Sunday, February 17, 2013 7:25pm-12:25pm CST
This has been a great Lord’s Day! Got up at 6:30 to leave for Matoh at 8. The road to Matoh may be the worst road in the world! Not Cameroon, not Africa, not the Eastern Hemisphere but the world! I would never put Terry or Louise on that road and am not sure why I put me on a machine on that road. Kurt Simmons will remember that road with great fondness or something like that! I think to this day his back reminds him of that road every so often! You do much praying on the machine as you move on this road. Prayers like: “Father, help us to arrive safely.” “Father, help the driver to keep us upright.” “Father, keep me from bouncing off the machine.” You do not simply pray those prayers one time but on a continual basis. It brings new meaning to I Thessalonians 5:17 where Paul says: ‘pray without ceasing’! There are tons of rocks on this road; inclines and declines; a bridge with only a few boards and ‘trails’ that are barely wide enough for a machine tire. You generally move into 2nd gear and rarely move into 3rd gear. If you tried to move in 4th gear I could only pray that you have your funeral mapped out.
The Matoh congregation is quite unique. You see, Matoh is a true village, that is, not many occupants. Yet it is home to the second largest congregation in the country. This morning we had 196 with an even split between adults and kids. That means, of course, that we were outnumbered! The picture on the right was taken after the morning worship. When my class was over and the kids started coming in they brought their own benches and that hall was packed. The song leader did a great job and the entire service was so uplifting. I got some good video of the worship as well as my adventures on the machine. The picture on the left is of the preacher who is named Denis Asikpo (yes, only one ‘n’ in Denis). His wife’s name is Patience and the older daughter is Margaret (10 years) while the 6 year old is named Sallyvega. They have two other children (Jarius who is 15 and Melani who is 13). They are in Buea at school. Many people in villages send their children to sometimes faraway places to get an education. It took a full 55 minutes to get there and the distance cannot be more than 10 miles. On the way back we got stopped by a Gendarme which is one of their types of law enforcement officers. He would not allow Jasper (my driver) to pass until he paid him a bribe of 850 francs which is a little less than $2. The Gendarme said to Jasper that ‘the white man is paying you’. I am sure that the color of my skin was a negative for Jasper.
When I got back to the hotel I was fatigued as that road will wear you out. Terry and Louise had a good morning as well. I made a mistake and forgot that Louise was scheduled to teach the children in Fiango. They had about 20 and it went well. Terry preached in Kake II where the church in Albany, Texas has been partially supporting their preacher for some years. This year will be their last year of involvement and Kake II will be able to support him. They had 89 this morning which makes them one of the larger congregations in the country. Getting back to Matoh for a minute; the 98 adults gave a total contribution of a little over $26. The poverty that many of our brethren live with on a daily basis is beyond our comprehension.
Let me share some seminar quotes from Douala:
1. The seminar has helped the sisters in the North because we have started classes for our children. Please sister, keep on coming because your teachings have been helping us stand firm in the Lord and vary our teaching methods.
2. My beloved sister; we in Cameroon love you and your teaching.
3. The seminar has been helpful because many churches that had no children’s class in the past have started them.
4. Louise is a good teacher because she has helped in so many ways to determine how to effectively teach children.
5. Our children will be so happy with what we have learned from Sister Louise. Our children will be so happy when they receive the things we have learned.
6. Through the seminar the weak have been strengthened and the strong have been encouraged. We pray that you return again and again.
7. The seminar has helped us in working with one another. Our spiritual life is improving.
8. I pray that the seminars will continue.
9. The seminar is helping the church grow now and in the future.
10. The seminar has helped to greatly improve our Bible knowledge and ability to teach the Word.
11. It has helped change the mentality of many of our brethren.
12. The seminar is like a refresher course and it helps me update my skills.
13. The seminar has helped prepare our leaders for the task ahead.
14. We have been blessed by the Americans. Their presence and teaching have helped us to grow stronger.
15. We have learned how to grow in love and unity towards each other.
16. More congregations are receiving quality teaching because of the seminar.
17. I have learned how to teach from the context and remain in it.
18. The lectures were wonderful and beneficial for the church in Cameroon.
We ate lunch in Terry’s room and had a veritable feast. One good brother of mine emailed that he would like to have more recipes. Well, I may just send him an exclusive batch. I will have a soft drink, a Mars Bar and some crackers for supper. Trying to keep looking like a model. I have been ‘catching up’ on stuff all afternoon. We are prepared for tomorrow and I only have a few other things to do. Think I will have time to squeeze in one episode of the Rockford Files. Thanks for your continued prayers. Please pray for all who are currently traveling and who will travel to the seminar tomorrow. Also, please pray for Terry’s tooth. I think I told you (maybe not) that during my class the other day it just cracked. I did not realize how powerful my teaching is! At any rate, I had some stuff that proves to be a temporary filling but it has already fallen out. I gave him all that I had and his hope is that it will get him to the States. At the present time it is not paining him except emotionally! Teeth problems are never any fun and especially when you are away from home.