FINAL HOWDY

November 8, 2018

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 8:00pm-1:00pm CST

Dear All:

Solomon will say that there is a time for every season. A time to write a Pre-Howdy, a time to write many intermediate Howdys and a time to write a Final Howdy. Now, I am acutely aware that in his day there were no computers nor blogs but here I am. After I last wrote here is what happened; I did some more fine tuning on my trip report and think it is about finished. I am so thankful for my computer. Left the hotel at about 6:15 and there was no traffic. Today was declared a Public Holiday because the President was sworn in. Had to wait for about an hour and then got my boarding pass; cleared Customs and got to the gate at about 7:45. It has A/C and an electrical outlet that works so my computer can stay charged. We have not had our carry-ons checked but will within 30 minutes or so. The flight is still nearly 4 hours away but I like to be early and not miss flights. I have not taken any pictures today or yesterday. The one on the left below is of the Biyem-Assi church hall and is one of the finest, if not the finest in Cameroon. On the right is a photo of the traffic in Bonaberi yesterday. The traffic was not all that heavy and we had no problems. I am going to read and write more tomorrow. We are now under 200,000 seconds before I see TMBWITU. I was able to Skype with her earlier and will call her before I take off. The next time we have contact will be Thursday night.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 4:15pm – 9:15pm CST

Here is what has transpired since I last wrote: I met a man named Mel Davis and spoke with him for hours. He splits his time between England and France. I gave him one of my WBS cards and hope that he will write and we can study. The flight from Douala to Paris is almost always late but last night we actually left the gate 15 minutes early and landed at 6am which was 30 minutes early. I had a GREAT meal (are there any other kind) on the plane and then slept for a few hours. The line at Customs to show my passport was quite long but the luggage was still not out when I finally got to the carousel. At any rate; my bag made it. I take two over but one can fit inside the other and coming back I only need one. Made it to the hotel with no problems and went to bed from 8am till noon. I then walked around for a while and had a nice lunch. I have been able to catch up on all of my email. I am really glad I am overnighting because I feel fine and plan to get about 10 hours of sleep tonight. No contact with Linda other than to email her. I tried to call Linda on my IPhone but it would not go through. I am sure there is some way to make it work but Mark Drew is not with me. I am going to go over all of my stuff (trip report, PPT, sermons) and be ready for a relaxing flight home tomorrow. I leave Paris at 10:25am and fly to Cincinnati. I have enough of a layover that I do not need to worry about clearing Customs and checking my bag to Dallas. I will land tomorrow night at 7:07 and Michael, my son, will pick me. Tomorrow on the plane I will write my usual summary of the trip and my view on the work in Cameroon.

Thursday, November 8, 2018 11:10am-6:10am CST

Roughly 50,000 seconds before I see TMBWITU! I slept well last night and feel much better than usual when I fly straight. Had no problems in checking in at the counter for my boarding passes to Cincinnati and Dallas. Got to the gate about 90 minutes early and we boarded earlier than usual and we actually took off on time. The “flight tracker” on the plane shows us getting in to Cincinnati about 30 minutes early. I have a nice bulkhead seat with plenty of room and the seat has electricity so I can spend the balance of the trip using my computer. Had a GREAT lunch (I really miss airplane food when I am home) and after finishing this; I will look at some DVDs that I brought.

It is now time to get serious and look at the overall work that we are doing in Cameroon. I realize that much of what I am about to write has been stated in other Final Howdys. The issue here is not my lack of creativity but the fact that what we are trying to accomplish will not be done in a short period of time. I have already told you of the blessings of the journey that we just finished. There will always be hiccups (witness Ebolowa and Biyem-Assi) but I look at a campaign in its totality. In your marriage (if you are married) it is not wedded bliss 100% of the time but you look at the overall picture. Now it is true that TMBWITU is perfect but alas, I am not. Nevertheless, we are very happy. Well, I could not realistically have asked for a better campaign. Now; what about the church as a whole? Positive progress requires time and lots of it. While the church in Cameroon has had an American presence for over 50 years my footprint is only 22 years. Generally speaking, the older brethren are stuck in their ways and there is not much hope that a significant number will change. I am reminded of my dad and me when I was about 10. He had a small cement porch poured and before it hardened, I took a stick and wrote JIM. By the time he discovered what I had done; it was too late to change it. I realize that some people (including some young) will never change so I do not worry about that. What I continue to see is thought process changes which lead to behavior changes. When I teach a prospect the gospel, I spend more time on repentance than I do on baptism. The reason is very simple; repentance is when I make a mental decision to surrender my life to the Lord. Once I do that; baptism is automatic since it is a command of my Lord. If, however, my view is that baptism is some type of magical ceremony that guarantees eternal life; I may very well get wet but never repent. In Luke 6:46 Jesus said to some who were not true disciples: why do you call me Lord and fail to do what I tell you to do? Our goal with both prospects and the church is to help people live a life of dedication. Via seminars that we conduct, seminars that the natives conduct, campaigns by both Americans and Cameroonians, support of village preachers and village seminars (these are just a few things we are doing) the church is growing in both number but more importantly; in faith. We can teach and baptize huge numbers of people but the growth of the church is not based on baptisms but on those who have surrendered their lives to the Lord. The work that I do does not focus on evangelism alone but on discipleship. The work that is being done could not happen without faithful partners such as you who support this ministry with prayer and dollars. The church in Cameroon is growing because of your partnership with me in the gospel.

1:40pm – 11:40am CST

We are about 1 hour from landing in Cincinnati. Flight has been smooth and we are under 30,000 seconds before I see TMBWITU. I did watch a couple of movies and have done some reading as well. The layover in Cincinnati is 3 hours so I will not be in any type of time squeeze. I have been a bit surprised at how many empty seats there are on the plane. Generally, the flights are full regardless of the time of year. I will shut the computer down and finish the last hour reading. I will write the final installment on the plane to Dallas.

6:30pm-5:30pm CST

It will be roughly 10,000 seconds before I see you know who! We were ahead of schedule on the flight to Cincinnati and we deplaned as quickly as I ever have. Went through Customs with lightning speed and the luggage came shortly thereafter. Had to go through security but it was no big deal. I went to Chick-fil-A for supper and then went to the gate. Before then I was able to talk with Linda and all is well. I did some stuff at the gate on my computer and boarded on time. Scheduled to land at 7:07 in Dallas. I conclude with a huge THANK YOU for each of you who have been praying for me and Jean Claude. The Lord certainly listened and answered in the affirmative. This trip, as well as every other one I have made is possible because of our Good God and His faithful servants. I pray that the Lord will richly bless each of you in every way.

In Christ,
Jim Corner

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HOWDY

November 6, 2018

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 3:45pm-8:45am CST

Dear All:

The trip coming over is always a faster trip, that is, it seems faster. You have the excitement of what will transpire but going home is a different subject. You would like to snap your fingers and be there but such is not the nature of travel. In about 3 hours I will head for the airport and then wait until 11:55pm to take off. Landing is scheduled in Paris at 6:30 tomorrow morning. I plan to read when I enter the plane and then wait for a marvelous supper. I will then attempt to sleep until we land. I am overnighting in Paris to get a good night’s rest. Oftentimes I am up for 44 hours before I get to bed in the States and I am a walking zombie and talk incoherently like Teresa Blaisdell. BTW: she is a fine Christian girl although Senior Saint is a more applicable term!

My current calculations are that I will see TMBWITU in roughly 238,000 seconds. Sounds like a lot when you put it that way! At any rate; here is how the day has unraveled. On the day in which I am flying out my hope is to sleep until 9 or 10 am to get as much rest as possible. Last night I did not get into bed until after midnight and yet I woke up at 6:30 this morning and could not go back to sleep. My energetic mind was thinking about all of the last-minute stuff I had to do so I finally succumbed and got up at 7. I have been able to fine-tune my PPT and one of my sermons. I also did some WBS stuff. Louis and Linda Bassay came over at 11:30 and we discussed Noble Age 5 which is the curriculum we want to put into place for teens. Our desire is not to simply give them the plan of salvation but to lay groundwork going back to the initial promise of God to Abraham. We want to help the kids learn how to think for themselves and lay a foundation where their baptism is a starting point for a life of surrender. We began this program when Louis and Linda were in Cameroon but their years at Harding put a temporary hold on it. Mary came around 12:45 as Jean Claude was busy doing something. I needed to speak with her about a women’s seminar that will take place in Bafoussam. We then went out to lunch and I had my last meal in Cameroon until February, Lord willing. Jean Claude did not make it to the restaurant but we had his food put in a doggy bag. I Skyped with Linda and I have been so thankful that the Lord has watched over her and kept her healthy and safe.

The pictures below are from Bertoua; the second leg of our journey. On the left you can see Jean Claude talking to Sandra and on the right some words of encouragement before her baptism. Oh, yesterday I received word that another prospect was baptized in Bertoua! I will begin my Final Howdy tonight and write it in bits and pieces and post it on Friday. I cannot convey my heartfelt thanks to each of you for your prayers and concern for this ministry and the church in Cameroon.

In Christ,

Jim Corner


HOWDY

November 6, 2018

Monday, November 5, 2018 7:30pm-12:30pm CST

Dear All:

Linda told me yesterday that Daylight Savings Time had changed so there are now 7 hours difference. I wish that they would just leave it one way or the other. Have had a productive day. Another frog night’s rest which is very nice. Jean Claude told me he did the frog thing again as well and his back is better. I was going to sleep in and did not set my alarm. Nevertheless, I was up before 8. Jean Claude was not scheduled to arrive until 11am and he promptly appeared at noon. He later confessed that he had went back to sleep after the family 5:30am devotional. He told Mary to wake him at 9:45 but she forgot so it is all his fault. Those are not my words but his! That gave me time to spend several hours working on my PPT that I will show to a number of congregations once I return. It will be a broad-based report that will cover the Crisis, the teaching of souls and some lighter pictures that brethren tend to enjoy. When he got here we planned the trip for May. It is going to be another long trip but I am already looking forward to it. Of course, before then we have the seminar in February which is always a highlight. My brother Don will be making his 5th trip to Cameroon and 2nd time to teach in the seminar. Louise Clement will be making her 5th trip (I think) to teach the sisters. As I have written in past missives; Louise has been so vital to the growth of the children’s classes and her work with the sisters. She is a blessing and I also thank God for her devoted husband Norm who allows her to take the time away. Hopefully he makes a mean Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich! We then went to the Main Post Office to buy some postcards for my next trip. I always send one to the grandkids and a few others. I am able to address them on labels while still in the States and that way the postal people do not have to try and decipher my hieroglyphics. We than went to my favorite restaurant and enjoyed a good meal. I was able to come back and do email and some other misc stuff. Road a machine and found myself smiling once more. The only time I smile more is when I am with TMBWITU. I will Skype with Charlie Brown and Linda in about 4 hours. I have also had time to work on two sermons; one will be preached at the church of Christ in Copperas Cove, TX next month and the other at my congregation on January 13.

The pictures below are from yesterday. On the left you see the children in Dakar and on the right is Julien with his wife Natalie and their children; Deborah (12), David (8) and Jason (4). I continue to have no problems and thank you for your prayers.

In Christ,

Jim Corner

P.S.: I messed up and failed to send this last night.

 


HOWDY

November 4, 2018

Sunday, November 4, 2018 5:20pm – 11:20am CST

Dear Brethren:

The Lord’s Day was truly a blessing to me. Let me share the day as it unfolded: Got up at 7:15 and as Jean Claude would say; I slept like an old frog although in my case it is a young frog! Julien, the preacher at Dakar, came and picked me at 8:30. Like America, the traffic is light on Sunday so we made it there with time to spare. I have worked and preached at this congregation many times and know many of the brethren. It is always a joy to renew acquaintances. I really appreciate the PANO setting on my IPhone as you can see the entire congregation below. You will notice the ‘cubby hole’ in the back left. This is where the children have their class. I had both the Bible class and sermon and thoroughly enjoyed our praise of God. After the worship Julien told me there was a prospect for me to teach which was great. His name is Abel and you see him below after his baptism on the left. He had become disenchanted with the denomination he was raised in. He is not the first on this trip that told me they could see that we were following the Bible and not what a man said. He has been visiting for many months and I believe he will remain faithful. The place where he was baptized has a bunch of boats and was a somewhat unique place. Of course, it is not the water that saves but God when we obey His commands. As I told you the other day; we have truly had good prospects on this journey. I then took some pictures of Julien and his family and then he brought me back to the hotel. I must confess this was the only day of the trip where I noticed the heat. Once I got back I immediately jumped in the shower and took one with cold water and it felt so good. I then had supper and it was excellent. I have written some letters and will soon get on the computer and check email. I will be able to relax a bit tonight and watch a movie or TV show. I never watch TV here because primarily it is football (soccer) and I would rather watch paint dry than watch a football match! You see, there is more excitement in drying paint, unless of course, you like to watch people run up and down and kick a ball with nothing to show for it. Now, if you like football (soccer) that is OK because I know there are some people who like liver! Yuk!!!

Miscellaneous thoughts:

  1. The Dakar congregation has two English songbooks; Songs of the Church and Sacred Selections. They will put both numbers on the board so you can turn to the correct song, depending on your book. Also, in the books they have written the corresponding numbers for the other book.
  2. If you are familiar with these two books you know that on the same song; some have 3 verses while the other has 4. Today we were singing one of those songs and the song leader said we will “jump” verse 3 and sing 1, 2 & 4.
  3. Staying on the singing thing; they have a French songbook that has many English hymns. I was singing in English while they were doing the same in French.

I will Skype, Lord willing, with Linda in a few hours. I have been saying THANK YOU for your prayers for Jean Claude and myself but I am also very pleased for your prayers and concern for Linda. She has done well in my absence and I am very appreciative to each of you. I do not fly out until Tuesday night near midnight so the next two days will see me doing various things with Jean Claude. For example, tomorrow we will plan the May trip. I think I told you a few days ago that this year we will work in May because the Africa Cup will be in Cameroon in June. I feel great and am thankful to each of you.

In Christ,
Jim Corner

 


HOWDY

November 3, 2018

Saturday, November 3, 2018 6:10pm-12:10pm CST

Dear All:

It was a good and relaxing day. Here is how it went: got up at 6:15 and left the hotel at 7:15. The trip was uneventful although we stopped a lot for Jean Claude to buy various food stuffs for his family. He said I will get a lot of kisses for all I am buying. Maybe you can buy love!!!! The picture on the bottom right is some of the stuff as he needed two machines to carry all. It was amazing to watch Martin pack everything. He is truly a professional. When he carries loads like the one below or 4 people he rides on the gas tank. When I asked Jean Claude how he slept last night he went into his old frog routine. He said he is feeling fine which makes me happy. The stops we made were at roadside stands where you find out what they want and try to bring them down. Sometimes it works and when it does not, you drive away. We arrived in Bonaberi at about 12:15. Oh, on the way I snapped the picture on the left. Those are baskets that are used to hold various fruits and vegetables. I had a mundane but good breakfast of 3 cooked (hard boiled) eggs and OJ. After we dropped Jean Claude we proceeded on to the hotel. It is very nice with every amenity you could ask for. I began unpacking and it is nice to know that I will not travel until Tuesday night. I was able to get a nice shower and then had a good supper. I will spend some of tonight writing and editing my trip report. I also want to go over my Bible class and sermon for tomorrow. I plan to Skype with Linda in a couple of hours.

I do want you to continue to pray for the Crisis on the English side. Our brethren are really suffering. When you look at the word that is translated hospitality or hospitable in the New Testament it does not refer to having your friends over for a meal. The word actually means a ‘a lover of strangers’. Many of us (me included) could learn some powerful lessons from our Cameroonian brethren. When the English flee for safety the French brethren are ready and eager to welcome them. I will worship with the Dakar Church of Christ tomorrow and am looking forward to it. Thank you for all of your prayers!

In Christ,
Jim Corner


HOWDY

November 2, 2018

Friday, November 2, 2018 10:30pm-4:30pm CST

Dear All:

Well, trip #84 is all over except for the long journey home. It has been a great campaign. If you were to keep statistics regarding your church attendance over a long period of time you would have one date that had the largest attendance and one that had the least. Well, we were able to teach the gospel to 26 precious souls and 17 of them gave their lives to Christ. %wise; this was the best campaign I have ever had. Now, as I have said countless times before the true success of a campaign is based on the long-term faithfulness of the new babes. That, of course, cannot be measured at this time.

Got up around 7:45 and was not scheduled to leave until 10. That gave me some time to get caught up on a bunch of stuff. We left and got to Bangante around 10:55. For the first 90 minutes there were no prospects and the rain began falling for about 3 hours. The brethren said that would keep the prospects away but finally Francis came and we taught him. He joyfully accepted the gospel and is the man on the left below. I then taught a 17-year-old by the name of Lovelind. She was very serious for a girl of that age and was also baptized. You can see her in the middle. We then taught a young man named Livinus and while he said no today; I am very confident that this young man will become a child of God. He had been worshipping with a charismatic church and knew enough Bible to know that what they were teaching was false. A friend (a brother that I taught and baptized 4 years ago) invited him and he told us that he was so happy with the teaching. He could see that what we were saying was all Bible based. I would be very surprised if I do not hear soon that he has surrendered his life to Christ. We then had a very encouraging worship service. About 25 in attendance which is excellent for this small church. After the service Jean Claude got up and had Francis and Lovelind come up so we could meet and hug them. The weather for the natives here is considered cold (you notice I said the natives) and Jean Claude told everyone to come up and shake their hand but first to rub their hands together repeatedly so their hands would be warm. I skipped that and just hugged them both. Trip back to the hotel went well and we enjoyed a good supper. I then had a nice shower and have been running around like a chicken with his head cut off. To tell you the truth; I have never seen such a thing so maybe I was and may I wasn’t! At any rate; I am almost packed and fixin to Skype with Charlie Brown and Grandma. Jean Claude says his back is fine and appreciates all of your prayers.

Miscellaneous thoughts:

  1. Jean Claude said that he slept like an old frog last night. I asked him if that was good and he said yes.
  2. The schools on the French side are exploding with kids from the English side. In fact, school after school is popping up.
  3. The picture on the right below is of Raphael and Gregory. They are two of the leaders of the Bangante church and both are school teachers. They each have over 20 people living in their houses and most are displaced brethren from the English side.

We head out at 7 tomorrow for Douala and should be there by noon. Please keep our travel in your prayers and more importantly, the new babes and congregations we have left behind. I do not fly out until Tuesday so still have some things to write in the coming days. Thank you so much for your prayers.

In Christ,

Jim Corner


HOWDY

November 1, 2018

Thursday, November 1, 2018 5:30pm-11:30am CST

Dear All:

This will, in all probability, be a short howdy. It is also the earliest missive I have sent. Day has been good but nothing out of the ordinary. Got up at 5:45 and left the hotel at 7:40. I continue to sleep well and Jean Claude says his back is improving. My only thought is that it improves every day so how much longer before it is all the way back! He has been known to stretch the truth when it comes to his health. I suppose the highlight of the journey was breakfast. I had an Ice Cream Drumstick along with Plantain Chips and OJ. I looked on the label of the Plantain Chips and even though it was in French I think it said: chock full of vitamins, nutrients and other great things. A somewhat strange label but at least I knew I was eating well. We made the trip in about 5 hours and saw only a few sprinkles of rain on the way. By talking with Linda each day, it appears that the Garland area is saturated. The hotel we are at is very nice and my room has everything a person could desire. Around 2 we went to order supper and Jean Claude, with his keen eye, noticed that they have a buffet which caused his eyes to light up and his heart rate to race. He is much like the famous Will Rogers who once stated: I never met a buffet I didn’t like. Jean Claude would have been one of his biggest fans. Now; I may be mistaken about Will Rogers as it may have been pizza instead of buffet. Oh well. We will work in Bangante tomorrow and that is it for the campaign. I will sum it up tomorrow but as of now; I have been very pleased. It will still be some hours before I can Skype with Charlie Brown and Grandma. Oh; I have another enclosed shower which is nice. I did not take any pictures today so the one below is of Simon and Nadedge that I took on Tuesday. Thank you for your continued prayers.

In Christ,

Jim Corner