I have come with Stories to tell.

The year is almost a month old friends! Somewhere in Asia, where I live. My husband and I took up our family ritual of seeking the Lord in the first 21 days of the month of January (beginning from Jan 2nd)… and yea by the grace of God, we made it through. Amen

But I’ve got to tell you that the Lord has been overly merciful towards us. This is 2019 starting off with a lot of testimonies and so I must let you in.

Taking it up from the very beginning, I have been married for 5 years….Wait a minute, I can hardly believe it….so it’s been a good half a decade years, from Jan 10th 2014, since my dear Husband and Lord, took custody of me…My God! there is a lot I have learned in these five years…That I am planning to put together in another write up.

My Best Friend, Bob.

And then, my older brother in the US got some documentation which have been pending for a while…..Yaaay. We are grateful to God for the victory

Then, it is my baby sister twinny’s turn for a grand seat on the FAVOUR Table. She got a scholarship to study for her Masters at a University in the UK. Yup yup! It had been a whole 15 months or so of waiting, trying and retrying….and then, voila! the package was delivered in its freshest form. Wow!

Next up, my pair of mums….Mommy and her twin sister turn 60 years old…. My daughter’s grandma is getting so younger….hahaha!!…Like where did time go though? Wow! God of Awesome wonder, you have kept them both in great health and wealth.

Happy 60th to Mom & Auntie

And then right back in my hub in China, we have another chance to keep serving at our current company. Another opportunity to put the ability of the Spirit in us to the service table, an occasion to put wits to paper. While we are at it, I just completed an online course called ITTT ( International TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) Teachers Training). It was a challenging 6 months plus of pressing towards the mark of completion. Besides being qualified to teach English as a foreign language, enormous benefits accrue.

Another Qualification

What’s more? I had a first shooting today (Jan 26th) for a project I must kick start this 2019… It is my YouTube Channel… Whoot! I have stopped myself from doing this, for so long, but I guess it is about time. Be sure that I will be dropping the full details of my intended YouTube journey soon, on this platform

Hmm is there anything else I left out?….. Don’t think so.

Keep a warm heart and take care of yourselves. I love you

Cynthia

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How we Roll in Asia

Hello Lovelies! Happy New year 2019…. It is our year of Lights and also a year of Glory… Praise God.It is starting up great for me here in China, as we prepare for a typical Chinese New Year holiday which is a whole week in February(4-8).
I must say living in Asia takes a toll on my church involvement and walk with the Lord….Reason,I have got to be very intentional in ensuring I stood well, lest I fall. By government rule, we are not allowed to wear our Christianity on our sleeves….Kind of “Do not let your light shine before men(locals)lest you brainwash our people with your culture.” End of discussion for now!

Now to something else, one of the many Universities in my city, is home to a handful of African medical students on a 6 year study adventure. Every now and then, we host them at our home….If we are not singing African songs, we are swallowing African fufu or just lifting up HIS name. In the euphoria of this togetherness,we have Cameroonians, Zambians, Tanzanians, Rwandans, Zimbabweans, a South Sudanese and then an Indian guy joined us on two occasions.Even if we just want to feel free with each other and share some cultural similarities, that is perfectly ok….Going a whole evening without saying “Ni hao”(Chinese greeting) is way to go, reminding you you are not alone in this land.

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The rub off Hub

Did I mention how we spent their lecture filled 2018 Christmas Day? A bunch of them honoured the dinner invitation I sent out. They began trooping into our home from 18:00 till it was 21:00ish. We had soooo much fun. We ate, spoke and danced. Each one came out of their cocoon.

many of us

Hey People!


During one occasion, we decided to celebrate our nations and ask the Father to heal our Fatherlands. Verily I say unto you, how good and pleasant it is when Africans dwell together in awesome fellowship and friendship!
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Heal our Land, Father!

Beyond my Lipstick and Jeans

I dress up, step out,  looking all radiant and jovial. I had just braided my hair the African style and wore make up the way I learnt from a tutorial video I watched. Almost everyone I met exclaimed, “you hair is so pretty,” especially the Chinese locals. They had never seen “Expression” hairpiece braided into cornrows. Yes! I am happy and have everything all put together in my life. You would admire me at first glance and envy me at closer range but the secret of champions is in their stories. There is a whole experience at the backstage and that is what you do not see. Everyone has nakedness oh, we are just using different fabric to hide it. Yea, while you are using size 16 Louis Vuitton jean pants to cover yours, I may be using an Uncle Neba tailor(he sews for me)African print dress to conceal mine. We all have issues but we are all marvelously helped by God. What’s important is, we are all covering the backstage properly. Now, let me share with you how life happens beyond my lipstick and my jeans.

Firstly, I have a weakness with time and planning, From when I was schooling in South Africa, having a lot on my laps to do for a day, I tended to study at the edge of time. I don’t know if that happens to you but two to three days before the exam is when I grasp the most and believe me, I aced big time. An unconscious habit crept in, of always wanting to do things from a tight corner, but not so tight enough to throw me off balance. So now this has turned out to be a habit I must step out from and I am better now. So, the aftermath is a wonderfully clad Cynthia praising the Lord at church on Sunday, with her sweet family on one hand, and then an unmade up bed, a crowded sink, an untidy living room on the other hand waiting for my return. We almost never have visitors so we are safe!

I began with time management because it is extremely important and is the pivotal anchor of every successful move. A successful person is a good manager of time.

When you see my nice dps on social media, what you do not know is that I feel rotten (I learnt this from Communication Theories) that I do not have quality time of fellowship with the Holy Spirit. To me, if that one is topnotch, every other thing will fall in place, so when I find myself lagging in this or that area, I blame it on my inconsistency with connecting in the Spirit.It gets me so bad that I remember typing on my whatsApp status, “Please help me Lord” and my ever caring elder sister thought I was in a big problem. Well, that seemed to be the problem that set me up in my heart of hearts.Then I realised that the lack of time is a myth, to a great extent. Oh Lord! my challenge is sleep,I sleep longer than I should. I started feeling uncomfortable, sleeping from 22:00 to 06:00 because a lot of things happen when men sleep. I need to be in the know of those things. Everyone (almost)is asleep at that time and if I do what everyone does, I get what everyone gets. A wise man said “the bottom is crowded” and I need space at the top.Now, I try to be awake late at night, firstly because I need to conquer that weevil called sleep, and also because I am alone to think,read, write, pray and then laugh!

dav

Frontstage smile

Another big thing is developing a routine that works. Suddenly, I have three people to bother about, then I am the fourth person. You will understand that every activity needs to be coded;There is wake up ritual, brush teeth, potty training times, snack time, ABCD time, cartoon time, lunch time, Daddy time, church time….the list is endless. You need a correct sense of discipline to get these things done at the same time everyday. I will be honest with you, sometimes I fail to ensure my daughter brushes her teeth before bed time cos I am tired or simply lazy. Yet I read articles on the internet of sticking to a good ritual, especially with kids. For those who have and desire a big family, you should be as brave as a mountain climber. Imagine that on one day, I pay too much attention to probably the kids and I do not get to iron the laundry in time. I find that I am unbalanced at the end of the day. Maybe, I am checking out an online course to complete and I start making lunch later than planned, I still end up with a certain weird feeling that craves a healthy balance in my routines.
If you are a very busy person or a mum of multiple kids, please can you share your schedule with me? Would love to learn one or two tips.

mde

What schedule works?

There is this tendency for the African woman to gain stubborn weight after child birth. For some, the weight disappears after one or two moves, for others, after serious exercise, yet for a certain group, it is a whole fight of faith. Dear friends, ever since I was a teenager, I have never been a super slim girl, but c’mon, I stopped drinking fizzy drinks and I have a gym membership now. The rewards had better been showing. Then I sleep at night and expect to wake with a 10kg loss, hahahaha. I start this workout plan, and then shortly after, opt for another thinking the latter is better…Infact, behind my smile, I am hoping to easily find a dress to buy for myself in a random shop in Zhongguo (China). I must lay aside every weight which clings so closely…what is this?

dav

Let Workout work

I live in a place where besides my immediate family, all other family and friends live inside my phone…that, perhaps is the reason I am always with my phone. This bond between me and my phone has become a huge distraction to me, such that I have to advice myself to “drop that phone and get busy.” If you are one of those who grab your phone first thing in the morning, instead of a quiet time, then you have to join me overcome this vice. You will always have WhatsApp messages but you must do what you have to do first,talking with the Great I am in order to triumph throughout the day.

The great news is that we can live life beyond the challenges that no one sees. We do not wear our difficult times on our sleeves or carry them on a sign post. Every person has what he is believing God for, even that anointed preacher. Some are secrets you won’t fathom, if you ever heard. Relax because It is well. So my dear, what is beyond your lipstick and jeans? you want to fix that without being weary? You want to tell me about it in the comment section?

God bless you
Cyn

From Dawn to Dusk!!!

 

The only name I have of him is Busho. He is a 32 year old able bodied man who for the last four years of his life, knows nothing about getting through a house door and shutting same or turning on and off the lights. You know why? Well, that’s because he has been living in the bush, somewhere in Bloemfontein South Africa, away from his home town….. Sure!you heard me. The bush has been home to Busho since 2013. Take a look at the place he calls a shelter.

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Busho’s Appartment

To you who complains about your leaking roof, take a moment to reflect on the fact that Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests but Busho has nowhere to lay his head. You may also want to know that this young man has two kids of 15 and 10 years old, living with their mum. As you would imagine, he has no stake in the lives of these children,because he needs huge help, himself.

On the Sunday we first met this gentleman, he walked into our church, attracted by the praise and worship which was at climax. The moment he got in and sat at the back, I am pretty certain that most people, just like me, thought this guy was mentally disturbed. The dreadlocks he had were very unkempt and his dressing clearly stated that he needed help. I missed capturing the moment for you to concur with me. Paradoxically, he is quite sane in the head and speaks understandable English, though Sotho is his mother tongue.
Pastor Eric Bobga is the Man of God who welcomed Busho into his church. The former got to learn from this young man what his real situation in life is. As a result, the Man of God decided that besides the lad needing to be taught to fish, he also needed urgent fish, that is how serious it was. It was not long before Pastor Eric took up Busho’s case and integrated him into his(Ps Eric)activities, welcoming him at his home occasionally.
Listen now, here is the real problem of this gentleman, as I would now call him. He was born and raised in a town in the Free State Province of South Africa. Without proper education and with absentee parents, he stopped school in Gr 8, which is like F2 in Cameroon. He became a parent at age 17…tho not knowing his left from right. Due to a series of sad events,he found himself in Bloemfontein in the same province.Knowing no one and having nowhere to go, his best bet was the streets in the day and the bush at night for rest.Now, you will agree with me that someone who lives as a scavenger is vulnerable to any vice that life throws at him. He may have engaged in worse things but the one he confessed was being helplessly addicted to sniffing shoe glue…Brethren, if u have forgotten how pungent that thing smells, visit the ‘kok-kok'(shoe mender), it is horrible.
Busho is one of many in South Africa, who prefer the streets, to their homes. Most, if not all of them resort to sniffing glue as a form of drug and substance abuse, since they cannot afford others like cocaine and weed.
All efforts by Pastor Eric to move Busho from the Bush, to a sort of rehab center, proved futile. Because it is prohibited to bring in glue to that new house, this guy could not stand living without getting high. He coined stories kicking against the new home but the reason we knew was very obvious. At this moment,if you ask me where Busho is, I will take you right to the bush which he prefers.

Sincerely, I think when baby Busho was born, he was received with great joy. His parents most probably did not envisage that his life would become this damaged, right at his prime. They likely foresaw the best future for him but as it is, no success is automatic or accidental. It must be carefully planned and mapped to make it a reality. The importance of family values cannot be overemphasized. A child may be a product of a broken condom or an unwanted result of some few foolish minutes of pleasure, but the Lord created and called each one by name.
I always tell parents, the Lord has entrusted a life in your hands and you have the task, answerable to Him to care for that child and ensure that he is a success.
Listen dear Mummy and Daddy, you may not have wanted that baby but now he is here, what do you do? You no longer live for yourself but your kids…You must have them in mind when you think of divorcing, u must have them in mind when u think of cheating, u must think of them as a single parent, when u choose a partner, u must consider them in every decision u make cos now u have people who stare at u in the face and ask you for food when there are signs of none. As you stay at home with no income, expecting financial favour from God in the form of manna, know they are picking up the same lazy attitude.
I wonder at those men and women who sleep all day and night, not knowing where Deuteronomy is in the Bible, not caring to wake and talk to the giver of children, meanwhile the adversary is busy playing games with the destiny of their children.
Dear Mama and Papa, I ask myself what you are up to, not dedicating your child’s life at church,upon birth and then also going as far as sticking around with the kids on Sunday mornings, when you should convey them all to church. All you can say is,’we went to bed late after the country meeting of yesterday. We could not make it to church early this morning.’ You may also take it lightly to tell friends casually that your son is lazy and cannot do anything. Well, your words are building up.
I totally admit that some parents invest much virtue in their kids when they are younger, but these kids meet with some stumbling blocks that alter the plan of their parents. However, generally the good manners you instill in your kids follow them even in the darkest night. if you doubt me, ask my mother.
The day you became a parent, u committed to being a caretaker and a custodian of life. You have a huge role to play in providing a nursery of good habits as he grows up. Parents are the number one constituency in the child’s life from dawn to dusk.

Woman, who art thou?

So here is an anecdote….my three year old is losing weight lately. Kayleen Gwanfogbe would hardly sit down for a proper meal. The very few times she does, they are duly followed by a thunderous applause. What’s more, it is easier to chew aloe vera or even bitter kola, than to get my little girl complete a simple hair do. You need to see the wrestling she, her Dad, the hairstylist and I get into each time we only have to wash the hair. In all these tings, all fingers are pointing at me, including even mine, when I and several others ask me questions like,’Cy, what is happening to this child? Why has she lost so much weight?’ My Auntie too is not helping matters at all, when she says to me,’what hair products do you apply on Kay’s hair, why is her hair breaking this much, what kind of ‘mami’ style is this on this child’s hair?’ I guess this is what I get for being a mother. I do not even know whether I am to use a cane constantly to shove garri and okro, down the throat of my tall 3 year old, or tie her to a chair to get simple conrows done…Dear Father, I thank you very much for the gift of my daughter but just to spare me from the Hair Ministry, which I have to fulfill each time from a very tight and pressured corner, I receive boys in my next pregnancy, in Jesus’ name(Well, you may think I am exaggerating until you get right in the spot that I am….lol). Amen

That said, it is nothing close to mother’s day or Women’s day but I just have to go poetic in awe of this great creature called woman. Looking at the likes of great feminine figures like my mum, and all others who have bravely raised their families, I salute womanhood. If you are reading this post as a woman, I congratulate you cos though you didn’t choose to be one, you are absolutely good at it.
First of all, I appreciate you cos though your feminism is sometimes questioned amidst some stiff circumstances or opposition, you rise above the drowning waters to prove that you can be the best student in your class, the best medical doctor, pilot or Journalist and there is no stopping you even when ridden down by cruel male chauvinistic views.
I appreciate you because you, at one point, dedicate the rest of your life to a man you dare to call your ruler and master, your husband.Wow! you a wife. You leave your father’s home, your friends, in some cases your job and career, part of your independence and autonomy to sometimes a far away land, all in the name of marriage.In some cases, you have to climb slowly through the ladder of financial, social and mobility freedom, most especially in a foreign land. Oftentimes caught up with trying to find your steps as a wife and adapting to new cultures, changing your surname and shouldering some of the excesses of certain out of order in-laws, is all you go through in your new title of Mrs. It is a great emotional, physical and physiological change you are undergoing my darling.
My dear woman, I stand in awe of you cos a million and one things happen in your body as you start the journey of becoming a mother. Pregnancy is no joke as you would agree with me. You are all smiles because you conceived a wonder in your stomach…my dear sister, you are a miracle worker, together with the Lord. A human being or multiples is growing and kicking inside of you as you can hear the heart beat when you go for ANC!!!Great job sister. You are working wonders but God knows the sorry state you are in during those 9 months. The morning sickness, nausea, mood swings, weight gain among other conditions may put you in a state of malaise, such that you would rather wish for the menstrual cramps. Thereafter, a thousand words are not enough to describe the pains of labour and childbirth. Sincerely, I cannot forget my first experience, in such a hurry. Being a mother to kids is the most precious career in the whole world. You are a mother first to your mother in-law’s baby boy which she handed to you (My husband is one of them but please don’t tell him I said so oh!) In this career, dear lady, you have made your house a home, you keenly prayerfully closely watch your kids to ensure they are growing up with some values. When everyone is asleep, even when its bed time for you, you are either parking tomorrow’s lunch boxes, patching up little Johnny’s school trousers or ironing Daddy’s outfit for the next day. My dear, you are wonder just because you watch over your family and you pray for each one of them.

I celebrate you woman cos besides being a mother, you are formally schooled and so you have a career to pull. Even though some may in some cases, give up their career and corporate life for solidifying the home front, others find the need to balance home and career. I am clapping for you because you manage the pressure from your corporate boss and your domestic boss. While well suited behind that desk, you haven’t stopped thinking about your little one’s PTA meeting or what Daddy would eat for supper.You are such a multi tasked creature, for being a woman. And you know, you may have no corporate job yet find ways of using your hands to make money, just so that you proudly swipe your credit card and not your husband’s.

You keep so many relationships…with your husband, your kids, your family, your in laws, your colleagues, your neighbours and most importantly with the Lord Jesus. Here is one thing I tell myself, I can satisfy my household with all the baking and cooking of the latest discoveries but what I must not neglect is my relationship with the Lord. I reject the spirit of busy Martha. I refuse to do the work of the Lord and miss the Lord of the work(Apostle Johnson Suleman).
Dear woman, you are all in all amazing and here is to a brave you.

Be Strong
Cynthia

The Woman and Her Glory.

It is the International women’s day in most countries and in China where I currently live, we say “fu nv jie kuai le!” (late post).

Someone said the future is a woman and I will want to agree with her at this point cos a woman is truly that person who kneads in the nitty-gritty of the holistic vision. When a woman decides to be good at something, whether virtue or vice, the result is gross.

On this space today, I want to hail and celebrate a category of women who deserve some wholesome accolades. Have you ever fathomed a lady, bubbling with youthful exuberance and then drives this vigor to the work of the ministry? Have you listened or been spoken to by a young girl in her prime who seems to know no business but Jesus affair? Then you would truly know that there are yet some heads held very up high against the backdrop of acute youthful sinking waters (myopia).

Pastor Sally Joso is the Pastor of Believers Loveworld Campus Ministry in Buea. She is the group pastor of BLW Cameroon 2 and an ardent daughter of Rev Chris Oyakhilome. I was privileged to be in the campus ministry as we both served as cell leaders. Admittedly, this lady, then a young University of Buea student had a fire in her heart for the gospel which made me wonder at her Jesus energy. I ask myself till today, if she gets tempted tho…hahaha. She immediately caught the sparkle that was transfered to her by her vibrant leaders, when she first joint the ministry. Sincerely, seeing her passion for souls and the work of the ministry, I would be utterly surprised if she was anything opposite from what she currently is. This woman of God lives in the part of Cameroon with all kinds of vices, from the crises that are plaguing the country to juvenile craze. It takes a lady with a focus and a vision to pastor a congregation of over 400 brethren, most of whom are uni students.

I respect you Ps Sally Ma and I don’t see you any day as “that sister,” you are a workmanship of the Lord, a mighty woman of light.

On one random close of my day, this is me hooking up with folks on social media and then I come across a name, Proph Nchonuba Madaleine. Ah ah, is my Mado now married to Mr Proph and then changed her name? I was wrong ohhh. As I accepted her friend request and checked out her profile, mehn….this former University classmate of mine and one time University of Buea Presbyterian singer is a full blown woman of God who breeds fire and power of the Word of God. I dug further in sheer awe as I watched her messages…such depth.

Prophetess Mado has a vision to preach the message of Salvation, through the demonstration of the power of the Holy Ghost and Word impartation. She is leading many to Jesus through her pioneered ministry, Salvation Tabernacle Ministry, headquatered in Bamenda Cameroon. One who receives a mandate and a calling from the Lord, does not need to observe lying vanities, masked in which ever form, especially in the face of the already mentioned crises and all other challenges of starting anything significant. I always look forward to her live messages on Facebook as I cannot but marvel at the force this young lady has become. You can follow her on Facebook at Proph Nchonuba Madaleine.

Sally and Madeleine are ladies of like passion like you and I but are not slothful in their business, they are so fervent…giving glory to God.

Dear girl, your calling may not be in the five fold ministry but make sure the nations of the world feel your impact through whatever your purpose is. You’ve got to fulfill to the latter, the Lord’s destiny for your life.

I appreciate all young ladies doing great exploits in life. There is such awesomeness in using your hands to make money, getting that qualification, raising that family and pursuing your career, rather than walk down the aisles of complaint. You are amazing!

Make your womanhood essential

Cyn

Dear Expat, what are you doing abroad?

Very well, I know the feeling of queuing up in an air-conditioned shop and then going home with washed and well packaged Irish potatoes. It also feels so nice to swipe your phone three times from the comfort of your home to pay off your light and water bill. Would I even talk about a quick and smooth ride to work and back, using the subway or the mobile taxi App?

These are all the amazing things that make up life abroad, especially if home is Africa.

Today’s trend has seen changes in different spheres of life; from fashion to technology to even every appearance of evil. And as you know, emigration levels continue to thrive, especially from my country Cameroon, to other countries for greener and whiter pastures.

Given the state of things in my country and probably some other places in Africa, many have moved to America especially, Europe and Asia. Very well granted, life abroad can be so easy breezy and perhaps comfortable, BUT DEAR EXPAT, WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABROAD?

Photo: Charlycheer

Folks who leave home for a life abroad, are typically called bushfallers. It is general knowledge that, we do not ask people living abroad what they do for a living because a security man in America will very certainly not do that kind of job in Cameroon.

While I very much disagree that “what will be will be,” we must, in order to fight for our future and our destiny be quite watchful about our lives and our steps. Moving from point A to B should be an absolutely informed decision. There have been stories of one getting into a very ungodly marriage\relationship abroad just to keep a certain financial or social status reflecting back home, another into arranged marriages because of papers (permit), another left home a vibrant Christian, and then went down the slide of compromise due to financial pressures et al. There are a whole lot of things we have gotten ourselves into, whether virtues or vices , consciously or not in the craze to have a cool life abroad.

My Expat Family

“Moses chose to suffer oppression with God’s people rather than enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin in Egypt.” This is a food for thought for us all living abroad.

Listen darlings, there is a divine destiny in Christ and while X’s must be fulfilled abroad, Y’s life will happen at home. It is a good thing to “fallbush” but how then will life roll for you while there? Facing challenges @ home?No guarantee the solution must be abroad. Likewise, you super comfy abroad? that’s awesome!….But make sure you are not borrowing from the enemy cos you are gonna pay back. Also, does life seem to be falling apart as you sojourn across the shores? the escape route may not be to run off to mama. Walking through the fire without being consumed, may just be the story for you, as you stare at that temporary malaise abroad.

STEP INTO THE DIVINE DESTINY FOR YOUR LIFE which is limitless by time and geographical location.

Let me leave you with this testimony of my cousin, Roland Fomundam. I dropped the link so you can read his story on Facebook. Click and read how he left a cradle in America to find a haven deep in his village in Cameroon.

https://m.facebook.com/story/graphql_permalink/?graphql_id=UzpfSTEwMDAwNDAzOTgwOTU3MDoxNTM4Mzg4MzcyOTcyNDc1

Step into the future!

Cy

The Job and then the Work

Hello everybody…..Hope you are feeling fine. I need us to talk for a little bit and I ask, don’t you close up on me…stick till the end and then share the thought that pops on your mind.

You know someone said there is no free lunch and I totally agree. That means that if you are offered a good or service free or charge, someone else has paid for it, either with his precious time, hard earned money, or other resources. This brings to mind what I heard a great man say, …that there is a job on one hand, and the work on the other. Wondering what that means? Here: the one you do based on your formal school qualification is the job, and then the one you find to do with your hands, for whatever reason, is your work.
Come to think of it, a handful of people who travel abroad, find themselves doing the work. Most at times, whether or not they have been schooled, the side hustle tends to be the source of bread on the table. Some people call them odd jobs and then I have heard another bunch of people call this kind of work, “zama, zama.” I know a French speaking Cameroonian young man in South Africa, who sells trays of raw eggs in the trunk of his car and he is making a living for himself. During the day, he is a business man and at night, he cruises in his car around town, enjoying his painstakingly earned money. This guy boldly revealed that he can’t be a street egg vendor back in his country, Cameroon. He is only doing that in SA because he is not known in a foreign country… Fair enough if you ask me. Well, it does not only happen abroad, but at home too.
Question, “Are you mindful of what puts bread on your table, as long as it is ethical or you need to defend your certificate, to give you bread?” Uhh dear, that depends on the kind of bread you want to eat, either from risen or leaven dough. What I am convinced of, is that, 5.000frs which is earned from one’s sweat is sweeter than a 100.000frs gift. That’s the reason it is wise to think twice before demanding money gift, if you have two hands and a brain. Now listen, while I am aware that life happens and we may need an extra financial support to push up our seemingly sinking heads from drowning, let help meet you at a point where it will only be complementary. Yeah!

What do you do when your school certificates can’t fill up the grocery basket and then fill your car tank with gas? That’s the moment your eyes gaze at the palms of your hands in appreciation to the Lord for not being maimed. Thoughts begin jumping in your head that you can use your hands to make wealth for yourself. You also may just want to fetch yourself some extra cash from your passion or just get satisfaction from executing an art you have learned. At the end of the day, you are the boss of the income you generate from playing with your hands and your brain.

Beloved, I am taking you to meet two dynamic ladies who are using their hands to “print money.” Mind you, their qualifications are well in tact but food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food. Pst. Nyumnwi Anih is the CEO of Nyum’s
Yummy Cakes and has a Masters degree in Business Law. She is a Bamenda Cameroon, based young Woman of God, who turns flour into cakes and receives money alerts on her phone, for that.

Nyum double cake

YUMMY!!(+237677023962)


“I started baking at age 7, inspired by my mum. To me, I was better at baking than chopping onions. Two years ago in 2016©©, I took interest in decorating and became fascinated by fondant.” The rest of the story is that the brand was birthed…a blend of passion and skill…What a drive! Currently, Anih is a coordinating pastor of Christ Embassy Cow Street, Bamenda, who is well aware that gushers of living water only flow out of our own bellies. She is just a phone call away from a delicious pretty cake at amazing rates.
Nyum herself

The Aesthetic baker @ +237677023962


The next is my very own baby cousin….where did time go? Mbah Acha Benjamina is now far from being Mummy’s dependent Benjamin. Currently studying Respiratory Therapy in America, she has purposed to fend for herself, using her hands to make a living. Benjamina is the CEO and founder of Meena’s Deli. Her passion is catering (cooking and delivering food) for different parties and functions around Texas. She does well with Western and African dishes. “Cooking has been my passion since age 14. I started learning how to cook from my mum, and my cousin…from there, I developed this talent and when I left for college at age 18, my mum will caution me to not spend my whole time cooking, but studying. Nevertheless, I will cook and invite my friends, at every opportunity I had. In 2017, I decided to make a living out of my cooking, hence the name, Meena’s Deli.” When last we spoke, she was telling me of her plans which of course I know had to be executed, without Mum or Dad’s financial contribution. Please, your ovation for this amazing sage!
dodoand fish

Meenas Deli @ +1682 2082398


Benji

CEO-Self Employed


So here it is lovelies, that nice and beautiful thing you learned to do with your hands, years ago, you may just want to fine tune it so it fetches money for you. My husband told me he would get all suited with a cooler of Shalom Yoghurt on his head, hawking on the streets as a young man, after he left his father’s house. I personally made quite some profits in South Africa, kneading dough to produce Chin chin and doughnuts (Cameroonian snacks), besides my student quest.
If they won’t give you a job, maybe you should create one…start small and grow big!
So long,
CYN

The Carrot or the Stick?

“Congratulations Sister, you just gave birth to a bouncy baby boy(girl).” Well, that is what we all tell a lady who just had a baby, even if it’s her 5th. You did a great job dear, but guess what, even the 14 year old became a teen mum, the mad woman on the street who probably was violated for whatever reason, and conceived, also has a baby. The difference between you and the latter is that while her baby was taken away from her, because she is not sane to care for it, you took yours home to nurture and bring up. That is what makes you a mother (Mummy).

Going from waking up multiple times at night to feed a crying baby, to stalking an adventurous toddler to keep him from harm’s way, to making trips to the school bus stop at 7:15am and 3:15pm and then looking at your facial expression in the mirror after hitting the “send” button on your phone, that pays the first installment fees for your little one, is what makes you a mummy. It may not be biological but figurative as well. What soothes the heart in this role is the warm enthusiastic hugs which are new everyday. You can imagine by now that my niche at this point is parenting.

Now, the Bible states in its last book that the dragon went after the woman and when it failed, it proceeded to her seed. This is what to bear in mind in the whole parenting business. The seed of the woman is the target and while some actively understand and seek to address that in every way, others just are aware and are too lazy to do something about it, while others are just patting themselves for being pregnant for a whooping 9 months, and eventually bringing forth. Physical growth will happen with little or no effort, but the other aspects of growth are sensitive to the parenting affair.

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Indeed

How do we go about instilling virtues in our kids that will keep them repellent of the dragon’s touch. Most African parents use the Carrot and Stick method, ever heard? The carrot is for reward and then the stick is for correction. In very recent years, the stick must not refer to a literal stick used to beat up a child but anything that child recognises as punishment and which works of course. We have heard so many tactics on how to use the carrot and stick method but each parent knows what works best. Growing up in Cameroon, it was not out of place for a mother to yell or even spank her child in public for throwing a useless tantrum. As a matter of fact, kids would re-think before considering a tantrum,to avoid a beating. Mothers will quote “Spare not the rod and spoil the child.” Years ago, even the teacher was allowed to flog with a whip (gas pipe), when a child errs. There’s been change nowadays from country to country. If a mother simply raises her voice at her child at the mall’s first floor, even the security guard will warn her not to take out her frustrations on the poor child,and then the teacher is NOT allowed to beat or even raise her voice at the kid. We find that there are other ways of punishing a child such as asking her to stay in her room alone for an hour, no ice cream treat….While some support that the cane is very useful in making a child tow the line as he grows up, others say it teaches wildlife and aggression to a child. I spoke to an adult friend, Brother Stanley two today and he recounted that he grew up with the cane as he was mostly flogged by his mother and school teacher. He said that however, “honestly, I do not think it helped me. It put the needed fear in me at first but once I got used to the cane, it didn’t scare me anymore.” Wow! I guess his mum would be taken aback to hear this from her dear son indeed.
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Sincerely, I did not have a flogging or yelling mum as a kid. She was fond of throwing one or two words that were sharper than a two edged sword. I tell you that these words, will leave you feel like your thoughts and heart intentions have been discerned already. With these, it was wiser to man up and better be good. Now, how do I do it as a mum myself? I am surrounded by foreign life in every way; from the school my 4 year old attends, to the means of transportation, to the greeting style, so I am aware that bringing up my kids will depend on the way of the Lord, and to a great extent, how I was raised. Now, let me be honest; Bob and I very much use the carrot and stick method. If Kayleen is naughty, we use the cane, but only away from the public(a stern looks works just fine, out of home). Likewise, if she did great,rewards accrue. I am totally not of that school of thought that advocates against the cane. My dear, I believe that thing sends a message to the subconscious mind, even though it sometimes is spontaneously used out of sheer frustration and anger . At the end of the day, what’s premium is, balancing both the carrot and the stick, appropriately…quite delicate I tell you.

Here is what to keep in mind. As a parent, you have 0-12years of a kid’s life to keep him in check. It’s either you bend the iron while it’s still hot or run from pillar to post, with the photo of your die hard 15 year old who has overgrown you.

So my dear, tell me what you think about correcting or rewarding a child. Which method works best for you and your spouse? You may also want to have a look at this similar post

So Long
Cyn

An over-cooked Miracle!

Someone recently said to me, “what is this thing of being laden with an internal load for three quarters of the year? It would have been less. I think 9 months is too much to walk around with evidence that one had sexual intercourse.” A condition that sets an agenda in the mind throughout a period that seems to be like from January to September.

When as a lady, you miss your periods
You suddenly become sick in the morning, tired in the afternoon, moody at nightfall
Your favourite cumin powder spice becomes the worst thing to smell
Your kitchen seems to be the area in your house, you want to avoid most…Ah!all the spices immediately have an awful smell
Your husband is probably the most annoying human being around, yet is the sweetest buddy who sticks closest
Your mouth just went sour, you can’t tell why saliva gathers in your mouth like rain clouds in the sky

Yup! That’s pregnancy
Isn’t it amazing how the Lord brings a human being to this world? Simply, a male and female meet and then another destiny is brought forth. Awesome God!
Sincerely, I am still in awe of the beauty of pregnancy. It is a heartwarming experience, though an emotional roller coaster. You know, when a woman first knows she is pregnant, it is not the same again. Her imaginations drive her wide into picturing herself with a long tummy, a human being in her arms that comes from her genes….a lot more. It is a journey of 9 months, characterized with what you will permit me to term, pros and cons.
Here is the sweet part:
From the first month, no periods. Wow! No bothering about the Japanese flag, no cramps and no sticking some thick thing to your underwear. You may want to save your money meant for sanitary pads
Also, there is no fear or anxiety of falling pregnant, cos you are, already. Therefore you are safe all the time.
There is this special treatment people give preggo ladies: a seat on the train, the front spot on the queue, a free massage from a significant one, a general hand of kindness, and remarkably, a quick midnight trip to KFC to grab very pepperish small pops. All because people see you having a long stomach.
If you normally had a big or fatty stomach, you will not need to bother to look for the perfect blouse that hides your rolls and love handles (fatty sides by the stomach). You are on break caring about getting an increased tummy, after eating at a party. Now, rejoice in your freedom to relax yourself, free your stomach muscles cos everyone knows you are on the nine month journey.
And then when the baby is here, what a joy! You made it, Yay!! Free diapers trooping from here and there. Nowadays, a nice baby shower is thrown to honour new mum to be, few weeks to delivery. The gifts start making their way as early as that, right up to months after baby is born.

BUT….
What is this thing? It is not morning sickness but sometimes morning, noon and night sickness. The sickening feeling is incomprehensible. I remember thinking I had malaria ++. No appetite at the beginning, huge appetite later, strange cravings at some point. My dear, this condition is real. I felt so sick inside out, but my husband and toddler would not just let me be, I still had to fix the meals. There was a strong feeling in me to go lodge in a guest house for about two days, craving a serious get away.At the end of the day, even my daughter was going to raise eyebrows if I had to execute this crazy thought. Am I the first to conceive? Abeggg!
Hello,…Read on, to get the hectic part
Walking with a thick towel to empty your ever saliva filled mouth? Yes, that is pregnancy for the woman folk. Speeding off the hall abruptly, so as to find a spot to throw up? I am sorry, I know how it feels.

Talking about the sleeping position, it is enormously discomforting at first…only on your back or your sides. I read an article which says expectant mothers must only lie on the left side. Imagine that if you must turn, especially in the third trimester, it is a 360 degrees complete wake and drop turn!
You step on a scale and the numbers progress as though you had dumbbells in hand. You ask yourself a question if you are putting on the heaviest winter jackets….haha the weight gain is real. The happy pregnant lady starts gaining plenty weight and then self-esteem starts to drop.

For that reason, you have got to change your wardrobe. Out of the blues, that pretty floral dress is tight. The outfit that gave you so much confidence is no longer to be trusted!! Hahaha. Almost all pregnant folks find true friendship in (black) leggings. I had two of them that stood by me all through, closer than a brother! When self-esteem drops, a pair of legging and a cute big top boost it a little. Even when the face is full, your present smart look (leggings and top) reminds you a little about how cute you were when you just met and started befriending your husband. A little consoling confidence creeps in.
Here is the testimony of my very own Sonia Atajuh,

“The joy of being pregnant and the pain, stress and demands that come with it, make it an interesting experience. My first trimester was characterized by morning sickness, nausea and craving strange food like spicy snails, but dreaded beef and fish. The second trimester came with visible body transformation which sometimes lowered my self-esteem. The third trimester came by so fast, but seemed longest, due to anxiety of the delivery process and restlessness because the baby was gasping for more room as she was getting ready to pop out. However, my anticipated due date passed and the baby grew bigger .I was finally scheduled for an induction 10 days later. All efforts to induce contraction only resulted in 3cm for over 36 hours. An epidural helped me get a rest after 2 days of travail. The baby’s life was a cause for concern and a C-section was in view. It was a whooping one hour for me to agree to get into the theater but after 30 minutes inside, the baby was born. The joy of her presence erased all the painful memories. Thank you Jesus.”

preggo So
Sonia and Cucu
The joy of beholding yours!
Soso and cucu big
Kids are the joy of womanhood!

My dear I am going to be very frank with you. Child birth is very painful. There is no pain I have experienced which I can compare it to. Probably, it was not as painful for others, who casually talk about it, but if you ask me, I have a whole story to tell. People say, when you see your baby, you forget every pain and want to have another and then another and then one more kid. Me, I have not forgotten oh!
Nevertheless, amazingly some women just go through it in few hours, very minimal pain and a stress-less delivery. My friend Kenna KEA said to me she had a very awesome childbirth process. Wonderful!
I said that to say this, pregnancy and childbirth naturally come with their own challenges. I am not scaring but preparing you with a victory mindset, cos if a teenager mum could thrive, now common! you can do best!
Childbirth is just the cradle, being a mother lasts for the rest of your lifetime.
Next up, I am discussing the awesomeness of the personality called Mother. Stay tuned, darlings!!

God Bless You
Cyn

Craving Alone Time

Lately, I seem to be looking for this person called Cynthia…Wow! It appears I can hardly find her. All I see is Bobga’s wife, Kayleen’s mother, Sonia’s sister , Terry’s daughter or probably Mercy’s friend. But where is the young girl called CY? It looks like it was just yesterday, I was spotted on the streets of Malingo, in  Buea Cameroon, during my uni days, “gisting” and giggling, with my besties Mercy and Raisa on each side. Right about now, Goodness and Mercy (my kids) follow me everywhere I go, and most often, we are riding in a “strollerbenz.” It’s out of this overwhelming life that I crave alone times, a time to sit down, pinch my small toe and know I did it myself…

Just a picture of what I mean…. I went home at the end of last year to have my son, Henry. Even though I was encompassed with so great a number of family members to help me watch him and my older kid, really how far can I go from an exclusively breast fed new born who had yet to get the preliminary BCG vacine? I could neither leave him nor take him with me to visit friends I hadn’t seen in 4 years, to attend weddings typical of that time of the year….many more. “You cannot eat your cake and have it,” my mum reminded me, as I tried to make peace with the situation.

Well, I prayed to be married and God gave me a husband, I asked for kids and he gave me two; so why am I complaining? For how long do I want to be by myself. Am I an island or what? As I asked myself these questions, I realised  my dilemma is not exactly out of place. Eric and I have been listening to Les Brown and other men of God and they speak of taking out time alone to think, study, write, and then PRAY, just as Jesus did.You will agree with me that quality thoughts will emerge from a quality time spent. Being too available at every time, to many people is a No No…. I began coming to terms with the fact that I need to find myself, the brand, Cynthia and not get lost in ironing shirts, teaching ABCDS and changing diapers. I advised me, that If I need to develop who I should be, it is not after a full day of baking a family size cake or telling stories of “Johnny, Johnny…yes Papa.”

While I very much understand the need to spend quality time with my family, there is the Bible I need to finish studying (there are different versions oh), there is other books that I need to read(I am still working on a good reading culture), there is the Aunt-in-law that I need to phone or get into trouble with and then this blog post to publish. Again, there is the little girl in me that just needs to chit chat with my former high school girlfriend….no serious thing, just whether it’s advisable to add white pepper to salad dressing! And then of course, I need to treat myself sometimes to my favourite movies and shows on You Tube. Yes! It’s usually during my alone times, cos they do not like my kind of movies. Just because I love and want to identify with indigenous culture, I watch African movies. And true, I do not need distractions as  I check out some fashion trends online or catch up with some friends on social media. Ah! There is more to life than burying my head in the book of Habakkuk.

Here is a rundown of things, I am yet a stay at home mum(SAHM), so I send off Eric to work at 6:12am, after packing a lunch box. From 6:30, I glory in my routine alone times, crossing fingers and praying in my heart that Kayleen or Henry won’t wake up before 08:30am. Before 9am, I try to do the things that do not need distraction, the things I need to be alone to put together. There are things to which I need to give undivided attention and those can only be done when kids are asleep. When my daughter wakes up, the norm is we all pray for a few minutes…then the day begins. For all she knows, there is no need blabbing morning tongues after the trio Amen has been said. She will utterly declare, “mama, stop praying!” Do I now say it is the work of the devil? No, it’s time for her breakfast and if I have to, I need to play around with time to get enough, for speaking all I want with the Father. As I type these words, it’s 2:14am and it’s when my wit is at its best. WordPress for typing and then a message on Youtube…Oh, how grateful I am when sleep, the intruder is far away.

Something I realised; as important as alone times are, they are also very sensitive. You know it is either you are hearing from the Holy Spirit at that time, or the evil one, depending on which activity you engage in. Nicely put, what you do in the secret will manifest much more results in the public. Imagine this tendency I have to be craving a daddy size cup of hot chocolate, when I have purposed in my heart of hearts to make the most of my late night alone time….the enemy is a liar! With my current weight, I should know better than stationing my laptop on the study table, which is closest to the breakfast cupboard. Funny enough, that is where the wifi hotspot is best. If I let insensitivity take the better part of me, I would be lying to everyone but myself, that I do not know why I continue to gain weight. However, it is at such times that I seek to enter the Holy of Holies and get information from God’s Spirit that would help me attain my divine objectives, #Iamagreatnation. I am not about preaching to you my dear reader, but it is a fight to have alone times which are fruitful. The adversary is both a defender and an offender so you must be both as well.

Just the other day, as I curled myself up in the couch, I opened a video of my cousin sisters, Karine and Marlyse go deep in worship. I just wanted to flow with these ladies as I had put the kids to sleep. Jesus! The came my husbandman, beaming with excitement as he recounted a message he had listened from Les Brown. Sincerely, I cannot remember everything he said cos I was just patiently waiting for him to quit talking so I go right back to my video. It gets like that on some days; mama is watching a cooking video on you tube, Dada is watching Fast and Furious on Tv, Kayleen is watching Peppa Pig on the tab and then Henry is sleeping….

While I totally agree that the lack of time is a myth, when one is single, he can amass more time to himself to put life in order. There is no compulsion to cook, there is no shouting back and forth, no changing diapers and you can end up finding yourself sleeping on the couch at 3am even if you didn’t want to. That’s why I tell people to enjoy their plastic pot days. You will utterly miss them.

Redeem your time cos the days are evil, the Bible says so. So I had to intentionally start thinking to quit being available on social media all the time, quit video chatting frequently with friend A, B and C about how ghost  town is intense! I now decide that more often than not, when I find myself alone, I will grab a book, listen to a message or go for new knowledge. HELP ME LORD!

Grace and Peace

Cyn

 

 

Daring the waters!!

Sincerely dears, I am at it again after a long time. It has been a huge transition phase for me and my family, but the Lord has got our backs through it all. He has truly been faithful. Now, you probably will agree with me that change is quite difficult for most of us, especially when it is an unknown venture, but I dare to say that as convenient as sticking to the status quo is, ”life begins at the end of your comfort zone” (Zig Ziggler).

Story about my life, the multi faceted experience of a young Cameroonian mother of 2, under 5. I lived in SA with my family and when tables began to turn and the game began changing for us, we sought the face of the Lord, and voila! we had to move. We had no idea the direction of the movement but we had to “Dare the Waters” and not “test the waters”. Fast forward, the next phase of our lives brought us to China and believe me, the episode is sharply different from what I know life is, in Africa. Before we were here, we were cautioned nicely about the drastic dissimilarity of life in Asia and Africa, yet we dared to go. In our minds then, we asked, “what can be tougher than what we have faced in Africa”? But truly, you will agree with me that it can be overwhelming.

In South Africa, English is not as widely spoken as other national languages but somehow, we managed to cope, asking people nicely to translate what they said in their native Sotho, to English. That totally changed as we arrived right at the International airport in Guangzhou, China. Most remarkable, were the stares we got. My goodness! it was like we were declared wanted by Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, such that my 3 year old asked me, “Mama, why are the Chinese people looking at us?” Believe me, she keeps asking  me that question till date and all I can say is, “they say you are an African princess.” You would imagine that the more frequent the looks, the harder it is for her to believe that royalty story of mine. Come to think of it, how would I even blame a bunch of Chinese spectators who have never in their lives seen a black family. Unconfirmed information tells me that it is illegal for a local to have VPN(please look up for that if you do not know what it is) downloaded on his phone. For this, they have no access to Google, YouTube, and other sites through which they can see videos or images of other countries. However, I find the people very friendly and the looks are just an amicable exchange since all we can offer each other is the greeting, “hello” in English and “Ni hao” in Chinese. I guess in the smiles and stares, are other unexpressed questions like, “what part of Africa are you from?” Honestly, all the gestures do not get to me, just because I am from a country where getting constantly starred at, as a foreigner, is the least of my worries. I did not come here to play scrabble….smh….yeah, I said so. What I get occasionally concerned about, is my daughter (almost 4) who falls on her brother’s face, as a defense, each time a local, stoops down to him in his stroller with a kind smile and few phrases and questions, which are all answered by my very broad smile. Well, if it gets extremely necessary, then I grab my phone, tap on the mostly used app, the translator to give me the slightest idea of what some of them want to tell me. A phrase is ok cos the next is a chit chat which I have no time for. Imagine them asking if my daughter is a girl or boy, just cos she has a low cut….HAHAHA!

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A friendly smile for Henry!

You can figure that no one but our employers and colleagues understands our language; from the domestic flight agents to the taxi driver to the nurse at the clinic right to the lady who sells spinach on the street. How less likely are we supposed to be daring in a country of so wide a cultural barrier from ours? This landed us most times in a culture shock.

We went from buying liquid soap, thinking it was lotion, to buying something which I have not been able to figure what it is till today, thinking it was ‘waterfufu’ to eat with ‘eru'(home food). But since the day the taxi driver dumped me at the Chinese hospital instead of the International Clinic, where I met the frustration of my life, I have never been secured enough to go anywhere, alone with the kids, without my husband. The most we can do is going to our place of work and for that, we only use a taxi, to whose driver even my daughter rhythmically says, “jiaghan dashue, wu haomen”(wrong spelling of course), to indicate our destination. Using a taxi is more expensive but saves us the embarrassment of meeting people on the bus who will ask questions we absolutely have no answers to. Also, the taxi is fast enough  to bring us right to our destination, where we can meet Daddy and other colleagues….alas, a feeling of security and belonging (familiarity). We did not imagine that we would join other Africans in China, who order Maggi seasoning and garri (home food) online and wait for three days before cooking soup. You can even imagine the quantity….my goodness! The list of our experiences is definitely inexhaustible, but let me leave you with these ones that tickle me. There is an elderly Chinese woman (Ayi) who helps me clean twice a week, recommended by a colleague. She speaks no English at all. The first time she arrived, she began screaming (you know how elderly people often scream…just their tone, no offense), demanding something. I tried putting 1 and 2 together, with all the gestures, but could not make out what she wanted. Her facial expression read that she really needed this thing. oh Lord! What was I going to do? Her tone alone woke up my napping baby, then the tension of not understanding each other, took the better part of me. Then…a phone call popped in from our mutual friend, my colleague just in time to explain that my dear Ayi only wanted a dry cloth. Hmmm…. Again, My husband told me that each time he goes to the barber’s shop, he keeps praying in his heart that the barber would not give him an awful Chinese hair cut which will leave him looking like an Uncle to his daughter.The first one was something else, I had to pray, I tell u….And because I also have a hard time getting my hair done, the way I want, we have resorted to learning to DIY. My dear, I cannot tell you the other half of it but after all, life in Zhongguo is sooooo much fun. We thank God.

God Bless You

Cy Continue reading