Wednesdays. On their own initiative they began visiting a nearby village to share stories about God. Pray for their faithfulness, and for those who hear to believe. These things are possible because untold numbers of people like you have prayed and supported this ministry for more than 20 years. The work has been slow and steady, but like the well-tended seeds of the demonstration garden, the miracle of new life in Christ is being borne out among the Baka. As you pray this week, please remember Nestor and the new brothers and sisters celebrating the sacrament of baptism in Cameroon. Big things, big things, Jesus do um for me!
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