October 30, 2011 7:30pm-1:30pm CST
I could start out each ‘Howdy’ with another great day and it would be apropos. I have to write things when I think of them or I will forget. I am not going to bore you with another picture of my bed but whoever made it up this morning used still a different design.
I got up around 7 after a good night’s rest. I did have somewhat of a nightmare as I dreamed of my return flight and I landed in Paris (or somewhere) and ended up far, far away from the airport. It was going to take me 12 hours to get back and my plane was taking off in 2 hours! If that ever happened it would be a real ‘day mare’ to Linda! There was no network this morning so could not check email. After the morning worship the network was working so I did check email. Please pray for Josh Hardy. He is a young man of 22 years that went with me to Cameroon a few years ago. His mother was sick with Cancer at that time and she passed away yesterday. Jean Claude and I took machines to the church hall. It was actually cool this morning! Attendance was 34 but average attendance is about 19 (including children). We planted this church about 8 years ago and it has been a struggle. After worship I had a meeting with the brethren to map out the future. I simply pray that more and more of them will become serious. There is a severe problem in the church in Cameroon with brethren who believe that church attendance is what Christianity is all about. I realize that many of our brethren think the same way but here is the difference: you can have a congregation like mine that has over 300 on the rolls (maybe 400) with a weekly attendance around 280. If 10 or 20% of us are working we can still do a lot of good. If your adult attendance is around 8-10 then the 10-20% number cannot do a whole lot. There are approximately 150 congregations in the country with only 5 or 6 having a morning attendance of 100 and only one with 200. The majority of the congregations number less than 30 so you can see the problem. Bible class and sermon went well. Only time will tell if the meeting was productive. We had a study with one prospect after the meeting. He has studied with Andenge (one of the preachers) for over a year and yesterday studied with Jean Claude. He seems to be a serious young man and I can only pray that he will make a good decision. His name is Joshua. We came back to the hotel for a short break and ordered our supper. We then headed back to the church hall at 3:30. There were supposed to be 2 prospects but they did not show. They have told us tomorrow so time will tell. Below is a picture of the hall on the left. As you can see, it is a wood structure with a dirt floor. The government does not consider a wood structure to be a permanent building and they have ordered the church to erect a permanent structure. There is writing on the outside wall by the city council saying that if work does not begin on a permanent structure by June of this year they will ‘bull doze’ the building. I realize that June has come and went but Jean Claude says they will give some time but he believes it will be destroyed in 2012 or 2013 at the latest. You see, when this land was purchased it was not on a main road but now they have put a nice tar road right in front of the building. In such areas the government demands permanent structures. According to Jean Claude the cost would be somewhere between $6,000 and $8,000. There is no way that this congregation could begin to erect a permanent structure because their monthly contribution is about $40. I do not know where they will meet if they have to lose their building. The other picture is of the church itself.
Here are some miscellaneous items:
- A kid about 10 years of age was ‘babysitting’ another kid who was about 2 or less during my Bible class. He dropped the kid twice during my class!
- It is common to see lizards and spiders in worship. They are totally harmless but it is interesting to watch them.
- One of the big struggles I have is knowing how much to help a congregation and when to let go. The vast majority of you would absolutely cry if you could sit in on some of these meetings.
- My hotel room number is 264 and Jean Claude’s is 268 so you would figger that we are close. You would be wrong! I am on the first floor and he is tucked far away on the second floor. Hey, we once stayed in a hotel that had a basement and the numbers down there were in the 400s.
- We turned in our dirty laundry just yesterday and it was cleaned and pressed today! I usually give whatever sister does the laundry 5,000 ($10.99) and they are truly happy as that is a significant amount of money.
- My hotel room has a tile floor and when I returned my shoes had dirt on them that I got on the floor. Fortunately I know how to handle such a situation. I simply kept my socks on and used them as a broom and they did quite well. I learned that trick from Linda because that is how she cleans our kitchen! You just kind of pretend you are ice skating.
We enjoyed our supper tonight and I will be able to get some more work done and still have time for relaxation. Please pray that tomorrow will bring forth positive fruit. I never pray for baptisms but for conversions. We have too many brethren in the church (in Cameroon and America) that have been baptized but never converted. You will recall that Peter says in II Peter 2 that the person who becomes a Christian and falls away is worse off than if they had never become a child of God. We are both doing well and continue to thank you for your prayers. I also enjoy all of your emails.