Regional liaison for Central Africa calls for compassion
by Darla Carter | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE — People looking to gain insight into the human suffering taking place in Cameroon can register to view a free webinar that will be presented at noon Eastern Time Wednesday by various ministries of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
The Jan. 22 webinar, “Cameroon: An Update from the Ground,” will feature several speakers, including the Rt. Rev. Fonki Samuel Forba, moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Cameroon, and Jeff Boyd, regional liaison for Central Africa for Presbyterian World Mission.
Viewers will learn how the PC(USA) is striving to support the work of partners ministering to people in the central African nation as armed conflict and economic hardships take a toll on the Anglophone regions of Cameroon, Boyd said.
“PC(USA) has many church members who have origins in Cameroon and they are feeling great pain as they hear reports of family members being killed or hurt and home villages being burned or destroyed,” Boyd said in an email.
“Heightened violence and oppression in the Anglophone regions are in their fourth year, with thousands dead, and hundreds of thousands displaced,” he continued. “Schools remained closed with hundreds of thousands of students missing vital years for their educational development. Even so, the crisis is hardly recognized by the international community. … Kidnappings are taking place with greater frequency.”
During the webinar, Valéry Nodem, associate for international hunger issues for the Presbyterian Hunger Program, will discuss root causes of the conflict in the country.
“I hope people will tune in to this webinar because the crisis in Cameroon has a devastating impact on people and the economy but yet is very underreported,” Nodem said in an email.
The webinar is sponsored by the Office of Public Witness, the Presbyterian Hunger Program and Presbyterian World Mission.
In addition to Boyd and Nodem, the speakers will include Rev. Debbie Braaksma, Africa Area coordinator for Presbyterian World Mission. The moderator will be Catherine Gordon, representative for international issues at the Office of Public Witness.
The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, issued a call to prayer for Cameroon last year, inviting all Presbyterians to join him in praying for justice, peace, and security for the people.
By bringing further attention to the situation through the webinar, Boyd said he hopes that people will remember “we are all part of the same body of Christ and when one member hurts, our shared pain should move us to compassion.”
To learn more about the webinar and register, go here.
You can contribute to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance’s support for Cameroonian refugees through gifts to account DR000168. Please designate your gift for “Humanitarian Assistance Cameroon.”
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