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BFL/CADAC Newsletter from Ernest Ehabe here is your  Bread For Life/CADAC Fall 2015 Newsletter from Ernest Ehabe
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What we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders He has done, Ps 78:3-4.

Young people present an incredible mission field! Author, Gerald Kelly explains that the future belongs to those who are presently young: “This is a truism to end all truisms. When we think about the future, we often fall into the trap of projecting our own experience forward and of assuming that the concerns of our own day and generation will remain the concerns of tomorrow. The reality couldn’t be more different and it is essential that our focus shift to those who will both shape and inherit tomorrow; the next generation.” He challenges the church to reevaluate and prioritize the young in four ways:
  • Reevaluating our budgets - how much money is allocated that actually meets the needs of Gen X and Millennial generations.
  • Reevaluating our strategies – how many of our strategic decisions are targeted towards these youth and include them in the process.
  • Reevaluating our use of time – how much of our time in terms of thinking, activity, study and work deals with the rising generation.
  • Reevaluating our trust – when is the last time we took a risk and trusted a younger person to take on responsibility?
In the last twenty years, as I have been rethinking the foundation of church-based activity and seeking to understand how together we might revolutionize life across our continent, it has become very clear to me that as a ministry, we MUST prioritize the young.  Several studies have shown that most people who trust Jesus as their savior do so before the age of 15. Studies also show that a child’s moral development is set by the age of 9. I became a Christian at the age of 13. Most of the memory verses I know today were at that age! What a difference that early decision and formation made for me.

The Roman Catholics have a saying, “if you give me a child at the age of 7, he will be a Catholic the rest of his life.” Can you image what the world would look like if we reach them at an early age, before the years when they will say, I have no pleasure in this (Eccl 12:1).

In the last few years, I have made an intentional and deliberate effort to build in such a way that the young are prioritized. Everything we do - from our ministry bases to new church plants, the young would be prioritized.

Unfortunately, in our part of the world, because of limited resources and lack of visionary leadership, churches are not built with the young in mind. I recently had a lengthy discussion about this subject with two pastors of two BFL related church plants who have just secured land for their churches and are trusting the Lord to build. I shared with them about the need of prioritizing the young and encouraged them to build in such a way that the young are included. They both agreed! Will you join us as we prioritize the young and position the next generation to make a difference?

Thank you for your faithful partnership in delivering the unchanging message of God to a rapidly changing continent through words and practical demonstrations.
    
        Together in prioritizing the young,

        Ernest Ehabe
Somehow I managed to find myself at the University of Innsbruck, Austria doing a Masters in Peace, Development, Security and International Conflict Transformation. While on this journey my perspective on life was completely transformed. I started being more empathetic towards others and the need to contribute in developing my immediate environment started building up within me.

I first contacted “Uncle” Ernest Ehabe while finishing my internship in Nairobi Kenya and he was gracious enough to grant me an interview as soon as I returned to Cameroon. I moved on to work as the Director for Community Development and Events with CADAC (Community Awareness & Development Association –CADAC. A subsidiary of BFL that focuses on community awareness & development).

If you have worked with “Uncle” Ernest you definitely will understand he is full of interesting ideas and always seeking new ways to reach out to more people. He shared his vision and passion for the Ray of Hope Community Center and his desire to build a place where young people could come and develop themselves; like a youth lab. At the close of my time with CADAC/BFL in Yaoundé, as usual I went to Uncle Ernest to share with him what I intended to do after my time there. I had shared my desire to start an afterschool program. He was so excited about it and shared how this was in line with the Ray of Hope Community Center programs. He offered support on what direction the program could take and immediately pledged to bear all financial costs. He was and still is the number one supporter of this project; visiting every time he is in the South West Region, encouraging and motivating me and all volunteers working on the project. He loves the children and you can see how his face brightens when he visits them and plays and talks with them.

The After School Program (ASP) was officially started in September 2012 in two schools with over 120 pupils. It was structured to provide learning opportunities that support the cognitive, social, spiritual and emotional needs of the most vulnerable children in our communities - especially from government primary schools in Cameroon who were dyslexic, from poor families or simply those whose families’ thought were a hopeless cases. In working with these groups of children, we realized how difficult some of their lives were; having to live far from family and those they trust, taken to serve as domestic servants in the hope that their mistresses will educate them. Some went without food, without books, without shoes. Most of the students we worked with could barely read or write which explained why both their guardians and teachers had lost hope in them. They were often abused physically and emotionally.

The stories of these children soon became a great thesis topic for my M.A in Peace, Development and Conflict studies. I finally did write a thesis on Creating Safe Learning Environment in Schools. This put together the perspectives of students and teachers on what safety means to them, what makes them unsafe and how we can create a safe environment in schools. To do this, I organized a training workshop with over 52 head teachers and about 14 teachers in the South West Region exploring the need for a safe environment in their schools where both the needs of the student and teacher are met. It was through these workshops that teachers and head teachers were empowered with the tools they need to create safe learning environments in their schools where empathy thrives. I believe this is an area that needs more work because it deals with a complete change in perspectives and some teachers just do not buy it instead they believe that if a child is slow academically the whip will help them sit up. Our desire has always been to correct this mentality and we are pleased that the schools that host our ASP have learned from the way we treat the pupils and very slowly these schools are becoming safe environments for their students. As we continue to expand, our hope is that we will affect positive change in all the schools that partner with us.

The successes we have recorded since our creation are enormous. The first year only all our students who could barely read or write recognizable words passed the Government Common Entrance Exams into secondary schools. We visited parents who were having second thoughts sending their children to secondary school and made them see the importance of education and over 10 students who were due to stop school were encouraged to enroll for their entrance exams which they all passed in flying colors. We continue to register huge successes in end of year exams and working closely with parents and guardians to provide the best opportunities for their children. Children who were timid and would not talk in public began participating in class; answering questions and talking in front of the whole class. As our program expands so are the success stories. 
Many poor families have come to count on BFL and CADAC to provide quality backpacks and school supplies. We believe passionately that each child should receive the dignity of carrying their own backpack and school supplies.

Your support of our “Bags To School Support Program” makes it possible for us to provide backpacks and supplies to kids across our region. It also ensures that every child has as an opportunity to hear the good news! Last year, we were blessed with partnerships that enabled us distribute 8,000 bags to the poorest of the poor. Send us an email and we will send you info on how you can be part of this opportunity to bless families.
From our inception 20 years ago, we have shared a burden for reaching the young. Most of our early outreaches in Cameroon were at various university campuses as well as in secondary and high schools, where our outreaches focused on abstinence education, HIV/AIDS awareness and evangelistic crusades. Although we were burdened for younger kids, we did not have the know-how and we did not have the resources and individuals who could take on and run with that kind of ministry. That changed in 2011.

In 2011 while visiting Cameroon, Paul and Mary noticed the lack of children’s program and launched one at our Guest house for kids in the community, this, with the help of Patrick Gaughan who has supported it by providing snacks for children at every meeting and personally participating when he is in the country. Donald was one of the first to volunteer. He was 16 and in high school. Donald found something to do and has volunteered faithfully and consistently without any kind of pay. We recently began giving him a small stipend to cover his taxi to school and as a way of encouraging him.

Amazingly, Donald Acha was born in 1995, the year BFL was founded. He was born into a polygamous family (his father had several wives) with several brothers and sister! He surrendered his life to Jesus in 2009 at the age of 14.

 
GRACE TAITE SHELTER: im and Sara Born, took over Grace Tait Orphanage over a year ago and have provided great leadership there, BFL is still serving as a conduit in channeling resources to this Orphanage. The Borns are presently traveling across the USA and will be glad to connect with those who have supported this orphanage in the past or those who would like to become new supporters. Go to: www.hopefilledfutures.org to connect with them.

CONNECTING WITH CHURCH/COMMUNITY LEADERS & BUSINESS OWNERS: It is our desire to spread our vision to other church bodies and to the Business Community. A word of introduction/endorsement from you goes a long way in opening doors.
 
SPECIAL ED/NEEDS EDUCATOR: There are ministry opportunities for people with special education backgrounds such as speech and ABA therapists. We are looking for individuals who will commit to serving for at least 6 months. Please pray about coming to serve as or sponsoring a specialized educator to work with special needs children in Cameroon.
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