From the Director: Stepping Back but Stepping Forward

Back to School Compassion Project: We raised funds and helped deliver school uniforms so these kids could attend school.

Back to School Compassion Project: We raised funds and helped deliver school uniforms so these kids could attend school #PraiseGod.

It is the broken moments when our eyes must look to Jesus most and understand the Father’s sovereignty in all things. After nearly a full year of coordination with community leaders, several assessments, receiving paperwork to move forward from a local municipality, it has become starkly clear that relocation to Titanyen is infeasible. This decision was made in large part due to the uncertainty in land rights/land conflict and difficulties in bringing water and electricity to a large group of people. Some back story on the land rights issue: We were originally told that land was ‘free for earthquake victims,’ only to learn that a formalized association sought to lease the land for those who desired to move there. This did not seem problematic at first because of the relationship building that had been fostered and a sense of mutual partnership. However, a competing group emerged and it was uncertain how/if they would also require a similar tax in order to inhabit Titanyen. At the discovery of this other group, it became eye-opening clear just how vital legal paperwork to the land would be in order to ensure that Capvva residents could have a certain future wherever they ended up.

And so we begin anew on the relocation journey, sadly but joyfully because I feel that we continue to step through in a way that God is sovereignly designing. Clemson Saint-fleur, our relocation manager, has begun the next steps in searching out land and the legal process that goes with it. He has found some prospects and we are just taking it step-by-step to ensure land being offered for sale is indeed owned by those selling.

But Titanyen will not be forgotten. A significant portion of the population of Capvva chose to move there, despite the inherent challenges. James Dorzil, our spiritual mobilizer, had previously been working diligently to set up a Christian community there and intends to keep at it. He is setting up a tent-like structure there to live and will keep us informed of spiritual growth there. We will keep in prayer how to continue to journey alongside Titanyen for the long term.

Even as Capvva’s relocation opportunities are back to square one, we have continue to try to uplift them through empowerment and compassion activities. We recently helped purchase and distribute 90 school uniforms so that children in Capvva can officially enroll in school.

Jean Wadson Delvar, our community manager, is leading the charge on a jewelry program that will train a group of Capvva members to make jewelry. Once the training is complete, we intend to equip those in this program with a micro-loan to start up a collective jewelry operation to sell in the local market and in the U.S.

This past month we saw the birth of JTJ Cameroon officially launch. There is a group there with a similar heart to those of us who have formed in the U.S. and they want to help their people in both empowerment and spiritual uplifting. They are doing this without any type of compensation and as their vision/programs develop, we hope to be able to find donors to support their efforts. Please pray as this develops.

Lastly, I have been praying fervently for praying for victims of the typhoon in Philippines. ‘How can we help, Lord?’ Right now, there is a lot of aid flowing in and certainly we can pitch in to that, but I think it is a best fit for us to seek the Lord’s hand in finding a community, much like Capvva, that may need us to walk alongside them after the rush of aid ends. Pray on this with me.

The Journey before us is not perfect, nor will it ever be because of the brokenness of our world. But I am thankful that God continues to bring us forward one step at a time.

Our prayer to God: Lord, it is Your plan, not ours in all things. We bow to You as You shape the journey. Allow us to drink from Your cup to find renewed strength for the path ahead. We are seeking to help and heal the world through You. Let others see that in us and find passion to connect to You as the vine. Your glory, not our Lord – may You shine in all our endeavors. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Prayers on the journey,