Final Howdy

February 23, 2019

Friday, February 22, 2019 7:45am – 12:45am CST

Dear All:

It is approximately 60,000 seconds before I get to see, you know who. It has been a great trip in every sense of the word. I got up at 5am this morning but had slept 11 hours so I feel fine. Got my boarding passes and checked my bag with no problem. Security went smoothly as well. I am at the gate and scheduled to leave in about 3 hours.

If you were to discuss the growth of one of your children today and then spoke again about such growth in a few months; not much would change. Physical growth is a process that does not take place overnight. Spiritual growth is much the same although I will say this; spiritual growth can be accelerated when one truly surrenders to the Lord and is serious about their Christian life. A congregation, however, will look quite different because you have brethren of all levels of faith and zeal. While some in your congregation may be making great strides; others who were baptized decades ago look pretty much the same as when they came up out of the water. Sad, but true. When you look at the church from a country-wide perspective it becomes even more difficult to be quantitative on the growth. Numerically, the church in Cameroon is growing. The same is true regarding spiritual growth. Is every church growing? No! Are all brethren experiencing spiritual growth? No! My thoughts as it pertains to the church are based on two primary things: the seminars from each February and the campaigns we have twice yearly. I have stated on many occasions that one of my goals in the seminar is to help our leaders better learn to think for themselves. On the whole, that is taking place. Yes, some are doing better than others but overall, I am seeing positive change. As we work on campaigns; we are not only seeing souls come to the Lord but watching the local churches in their evangelistic zeal. Obviously, I cannot state, unequivocally, anything from this just finished seminar. One thing that I think took place was a better understanding of what it means to be a shepherd and who would be qualified. I stated once or twice that many in the church in Cameroon were under the impression that if a man was not on the same level of Jesus; he could not serve. Our interaction regarding this subject gave me hope that the future will be bright with more and more congregations having shepherds. I believe this with all of my heart; the church is moving in the right direction. How many more years I will be able to serve are in the hands of the Lord. One thing I believe; the church in Cameroon currently has a good group of leaders and followers for the church to have a positive future.

If you are going to receive my trip report you will read some of the same type of things, I am fixin to write. The trip, from a physical point of view, could not have been smoother. Planes were safe and on schedule; taxis and machines were all safe. Neither Don, Louise or I had even one day of feeling bad, much less being truly sick. Our lodging was great with absolutely nothing to complain about. I am aware that the physical is infinitely less important than the spiritual but we still need to give thanks to God for every blessing He gives.

The pictures below are of 1) the collection at the combined service and 2) the train that slowed us down one day on the way to the seminar.

5:30pm – 4:30pm CST

The finish line is in sight! I am now within 14,000 seconds of seeing TMBWITW. Let me share what has happened since I last wrote. Boarded with no problems and the flight was fine. Was able to have another INCREDIBLE airplane meal but it will have to last me until May. Did some reading and watched one movie. Landed on time and got through Customs and my bag arrived. Went and had a nice hamburger and then went to the gate. I was able to talk with Linda and will hopefully see Charlie Brown tomorrow. I will post this tomorrow. Once again; thanks soooooooooooo much for all of your prayers!

In Christ,

Jim Corner

Advertisements

Howdy

February 21, 2019

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 8:30pm – 1:30pm CST

Dear All:

I think I can get away with the picture below of Grandma with Cy, Will and KB because I have been gone so long and she misses me to the point that I will receive forgiveness. It is kind of like this; if you had not eaten in 5 days a peanut butter and jelly sandwich would look like a nice sirloin! I do think it is a cool picture and shows her lighter side. It has been about 2,160,000 seconds since I have seen TMBWITW! That number is down to roughly 200,000 seconds as I write so we are truly in the home stretch. I may or may not have posted the picture of Jean Claude and myself. At any rate; he is a REALLY good guy! This ministry would not exist without his tireless work. The reality, however, is that what he does for me is a small part of what he does to advance the Kingdom.

Mary came to the hotel first and wondered where Jean Claude was. She called and he was still in the house so the guess is that he fell asleep. No problem as we still left the hotel around 7 and arrived 15 minutes later. They just dropped me at the curb as we had already said our significant goodbyes. Was able to get right in and only waited 30 minutes or so before I could check my bag to Paris. The area had A/C so it was fine. Did the ‘boarding pass’ thing with no problem and went to Customs which is a formality. Got to the gate and they let me in right away. Because of my Pacemaker they unplugged the metal detector to let me go through. Then a girl went through my carry-on and was amazed at how much medicine I carry. I told her I was old and one day she could look forward to a lot of medicine. She told me that she hoped that that would not be the case. The area has good A/C and I have an electrical outlet that works. I was able to Skype with Grandma this morning (her time) but the next time I see Charlie Brown will be face to face on Monday. She does not think I can wait that long and is probably right. I very well may run over there on Saturday. I will call her and CB in about 2 hours as he will be out of school. I plan to watch an episode of The Rockford Files and after we board; wait for that GREAT airplane food and then try to sleep for the balance of the night. We are scheduled to leave at 11:55pm and arrive in Paris at 6:30am.

Thursday, February 21, 2019 3:55pm – 8:55am CST

It is now about 104,000 seconds before I see TMBWITW! Not a lot to write about at this time. The flight boarded a bit early which is unusual and actually took off on time. This time we walked outside and walked up a flight of stairs. Generally, we do not do this but sometimes this occurs, even in Paris. As ALWAYS; the food was incredible. I don’t know which is better; airplane food or my recipes. They run a close race! The flight went well and I got about 3 hours of sleep. We actually landed 30 minutes early and went through Customs and my bag arrived safely. I made it to the hotel at about 7:30 and was in bed at 8 and slept till noon. I then got up and bought a gift for TMBWITW and ate lunch. I will be able to do some work on the computer. My plan is to be in bed by 6:30 and get up at that time in the morning. My flight is scheduled to leave Paris at 10:40am and land in Atlanta at 2:35pm EST. Air France has never flown out of Dallas but effective on May 15 they will. My flight in May leaves Dallas a day or two before the 15th so I will have to fly to Atlanta but the return will go directly from Paris to Dallas. I have internet and will send this. Tomorrow I will recap the journey on my way home. Thanks for all of your prayers!

In Christ,
Jim Corner


Howdy

February 20, 2019

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 3:15pm – 8:15am CST

Dear All:

This will be fairly short and sweet. In a little over 3 hours I will head for the airport. Will fly to Paris and spend the night (I may have told you this already) and then fly to Dallas on Friday. My fantastic son-in-law will pick me at the airport. If he messes up and does not show up then you can scratch the fantastic part! On travel days I usually am able to sleep in but for some reason; it never works out that way. I woke up at 8:02 even though my alarm was set for 8:59. Got ready and around 10:30 Louis came over and we discussed a number of issues. It is always a blessing to be with him as he is another GREAT brother. Then Mary showed up and shortly thereafter Jean Claude made his appearance. We went to lunch and had a good last meal together. They brought me back to the hotel and I finished packing and am fixin to check email. I will begin my final Howdy at the airport and write in several segments and post it on Saturday. I took no pictures today so decided to show you two “traffic photos” that I do not believe you have seen. I am well and would ask that you pray that my return journey will be without incident. Thank you so much for your part in this journey.

In Christ,

Jim Corner


Howdy

February 19, 2019

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 6:40pm – 11:40am CST

Dear All:

I trust that the bulk of you have the same level of ‘instant recall’ that I do which means you can’t remember what you ate for lunch! For those of you with great memories I can only apologize for saying the same things over and over. Here is something I know I have said before; I actually I am not sure but it sounds like something I would say. Regardless of how many ‘extra days’ I stay in Cameroon; I am always at least one day short. Today was a great day but I still have stuff to do tomorrow. Here is what happened today:

I woke at 8 and could not get back to sleep so got up. After the routine stuff I hopped on the computer to check and respond to email. In the morning I went over my report and did some edits. I then looked at my PPT and also was in the editing business. My prayer is that when I am able to present this it will prove to be encouraging to all who see it. I also did some more packing and will finalize that job tomorrow. Jean Claude came and we went to look for some shirts. Didn’t find anything I liked so bought some fabric and one of the preachers, who is also a tailor, came over and measured me. I think his exact words were: you have such a slim body or something like that. I would have gone into detail about my diet but he might have had trouble keeping up with me. Jean Claude and I then went to lunch and had great food and marvelous fellowship. This brother is one of my closest friends in the world and a great example of how a Christian should live. I have been incredibly encouraged by his example over the years. I thank God that He brought us into fellowship. We went over the French evaluation forms with him translating them to me and I recorded many of them. Then Julien (the preacher and tailor) came over to take the measurements. After they left, I hopped in the shower. When I have been in A/C all day I do enjoy the hot water and the hotel has been a blessing. I then received a most wonderful phone call from Vincent Nsah. He wanted to know if he could come over and I was happy to see him. I did not know that I would get the privilege of seeing his beautiful wife, Patricia, but you can see them below. Vincent is another great brother whom I have known for over 20 years. We were young when we met but one of us has aged. We had a wonderful visit and I am blessed to be in the same family with them. While I am thinking about it: let me explain the other picture as it was taken at the end of the seminar on Friday. The sisters who attended each gave us a gift that was truly delightful. The picture below is of many with their phones snapping the two stooges and me. My how times have changed! You can see that it is early so I will do some ‘clean-up’ stuff and then relax. It is still over 4 hours before I can Skype with Charlie Brown and Grandma. Louise has already emailed that she made it home with no problems. It is about 9:40am where Don lives and while normally you would be up at that time; I don’t want to wake him in case he is sleeping in. I know that when I get home the first night; I do not set the alarm for the following day. I am doing well and continue to thank you for your prayers. Please continue to pray for our suffering brethren on the English side.

In Christ,
Jim Corner


Howdy

February 18, 2019

Monday, February 18, 2019 7:30pm – 12:30pm CST

Dear All:

As I write, Lord willing, Louise will land in Houston in less than 2 hours with one more leg to Lubbock and Don is over half-way to Seattle with one more leg to Boise. I would say it is lonely without them but I have been busy all day and have had no time to be lonely. Here is what has taken place thus far:

Awoke at 6:15 and was not a happy camper. Fortunately, I was able to go back to sleep and did so until 9. My routine in the morning includes taking my medicine and putting eye drops in for my Glaucoma. Fortunately, it is stable and I pray that it remains that way. It does not impact my vision in any way. I got on the computer to check email and then spent several hours working on my trip report. Made two revisions and will probably let it ‘marinate’ and look at it again in a couple of days. Will send it once I get back to the States. I then did some work as it pertains with my work with World Bible School as far as internet students of mine and a few congregations I have booked or hope to book. It is fascinating that I can do this from thousands and thousands of miles away. I then took a break for lunch and had some nice fried chicken and french fries. Watched an episode of the Rockford Files while I ate. Not only can I eat the same thing over and over again and enjoy it but I can watch movies and TV programs that are decades old. It has been at least 10 years since I darkened a movie theatre. Linda enjoys going on Tuesday nights with Michael and they have a mother/son date which I think is kind of cool. Mom also spends time with Bapp and would with Robin if he wasn’t 1300 miles away.

Oh, below I have a picture of the famous banana that is in Martin’s car. If you look carefully you can see the zipper but he does not store anything inside. He is not the owner of the car so he may not even own the banana! The other picture is from yesterday’s combined service. I told you the huge attendance we had and if you look at the very back you can see an area outside of the hall where chairs were stacked. It is a good thing they planned to have the 135 children upstairs because there is no way we could have accommodated them. I then spent the greater part of the afternoon working on my PPT that I will present to a number of congregations. The first will not be until April 14 and that will be at my congregation. Once again, it is not a finished product but I want to show 4 things: 1) some general pictures that should be of interest 2) some pictures and thoughts of the seminar 3) pictures and thoughts of the Crisis and 4) some general musings of the work in Cameroon. If you are in the Garland area please make plans to be at the Buckingham Road Church of Christ on April 14 at 5pm. I have done a good amount of packing and should be finished by noon on Wednesday. I fly out that evening.

I was able to Skype with Charlie Brown and Grandma because he is out of school. They were fixin to leave to go to a movie with Michael and his family. It is always good to see TMBWITW! I am doing fine. Thanks for your continued prayers.

In Christ,

Jim Corner

 


Howdy

February 17, 2019

Sunday, February 17, 2019 10:00pm – 3:00pm CST

Dear All:

Had a GREAT combined service of the 5 Douala congregations. The last time we did this we had 206 and today the number was 439 which included 135 children! Poor Louise was up on top of the building with those kids for 2+ hours. I messed up and failed to go up and snap them during the class. You can see one of the canopies below as there were 2 classes. You can see Louis and Don below; Don had the Bible class and Louis had the sermon. Both did a GREAT job and I was blessed to be able to simply worship with some of the finest Christians on the planet! You can see that Louis has a suit on and it was HOT! I was the hottest of any day but I think that is because we were at the hall for over 5 hours.

Let’s start at the beginning; got up at 7:30 as Martin was not going to pick us until 9. The service began at 9:30 which is 30 minutes later than usual but you had people coming from all over Douala so that gave them so more time. The brother who preached last Sunday (Lawrence) led the singing today. Not sure if he is better at one or the other as he did an EXCELLENT job at both! Over the years I have spoken of the singing but it really cannot be understood unless you are here. Some of the songs are in French while some of the choruses they sing in both languages. The choruses oftentimes are very simple in their message and yet very powerful. When you combine good words with good hearts you have marvelous singing. I will assume that I have shared the following thought with you in past blogs (not on this trip); what I have seen in my very brief life is that if an American believes they cannot sing well (even if they can); they do not sing out. Over here; they simply pour their heart and soul into the singing and some of the worst voices produce beauty to the ears of our Lord. He, of course, is tone-deaf and is concerned with our heart. That is good for some of us; I had a teacher in preaching school that once said: I can carry a tune, I just have trouble unloading it. I have heard him sing and the unloading part is so true but he was a GREAT child of God. Once the Bible class was over; they had a brief “intermission” and then a song and the sermon. With virtually every congregation in Cameroon; the Lord’s Supper is the final “chapter” of a given worship service. A good friend of mine who is a medical doctor gave the thoughts before the Lord’s Supper. After the close of the worship we shared a meal together. They had sandwiches and either water or various soft drinks. It was a joy to continue to share fellowship.

After a number of photos and saying good-bye many times; Martin brought us back to the hotel. I took a shower and hopped on the computer. About 4:30 Louis and Linda Bassay came to wish Don & Louise a safe journey. They were here for about an hour and we enjoyed our visit. They are GREAT servants in the Kingdom. Jean Claude arrived around 6:30 and we headed down with luggage and off to the airport. No traffic and we were able to dump Don & Louise with no problems. Please be in prayer that they have a safe journey, good connections and no lost luggage. They do not take off until 11:55pm so still nearly 2 hours. Jean Claude dropped me off and I just Skyped with TMBWITW. Her sister Ellen stayed last night, tonight and tomorrow night and it was good to see her. Tomorrow I do not plan to leave the hotel and have told Jean Claude not to worry about me. He can rest from the past two weeks and I plan to begin work on my report, PowerPoint Presentation and packing.

This trip has been really good and all three of us have been healthy and safe throughout. Thank you for your continued prayers.

In Christ,
Jim Corner


Howdy

February 16, 2019

Saturday, February 16, 2019 7:30pm – 12:30pm CST

Dear All:

It has already been a GREAT day because I was able to Skype with The Most Beautiful Woman In The World (that would be my gorgeous wife) or as I like to call her: TMBWITW!!!!!!!! Her legs are hurting her today but she believes that is because of the cold weather. If she came here the pain would fly away! Today has been a restful and tiring day. Don’t ask me to explain but it is true. I got up around 8 and started to prep some things for Don and Louise’s departure tomorrow night. I will not fly out until Wednesday night as there are always things I need to do. Tomorrow is the combined service and we are expecting a jammed crowd. In fact, there will be so many children that they have built some kind of “edge” on the roof to keep any kid from falling off. Don’t worry; it is a flat roof and will one day be the main hall. They will rent 2 canopies to keep everyone from sweltering. Well, at least to limit the heat! Jean Claude thinks the hall will be so full that the plan is for the kids to be up for the entire 3 hours and that means Louise as well. You might want to say an extra prayer for her tonight. Jean Claude and Mary came at 1 and we first went to a grocery store to buy some candy that they will give the kids tomorrow. I also bought some Snickers for a big kid. We then went to the Wood Market to buy souvenirs. They have some really nice stuff that I would love to have in my house. The problem is that much of it will not fit in a suitcase. We then went to lunch and you can see us below. Notice that Jean Claude is giving Louise ‘rabbit ears’. What a punk! We then came back here and I visited with Don for some time. Oh, earlier this morning I had visited with Louise. They have both been monstrous blessings to this seminar and I wanted to convey my gratitude. I don’t think I have posted the other picture. We are crossing the street and as you can see; the traffic is right on us. It took a while but Martin knows how to squeeze in! I LOVE this traffic!!! Louise came down to check her email and all of a sudden, a noise came on my computer; I knew that it was Linda Skyping because she and Bapp and some of the grandkids are going to a movie. She and Louise spoke a few minutes and then I finished the conversation. There are at least two blessings of being able to Skype; the first, of course, is that I get to see TMBWITW. The second is that we can go over mail and much of the stuff that is junk can be thrown away. This saves me time when I get home. Because of the early hour I am going to watch a movie or TV show and snack a bit. We are excited about the Combined Service tomorrow. We are all doing well and thank you for your continued prayers.

In Christ,

Jim Corner