Debbie Bauer, Lay Missionary
Debbie joined Lay Mission Helpers, a Catholic missionary group, about a year ago.
Lay Mission Helpers are Catholic lay people, single men and women, married couples, and families, called through baptism to mission. They seek to walk with the poor of other countries sharing their gifts, living their faith, and learning from one another. Lay Mission-Helpers serve in a variety of different professions and strive to live a simple life close to the poor.
By mid April, 2011, Debbie has gone 2/3 of the way through the training program which
mostly focus on culture, personalities, and how to deal with stress overseas. The program also offers weekly classes on Scripture and Theology.
In July, 2011, Debbie’s official assignment is going to Cameroon to teach at St. Pius X College in Tatum. The college is a collection of 3 schools – a secondary school, a technical school, and a teacher training college. Currently the plan is for Debbie to teach English in secondary school (probably in the lower grades – junior high level) and Computer Literacy.
Tatum is a small town about 9 km from the nearest city, Kumbo, in the Northeast Province of Cameroon. Although English is the official language in that part of the country, Debbie will try to learn at least a little of both Cameroonian Pidgin English and the local tribal language, Lamnso. She has been told that everyone is supposed to speak English in school, but most people use Pidgin in the market.
Before Debbie heads overseas, she will be coming to the parish at the end of June to share about her mission and her need for fundraising to support her missionary work. We are very proud of you, Debbie, and your parish community extends our prayers and support to you for your service to God and His people.
Email to Fr. Gerard from Debbie, 2-16-2012
I am sorry I haven’t written to you sooner. As one might expect, the Internet isn’t as easy to access in Cameroon as it is in California.
I want to thank you for all your support, encouragement, and prayers during my preparations before coming here. It was greatly appreciated. Please let Deacon Jim and Annette and everyone at ABVM know how grateful I am for their continued prayers and support.
If you haven’t been able to read my blog (debbieincameroon.blogspot.com), I am teaching English Language and Computer Science in a secondary school in a small town called Tatum. The school is named for St. Pius X and is currently being run by the Marist Brothers. I also teach Music in the Teacher Training College that is part of the same complex.
The parish church (also St. Pius X) is located right outside of the school compound so most of the school masses take place there. Since there is a priest shortage here (like back home), the parish priest is also the school chaplain. There is only one mass at the parish church on Sundays, but it usually lasts 3 hours and then the priest must travel to some of the several outlying mission stations that he also must minister to. In addition to the main mission (as they call the parish church), I think there are 5 mission stations in this parish and the parish priest usually says mass at 3 each week with a priest from the bishop’s house/office coming to say mass at the others. The parish is fund-raising to purchase a new car for the parish priest so he can reach the mission stations more easily. It’s a very different life than in Southern California.
Once again, thank you (and all of ABVM) for your support and prayers. I will continue to keep you in my prayers as well.
Update: May, 2013
Debbie Bauer is serving as a teacher in Cameroon. She is teaching at Pius X Secondary School in Tatum, Diocese of Kumbo, Cameroon. These are her students.
Debbie will be visiting this summer and will give us an update on her work and life in Africa.
July 12, 2013
Debbie Bauer will be speaking at several of the Masses this weekend. She will be sharing her experiences as a teacher at Pius X Secondary School in Tatum, Diocese of Kumbo, Cameroon. She will be showing some pictures and videos after those Masses in Msgr. Crean Hall.
There will be envelopes available to contribute to the Lay Mission Helpers who serve in a variety of different professions and strive to live a simple life close to the poor around the world. Please be generous in supporting this vital mission.