The Eglise Evangelique Lutherienne du Cameroun (EELC) is a growing church and one of our largest partner churches. There are more than 200,000 members in about 1,000 congregations. There are only 90 pastors but the congregations are also served by the EELC's 400 catechists and 500 evangelists.
The EELC is a member denomination of the Joint Christian Ministry in West Africa (JCMWA) which supports evangelism programs amongst the nomadic, cattle-herding Fulbe people in 11 countries. Stuart and Margaret Brown (centre) were ELCIC Missionaries based in Garoua, Cameroon while Stuart served as the General Secretary of JCMWA.
Kelvin Krieger, the Program Coordinator for Mission in the World, visited the Browns in Garoua just before they completed their missionary service and returned to live in Canada in May of 2004. He then traveled the rough roads of Cameroon with EELC driver Jean Paul to other places where the church is at work.
Kelvin's next stop was the Meng School for Catechists and Evangelists near the town of Tibati.
Meng was home for Etienne and Jeanne Fomgbami and family for two years after they returned to Cameroon. The Fomgbami family lived in Canada for three years while Etienne served as the Good News Partner from 2000 to 2003. During one of those years, Jeanne was the International Visitor for the Evangelical Lutheran Women of the ELCI.
The transition to Cameroon culture has been challenging for the family but they are gradually making the adjustment. Returning home is often the most difficult part of being a missionary in another country.
Etienne and Jeanne were employed by the EELC at the Meng School for Catechists and Evangelists. Etienne developed and instructed a new two-year program for evangelists and Jeanne taught Old Testament and French to the wives of the students. Since the EELC does not yet have women pastors, most of the students training for ministry are men.
The EELC's Gaou Bella Hospital is located near Meng. It is one of the many clinics and hospitals that are operated by the Oeuvre de Sante, the health department of the EELC.
The EELC hosts a Partner Church Consultation every two years in Ngaoundere, Cameroon with representatives from the churches in Norway, Finland, the United States and Canada. Kelvin Krieger represented the ELCIC at the 2004 Consultation.
Kelvin met with the EELC President, Rev Dr Thomas Nyiwe, and presented him with a t-shirt from the LWF Assembly held in Winnipeg in 2003. President Nyiwe is a member of the LWF Council and was on the International Planning Committee for the Winnipeg Assembly. At the EELC General Assembly in May 2005, President Nyiwe was re-elected and Etienne Fomgbami was elected as Vice-President.