Sunday June 19, 2011 11:00pm – 5:00pm CST
I realize that as a child of God, every day is a good day. I also understand, however, that some days are simply more enjoyable than others. This was a truly GREAT day. I want to recap the trip before going into details of the day. We finished the trip with 56 Bible studies, 17 baptisms and 2 restorations. The ultimate good of the trip can only be measured by God and time. Not only did the Lord work through us in the lives of those who are outside of His Kingdom but we had so many opportunities to help the local churches. Please be in prayer that as the Devil seeks to destroy the new babes that the Lord will give them the strength they need. Also pray for the churches that have the ultimate responsibility to help these new Christians grow into the likeness of Christ.
I think I got up at 6 this morning but can’t remember. Last night the power went off and Louis and I went outside and watched them crank up their generator. It is by far the biggest I have ever seen over here although that does not necessarily mean that is all that big. The trip has been very smooth as far as water and electricity are concerned. Well, let me back up on the water thing. My bathroom is a hoot. Water comes dripping through the ceiling at different places at different times. You never know when you will get plopped. Lawrence picked me on his machine this morning. I don’t know if he is just a slow driver or was being careful because he had a Senior Saint on board. I didn’t particularly care to watch people fly by but the trips were without incident. Bible study begins at 9, er, it is supposed to. We cranked up at 9:20. Kurt worked with the Yoke (pronounced Yo-kay)congregation and they post 8:30 as their starting time as they shoot for 9! Vincent was working in Munyenge and had spent the night because of the distance and the road. His son Esli, led the singing and did a good job. Esli is 17 or 18 and about 6’1″ and weighs in at about 130 or 70 pounds less than TB. I had both the Bible class and sermon and focused on the need for unity if a church is to sustain growth. During the service a little boy went up to the FAKE apple tree below and tried to harvest! Some girl had to come up and stop his farming on the spot. After the morning service I taught a man named Paul. He is a policeman and has been worshipping and studying for some time. I told Vincent he had been baptized and Vincent was so happy. He is convinced that Paul is a keeper. My next story is so encouraging. In 1997 Virgil Butler taught a woman named Evelyn. She had a couple of somewhat older children and triplets who were 2-3 months old. Well, she became a child of God and had to walk 1 hour each way to church. She carried those children for years and about 5 years after her new birth her husband became her brother in the Lord. Today I had the privilege to teach and baptize 2 of the triplets!!! I called Virgil as I knew he would be excited and he was. Those girls will be 15 next month. They are on summer vacation from school and their brother (the 3rd one) is visiting some friends somewhere. Our prayer is that he will become a child of God soon. It is always encouraging to see brethren we have taught who are still faithful and now to see 2nd generation Christians! The three are below. This afternoon it rained for 4 straight hours. Jean Claude got caught in the rain in Ikata and had to leave early or face the prospect of spending the night in the village. We had an afternoon service and the rain seriously impacted our attendance. Not quite like home: if it is raining we walk directly to our garage and then take off and I am able to dump Linda under an awning (never quite figgered out why she can’t dump me unless its because I will live to regret it if I don’t do it) and then after services go back in a dry environment. When I got back I started packing and then Kurt got back from his worship and we went to his room and ate. I sure am glad that I enjoy room temperature food! I am finally packed and we plan to leave in the morning around 7. That should put us in Douala by 10. We will go to the market and buy some stuff. Let me share some misc things with you:
- The 3 who were baptized today were baptized in the rain.
- At the end of the service I was really touched by what the brethren said to me. Patrick spoke on behalf of the congregation and gave me more complements than I deserve. He said that ‘when we go through this church, we feel your presence’. I cannot thank each of you who make it possible for me to travel as I should. I love the church in this country and pray that God will give me the strength and health to continue into my 70s or beyond.
They have announcements between Bible class and worship and ask the following of each member:
- How many chapters in the Bible did you read this past week?
- How many read the Bible each day?
- How many visits did you make last week?
- How many did you teach the gospel to?
- The culture here is quite different; at the end of the service they ask visitors to stand and give their name and where they are from. One young girl stood up and gave her information as her new born was enjoying lunch! Don’t think I will ever see that in an American church.
- There is a brother in the congregation named Moritz Surplus. He said to me: “I don’t know why my parents gave me that name”.
- Jean Claude came into my room tonight and said he needed to talk to me about his health. He said that at the time of Catherine’s death he had been feeling bad. Several brothers were invaluable to him in helping with the arrangements regarding her death and service. He continues to be on pain medicine and will have to see his doctor a week from tomorrow. It is possible that he will need another surgery. I pray that we will be able to help him once again with finances.
- It will definitely be tomorrow before I can send this from Douala. I have 25 emails in my outbox and I pray they we go tomorrow.
- It has been such a blessing to have Kurt on this trip. I am truly blessed to be in a congregation with great elders such as Kurt. His wife ain’t even half bad or is it aren’t half good?
Well, I need to call Linda and then hit the sack. Your prayers have been such a blessing to us. All of us have been healthy and we thank you so much.