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Funeral - Cameroon
                                                 FUNERAL PROGRAM IN CAMEROON
                               Friday 14th September

- 1 p.m: Removal of Corpse from the Buea Regional Hospital Annex, and procession to PC Buea Town Parish.

- 2 p.m: Church Service at PC Buea Town.
- 5 p.m: Laying in State at her Bomaka premises.
- 8 p.m: Wake - Keeping

            Saturday 15th September

- 11 a.m: Church Service.

- 1 p.m: Burial
- 3 p.m: Reception & Departure of Guests.
                The Right Reverend Dr. Festus Asana, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in        
                                                     Cameroon, officiating.




The passing to eternity of Mama Elizabeth Mbiwan is to me like the passing of a special generation. Mama Mbiwan will be remembered as the embodiment of faithfulness and devotion.

I first met Mama Mbiwan in Yaoundé in 1977 when we were just posted there as Pastor of the English-speaking parish, what is today, Presbyterian Church, Bastos congregation. This motherly lady caught our attention, not because she advertised herself but more through her sacrificial service. As one of the elders of the congregation, her Christian maturity stood out clearly.

Mama Mbiwan distinguished herself as a loving, caring, and concerned mother, not only in her home but also at Church and her work place. The results of her role of mother in the home can be seen in the positions of her children today. I saw her in Yaoundé sacrifice her worship time with the adults to teach the children in the Sunday School. The results are far reaching even today.

History will continue to remind us that Mama Elizabeth Mbiwan was one of the first headmistresses of the Government Bilingual Primary School, the then only such school in Yaoundé. Even the Church was proud of her for the integrity she demonstrated at her work place.

Mama Mbiwan has left an outstanding example to follow. Her legacy beckons on posterity to learn from her living lessons and challenges today’s generation to think twice.

The consistency in her faith, her firm integrity and her determination to serve God in the Presbyterian Church leave a gaping vacuum among us as she changes address to be with God her Creator. May she rest in God’s peace.

On a personal note, my wife and I will ever remember Mama Mbiwan as one of our most caring mothers. We first met her as a newly married couple and the life and character of Mama Mbiwan greatly impacted us. She will remain in our memories as a model and we have often mentioned her.

On behalf of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon (PCC) we openly recognise and appreciate the great contributions of Mama Mbiwan to the growth of the Church. Her good work will continue to bear testimony. May Mama Mbiwan’s family receive the sympathy of the PCC and continue to be inspired by the legacy of a great and God-fearing mother.

Rt. Rev. Dr. Festus A.  Asana

Moderator, PCC 

Egbe Monjimbo September 29, 2012


You are invited to view 114615696818508918297's photo album: MUMMY'S HOME GOING CELEBRATION
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Egbe Monjimbo September 27, 2012


You are invited to view 114615696818508918297's photo album: FUNERAL MAGAZINE/KEEPSAKE
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Egbe Monjimbo September 24, 2012




                                                     P C BUEA TOWN 14TH SEPTEMBER 2012


The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon the Rt. Rev. Dr. Festus Asana,

The Clergy,

Your Excellencies,

The Bereaved Family,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


Today is another day, but the difference with yesterday is that today we are gathered in God’s presence to remember,  honour and celebrate the life of a fervent and  devoted Christian, Mrs. Elizabeth Efeti Mbiwan, who until recently was one of us.

You are all welcome as you join PC Buea Town to say farewell to a great lady. May God’s grace accompany you as you retire to your homes at the close of this solemn Service.


Mrs Mbiwan was baptized in 1930 as an infant in this congregation and grew up in this congregation and although she served in other congregations we are filled with gratitude that she traced her roots and spent her last days with us in her home congregation.  

She received her last Holy Communion last month from the hands of our new Pastor, Rev. Hosea Ngwa. 

We have heard how diligently she served the Church: as a Sunday School Teacher, Choir Mistress, Elder and CWF Leader. In all of these positions she instilled great Christian values into those she interacted with.

The idea of choirs wearing robes and processing with the Cross in the PCC was Mrs. Mbiwan’s. She had seen this in the Anglican Church in Victoria and admired it greatly.


Ma Elizabeth with her soft spoken voice was a mother who exhumed dignity laced with humility, gentility and modesty. Her Christian faith was strong and she let her light shine like a burning candle from her small corner – a light that illuminated far and wide. She was there for the Christian who was troubled and needed advice, bought the CWF uniform for the widow who could not afford it and helped the orphan and the poor in desperate need. Her faith matched her actions like Christians are called upon to do. The joy we feel from reaching out to those in need is immense. She made a difference in her world.


She was amongst the fast fading generation from whom the younger generations learnt how to dress elegantly but appropriately to church. This may sound irrelevant here. But it may surprise you to know that this congregation has gowns hung out by the church entrance doors every Sunday for anyone who comes to Church inappropriately dressed to wear before entering the church.

Once, while Mrs Mbiwan was addressing a CWF group she advised that when you are in Church and the lesson has been announced and you are slow to open the passage, just shut your bible, sit quietly and listen attentively to the reader. By doing this you will avoid flipping noisily through your bible and distracting the Christians near you who are concentrating. The lesson Ma was imparting was that we should at all times be considerate towards our neighbours. Her forgiving nature was commendable. These are the things that break and bring out the beauty of each passing day.


To Ma Elizabeth’s family: You are God fearing and walk in the Lord. God has been a guide to you and done wondrous things for you. The Lord is great and will continue to care for you. Your strong faith will see you through this storm and remember Ma Elizabeth will always smile down to you from up there. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

Ma Elizabeth, you made a choice in life to follow Christ and serve Him. Someone will watch your light today and behold the colours with which it burns. Now that you are gone the path you chose in life will be marked in our minds.

Dear Mourners, our choices reach across time and space to affect many lives than we will ever know. Ma will never know the lives she touched, inspired and instilled with great values. Churchill the famous British Prime Minister once said “We make a living by what we earn, but we make a life by what we give.” Ma Elizabeth made a life by what she gave. She will be remembered by her good deeds.  A beautiful soul is never forgotten. We believe her reward awaits her as she crosses over Jordan.

 Aunty, may you have peace and rest as you find your special place at God’s banquet Table. We wish you God’s speed.

On request can we sing in Douala hymn  No. 146


Kana ngengeti si benno moa mwenen

ke ińańo i busi idiba

was’e matomba na ndut’ ao na longe

nd’ ebol’a  ndolo  e si matomba

Di mongobele, di mongobele,

di mongobele na ebol’asu ;         

was’e matomba na ndut’ao ńa longe

nd’ ebol’a ndolo e si matomba


                                                The Reverend Aboseh

Sermon Text: Luke 2:25-33


Occasion: Wake Service for Ma Mbiwan, 14/09/2012, Bomaka


Theme: Waiting for Consolation




Waiting can be very painful. It may be filled with uncertainties. It can also be very disappointing sometimes. There are people who do not keep their word. They tell you to wait meanwhile they mean to tell you, ‘Please, do not wait for me. I will not come.’ They tell you ‘I’ll be there in five minutes’ and five, ten hours they are not there. 



Waiting can also be very rewarding. For example, sometimes when you are waiting for a friend near a refreshing spot or a restaurant, the person who you are waiting for may be kind and generous to ask you to get a dish of food or some yoghurt on their account. When that is done your anxiety level drops because there is some material form of consolation. Some people in the course of waiting have made new friends with whom they exchange cards and later meet in professional or business circles. Some have met old-time friends and they look back on their ‘good old days’ with a feeling of nostalgia.




I am very interested in reading the biographies of successful people. I am sorry if what I mean by successful people does not match with your understanding of successful people.



I have read the biographies of great people in politics and in religion. I discovered that in both categories of professionals, their success or failure is underpinned by the ability to endure or to wait. For example, former US President Warren G. Harding is discredited as being perhaps “the greatest Presidential disappointment in history” ever to have occupied the Oval Office. He is also discredited with a legacy of scandal and corruption. His failure is attributed to waiting and not taking measures to hold members of his administration accountable. He failed because he spent time waiting on making friends than making progress. That disease of aimless waiting caught his wife, too. It is said that: “As first Lady, [Florence] she kept a little red book in which she wrote the names of anyone who had offended her husband. Many of the names she inputted on account of imagined slights. If she perceived that someone had looked at the President the wrong way or had failed to greet him properly, then she assumed they were a political enemy.”  It’s like in Cameroon: if you are not in the ruling party, you’re considered either unpatriotic or an enemy of the State.



President Harding waited but failed. He waited but did not take action. There are many people like Harding here: waiting but never taking action. They attend many funerals, listen to sermons on repentance, sermons about the end-time or the nearness of the Day of the LORD but never take action to surrender their lives to God. Harding’s reckless attitude cost him the loss of the White House. He lasted in the White House for less than three years.



I started this message by talking to you about successful people. I read Eugene Griessman’s book titled: “Time Tactics of Very Successful People.” I was absorbed by the conversation the author of that book had with a friend. Griessman once asked Stanley Marcus, a legendary retailer and chairman emeritus of Neiman-Marcus, “What do the wealthy, powerful, and famous people you know have in common?” Stanley Marcus replied, “They all have 24-hour days.” Stanley Marcus elaborated his response by adding that, “The world has expanded in almost all directions, but we still have a 24-hour day. The most successful people and the most unsuccessful people all receive the same ration of hours each day.”




Now to the sermon text which I have just read I want to classify Simeon as one of the most successful people the world had had. He was wise in the use of his daily ration of 24 hours. In his time management skills, he allotted all 24 hours to God. The Bible reports that “this man [Simeon] was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him.”



Today’s English Version of the Bible says that “He [Simeon] was a good and God-fearing man, and was waiting for Israel to be saved.”  Simeon was waiting purposefully unlike President Harding. Simeon was investing into his time. He was, in the words of Anna Louisa Coghills, the song-writer, giving to each flying minute something to keep in store. How do you spend this ‘wait time’ that God has graciously given us? Do you spend it like Florence Harding inputting the names of your enemies, your husband’s enemies or like Simeon, waiting for the consolation of Israel? As Simeon waited to be consoled, he, too, was a comfort. He was a comfort in time of grief, when prophecy had ceased in Israel. He inspired hope in the midst of hopelessness. He was, like every true prophet, comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable.



Modern humanity may be tempted to classify Simeon as an unsuccessful man because, today, success is reckoned with in terms of huge expanse of estates, powerful political titles, a fleet of mansions and cars, and the number of streets that are named after you, the length of your entourage and funeral procession, and more, but Simeon had none of these. I was surprised during the funeral service of late Ma Anastasia Masonjo, when a funeral oration was made by her son, Mola Ngale Kinge Jacob. He counted her late mother, of no prominence in the world’s eye, who lay motionless, as a successful woman. To him, to be successful does not depend on the dictates of a presidential decree.




Simeon spent his time purposefully, waiting for the consolation of Israel. Four long centuries had passed when the LORD God had ceased to speak to his people through prophets. The last prophecies concerning Israel’s Messiah were made by prophets like Micah and Zechariah promising Israel God’s Anointed:


“But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule Israel, whose origin is of old, from ancient days.” (Micah 5:2)

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zech. 9:9)




Simeon’s response to the news of Jesus’ birth is a fulfillment of this prophecy.  In fact, Scripture attests that: “It had been revealed to him that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.”Today death is often qualified as “untimely.” Who sets the limit to our existence? I remember that there were times that old people knew when their end was near. They would gather their families for the last family meeting. I remember when my old mother insisted she wanted to have a word with me for the last time. When I got home, she said, “My son, I have appointed you my heir. I don’t have lands to hand over to you but I hand to you the family that I have gathered. Only be careful that they are not scattered.” It did not take long and my mother died.



The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ (Luke 12:16-20)




 Any enterprise that we establish or any goal that we set without God’s approval is destined to crumble.



While the Jews were expecting a military liberator to set them free from the yoke of their Roman overlords, Jesus disappointed them by preaching the Gospel of peace. Jesus Christ always contradicts our habitual ways of thinking and doing things. While the world counts greatness in terms of the quantity of money and wealth and possessions and titles and medals, Jesus counts greatness from the perspective of humility and endurance.




Simeon waited on God and his hope was actualized. He had been waiting for the consolation of Israel. Now he could rejoice greatly:


Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel (Lk. 2:29-32).



Simeon exited the stage of a purposeful existence with the praise of God on his lips. These words of Simeon are often repeated at Christian funeral services during the commendation. They are words pronounced over successful people; people who gave their all to God; people who exit the world’s stage like Simeon holding tight to nothing to call their own save a legacy of saving faith in God. This saving faith which is passed down from generation to generation is what is eternally ours in Jesus Christ. In life or in death, it does not leave us. The apostle Paul affirms:


No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:37-39).



We are here to celebrate success and to thank God for the legacy of a successful woman in the Lord. This is a woman who spent her life in humble service, touching the lives of many generations of people. The tributes bear eloquent testimony to her saving faith in God. She is an exemplar of Simeon’s faith. I am sure that the children, like the father and mother of the baby Jesus, are amazed at what is being said about their mother.




My dear sisters and brothers in Christ, life is too short to spend counting your enemies instead of making peace with God and with people. Life is too short to spend without purpose, without thinking of your Creator, without thinking of where you will spend eternity. God has fulfilled His promise to us. God has sent His Son Jesus Christ, who came, suffered and died for our sins, and rose again for our freedom. Let us wait on God for consolation, for as the prophet Isaiah says:

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint (Isa. 40:28-31).


Egbe Monjimbo September 24, 2012










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