Monday, October 24, 2011 8:00pm-2:00pm CST
I understand that I am a master of ‘fluff’, in fact, I have a PHD in ‘fluff’. I realize that much of what I say is semi-nonsense but let me get a bit more serious in this email. We had a great beginning to the seminar. Attendance was actually higher than in Douala each year. The men were 27 and the women were 42! Unlike the Douala/Kumba seminar; the women meet in both the morning and afternoon. Linda and Gisele are having an elongated seminar from what they do on weekends with village churches. They have a devo each morning and this morning they taught on the importance of teaching children. In the afternoon they began to demonstrate how to put a lesson together and then they assigned lessons to the sisters. The sisters will begin presenting tomorrow and Gisele and Linda will offer a critique of their work. We have brought with us the French Children’s material and a copy will be given to each congregation. Also a CD of children’s songs that they can use in their teaching. My class (I think I have already told you this) is on discipleship. What a disciple is; how to develop disciples and how to encourage brethren to stop playing church and begin truly serving the Lord. I am not so naïve as to believe that all will become disciples. I do know, however, that the church will grow in proportion to those who have given their lives to the Lord. I awoke this morning at 7 after another good night’s rest. Jean Claude did not sleep all night and was working on ‘fumes’. He got some rest this afternoon and is feeling fine. As with the seminars in February, we are giving each participant 1000 francs ($2.20) for food money. We had about 15 this morning that had been walking for 6 hours to get here. They said they were singing all the way. Even Gisele was surprised at the number who came with babies on their backs. She told me that some in Douala do not attend because of children but that did not stop these ladies. We left the hotel at about 9 with the seminar starting at 9:30. We always get a late start on the first day because of those who are traveling to get here. While we were waiting this morning 13 goats passed by followed by 7 cows. You see scenes here that are not typical to the United States. It is also interesting to note that they take things more literally than we do. For example, if we are going to pick up Gisele and Linda and take them to the market we will say that we are going to ‘drop them’. Well, this morning Jean Claude mentioned ‘dropping’ the girls and even though I knew what he was saying I decided to be like Teresa Blaisdell (you know, a doofus) so I said ‘I hope they don’t get hurt when we drop them’. Well, Jean Claude just said that ‘they won’t hurt’. I guess he thought I was serious! We went to the market to buy some water and ketchup. You see, the hotel restaurant does not have ketchup and it is impossible to eat French Fries without Ketchup. I know in Garland it is against the law to do so! I came back to the hotel and the rest was nice. Just went over my class for the afternoon and enjoyed a cold Coke-Light. We left for the hall and arrived at 2:58 with class starting at 3. Oh, the church hall is small and cannot contain both the men and women. They put up a tent-like structure outside for the women but it is actually nicer than the hall because there is a breeze. Gisele and Linda were very pleased with their class. They said the women are really hungry and want to learn all they can. I was also pleased with my class. The brethren here are used to classes that are pure lecture and I place many questions in my class. It took them awhile (and some prompting from Jean Claude) for them to respond. We had another excellent supper and all are doing well. Jean Claude came over and we discussed things for about an hour. I still have a few things to do but it looks like my schedule will be OK. Looking forward to the morning. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. I took no pictures today but should have some for you tomorrow.