Final Howdy

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 7:30pm-1:30pm CST

Dear All:

Will see Linda in about 57,600 seconds! We left the hotel at 6 and made it to the airport smoothly in about 15 minutes. We carried our bags inside and quickly got to the place where they weigh the bags. Then got our boarding pass and proceeded to the place where you pay your airport tax. It is 10,000 ($21.28) and I have often wondered why they don’t double, triple or even quadruple it. Hey, I am going to pay the tax. We then went through customs and then through the X-ray machine. I have a pacemaker and you cannot go through one. Not exactly sure; think it causes an instant heart attack or something like that! Well, if you read my blog in February you know that I had my pocket picked in Paris. I belong to Lifelock (very grateful I am) and I called them free of charge as they stood on the phone one by one with credit card companies and other cards I needed to cancel. Well, in the airport in Paris I tell them I have a pacemaker and while I finally make it OK; it takes some time. Well, I ask the company if they could send a card in French. Well here is what they sent: a card in English, German, French, Spanish, Turkish, Arabic, Simplified Mandarin Chinese, Traditional Mandarin Chinese, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Greek (that is for preachers), Portuguese and Czech. Hey brother, I am ready to travel! At any rate, they read it at the airport and took me in a little room and made a very limited search and said ‘go on’. On the way to our gate the electricity was out in the airport and they do not have a backup system. Well, we got to the gate and just at that moment the power came on. They check your carry-on and then we came into a nice, ACd place. We leave in 3 hours. I prefer to get to the A/C as quickly as possible and then work or visit. There about 8 electrical outlets in the gate area but none of them work. I use one where the employees are working. They let me work here until it is time to get serious about boarding. Vincent called and he made it home safely. Also, there was one more baptism that I had overlooked so the number was 47. I am going to sign off for now and will write more once we are on our way to Paris.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 8:40am-1:40am CST

I am absolutely wasted. I cannot believe how tired I am. I slept the entire time from Douala to Paris; did not even eat supper. Sleep on a plane is not always as good as you would like but the guy next to me said I definitely slept. We landed on schedule and Paul and Jalynn have went their separate ways. Paul will fly back to Dulles to go home but Jalynn is flying to Minnesota for a church camp. They were such a blessing on this trip. Landed at 6 but had to wait until 7:30 to get my boarding pass to Dallas. Scheduled to leave at 11:30 so still have almost 3 hours to wait. I will do some work and may try to sleep some more on the plane. Will write more later.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 2:15pm-8:15am CST

You can see we have crossed a time zone. This flight is supposed to be 11 hrs 42 min which is about 11 hours too long. Slowly but surely we are whittling things down. Now it is on approximately 32,400 seconds before I see Linda. After enjoying another GREAT airplane lunch, I really know how tired I was last night to skip the meal. I have electricity in my seat so will be able to stay on computer for the balance of the trip. I will put my ‘rough draft’ of my PowerPoint Presentation in place so that my wonderful daughter-in-law can then put the finishing touches on it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 12:50pm-1:50 CST

We are almost home. As I reflect on this trip something has hit me that I have known for many years. The greatest tool that the devil has used over the years is that of division. Whether it is creating false religions like Islam or Hinduism or any of a number of that ilk. I look at Cameroon and I see Idolatry that is on such a level that it is virtually impossible to break. But even within the Christian community (and I use that term in its broadest sense) we see those who profess to follow Jesus failing to follow His prayer of unity in John 17. I understand that the vast majority of those in denominations are good people but one is not saved because of their goodness. Matthew 7:21-23 is a classic example of that as is the story of Cornelius in Acts 10. Within the church in Cameroon there is still too much of a denominational mindset. It is not hard to understand why. If you were to go into a congregation in the States and ask for a show of hands of those who were raised in the church, many hands would go up. In Cameroon few or no hands would go up. Too many of our brethren in Cameroon have tried to convert people out of their church (which is not bad) and to immersion (which is also not bad). Until we can lead them to Jesus and help them see the nature of discipleship and the one church He built; we will continue to have problems. This, of course, is not a problem that is confined to Cameroon. There are many in our church buildings that believe that a good, faithful member of a church that was not started by Jesus is OK. Please pray that with time we can have a better understanding of what faithfulness is. Having said that; I am not discouraged. As I look at the spiritual growth of the church in Cameroon in the past 16 years there is great growth. I am convinced that when a church is dominated by weak faith, spiritual growth must precede numerical. Now, the day comes when a lack of numerical growth is a sign of a weak spirit and to be candid, that is still a problem today. My request of you is to keep the work in Cameroon in your daily prayers. Also, please pray for me regarding the direction we attempt to move the church.

I conclude by saying as I have throughout this trip; thanks so much for all of your prayers and for those at Buckingham Road who have ministered in a personal way to Linda. If you are in the Garland area I will make the report of my trip on Sunday night, July 8 and pray you can attend.

Love,

Jim

P.S.: I will get to see Linda in less than 9,000 seconds!

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