Sunday, June 17, 2012 9:30pm-3:30pm CST
I have maintained for many years that the most productive part of our campaigns is our time with the brethren in worship and Bible study. The evangelism is great and we always want to see the lost brought to Christ but the overall growth of the church in any country takes place as members surrender their lives to the Lord. When I was in preaching school I went on 5 campaigns and we had a certain number of baptisms but our experience was that the churches did not follow-up with the new converts and they fell. Even in our local churches today; one of our greatest failings is discipling those who have become the children of God. If we bring a physical child into the world and do nothing to care for him/her they die and the birth was of no positive consequence. The same is true with the New Birth. Actually it is far worse because it entails a spiritual death. Today I worked with the Mamfe Church of Christ and spent the Bible class in dealing with the need to be true students of the Word. The reality is that many members are not even readers of the Word, much less students. Some percentage (God knows the number) read to say they read but do not do so with the idea of bringing their life into conformity with the will of God. During the sermon in the morning I spoke on the need for transformation. Too often in my life, I find myself too much like the world. These sermons are aimed at me as much as at the brethren. This afternoon at the 5:00pm service I spoke on confession from Matthew 10. Too often we have reduced confession to nothing more than a verbal “I believe that Jesus is the Son of God” prior to baptism than an everyday proposition of confessing with both our mouths and our actions. We had 94 in worship today. This is one of the larger congregations in the Southwest Province. Don’t have enough information to know if it is truly one of the strongest. I have found in my travels with WBS that some of the strongest churches I have seen in the States are relatively small congregations in the North. I have seen large congregations that were extremely weak. The Mamfe congregation had an excellent song leader who really got us moving. At the beginning he told us that we were not singing out which was news to me! There were no prospects to teach in the afternoon but I have 3 appointments tomorrow so I pray that fruit will result. Below are pictures of the church hall as well as the congregation.
Team had 13 Bible studies today with 4 baptisms and 1 restoration. We pray for the faithfulness of each of these brethren.
We ate in Jalynn’s room again and unlike Paul, I like food at room temperature. I was going to wait until tomorrow to give you my recipe of the journey but this one is just too good! It may be the King Kong of all recipes. Below are the ingredients:
2. Mashed Potatoes
4. Beanee Weenees
Directions: put on plate; mix all together; eat and enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t tell Linda but she is the genius behind all of my concoctions. Oh, while I did not include them; you could easily crunch 3 handfuls of Pringles (any flavor you like) and it would add some pizazz.
Several misc items:
1. I am encouraged by the way in which the brethren listen. 4 years ago I was in Mamfe and I spoke to them about the fact that Cameroonians are ‘crisis givers’. They do a poor job of giving each week but when a crisis occurs, the money appears. Well, the brother who gave the talk before the contribution this morning spoke about my speaking of ‘crisis giving’ and as I said; that was a long time ago.
2. The last time I was here I taught the song “Amen” and left words with them. Well, that was one of the songs the song leader led this morning.
3. As I have stated before; the English they speak is Pidgeon (don’t know if that is the correct spelling). Actually, Pidgeon is not a written language but only a spoken one. Here is one example: if we were to say “The Bible says” they would say “Bible talk say”. It is not difficult to understand but would be impossible to speak without much work.
4. I am having fits with my email and internet connection. It is slower than usual and if the page I am trying to load has graphics I am in trouble. I should be able to continue to send my blog but if you don’t get a response, it is because I can’t see my emails. I want to reset my password with GoDaddy but can only do so on the internet and there is too much stuff on their site for me to get through.
5. Electricity went off for the first time this afternoon. Actually it came and went a number of times but everything is OK.
6. A problem that I am having is my A/C is too cold. I have to turn off the A/C part and just go with the fan from time to time. I knew you would want to know so you could suffer with me!
We are all doing well and look forward to another great day tomorrow. Thanks for your continued prayers.