An #Inspirational and Motivational Personal Story

Coming to America: A Journey of Faith is the personal story of a young Cameroonian man who follows God’s leading to leave family, friends, and country, to fulfill his lifelong dream of obtaining the education of his dreams.









Eric Tangumonkem (hereafter, Eric), was an acquaintance of mine when I was a missionary in Cameroon, his home country. We met off and on during the seven years I was there, as our lives intersected for brief moments in time. Little did Eric or I know the impact those intersections would have later on in our lives. On one occasion, when Eric became ill and needed medication, he reached out to me for help. On another occasion, I was the guest speaker at his cousin’s wedding. And today, our lives have once again intersected as we’ve reunited our friendship here in the US.Our lives have not only intersected, but they have traveled parallel paths. Back in 1977, my family left the US to go to Cameroon as missionaries. My wife and our two children, the youngest one six months old, had embarked on a life of faith, trusting God to provide our everyday needs. I can boldly say that God never once left us helpless, whether it was financial, physical, mental, or spiritual.


Eric Tangumonkem (hereafter, Eric), was an acquaintance of mine when I was a missionary in Cameroon, his home country. We met off and on during the seven years I was there, as our lives intersected for brief moments in time. Little did Eric or I know the impact those intersections would have later on in our lives. On one occasion, when Eric became ill and needed medication, he reached out to me for help. On another occasion, I was the guest speaker at his cousin’s wedding. And today, our lives have once again intersected as we’ve reunited our friendship here in the US. Our lives have not only intersected, but they have traveled parallel paths. Back in 1977, my family left the US to go to Cameroon as missionaries. My wife and our two children, the youngest one six months old, had embarked on a life of faith, trusting God to provide our everyday needs. I can boldly say that God never once left us helpless, whether it was financial, physical, mental, or spiritual.


The outset of his book: Coming to America: A Journey of Faith, Eric takes us on his own personal journey of faith that I found exciting, while at the same time intriguing. Here was a young man growing up in an impoverished farming area in the tropical jungles of Cameroon. His family had little to nothing, but enough to maintain their lives. Going to school was a luxury that many in Cameroon cannot enjoy because of the numerous fees attached to the education system: Registration, Books, Uniforms, Meals, and sometimes Travel.


For most, even one of those items can be prohibitive enough for the child to be unable to attend school. But, that’s where the Journey of Faith comes in. It is a step by step process in learning to trust in something or rather Someone; you do not see. This process started in Eric’s life, when he was a child, as he encountered Truth and Reality from reading the Bible and listening to numerous preachers. Little by little, faith began to rise within his heart, mind, and soul. Eric was learning that intangible experience called faith. And at every turn in his life, Eric was forced to see the impossible as it constantly bombarded him at every turn, all the while facing those impossibilities with God’s Word and his own personal trust and faith in God. He learned that faith must grow and change the way things appear.

He grew to accept the truth that is knowing the difficulties and knowing God allowed him the patience to wait on God to provide in His timing. This, in turn, produced an internal character of facing any and all challenges with calmness and assurance, what we might call faith (2 Peter 1:5-6). It doesn’t happen overnight. Rather, it is like a seed planted in one’s heart that grows to fruition.


Eric displays this inner fruit of faith as a child, praying and expecting God to respond by supplying all his needs through Christ Jesus, his Lord, and Savior (Philippians 4:19). From Elementary School (called Primary School in Cameroon) to High School (Secondary School) and then on to University in Cameroon, all the while, out of the family’s poverty, seeing God supply all his necessities to go to school. Each and every day was a Journey of Faith! God took care of supplying Eric’s: food, transportation, books, and uniforms. But it didn’t stop there. It seemed that God had no stopping point. An undergraduate and even a graduate degree were not the final answer. God was calling Eric to the US to obtain his Ph.D. What? Surely, this is a frivolous dream! No, God was opening doors in the US for Eric to continue his pursuit in education, and all this without the money or means to even begin the process. You see, the Journey of Faith is a step-by-step process, which Eric is still finding out. As I read this book: Coming to America: A Journey of Faith, I found myself reeling from heartache to joy, sometimes from the words on the same page. I saw the inner workings of a man who has taken the “simplicity of the gospel” and allowed it to form a lifestyle of trust. But, that’s not the end of the story.


While reading Eric’s book, I found myself closing my eyes and praying that I, too, would have this kind of faith. Was I embarrassed by the fact that I, a missionary, was being taught by one he taught years ago? No! Rather, I am blessed to know that there are men and women of faith like Eric, who are also teaching and showing others how to live a similar life of faith towards God. I have grown from Eric’s story…
























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