Q : In 1962, someone said: « Africa got off to a bad start ». Someone replied : « Really? I’ve not even seen her move ». No one can deny the evidence. Africa is not ok. Something is terribly going wrong in Africa.
I cry for Cameroon. My heart aches for Gabon. How long Africa are you going to keep hitting the headlines with your complicated stories? We are better than this. Why are we always swallowing shame with rivalries, tribalism, murders etc. We are fed up.
We want our kids to get good education. We want our parents to be well taken care of in our hospitals. We want running water in our houses. We want electricity 24/7. We are not asking for much. We just want to be able to live and breathe. We are frustrated.
What should be done for this to become our reality? Where is change going to come from? How should we react?
I have faithfully followed, listened, watched American, European and African broadcasting network. I have suscribed to online and hardpaper newspapers from the West and from Africa. I have listened, participated, watched endless debates and comments on Facebook and social medias. I was left empty and tired. Most of the debates got so hot that the panelist ended up physically hitting each other. And me, I still didn’t know the way to go.
I’ve had numerous private discussions with people touched by or involved in the conflicts. Some of their solutions were so radical that I started to fear for the survival of even their own family. I was just silently hoping they were not really thinking what they were telling me. I still didn’t know which one to follow: the government or the separatist?
I prayed for days about it. And I asked God to lead me. One morning, during my prayer time, a Bible verse came to my mind: Jeremiah 29:7.
The Israelites, God’s own people, God’s own tribe as we would say in my village, had been taken captive from their country to Babylon. The Babylonian king was not the best example of a democratic leader. the Israelites were maltreated, despised and forced to be the slaves of the Great Babylonian king. Desperate and crushed by what they were living every day, they called the prophet Jeremiah. Looking at their previous attempts to rebel against the king of Babylon, I would not be surprised if they were secretly hoping that Jeremiah, the prophet of God, would deliver them a message of hope and deliverance and predict they would very soon go back to Israel, their country. But against all expectations, Jeremiah the prophet delivered the exact opposite message. He told them: seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. “Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” In other terms, forget about your desires of revenge. Y’all stay here, build houses, buy land. Make this place a paradise for you and for your children.
Gasp ! Make this place a paradise for you and for your kids, I understand it to mean spread love. Spread love everywhere. Spread it to the one who deserve it, spread it to the ones who don’t. Is God serious? How can he ask me to pray and work for the prosperity of a land that oppresses me?!
That’s not what I would do. I’d rather apply the lex talionis here. Such a land should be destroyed and forgotten. Out of our memories forever.
But sometimes we forget God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not always our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). Something that seems more than logical for us could be absolute foolishness to Him. Of course, I’m not urging you to be passive. I’m not asking you to fight against poverty or looking for a brighter future. I’m not saying God hates people who vote according to their convictions whatever they might be. I’m not saying we should clap when injustice and horror surround us. That’s definitely not what I am saying.
Hear me well. My intention is not to tell you who is right and who is wrong in the crisis in Cameroon and in the challenges Gabon is going through. I guess you might even already have your opinion on the matter. So no thank you, I will not dive into that.
My intention with this post is to remind you who you are, who I am, who I am. There is a song we like to sing in Africa by Sinach: I know who I am . We are a generation chosen by God to shine His light, to show the world how excellent He is, how love He is. We have another identity. We are not anglophone. We are not francophone. We are not pro-Ali Bongo. We are not pro-Jean Ping. We are the light of the world.
When church leaders get themselves tangled up into tribal fights, internecine rivalry or leadership conflicts, what are we offering to the world looking at us? When they see us divided and parting ways, insulting each other, what kind of gospel are we showing to the world? They are only left with the option of dropping sad comments on our pages : “hey, I thought y’all were preachers! How come you are behaving just like us?”
And me, I reply, not me but Christ, if the salt looses its savor, how can it be made salty again? Mat 5:13
God has our best interests at heart. God wants our prosperity. God wants integrity and honesty to be core values among us. You will be surprised but God actually is a God who like revolution. And He has given us the ultimate weapon for that revolution: prayer. Pray according to His will. Pray for your land. Pray for His blessing upon your land. Pray for Him to intervene and bless. Not necessarily use your double-barreled shotgun or your bladed weapon or inflamatory arrows shot on social medias. No. Not that. That is not God’s revolution.
In quietness and confidence is your strength Isaiah 30:15. In the quietness of your war room. In the quietness of your prayer nights. In the quietness of your bible studies. In quietness and confidence is our strength.
Let’s pray for Cameroon. Let’s pray for peace in Cameroon. Let’s pray for prosperity in Cameroon. Let’s pray for Gabon. Let’s pray for prosperity in Gabon. Let’s pray for Africa. Let’s pray.
I have chosen my revolution: Jeremiah 29:7.
May God bless you!
Bintou Peterson is a physician trained in Cameroon and studying to become a missionary ophthalmologist. She has a passion for Christ and dedicates her free time to train and encourage the younger generation to study the Scriptures. She is a writer, a blogger and a songwriter. She is married and a mom of a little miracle baby. To know more about Rob and Bintou Peterson ministry, check this link.
Photo ville Africaine par la collaboration gracieuse de Ariel Ada .
Photo femme Africaine par nappy, pexel.com
This post is also available in: Français (French)