Cameroon is frequently called the “hinge of Africa” because of its central location and frequent volcanic activity. Slightly larger than California, Cameroon is in Western Africa and shares borders with Nigeria, Chad, Central Africa Republic, Congo, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
In a country with oil reserves and farmland to foster economic development more than other African countries, unemployment and poverty are still high. However by God’s grace, a favorable climate and vast farmland provide plenty of food.
There is much need for the continuing education of our National Pastors, so they can strengthen our Lutheran Church of Cameroon (LCC) members, “to prepare God’s people for works of service” (Ephesians 4:12). Each quarter, LCC pastors are brought together for short courses, for the deepening their understanding of the scriptures and to better unite practice to doctrine. An additional objective of WELS ministry is the training of men to serve as future pastors in the LCC.
The field is ripe in Cameroon – Lutherans here recognize the need for growth of faith and understanding of what it means to be an independent church body. The thought of being their own church body has gotten the attention of the leaders in the Lutheran Church of Cameroon, but that does not mean we avoid the growing pains as they begin to strike out with their own plans for the future. Because of the hard work of previous missionaries and Kingdom Worker volunteers, there is a core group committed to the truth of Scripture. Pastor Kroll arrived on field June of 2014, with his family following in September. He spent his first year becoming familiar with Cameroon culture, visiting churches and getting to know the pastors. His focus then shifted to the continuing education of national pastors and the development of a worker-training program, to ensure the future availability of qualified pastors. Due to various reasons, the LCC has not trained any new pastors since 1999. This is an exciting time for the LCC as they recently started (September of 2017) the second year of pre-Seminary (Bible Institute studies) with 11 students. Pastor Mesue Isreal puts much effort in his role as the Dean of Students, living on campus and working closely with the students to develop proper pastoral attitudes and behaviors. Pastor Isreal works together with Pastor Kroll as the second teacher and works to develop a locally sustainable worker-training program. Please keep the Lutheran Church of Cameroon in your prayers.
In those prayers, join us in thanksgiving as we celebrate the coming of our new missionary – Rev. Jeff Heitsch, together with his wife Stephanie. Pastor and Mrs. Heitsch will live in Bamenda and help our congregations there to better understand what they can do to grow in their relationship with the Lord. Pastor and Mrs. Heitsch will also provide some support to the Krolls – fellowship has been a challenge for them as the only resident missionaries in Western Africa. Krolls will also find support in their role as advisors to the Lutheran Church of Cameroon as the Heitsches can voice a second opinion on synodical administrative matters for the Lutheran Church of Cameroon.
Pastor Heitsch will be coordinating all of WELS work to the two Synods in Nigeria. It will be a true team effort, since the Nigeria work will involve several 2-3 week visits per year with plenty of administrative work in the background. In either country, the Heitsches will serve the Lord and see the blessings as He sees fit.
Baptized national members: 640
Number of congregations: 31
National pastors: 8
Pre-seminary students: 13
Certified Assistants: 12
Preaching stations: 2