Meet the Founder:

Victor & Francoise Tsague.

When I first came to the USA in 2001, starting a ministry was the last thing I had in mind. But God has a way of changing things.

I went to aviation school in Paris to become airplane maintenance engineer. One day at the aviation school, the instructor said that it was a curse to be born black. I became very angry at life. I start to live a destructive life style in the attempt to fill the void in me. I ran away from the shadow of that curse haunting my existence for 15 years.

During all this time, I was an ancestral worshiper. I prayed to the spirit of my deceased ancestors and performed lots of traditional rituals or animal sacrifices without success of finding peace with my soul. In 2005, my friend invited me to his church and at the end of the service, he gave me his bible as a gift.  Little did I know how much that book will change my life?

After I was converted to Christianity, God spoke to me saying, “Take the good news back to your people, the Bantu People in Central Africa.” Just like my friend did for me and get me to the Kingdom, we are following the same model by having bibles available as a free gift to those who need one during our public evangelism, door-to-door evangelism, and our campus ministry.

Jesus said: "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field". (Luke 10:2). Thanks, Lord, for using me.

 The Journey:

My name is Victor Tsague. I’m a Bamileke. I was born and raised in a small village called Bafou in the west province of Cameroon until I was 14 years old. I was sent then to a Public high school in the city where I lived in a house along with a roommate of the same age. After few years, I was kicked out for low grades and absenteeism. In 1980, I moved with my cousin to Douala, one of the biggest cities in Cameroon, to continue high school. My father died soon after in 1982. I spent four challenging years in Douala that ended with a scholarship for three years in Aviation school in Paris. Eight other Cameroonians had the same scholarship. When we got to Paris, we forgot why we were there for, and we spent our time partying. By the end of the second year, eight Cameroonians were fired and send back to Cameroon except me. I should have been fired too, but by some miracle I was spared.

I returned to Cameroon at the end of the three years in 1987 and started working for the national airlines. After four years, I cut my finger and had to change the department. That change led me to discover some of my hidden potentials. Soon after, I became the youngest aircraft inspector in the company in 1992. In 1997, after five years as inspector, I had a terrible accident with the company vehicle. The car was totaled but the four occupants had only minor injuries. My boss decided that I should be fired, but the Board of Directors had to approve the decision. All the papers were signed and were just waiting for the approval of the Board of Directors. The grape vine was circulating the information that I was going to be fired. A miracle happened.

The employees were threatening to stop working because the company was not paying the overtime employees were forced to work. A commission was organized to solve the issue. The day I was scheduled to speak before the commission, it just so happened that the Chairman of the Board of Directors, a lady, was presiding. When I finished speaking, she asked if I was the one who had the accident with the company’s vehicle. I did not know what happened, but she asked me to meet with her the next day in her office. That was the first time somebody ever asked me to explain what happened aside from the incident report I presented to my boss the day after the accident.  The next day, she listened to my version of the story. The same week, the CEO of the company had an accident with another company’s car and the car was also totaled. Two weeks later the Board of Directors decided that I was not going to be fired because it was just an accident. It was nothing short of a miracle.

I continue to work for Cameroon National Airlines for four more years and in 2001, I moved to Boston, Massachusetts.  After four years of misfortunes and challenges with my immigration application, I decided to change and I found myself in Nashville, Tennessee where I found the purpose of my life: To serve God who made everything and to give Him glory.

The Dream

At the end of my second year in aviation school in Paris in 1986, I return to Cameroon for the summer. My mother wanted me to get married once I finished with school. By the end of the summer I was engaged with a young lady and the wedding was scheduled for August 1987 once I returned back from Paris after finishing with school. A year later I returned back from Paris and the wedding was going to be just as planned on August 1987. But two weeks before the wedding, I had a dream and my father appeared in the dream and told me that the young lady I was going to marry was not my chosen wife. The next day I did not know what to do. So, I asked to postpone the wedding until December 1987. Everyone was disappointed and mad at me. I just needed sometime to assess the dream and the information that the spirit of my father told me in that dream.

My family practice ancestral worship. It is a belief that the spirit of a dead person, if carefully introduced into its spiritual family, becomes a minor god with the power to reward or to punish the livings. So, ancestral worshipers live to cater to the spirit of their dead ancestors’ will in fear of punishments.  Therefore, I took very seriously the will of the spirit of my father that came to me in the dream even if I did not understand why the young lady could not be my chosen wife.

A week later after the dream, my future wife to be wrote a letter stating that she was three months pregnant with another man’s child, which happened while I was still in the aviation school in Paris. We broke up and not long after, I met my current wife. One year later we got married. We have been together since 1988.

For years I believed the person in my dream to be the spirit of my deceased father because of what I was taught to believe. Ancestral worshipers believe that the dead are not dead; they transcend from this life to a different dimension closer to God.  It was only when I became a Seven-day Adventist that I understood the state of the dead. So it could not have been the spirit of my deceased father in my dream. But, could it be that God wanted to speak to me using the only language that I will understand like He did with Peter in the book of Acts Chapter 11? The young lady that I was engaged to in 1987 was not able to be faithful to me while I was finishing school, and she found herself pregnant with another man’s child.  It was only after my seven years on tribulation in 2007 that I began to understand that knowing the journey that lay ahead of me, God wanted me to be married to a woman that would be fitted when we crossed the valley of the shadow for 7 years? 

7 Years of Tribulation

In 2001, I left my country for the United States of America fleeing away from persecution. I tough I would be uniting the family in a few months thereafter. But because of some unfortunate situations unrelated to me, my application to become permanent resident lasted for 4 years. The case was rescheduled three times: the first time the judge was disbarred for making a Tarzan remark to another African applicant; the second time my hearing coincided with the commemoration of President Ronald Reagan’s death; and the third time was because of snow emergency. Each time the case was rescheduled somewhere between 4 to 18 months.  Finally the case was approved in 2004 and I applied for my family to come over and it was approved by the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS). My wife and kids went to the embassy to apply for their visas but because of a clerical mistake on our marriage certificate, my wife’s visa was denied.  It took another miracle to unite my family after another 2 years of prayer. All together I was separated from my love ones for 7 years.

The Miracle with the Vice President Richard Cheney

In 2005, after five years of separation from my loves ones and whit everything going wrong in my life, I looked up to heaven and cried out: “What is wrong with me? If there is a God up there, please help me!”  This was the first time I ever pray to God directly in my life. Ancestral worshipers pray to God through the intercession of the spirit of decease ancestors because they believe that God is so remote that He can be reached only be these spirits of dead ancestors who have transcended to become minor gods through special ceremonies.

Soon after that short prayer, I met a friend who invited me to his church in Nashville, TN, a nondenominational church. I must admit that it was the third time I had ever stepped foot in a church in my 41 years of life. My family practice ancestral worship and we had never been to church. So the first time, I was in a Catholic church, I was following a date. The second time was in Boston, and it was not a church service. My friends were looking for the pastor and I tagged along. This third time was different.  I was on time and the pastor preached that day about “Peace.” I felt at peace for the first time in my life. I felt something that I had never felt before. At the end of the service, I was shaking. My friend who invited me noticed that something was going on with me so he reach out to his Bible and handed it to me as a gift. I went home and started reading the Bible my friend gave me every day although I could not understand that which I was reading.

Four days later, I went back to the church again and told the pastor how the message on Sunday changed my life. The pastor introduced me to one of the elder at the church, and I started a Bible study and was baptized after two months.

In the mean time while I was making my first step into Christianity, my family’s visa applications were in process at the USA embassy in Cameroon. The embassy gave my wife two weeks to process these applications, but five months later, we did not heard a word from the embassy aside from the letter a consular officer sent to me to inform me that my family’s visa applications were still in process. This was the response to the letter that I sent to the ambassador because I could not understand why it was taking so long for the US Embassy in Cameroon to process my family’s visa applications. Everyone that we know of that applied for a visa after us received the answer in just a few weeks. We began to suspect that something was wrong. So after six months of waiting, my wife went back to the embassy for an answer. They told her that her visa was denied for fraudulent marriage certificate and as for the kids, DNA testing would be done prior to visas’ issuance.

During the same time that we applied for my family’s visas, I was working for a valet company. Some time back, the manager at the valet company asked for my information to do the background check so that I could work for events at the Governor’s office or house. One morning in the month of May 2006 my phone rang. My boss at the valet company asked me to be at a particular address before noon. Although I had not been late for work, he stressed that I should make special effort to be on time. Soon after I arrived at that private home where there was a party, the secret service circle the whole block and no one could enter the block anymore except for residents. I was surprise to see that the guest of Honor at that party was the Vice President of the United States, Richard Cheney.

It was precisely two months after I was working as valet at that party where the guest of honor was Vice President Richard Cheney that my wife called me from the US Embassy in Cameroon to inform me that her visa application that we had been waiting for had been denied because our marriage certificate is fraudulent. She was in tears. She was told that it would take ten years for her to reapply.

We were now separated for six years; the thought of ten more years was unbearable. We were married legally at the city hall where our marriage certificate was issued by the mayor himself. Why were they now stating that our marriage certificate was fraudulent? As my wife continued to cry bitterly over the phone, I heard a voice that saying, “It has already been taking care of.” I did not know what it meant. So I went home and did not sleep all that night.

In the morning, the word “It has already been taking care off” that I heard the day before when I was talking over the phone with my wife was still resonating in my mind. I thought to myself that I will take the opportunity of the party I had the privilege to work at two months earlier, to write to the Vice President Richard Cheney for help, and I did. I sent a copy of my letter to my congressman Jim Cooper of Tennessee, to Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, to the Secretary of State Condoleezza rice, and to the US Ambassador in Cameroon. Congressman Jim Cooper’s office contacted the US Embassy in Cameroon by e-mail about my family’s case. The US Embassy officer responded with detailed explanation to why they believed our marriage certificate to be fraudulent.

The US Embassy in Cameroon said that following my family’s visa applications, they sent an officer to the city hall where we were married to check on the validity of our marriage certificate. The officer found out that the marriage certificate on file with the recording number identical to the marriage certificate we provided for our visa application was for somebody else. The mayor and the US Embassy officer both concluded that our marriage certificate was fraudulent.

When Congressman Jim Cooper sent me a letter with these details, I sent my wife to the city hall where we exchanged our marital vows for answers. After searching the whole archive for days, an assistant to the mayor at the city hall found a copy of our marriage certificate in a wrong archive with a wrong recording number.

In the mean time, the Vice President’s office sent my letter to the US Department of State for consideration. The department of State sent me a letter that they were considering the case. When I finally got the DNA test done with my children, my wife returned to the embassy for instruction.  She was surprised when the embassy officer told her that the whole family’s applications for visa were granted including hers. It was nothing else but a miracle from God to reverse the embassy’s decision rejecting my wife’s visa application.

At times, it looked like the case was hopeless. It seemed like the case was getting worse as we pray more about it. But, God was already working things out in a mighty way.

My First Step into Christianity

I left my wife 7 months pregnant with 3 children to seek residence in the USA in 2001. She gave birth 3 months later to a baby girl. I was not there for her. The first word that came out of my daughter’s mouth was “Daddy,” pointing up to my picture on the wall. I was calling every week to keep the connection with my family. When my daughter was able to speak, one day as I was talking to her, she blurted out “Daddy, why don’t you come home?” I realized how much I missed her and I didn’t know what to say. Tears started running down my cheek. I heard myself promising my daughter that I would be home soon and I would have her in my arms, and nothing would ever separate us again.

That was the day that I looked up to heaven and cried out: “What is wrong with me? If there is a God up there, please help me!”  My application lingered for four years at the immigration due to unfortunate circumstances that no one could explain, and now my family visa applications were in process at the US Embassy in Cameroon for several months, a process that normally takes only two weeks.

It was soon after that prayer that I was invited to a church service for the first time in my life that turned my life upside down. But I was very confused after my baptism with the preaching at my nondenominational church. I did not understand that which I was reading in the Bible my friend gave me the first day I attended a church service, and the explanation my pastor was giving me was not settling with me either.  Email went back and forth between me and my pastor. One day my pastor told me to read only the four books of the gospel because some books in the Bible like the books of Revelation and Daniel are very difficult and nobody can understand them. I was very disappointed because I knew that there was something more into the Bible, so I left that church. From my nondenominational church, I started to visit a Baptist church. I was presented with a book called “The Trail of Blood” that traces the Baptist Church back to the one Jesus started Himself when He was on earth. Then I left the Baptist church and start contemplating the Church of the Nazarene. They too presented me with a book called “Chicken Little” that attempt to explain the book of revelation. Still I had a void in me that was not been satisfied. One day a Jehovah witness knocked on my door and we started a Bible study.

In the mean time while I was searching for the truth, I moved to a new apartment. The previous resident had cable connection that was not yet disconnected. I enjoyed free cable for a few months. One day I came home and there was only the snow on my TV; the cable was disconnected. I went to the store and bought a rabbit ears antenna. As I plugged it into my TV set and turned it on, 3ABN came on. I sat and watched and was challenged by what they were preaching. But the more I watched 3ABN, the more it was conflicting with the preaching of my non-denominational church. But 3ABN couldn't be wrong because it referenced the Bible all the time, and I could confirm with my own Bible that my friend gave me the first day he invited me to church. That is when I started to challenge my pastor about the Sabbath with what I was learning from 3ABN. But all he could say was, “The Sabbath was nailed to the cross,” and “Read only the four gospels because the book of revelation cannot be understood.”  My young faith was now facing a challenge. I started searching on my own; I was reading a lot of religious literature. That was when I started to visit the Baptist Church and the Church of the Nazarene followed by a Bible study with the Jehovah witness.

Whenever the Jehovah witness came to my house for Bible study, he always asked me to change the channel because my TV was tuned to 3ABN all the time. When I asked him why, he told me that the Seventh-day Adventist is a religious sect. I was so irritated that I stopped our Bible study that day.

From that time on, I stop going to any church and was only watching 3ABN. One day, I decided to call 3ABN to connect me with one of their churches in Nashville. The pastoral department at 3ABN sent me a book entitled “Ten Commandments Twice Removed” and a letter with the addresses of three Seventh-day Adventist churches, but for some reason I decided not to go. I was afraid to be deceived once again because of all the confusion out there. So I knelt down in my living room and challenged God that if what the people at 3ABN were telling was the truth which I believed, He would have to connect me with a Seventh-day Adventist church Himself.

Soon after I challenged God, I met a fellow Cameroonian who invited me to a restaurant in downtown Nashville.  The next day, I was in the same neighborhood so I came back to the same restaurant for lunch, and the owner approached me and a friendship started between us. We talked about everything, but we never talked about religion - although it was boiling inside me. I challenged God to lead me on the right path, and I was waiting for any sign from Him.

During all this time that I was searching for the truth, I was cleaning carpet for leaving. The week that I became an Adventist, I had a job scheduled on Thursday, and four other jobs were also scheduled for Saturday. I went to my Thursday job, and as usual I prayed to God that morning and told Him that I was still waiting for Him to lead me to that remnant church I heard people at 3ABN talking about. I went to the home that I was cleaning and started my job as usual. I usually do not move things around in people’s home unless allowed by the owner. But that morning, I was driven by a force to move a box in the first room where I started the cleaning. The bottom of the box burst open and the book called “Ten Commandments Twice Removed” was all over the room. I dropped the box, ran outside the room, and with my broken English, I asked the owner, “Are you a Seventh-day Adventist?”  She said yes. We forgot about carpet, and we sat down on her couch and talked about God for two hours. The owner of the house, a lady, invited me to her church the next Sabbath.

I went home that day happy. Now that God answered my prayer, I had no reason not to observe the Sabbath. I called the four jobs scheduled on Saturday and rescheduled all of them. On that Sabbath morning I attended my first Sabbath school. At the end, as the teacher prayed and dismissed the class, I stood up and turned around. There in front of me stood my restaurant owner friend and her husband who both gave me a big welcome hug. That was the beginning of my journey as a Seventh-day Adventist.

My Wife’s Baptism and the Call

During the struggle to unite my family, I found the light. For the first time I knew the purpose of my life. I knew from where I had come from and where my destiny was leading me. I shared my excitement with my wife who was a little reluctant.

My wife was born and raised in the Littoral province in Cameroon, but she was from the Bamileke tribes just like me. Her family had always been Catholic. After we got married, she stopped going to church but she never stopped being Catholic. She had a Bible that she almost never read, but she would pray every night before bed with her “Holy Rosary.”

With this background, when I told my wife who was still back in Cameroon that I was considering baptism into the Seventh-day Adventist Church; she tough I was losing my mind. The Bamileke considers the Seventh-day Adventists church as a demonic sect.  I reassured my wife that I would provide her with a Biblical explanation to everything I believe in. As we finished talking over the phone, I asked her to pray. She prayed to Holy Mary to intercede to her Son Jesus on our behalf. I then referred her to read Matthew 12: 46-50. The next time I called, she addressed her prayer directly to God, and she started to soften up and to listen more.

During the same time I was studying the Bible more so I could prove my case to my wife. My church family told me that I was ready for baptism but I decided to wait until my family moved over to the United States. Soon after they came, I was baptized in front of my wife and kids. My baptism had a negative effect on my wife who thought I was lost forever. She became bitter, aggressive, and threatened to return back to Cameroon.

At the same time, my family was planning a funeral ceremony for my grandfather who died a few years earlier. I refused to participate as it conflicted with the Biblical teaching about the state of the dead.  It is during this special ceremony that the spirit of the dead ancestor is said to have transcended to become a minor god.

The more my wife threatened me with a divorce if I did not abandon my faith, the more I studied the Bible to prove my case. I prayed to the Lord to help me bring my wife to Calvary so she can see for herself what Jesus had done for her. I promised the Lord that if He helped me with my wife, I will do anything He will ask me to do. So I asked my wife to give me the reason why she wanted me out of the church so bad. She pointed me back to our traditions and customs that I was no longer agreeing to be part of. I continued and asked my wife to give me another reason against the Seventh-day Adventist Church to which she could not find any except that people said that it is a religious sect. So I promised my wife that if she could find only one reason that is biblically sound, I will abandon the church to go back to our traditions. To my request, my wife agreed to come to church with me and to find evidences against the church to prove that I was wrong.

After my wife started to come to church service with me, she soon realized that we were doing nothing else but praising God and giving Him glory. She soon realized that she knew nothing about the Bible, although she had been Catholic all her life and owned a Bible since she was a kid. During the time that my wife accepted the message and started considering baptism, she sought to know the implication of her new belief with regard to the many Bamileke traditional beliefs and practices. I consulted with my pastor for advice. He contacted the Seventh Day Adventist Union Conference Mission Secretary in Cameroon to connect us with a pastor or believer in the Bamileke region. For our deepest surprise, they connected us with a Bamileke who was a pastor in the Caribbean island. He did help us to understand what my wife needed to know. Then the miracle happened!

My family moved to the USA on June 22, 2007. Exactly six months later, on December 22, my wife responded to the pastor’s altar call after the sermon and gave her life to Jesus. The very next day, on December 23, as she was cooking, heated oil in a pot caught fire. She panicked and threw the pot on the floor. Fire spread all over the kitchen with flames leaking up to the ceiling. My son attempted to help his mother to no avail. My first daughter knelt by the door and started calling upon the name of Jesus. At the same time, my wife was pouring all the water she could lay hands on upon the fire. The fire just died out by a miracle. My wife sustained a first and second degree burns on her face and on her right hand. My wife was rushed to the hospital for treatment. As the doctor was leaning over to patch her wounds, she turned and asked me, “Why there is nobody teaching about Jesus back home?”  I told her that I do not know.

When we returned back from the hospital, my wife was not the same person. She was calling everyone back home to witness about Jesus. My phone bill went through the roof and I could not get her to stop. One morning, as we were discussing that there must be a cheaper way to communicate the gospel to the people back home, a voice spoke to me saying, “Take the gospel back to your people, the Bantu people in Central Africa.” It was the same voice that spoke to me two years earlier informing me that our situation had already been taken care off when we were battling with my family’s visa applications. I remembered the miracle that followed with the intervention the Vice President Richard Cheney and Congressman Jim Cooper to reverse an impossible situation that my family was in. So I said, “Yes Lord” and Bantu Hope Ministries was born.

The Confirmation

When we were impressed to start a ministry, I shared the idea with my pastor. As he encouraged me to go forth, I went home and pray to God to confirm that it was His call. Then I spoke to a church member about the impression that I had about the Lord asking my wife and I to start a ministry to take the good news back to our people, the Bantu people in Central Africa. I was very surprised when he responded to me that the Lord had already spoken to him that he will soon be involved in a ministry. He then proceeded by giving us a $5,000 donation to start the ministry. From that moment on, I knew it was the Lord’s will.

 
The Decision by Faith

Although I had no doubt about the purpose for my life (to bring the gospel of Jesus to my people), it was still difficult to decide. The decision was made difficult when I was accepted at the General Hospital at Meharry for the radiology technologist program. I had the acceptance letter in front of me along with the 501 ( c ) 3 application. It was August 11, 2008, the first day of school for my kids. I kept thinking that it was good for me to pursue my carrier in radiology. I was agonizing the whole day and for some reason I couldn't make the decision one way or the other. It was late afternoon, I went outside to relax.  But instead of relaxing I was fighting with mosquitoes. So I went back into my bedroom at around 5:40 PM and turned on 3ABN on my laptop. GYC Executive Secretary Andrea Oliver was preaching. I watched with no interest for few minutes and something caught my attention. She said “I’m going to read something to you and it is going to shock you because most of you have never heard it before.” She then proceeded to read Reflecting Christ by Ellen G. White, page 243: {Last night a scene was presented before me. I may never feel free to reveal all of it, but I will reveal a little.It seemed that an immense ball of fire came down upon the world, and crushed large houses. From place to place rose the cry, “The Lord has come! The Lord has come!” Many were unprepared to meet Him, but a few were saying, “Praise the Lord!”
“Why are you praising the Lord?” Inquired those upon whom was coming the sudden destruction.“Because we now see what we have been looking for.” “If you believed that these things were coming, why did you not tell us?” was the terrible response. “We did not know about these things. Why did you leave us in ignorance? Again and again you have seen us; why did you not become acquainted with us, and tell us of the judgment to come, and that we must serve God, lest we perish? Now we are lost!”} 
 I was shocked. I stood up and reviewed the scene of page 243 in my mind. I knew then what I had to do.

God's Reassurance

In August 2010, after two years into the ministry, nothing very significant happened. I was discouraged. I was looking for the opportunity to abandon the call. I was not getting any significant support from those I considered to be my new family in Christ.

Before school started, my nine years old daughter was transferred from an English Language Learner School to a regular school about 1.3 miles from home. The school informed me that the bus will no longer be available to pick her up. I started to hold onto the fact that we will have to drive the kid to school every day as my exit reason from Bantu Hope Ministry. I tough to myself, “If my family is not taken care of, there is no reason for me to be in ministry for anyone.” I think about my family as my first ministry.  

On the first day of school, there was no bus so my wife had to drive my daughter to her school. I called the school to see if they could do something and the principle reply that there is nothing she could do, but she gave me the phone number for the transportation department for Metro Nashville Public School (MNPS). I was on the phone with MNPS all day asking them to do something. By 3:00 p.m., it seemed that there was no solution to my problem.

I was about to accept that I will have to drop Bantu Hope Ministries because I could not attend any convention, camp meeting, or seminar since I needed to be available Monday through Friday for my daughter. But I decided to make one last phone call. The operator transferred my call to the transportation department, and the lady who picked up the phone at the transportation department asked me once again to provide all my information and then she was quiet. I could hear the clicking sound on a keyboard for what appear to last forever.

Finally, the lady’s voice sounded softly at the other end of the line and she asked for my home address for the second time. After about another minute of silence, she came back and sighted, “I don’t understand.” I asked her nervously, “What is it that you don’t understand?” she reply, “I don’t understand because somebody had just created a new bus stop in front of your door and the name of your daughter is on the list.” We exchanged few more words and the conversation ended. I called my wife and told her that God took care of our problem once again. Halleluiah!

The next morning, we all waited at the door for the bus. Few minutes later, a lady came with her daughter to wait along with us because she was told that there was a new bus stop there too. She then proceeded to tell me how we were lucky because the bus stop was conveniently at our door steps which was good for the winter months.

I knew it was not luck; it was God who cares for every need in my life. Thanks to Jesus for His love and for His care.