News from Cameroon
Editor’s note: OSL sponsors Elisabeth Johnson, an ELCA pastor who serves as a seminary professor at the Lutheran Institute of Theology in Meiganga, Cameroon. This is excerpted from Elisabeth’s blog, camerooniangrace .
The 2016-2017 academic year finished well. Thirty students graduated from the special program to train evangelists as pastors at the Bible school at Meng (250 km west of Meiganga). Here in Meiganga, nine students graduated with the “licence” degree (equivalent to a bachelor’s degree), and one student with a master’s degree. Four of these students were already ordained pastors who returned to the Institute for further study and now return to their ministries. The rest of the graduates have started two years of internship, which is required before being approved for ordination.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cameroon held its biannual Synode Général (churchwide assembly) in late June in Poli, in the northwest region of Cameroon. Bishop Ruben Ngozo was elected to a second four-year term as national bishop, and Pr. Adolph Tellesam to a second term as assistant to the national bishop.
My colleague Anne Langdji (ELCA Global Mission regional representative for West/Central Africa and Madagascar) and I attended the synod for only a day because of security concerns in the region. Even though the time was short, we were able to meet with the women pastors in the EELC. They are planning a spiritual retreat for women pastors, with generous aid from the Manitoba/Northern Ontario Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. It has been only five years since the first women were ordained in the EELC and, like all pioneers, they face many challenges. So we are looking forward to a time of mutual encouragement at the retreat in January.
On July 30, Rachel Asta (a recent student at the Institute), was ordained as a pastor in the EELC, the 11th woman to be ordained. I had the honor and joy of participating in that ordination service.
We are now preparing for a new academic year at the Lutheran Institute of Theology. It is always good to see returning students again and get to know the new students. I look forward to another year of teaching, learning, and enriching conversation with students and colleagues!
I am so very grateful for your faithful support of this work and for your prayers. At this time of transition, I would like to ask you to pray especially for my family, for the safe return of students to the Institute, and for a faithful and fruitful academic year.
God’s richest blessings to you all!
+ Grace and peace +
Photos, from top: Graduates at Meng; graduates at Meiganga; women pastors of the EELC; ordination of Rachel Asta.