Tuesday, June 26, 2012 2:05am – Monday, June 25, 2012 8:05pm
Well, you can see that it is late or early, depending on your perspective. I know this is going to be a long blog so hopefully you will still read it. A part of me wishes I could write the way Bob Deister does but it would end up being a novel.
Let me start by describing the day: woke up at 5:20 and the plan was to leave around 6:30. We did make it out of Kumba around 6:45. As I told you yesterday, the road to Douala is excellent. We stopped in Muyuka to see Vincent’s wife and son, Zuriel. Then stopped in Buea to see Vincent’s other two children (Rosine and Eslie) who are schooling there. It rained on and off most of the way and I did get some good pictures. We bought some bananas on the way from the girl below. When we got to Douala we dumped Louis and Vincent and a brother named Martin came to collect some of Jean Claude’s stuff. He is below all loaded and ready to go. Got to the hotel around 10. Jean Claude went to the bank and I started unpacking so I could pack tomorrow (or today). We went to lunch at a hamburger joint but they had a buffet so we tried it and it was very good. Tasted two things I had never had before; the stomach of a cow and the tail of a cow. Before you say yuk; both were actually very good. I mentioned at lunch the incident with Patrick whacking me yesterday to kill a mosquito. Jean Claude says that the older men we haul off and really whack a younger guy who has a mosquito. He said that when an old guy says that he will kill a mosquito on you, you quickly move away! Oh, I forgot to tell you yesterday about Beatrice. She is one of the sisters who goes out and teaches seminars to the village sisters. She had twins back in February and has had the audacity to not go out! She says by November everything will be OK. Another thing I forgot to tell you about: over the years machines have greatly impacted my prayer life. The nature of the road will be a determining factor. Well, since this past Thursday I am now praying specifically for the tires! Don’t want another blowout! After lunch we went to the wood market to buy souvenirs. I have all of the stuff I need so I just get things for others that Linda tells me to get. Then came back to the hotel and immediately went with Jalynn to a local grocery store to get some necessities (you know, Mars Bars and Coke Lights). Vincent and I took machines to the hall as I had a meeting with one of the preachers. What a blessing to be able to ride on the wrong side of the road again. The meeting went well and then we started worship at 7. Singing was outstanding and Paul delivered a GREAT message. Afterwards they always have a representative who comes up and reads a ‘farewell speech’ to us and they give us a copy. Here are two lines from one of the churches: It must be noted that the initiative that brother Jim and his different companions have taken upon themselves by always leaving their loved-ones, their congregations and their activities to come at least once each year so that God’s work in Cameroon improves the for the well-being of our local assemblies, goes straight into our hearts. It is a blessing to be able to share the Word of God with both the lost but also to fellowship with our brethren. We took a car back and arrived safely. I have been working ever since I got here and should be able to get to bed by 2:30. Have already printed off our boarding passes for tomorrow’s flight.
I want to discuss something with you: I have spoken with enough different members and missionaries to know that there is disagreement regarding the support of preachers. The extremes are you give every time they ask or you never give. I do not subscribe to either of those extremes. I think you have to take it case by case and see what kind of impact it will have on the Kingdom. We know from Scripture that there are at least 3 different ways a preacher can be supported: first, he can support himself (Acts 18:3). What we do not know about Paul are the following: how many hours each day did he work? When he sold a tent, how long could he live on the proceeds? What impact did his tent making have on his ministry? Second, he can receive outside help (II Cor 11:8; Philippians 4:15). Once again, the details are too spotty to draw any solid conclusions. Third, he can be supported by those he works with (Galatians 6:6). About the only thing I know for certain is that whatever view you or I have, it is our opinion based on very little. Having said that; the preachers in this country truly struggle. The congregations are dominated by weak Christians and when your faith is low, so too will your giving be. A few of you know Vincent Nsah and others know him by name because of my writing about him. He is truly one of the greatest preachers I know and that goes far beyond the pulpit. He brought a problem to me today. His oldest daughter is entering her final year of college and he does not have the funds (about $750). If she cannot go then the first years they struggled to send her will be in vain. His second son Eslie is in his first year and the fees for him are about $1,200. I know that you would be happy to send two children to college for less than $2,000 but that is a prohibitive amount for Vincent. If it would be possible for you to assist with their schooling, would you let me know how much you could give? I don’t want you to send any money now because if I get pledges totally $300 then there is no reason to send the money. In Cameroon it is very difficult for a young person to get a job that pays much of anything. The idea of working for a year and then schooling for a year will not take place. If you would like to help, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop me a letter at 318 Lucinda Drive, Garland, TX 75040. In the States we have many different types of scholarships and grants. We have student loans but none of that is available in Cameroon. I realize that until the church wakes up and grows up, there will always be needs of this kind. While we cannot help everyone, we can help a few and I pray that you can assist with this need.
Please pray for a dear sister in my congregation by the name of Jan Cates. She has cellulitis in one of her arms and is suffering from a couple of other problems.
I am shot so am going to sign off. We are all doing well and looking forward to going home. Thanks for your continued prayers.