On July 21-30, Matt traveled to Cameroon in West Africa with Peter Newburn of Renewal Ministries and Miriam Wright, who has gone on several missions with HOFM sharing the message of Unbound worldwide. They led an Unbound: Freedom in Christ conference followed by three days of Unbound Basic Training for over 140 participants, including priests, religious sisters, and lay ministry leaders. Their host, Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, is a superior for the order of Claretians.
The conference was exceptionally well received, partly because of the tremendous preparation the participants engaged in prior to the conference. Fr. Jude shares his testimony about how Miriam and Peter ministered to him at a very difficult point in his life – when he had been kidnapped and tortured by a militia group for several days. The forgiveness he was able to release and the healing he received helped him to grow in his relationship with God and say yes again to his call to be a leader in his religious order. Many were moved by this powerful testimony about Unbound.
Another highlight for Matt was hearing the testimony of Sr. Pascaline, who attended an Unbound presentation before the pandemic. Knowing how badly her sisters needed to hear this message, but without access to a ministry team or a trainer, she began to train herself and share the teachings she received with her religious sisters. Over the past three years, she has given 8 Unbound retreats and has ministered to many alongside a priest, who became an enthusiastic supporter after receiving ministry from Sr. Pascaline!
Thanks to the generosity of our partners, we could gift each participant an Unbound book and a Freedom in Christ Workbook! Fr. Jude has been diligently translating many of our resources into French and affordable English versions for our African brothers and sisters.
All of the people at this conference represented ministry teams from all of the 14 dioceses in Cameroon - we believe the impact of this trip will be generational and widespread. They left equipped to share and minister using the Unbound model.
Matt's one lowlight was that he contracted malaria on the fifth day and was sidelined for an entire day. Miriam and Peter did a great job filling in, and he received great medical care from his hosts. We are grateful to God that Matt recovered quickly and now feels “fully initiated” into the African experience!
Next week Matt will head to Leon, Mexico, to lead an Unbound conference with our dear friend Gilbert Rodriguez. This event will be our first Unbound conference in Mexico – we are very excited.
PS You can find a little montage of photos/videos from the trip here.