October 2015 Update

This is Cameroon
This is Cameroon


Blake coaching during the girls basketball tournament.  They finished 2nd.
Blake coaching during the girls basketball tournament. They finished 2nd.


Mayo Kids!
Mayo Kids!


We enjoyed a break from school and work last week. These breaks are so valuable for families serving, as the norm can be very busy and exhausting. Libby and Ben returned back to school today (Monday) and Laura and Hannah started back with home school. On that note, home-school is going well so far. The first few weeks had some difficulties but now it seems like the new normal. Hannah is a bright kid who has experienced a lot of changes over the last few years and this has been difficult for her. We are grateful for God’s grace in her life as we see Him working in and through her. All the children are doing well and we are very proud of their efforts in school. We are grateful for your prayers for our children!

We (Blake and Laura) benefited greatly from a break from the norm. Blake finished his New Testament 2 course and basketball season is over. Laura enjoyed her break from teaching although she just began an online continuing education course that allows her to maintain her teaching certificate in the state of Alabama. Speaking of the Internet………Oh Wow!!!! We are now on 2 weeks without any Internet. Thankfully, some of our friends are letting us get online at their house so we can send this update! Please pray that our Internet comes back soon. We have missed Skype calls with family and Laura really needs the Internet for her class.

To close this brief update we would like to ask all of you to continue to pray for us for the following:

  • Spiritual growth and discernment
  • Perseverance.
  • Good health for our family (Ben has a mean cold)
  • More prayer partners and financial partners (more below)
  •  Wisdom regarding our future (more below)

One area of prayer is that God would continue to sustain us financially. For various reasons we have lost some financial partners and it has started to become a strain on our budget. Will you please pray that God will continue to provide all our needs for His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. By God’s grace, we were able to help 5 Cameroonian families send their children to school this September. We want to continue to be able to invest in impactful local ministries and know that God will provide for us. Thanks to all of you who faithfully and sacrificially give. If you have any questions regarding our finances or ministry needs, please ask.


We are asked a lot by our colleagues and friends about our future in Cameroon. At this point we don’t know. We are seeking the Lord about our next steps but are not anxious about it. We are resting in Him and believing that the answers will come. We know that we mentioned this in our newsletter, but please keep praying that we would be sensitive and obedient.

We are praying that the God of all peace will bless each one of you so that together we may see all peoples (nations) worship Jesus.

By His Grace,

Blake and Laura

Our Favorites from the Summer

Here are a few of our favorite photos from the last few months, and the lyrics to a chorus that we have been singing over and over this week.  It is such a good reminder. Thank you for keeping up with our family.

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace”

Coach Mayo before the basketball game.
family on the tree
Family time at the coast
first day of school
First Day back to school
mama jean
Next door at Mama Jean’s fruit stand
We found a swimming hole
ben and blake
ben on beach
Ben in awe of the beauty
han and lib
sisters and friends (most of the time)
Blake and Benjamin
Blake getting to know his new friend Benjamin.
Kids from our summer Bible club
Blake was the speaker for a week long volleyball camp this summer.
walk on the beach
a walk on the beach
learning new songs
Laura explaining a craft at Bible club
at the work site in Bamenda
silly kids
silly kids
lib in tree
An interesting tree
youth night
Parent night at youth group
This beautiful girl lives at the children’s home. She shines for Jesus and just happens to have CP. She has the joy down deep in her heart!

Nineteen Years Ago today…..

Today, July 13, 2015, marks nineteen years since Jesus rescued me from the bondage of death and sin.  I truly experienced 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. (NLT) 

By the grace of God, nineteen years later I’m still proclaiming and showing others the goodness of God which is Jesus Christ.  Even with ALL my sin before Christ and the sin since July 13, 1996 nothing shall separate me from the Love of God which is in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:35-39). 

So today I want to thank God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) for rescuing me from the eternal damnation I deserved, justifying me through His perfect Righteousness and adopting me into His eternal and glorious family.  I would also like to thank God for all the men and women who have encouraged me along the way.  I was a total mess (huge understatement) before I was rescued and needed a lot of teaching, training, correction, love, grace and mercy…..etc.  Even today, I know I can’t do this by myself and God has not left me without faithful brothers and sisters in Christ to disciple me along this journey.

With the Lord’s help I hope to continue to point people to Jesus and share with them the greatness of His goodness.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20 ESV)

19 years ago, during my rookie season with the Yakima Bears, God rescued me, gave me His righteousness, and adopted me into His family.
A family shot from July 4th, 2015 (don’t be fooled by the 2014 shirts)

Short Term Mission Trip to the NW of Cameroon

Last week we had the opportunity to take 10 students from RFIS (Rain Forest International School) to a city in the Northwest Region of Cameroon called Bamenda. During the week our kids worked at a Children’s Home by doing one-on-one tutoring, afternoon VBS, and moving large amounts of dirt at the home’s new construction site.  The family that hosted our team also runs the children’s home and has chosen not to call it an orphanage or refer to the children as orphans.  It makes since because the ‘Home’ has Ma’s and Pa’s, Aunties and Uncles and a lot of children who have been rescued from terrible situations.  It looked like a home and it felt like a home and we were so blessed to serve there. We were also proud of our students and the way they worked and persevered through some long days.  The VBS was led by our students and involved the regular lesson, games, music, crafts, scripture memory.   They also tutored the children 2 mornings and worked really hard at the children’s home new construction site. We moved at least 2 truck loads of dirt using shovels, picks, 10 buckets and 2 wheel-barrels.  It is so cool to watch MKs (missionary kids) serve and be missional (sans parents!) They were so open to serving and building relationships with the kids at the home. We did have some free time and were able to go hiking! Wow, the scenery was breathtaking. I am so happy that our whole family got to go.  The Mayo kids were able to see first hand the aspects of the children’s home and the way that our students jumped in and worked.  This, of course, made it a little more busy for me but I am so thankful to God that He provided the means for all of us to go. Jake and Holly Schilinski are the founders of the Helping Hands Children’s Home.  They are making a huge impact on the lives of the 31 children at the home (and generations to come.)  They also impacted and encouraged our family.  We left with some new friends and hopes to return soon to visit the Schilinski’s and the children at Helping Hands. Below is some information about the Helping Hands Children’s Home.

Win Our Nation’s Helping Hands Orphanage was established in Cameroon in April 2009. It’s located in the beautiful town of Bamenda. In a country with many orphans that are neglected and overlooked, there is a huge need for a compassionate, safe, and Christian environment for them. Of the thousands of orphans in Cameroon, many live in extreme poverty, never having a hope of going to school or to be cared for. Many are forced into child labor and with no hope or a future. Helping Hands Children’s Home is a loving place where orphans are raised with the knowledge of Jesus. Our goal is to equip them with all they need to become a successful adult and a contributing member of the society and the Body of Christ. This is done through schooling, Bible classes, hygiene and nutritional classes, tutoring, sports, an unlimited amount of love and allowing them to just “be a kid”. You can see pictures and updates on their Facebook page Helping Hands Page…or go to http://www.winournations.com to learn more.

and here are some photos from our week there… IMG_3944

Libby hiking to the highest point in Bamenda (9000ft).
Libby hiking to the highest point in Bamenda (9000ft).
Our group and the group from the Children's Home.
Our group and the group from the Children’s Home.
Free Labor.
Free Labor.
Old School Assembly Line.  We loved working along side the teenagers from the Home.
Old School Assembly Line. We loved working along side the teenagers from the Home.
Ben playing with his new friends.
Ben playing with his new friends.
VBS Craft time and Laura is loving it.
VBS Craft time and Laura is loving it.
Sandrine, who has CP, was once called
Sandrine, who has CP, was once called “Worthless” in her village. Praise God for the Schilinski Family who rescued her. When they found her she couldn’t walk. Now she walks and runs!
Onella…So strong and beautiful, and although she has disabilities she overcomes by smiling and encouraging others.
Ben and his new friend (Farawah) enjoy lunch and a fruit drink.
Ben and his new friend (Farawah) enjoy lunch and a fruit drink.
Libby and Jordan (daugher of Jake and Holly)
Libby and Jordan (daugher of Jake and Holly)
Hannah and Bless.  He is FULL of energy!
Hannah and Bless. He is FULL of energy!
Hannah and her Fulani cattle friends.
Hannah and her Fulani cattle friends.
Our family at 9000ft.
Our family at 9000ft.
Laura and Cool Dude Ben.
Laura and Cool Dude Ben.
Yes, my hike was a little more difficult at times but it was worth it.
Yes, my hike was a little more difficult at times but it was worth it.
The whole group at Crater lake which is around 7000ft in elevation.
The whole group at Crater lake which is around 7000ft in elevation.
Blake teaching at VBS about creation.
Blake teaching at VBS about creation.
Ben playing on the walking aid bars.
Ben playing on the walking aid bars.
One bucket of dirt at a time.
One bucket of dirt at a time.

Saying Good-bye….

It’s that time of year again…the time to say good-bye.  Since we work with teenagers, we get the privilege of getting to know (and love) them.  Therefore, when graduation comes around it is bitter-sweet.  These seniors do not just leave for the semester and return for Christmas break like our former students have…many leave the country never to return again.  This is hard on us, but much harder on the students themselves who have made dear friendships and will be indefinitely saying good-bye to their lifelong best friends. It ain’t easy.

So, you can pray for us that God would help us to encourage the students and faithfully keep pointing them to Jesus…who is constant, compassionate, and capable to do exceedingly, abundantly above all they could ever ask or think.

As always…we thank God for friends like you who stand beside our family regardless of the distance or time apart.

We miss you.

Enjoy these recent photos.


the kids love Mandy!
…the kids love Mandy (headed to the States to begin her pursuit of a degree in music!)


Blake and another senior (Ruth) who is headed to England to study.
Blake and another senior (Ruth) who is headed to England to study.


Noelle, who is from Cameroon, will soon be studying in the U.S.
Noelle, who is from Cameroon, will soon be studying in the U.S.


Blake and the Senior Boys.
Blake and the Senior Boys.


This cool graduate, Martine, will be attending  University in the Netherlands...her passport country.
This cool graduate, Martine, will be attending University in the Netherlands…her passport country.


Senior Banquet


Blake sharing about forgiveness at one of our favorite churches.


At the hanger.


Our friend, Humble
Our friend, Humble

He is Able

Just the other day I had a friend remind me of this song.

He is able, more than able
To accomplish what concerns me today
He is able, more than able
To handle anything that comes my way.
He is able, more than able
To do much more than I could ever dream,
He is able, more than able
To make me what He wants me to be

Do you remember this song?  I have been singing it over and over all day today.  I hope the words encourage you like they have me.

Here are a few photos to walk you through what we have been doing over the last month.

As always thank you for keeping up with us!  We are so grateful for your prayers.



We met Emile in Gadsden (over 4 years ago) when he was studying at GSCC. Little did we know, that a few years later we would be living in his country (and city) and getting to know his beautiful wife and new baby girl . This couple is a huge encouragement to us!
Such a little cutie
We even got to attend her baby dedication!
Blake has had more and more opportunities to speak, share his testimony, or lead weeknight Bible studies. This is him and his pastor friend, Prospert, who is helping with translation.
Blake participated in the Labor Day march with our organization…and Gabrielle and Hermann.
My dear friend Sara, that I met in France came to Yaoundé for a visit! She brought her two girls (who were best buddies with Hannah and Libby in France). Sara’s friendship is a real testimony to God’s faithfulness. When I arrived in France I asked God to help me find a friend…Sara was (and still is) the answer to that prayer. We had such a great time catching up.
Sunday night youth group…
Sunday School for the kids
We were honored to participate in sending off a young Cameroonian family to an unreached area of Northern Cameroon. Pray that more Cameroonians will become passionate about reaching the unreached of Cameroon.
A cool group of Cameroonian young people that we met. These kids are supported monthly by both Cameroonians and Europeans. The kids who attend this Club Biblique receive funds for school, clothes, and books.


king fisher 2
This kingfisher hangs out at the soccer field near our home. I am amazed by all the beautiful birds here.
Every Saturday there is a Club Biblique in our neighborhood.
These are Sara’s girls and they got to go to school with our girls during their visit…and Sara brought matching outfits for the first day!


Beautiful Cameroon

Here are a few photos from our normal everyday life here in Yaoundé.  Thank you for keeping up with us!

This is a very typical Cameroonian meal. Le Poisson Braisé (braised fish) with plantains and pepper sauce. Our neighbor brought this to us and it was delicious!
It is mango season! Yum!
During Hannah’s soccer practice
a beautiful plant in our backyard
during church
precious kids from church

IMG_2999 IMG_3003 IMG_3047 IMG_3091 IMG_3095