SJK Blogs

Je veux me marier mais je suis grosse! Que faire?!

Il y’a quelques décennies, la beauté de la femme africaine dépendait de l’importance de ses rondeurs. Le plus ronde elle était, la plus belle elle était. Une femme ronde appelait le respect de son mari. Car sa rondeur signifiait qu’il était assez riche pour lui donner à manger à elle et à ses enfants. Nos tenues traditionelles réflétaient cette réalité. C’était les grands Kaba Ngondo douala, les pagnes, les larges gants et avec leurs grands foulards,etc. Ces tenues rehaussaient les rondeurs de la femme africaine sans les exposer et les rendaient fières.

Aujourd’hui, le phénomène des réseaux sociaux aidant, la femme africaine est de plus en plus comparée aux canons de beauté de la femme occidentale. Non, une femme ronde n’est plus synonyme de beauté. Bien au contraire, de nos jours, l’homme qui a une femme un peu trop ronde a honte de sortir avec elle. Ses amis pourraient lui demander si c’est elle qui “finit l’argent de la ration”. Les jeunes filles se mettent au sport, à la gym et aux régimes amincissant à qui mieux mieux. Les sobriquets tel que “mannequin”, “fille mince comme un fil”, sont des compliments désirés par les filles africaines aujourdhui.

Cependant, très peu sont celles qui réussissent à achever leur reve de beauté, à savoir avoir un beau visage et surtout un beau corps. Elles essaient, elles se battent, elles prient meme, mais ça ne change pas; le “gros corps” ne veut pas partir. Et voilà alors facebook. Le mignon gars là qu’elle a rencontré sur Facebook l’a invité à une soirée restaurant. Elle est à la fois heureuse et anxieuse. Pourquoi? Sur Facebook, elle a pris soin de ne poster que son visage. Mais à ce tete à tete, il la verra telle qu’elle est, aucune possibilité de cacher ses rondeurs. Pour la plupart des filles rondes, ce tete-à-tete que certains appellent “ce moment de vérité” sonne le glas d’une idylle à peine commencée. Le gars ne veut pas d’une “grosse”. Et ça y est. L’espoir qui était né retombe et fait place à l’incertitude, au découragement, à la dépréssion, etc.

Je sais de quoi je parle. J’ai vécu ça. Des cycles interminables de questionnement et de rejet de moi-meme et de mon corps. Je haissais mes jambes qui étaient “grosses comme un jambon”. Et ces joues qui ne voulaient pas s’affiner malgré tous mes efforts. Elles demeuraient rondes, rondes et rondes. Oh ces joues !

Mais au-delà du rejet de mon corps, j’ai surtout rejeté qui j’étais: une fille incapable de maigrir et d’etre aussi belle que mes copines. J’ai fait des régimes drastiques qui donnaient de bons résultats pendant que je les suivais, mais jamais j’arrivais à les terminer. Ou alors, les rares fois ou je pouvais les terminer, je me consolais avec une bon plat d’Ekoki avec du plantain mur et une “grosse bouteille fanta bien glacée. Et le cycle recommençait.

Aujourd’hui je continue à lutter contre ces vieux démons. Mais j’ai appris beaucoup de choses.

J’ai appris que : si tu vois une femme, une fille avec un surpoids énorme, ne la juges pas. Ne détournes pas ton regard d’elle non plus. Regardes là avec un sourire bienveillant et dis lui bonjour très amicalement. Elle est tellement habituée à ce que les gens détournent le regard quand ils la voient que ton bonjour chaleureux apportera une lueur dans son ame.

J’ai appris que: si tu vois une femme avec un surpoids énorme avoir un vilain caractère, c’est une carapace. Ses insultes et ses engueulades sont en fait un cri de désespoir. Elle a besoin d’aide et veut etre aimée.

J’ai appris que curieusement, les filles sont souvent plus dures avec les filles grosses que les garçons. Je ne sais pas pourquoi. Et je ne sais pas si je le saurais un jour. Les filles, changeons.

J’ai appris que perdre du poids est simple mais pas facile. Car c’est une bataille à tous les niveaux: premièrement au niveau de ton mental.

J’ai appris que si tu es une femme énorme qui a de la peine à perdre du poids, cesses de te trouver laide et moche. Remplis ton ame de courage. Ce courage se trouve dans la parole de Dieu. La parole de Dieu dit: “Il (Dieu) a fait toutes choses bonnes en son temps” Ecc 3:11. Et encore: “ton oeuvre est parfaite seigneur, mon ame le sait très bien” psaumes 139. Ce qui remplit ton ame façonne ton corps. A force d’écouter et lire la parole de Dieu, tu vas la croire et tu vas etre régénérée. La première bataille à gagner dans cette guerre contre les kilogrammes est la bataille du découragement de l’ame. Et la première chose à faire pour gagner cette guerre est une pleine immersion dans la parole de Dieu.

J’ai appris que si tu veux perdre du poids, tu ne peux pas te battre toute seule. Tu as besoin d’aide et de soutien. Cherches le auprès de tes amies les plus sures, ou auprès de personnes qui sont passées par là.

J’ai appris que si tu as une amie qui est énorme et qui ne te parle jamais de ses problèmes de poids, alors elle ne se sent pas suffisament en confiance avec toi. Essaies de briser la glace et parle avec elle de cela.

Une chose que j’ai apprise de Pasteur John Piper c’est de me poser trois questions tout le temps, quand une envie de grignoter me prend:

  • Est-ce mon estomac ou mes yeux qui ont besoin de ce casse-croute? Il m’arrive plusieurs fois de manger un bon repas copieux mais de voir juste après un gateau au chocolat appétissant, et de me dire que j’ai encore faim…
  • Comment vais-je me sentir après avoir avalé ce casse-croute? Coupable et misérable d’etre retombée dans mes habitudes gloutonnes ou contente d’avoir fait un pas de plus vers mon idéal minceur?
  • Est ce que faire cette gloutonnerie va me rapprocher de Dieu? Dieu sera t-il satisfait de voir qu’une fois de plus je n’ai pas tenu mes engagements envers la nourriture? Ou le malin sera t-il content de me voir trébucher encore une fois?

Après la parole de Dieu, une chose que j’ai aussi du apprendre est la discipline dans ma bouffe, et la discipline de mes yeux. Manger à l’heure ou je suis supposée manger et ne pas céder à la tentation de cette tarte au chocolat que je viens de voir à la boulangerie patisserie. Quand l’envie forte de grignoter ou d’acheter un chocolat, un bonbon me prend, je prie ou je m’adonne à un projet qui consomme toute mon énergie. Et oui, j’ai aussi appris que les périodes ou j’étais oisive étaient les périodes ou je prenais le plus de poids.

Quoique nous mangions, quoique nous buvions, nous devons le faire pour la gloire de Dieu (1Cor 10:31). Ce passage biblique démontre que Dieu est intéréssé par tout ce que nous faisons, meme notre manger et notre boire. Encourageons-nous les unes les autres à réfléter la gloire de Dieu dans ce domaine. Mais par dessus tout, sachons que quelque soit notre gabarit, mince, moyenne, ronde, costaude, lourde, nous sommes les créatures de Dieu et tout ce qu’IL fait est parfait. Donc nous sommes parfaits.

God bless you.

Bintou G. Peterson.

My Revolution? Jeremiah 29:7

Q : In 1962, someone said: « Africa got off to a bad start ». Someone replied : « Really? I’ve not even seen her move ». No one can deny the evidence. Africa is not ok. Something is terribly going wrong in Africa.

I cry for Cameroon. My heart aches for Gabon. How long Africa are you going to keep hitting the headlines with your complicated stories? We are better than this.  Why are we always swallowing shame with rivalries, tribalism, murders etc. We are fed up.

We want our kids to get good education. We want our parents to be well taken care of in our hospitals. We want running water in our houses. We want electricity 24/7. We are not asking for much. We just want to be able to live and breathe. We are frustrated.

What should be done for this to become our reality? Where is change going to come from? How should we react?

I have faithfully followed, listened, watched American, European and African broadcasting network. I have suscribed to online and hardpaper newspapers from the West and from Africa. I have listened, participated, watched endless debates and comments on Facebook and social medias. I was left empty and tired. Most of the debates got so hot that the panelist ended up physically hitting each other. And me, I still didn’t know the way to go.

I’ve had numerous private discussions with people touched by or involved in the conflicts. Some of their solutions were so radical that I started to fear for the survival of even their own family. I was just silently hoping they were not really thinking what they were telling me.  I still didn’t know which one to follow: the government or the separatist?

I prayed for days about it. And I asked God to lead me. One morning, during my prayer time, a Bible verse came to my mind: Jeremiah 29:7.

The Israelites, God’s own people, God’s own tribe as we would say in my village, had been taken captive from their country to Babylon. The Babylonian king was not the best example of a democratic leader. the Israelites were maltreated, despised and forced to be the slaves of the Great Babylonian king. Desperate and crushed by what they were living every day, they called the prophet Jeremiah. Looking at their previous attempts to rebel against the king of Babylon, I would not be surprised if they were secretly hoping that Jeremiah, the prophet of God, would deliver them a message of hope and deliverance and predict they would very soon go back to Israel, their country. But against all expectations, Jeremiah the prophet delivered the exact opposite message. He told them: seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. “Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” In other terms, forget about your desires of revenge. Y’all stay here, build houses, buy land. Make this place a paradise for you and for your children.

Gasp ! Make this place a paradise for you and for your kids, I understand it to mean spread love. Spread love everywhere. Spread it to the one who deserve it, spread it to the ones who don’t. Is God serious? How can he ask me to pray and work for the prosperity of a land that oppresses me?!

That’s not what I would do. I’d rather apply the lex talionis here. Such a land should be destroyed and forgotten. Out of our memories forever.

But sometimes we forget God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not always our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). Something that seems more than logical for us could be absolute foolishness to Him. Of course, I’m not urging you to be passive. I’m not asking you to fight against poverty or looking for a brighter future. I’m not saying God hates people who vote according to their convictions whatever they might be. I’m not saying we should clap when injustice and horror surround us. That’s definitely not what I am saying.

Hear me well. My intention is not to tell you who is right and who is wrong in the crisis in Cameroon and in the challenges Gabon is going through. I guess you might even already have your opinion on the matter. So no thank you, I will not dive into that.

My intention with this post is to remind you who you are, who I am, who I am. There is a song we like to sing in Africa by Sinach: I know who I am . We are a generation chosen by God to shine His light, to show the world how excellent He is, how love He is. We have another identity. We are not anglophone. We are not francophone. We are not pro-Ali Bongo. We are not pro-Jean Ping. We are the light of the world.

When church leaders get themselves tangled up into tribal fights, internecine rivalry or leadership conflicts, what are we offering to the world looking at us? When they see us divided and parting ways, insulting each other, what kind of gospel are we showing to the world? They are only left with the option of dropping sad comments on our pages : “hey, I thought y’all were preachers! How come you are behaving just like us?”

And me, I reply, not me but Christ,  if the salt looses its savor, how can it be made salty again? Mat 5:13.

God has our best interests at heart. God wants our prosperity. God wants integrity and honesty to be core values among us. You will be surprised but God actually is a God who like revolution. And He has given us the ultimate weapon for that revolution: prayer. Pray according to His will. Pray for your land. Pray for His blessing upon your land. Pray for Him to intervene and bless. Not necessarily use your double-barreled shotgun or your bladed weapon or inflamatory arrows shot on social medias. No. Not that. That is not God’s revolution.

In quietness and confidence is your strength Isaiah 30:15. In the quietness of your war room. In the quietness of your prayer nights. In the quietness of your bible studies. In quietness and confidence is our strength.

Let’s pray for Cameroon. Let’s pray for peace in Cameroon. Let’s pray for prosperity in Cameroon. Let’s pray for Gabon. Let’s pray for prosperity in Gabon. Let’s pray for Africa. Let’s pray.

I have chosen my revolution: Jeremiah 29:7.

May God bless you!

Because Natural is Amazing!

Dear friend,

IMG_6909You may wonder why a ministry dedicated to the Gospel would take some of its precious time talking about beauty and how to be beautiful.

Nowadays, women tend to compare themselves to Hollywood,Bollywood and Nollywood actresses. With the new technologies, new devices and internet becoming accessible to anyone, all ladies want to look like a famous actress. As we are working with ladies all around Africa, a very few of them find themselves pretty and attractive. A lot of them are depressed after scrolling their newsfeed on Facebook  because they dont have the amount of money necessary to buy beauty poducts that will make them as pretty as the others women they see on social medias.

Our goal is to spread the message of God’s love throughout all nations, starting from Africa. For people to understand that God loves them, we want them to know that God has created beautiful.

Ladies in Africa need to understand that THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL the way they are. God doesn’t make mistakes. He loves you, He loves you the way you are, and if someone really loves you, that person will love your skin, your hair and even your pounds! Depression and inferiority complexes about your appearance are sins that give way to the Enemy in your life.

Therefore, SJK FAMILY is launching a campaign on God’s beautiful creation: “NATURAL IS AMAZING” ! In french, it will be “BELLISSIME AU NATUREL”. We will teach to women that they are created at God’s image. They are loved and they are beautiful, the way they are.

You can follow our “NATURAL IS AMAZING” campaign on our Facebook page and on this website. We want you to be part of that campaign. Please, contact us soon!

Author: Bintou PETERSON

The Security of Your Love

A poem about The real Love

IMG_5601Look at me, Look pass me But don’t pass me/By, try and see through me/ See in me/Win me, woe me/ But don’t lose me

I’m not easy, not stingy/A bit crazy, moody/ I’m not heartless, or flawless/But hopeless if stood by/Like, try while you walk/And find that nice heart/That simply finds it hard to smile/Back at you nigh

Scared and thinking/What if I break Him/Why would He chose me/How do you stand me/ How? You; kind; fine;nice look at me/ I’d choke you, congest you/Flood you, submerge you/You;you;yes;you/ That i love, honor,endeavour/Tremor, splendor, glamour/ Is that flavours from me/ When your Tenor spores at me/ Me; me; Yes me

I wonder, you’re special/ So wonder-Full and I/ In denial can’t phantom/ Or Reckon the reason/ Of your love/ For my love/ Love insecurities/ Block my fantasies/ My envies, realities/ And certainly my verities

But right now/ Eventhough I ignore how/ I’ll trust you/ I’ll trust God/ Believe you/ Invite you/ Pray for you and love you/Again YOU, you yes you

Since Jesus made us 2 to meet/ Then it should be clear and neat/ For all to see it and eat/Love and pray for it/ Is indeed the end to my love insecurities/ And the beginnings of the series/ Of the remedies I dared believe in

Now willing/I want to do it/Decided to give in/To God, To Jesus, why not/ To Love/ Love, love/ Yes Love AND ALL It’s SECURITIES

Author: Jessica Mbella. SJK.

PSALMS 93

Dear friend, have you ever prayed over psalms from the Bible?

These are powerful prayers and revelations opray psalmsf the Holy and Mighty God. That only someone who was spending at least seven hours a day in His presence could understand. No wonder the Holy son is called: the son of David.

Your faith,your success in life will depend a lot on how much and how great is the time you spend with your Father. The world have seen the success of great men and women like Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist, Mary, mother of the Christ, Paul and Peter, founders of the church and many others of the early church.

This week, pray  Psalms 93 over your life.

When mourning turn to dancing…

Hello! I am Cynthia Dusabe Nyukuri. I am married to Alliance, the most beautiful and intelligent man someone can see on this planet earth. We have two daughters. As I am writing these words, one of them is babbling by my side, but the other is now somewhere I can’t reach her, until I die.

Bintou and Cynthia

You probably understand that my precious Mercy left us in this life. And you probably know how painful it is. I don’t know if you have ever lost a kid, but I can tell you that pain is tough. I had a baby stroller for twins. Since Mercy left, I never used it again.

This month, it will be one year that I lost my baby. But as my husband and I were remembering all the events around her departure, we just realized that today, we are full of gratitude to God. We went from mourning and questioning God in anger and rage, to praise Him for His faithfulness in our lives.

Mercy and Tracy
Mercy and Tracy

How did it happen? The Word of God. With the sadness that was overwhelming, we just plunged ourselves in God’s word. And we went deeper and deeper in it. And it is one year later, that we realized how much it has transformed us.

So, my word for you today is to get yourself deep in God’s word. Read it, study it, memorize it and give thanks for all situations you’re going through right now. They are God’s tool to transform you in His perfect image. And one day, you will praise Him, because you will understand that He was making a way for you. Mercy never came back; but I know now that God knew best. Today, He uses me in a special comfort and care ministry for people who are suffering. Isn’t it wonderful?

Alliance, Cynthia and Tracy
Alliance, Cynthia and Tracy

My Bible portion for you is this: “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus-Christ”.

Author: Cynthia Dusabe.

Editor: Bintou Peterson.

Weekly encouragement from SJK!

A NEW FAMILY!

I am part of the Semeurs Juniors family and it has been a great joy to work and interact with all the others members of that family.

IMG_3225[1]As I was looking at my past this week, I started crying cause of the overwhelming feeling of gratitude that filled my heart. Suffering from the absence of my mom, I spent a rough and hard adolescence. As a teenager, I did everything bad and ungodly that I could. But praise be to God the Father and His amazing grace, I turned my heart to him and everything in my life has changed.

I went from a solitary and harsh life to a family life. I am now surrounded by love and family that I just love and cherish too. God has provided Godly parents and elder brothers and sisters who are helping to grow in Him with their presence and their advice. And it is such a grace for me.

If you have a difficult life and you want to change, ask God to bring in your life, someone who fears Him and to whom you will be totally opened and true. The little advice of that person may change your life. This is what I have for you this week. And to encourage you, I give you this bible verse:

Even as he choses us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love, He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus-Christ according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace with which He has blessed us in the Beloved”. Eph 1: 4- 6.

Written by Alex Mvomo.

Edited by Bintou Peterson.