Sunday, February 10, 2013 7:00pm-noon CST
I finally have some Cameroonian photos to share with you. Many of you know Jean Claude or at least have heard of him. He came over yesterday to do some work and was printing on my printer and that is him at my desk. The picture on the right is of the Mambanda Church of Christ which is one of the 4 Douala congregations. The first in order is Cite de la pais which is the congregation that Jean Claude serves. The other three (Bonaberi, Dakar and Mambanda) were all started by CDLP. I will tell you about last night after I discuss the morning. Rigobert and his wife, Claudine, picked me at the hotel around 8:15. Tomorrow is Youth Day which is a national holiday. While we were driving we were blocked by a band and students marching down the road. It was interesting to watch them. We made it to worship on time and I taught both the Bible class and sermon. This is a relatively small congregation; we had 29 in attendance. Rigobert is struggling financially and the congregation can only provide a small amount of support. He had a machine that he used as a taxi to earn money but it was stolen and will never be recovered. One of the couples (Jacob and Christine) can be very proud because all of their children are faithful. 3 of them worship at Mambanda and one (Cedric) translated for me this morning; the second (Frederick) was the song leader and did a really good job and the 3rd is (I forgot his name) and he was the timekeeper. Almost all congregations have a brother who has the following signs: 45 minutes – 30 minutes – 15 minutes – 5 minutes – Stop. It disturbs me greatly that we are a ‘clock-eyed’ people but it also disturbs me that the Africans have done the same. The first time I traveled to Ghana in 1988 and was asked to speak; I wanted to know how long they wanted me to talk. The preacher asked me if 1 ½ hours was too long and we ‘negotiated’ and he accepted that I would preach one hour. I then fielded questions for 1 ½ hours! Singing was great as always and it was an enjoyable time of fellowship. I told the brethren to put me on a machine to a particular place in Douala where I know the way home. You see, you cannot take a vehicle directly from Mambanda to the hotel. One brother was trying to force me to take a car (they think I am too old for a machine) but I finally won out. The driver had to stop somewhere (maybe his house) to collect 1,000 francs so he could buy petrol. That will buy less than ½ gallon but it was sufficient. I then got another machine back to the hotel. I pulled up at precisely the same time that Terry was getting back from Dakar. Louise was much later as she was having a good time ‘chilling’ with the brethren.
We then ate lunch in my room. Had a veritable feast. Many of you have asked me to write a Cook Book because you have read of my delicacies. I will not excite you each day with what I eat so will give you one recipe today:
Take the following: Tuna, Corn, Summer Sausage, Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes (this is from Hormel) and cheese; mix them thoroughly and DO NOT heat: I repeat, DO NOT heat as the hot temperatures removes much of the tasty flavor. You will truly love this meal.
Today is a finalization process to fine-tune everything for tomorrow. Jean Claude came over and picked some stuff for the seminar. OK; now back to last night.
Modern conveniences and technology can be such a blessing. For example; a washing machine is wonderful until it blows up; an ice maker is a great blessing until it no longer functions; a cell phone is a marvelous tool until the battery dies and a computer is a blessing until it decides to stop working. 3 times in the last 3 days I got a warning from Microsoft that basically said it was shutting down because ‘Computer Armageddon’ was headed in my direction. Last night I was trying to play a DVD but the computer would not read it. Well, I got the Geek Squad on the internet and we were together for 2 hours and 56 minutes!!!!!!!!!!!!! It still amazes me how they can take control of my computer from the States and do their thing. At any rate; I thought my ‘Armageddon’ problem was fixed but the warning came up again today. Another problem from last night was that my DVD drive is kaput. Jean Claude knows a technician who will put in a new one. This coming June I will have Kurt Simmons with me (he is a seasoned Cameroonian traveler) but also 2 17 year olds (Rob Foster and Tucker Harding) from my congregation. I know that they will want to borrow my DVDs of ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’, ‘The Rockford Files’, ‘Dragnet’, ‘The Lone Ranger’, ‘ Big Valley’ and ‘The Rifleman’! I assume that they have great artistic tastes so what more could you want?
Oh: tonight Louise forced Terry and me to go down to the ice cream store and have some. We pleaded because we are trying to keep our youthful looks but she forced us! These women can be hard at times. For those women who are reading this: I am not talking about you, only other women!
Please keep in prayer all those who will be traveling tonight and tomorrow to come to the seminar. Please ask the Lord to bless all of us with good health and with minds to learn. Please ask the Lord to guide Terry, Louise and myself to speak as Christ would and as fellow servants rather than as masters. I pray that these five days in Douala followed by the 5 days in Kumba will equip many brethren to be true servant leaders. Thanks for your continued prayers.