Tuesday, February 19, 2013 7:40pm-12:40pm CST
Another great day in Cameroon. Attendance was up but that is normal for the second day of the seminar. It will peak (at least that is the track record) tomorrow or possibly Thursday and reduce on Friday. We had 104 men in Terry’s class compared to 113 last year. Louise had 83 as opposed to 93 and my class had 156 compared with 170 in 2012. I told you yesterday (I think) that I was going to bed early last night. I hit the sack at 8:50 and slept until 4:30 to take a bathroom break. I then went back to sleep and slept until 7 so I should be good to go for another few months. The bathroom is very small; it has the commode which you saw a couple of days ago and the shower simply comes out of the wall; you hold a handle with one hand and bathe with the other. There is a bucket in the room in case the water is absent. Terry has hot water in his faucet but not in his shower. I don’t have hot water at all but that is OK. We left for the hall at 8:30 and it is only 5 minutes away. I stopped and bought some pens but still arrived in plenty of time. During Terry’s first hour I went to have copies made for him. Each day at the end of his class he has a handout. I then met at the first two breaks with a brother named Henry who is working with the village church of Munyenge. We pay his transport each weekend and a monthly salary of $22. The congregation averages about 30 per Sunday and they have a children’s class. The problem is there is no place for the kids to meet as the church hall is just one small room. They want to build a small attachment for the kids but it would cost $520 in their money and that is simply too much for them and I don’t have that amount at this time. Perhaps in the future they can have the building. The two pictures below are of the hall in the afternoon (picture on the left) and of Terry’s class with his interpreter; a brother named Glenn Besong. After the morning session we hopped on machines and came back to the hotel. We ate in Terry’s room and you could see the envy in the eyes of Terry and Louise as they looked at my plate. I tried to muster some sympathy but we all fail from time to time! I came back and did as much work as possible and then we took off for the hall. My class went well. The brethren here seem to be argumentative by nature. Some of them have dogmatism down! For the years I have been teaching one of my goals is to get them to think and not to simply ‘parrot’ what they have been told or what I say. They have some very flimsy arguments on some passages or subjects so when I bring up something different, sometimes it causes me to be ‘on the fire’. That is their term when a brother is being attacked. I am a big boy, however, and can handle the arrows flung in my direction. I am greatly pleased that significant change has taken place over the years because of the seminar. We took a machine back and Louise and I stopped at the grocery store to buy some more candy for the sisters. I have been on the computer since I got back and Terry just left my room after talking to Chris. His wife is a real jewel; she is one of the strongest Christians I have ever known (so is Terry) and she is a real hero of mine. She has rheumatoid arthritis and is in pain on a fairly consistent basis. It does not stop her, however. I have been given a lot of letters asking for this and that so I will spend a couple of hours answering and printing correspondence. I will try to Skype Linda in about an hour or so. I won’t eat tonight except a candy bar or something healthy like that.
1. OK, this is my final recipe for the trip. For those of you who enjoy culinary delights; you are about to get blown away! The ingredients are as follows: Hormel brand Steak Tips and Potatoes; Spam (single pack); Paprika Pringles; canned corn and sausage. Cut the sausage into small pieces and mix with everything else and then crunch the Pringles over the top of everything. Warn your pallet of what is coming because it will be so surprised at the tasty dish that is coming its way. Remember, the key to all of these recipes is that they are eaten at room temperature. Some of you will be surprised to hear that when Linda came with me in 2008 she spoiled all of her food by purchasing a pan (against my better judgment) and heating her food. No wonder it tasted like garbage!
2. This afternoon was interesting; as you know, this is the dry season. Well, during my class it began to rain and it was becoming difficult for the brethren to hear my interpreter. Like all of your church buildings, it has a tin roof so when it rains you are aware. Jean Claude motioned me to walk into the middle of the hall so everyone could hear and I did so. Then it began to rain even harder so he replaced my interpreter with a brother named Tell. This guy has a BOOMING voice. When he speaks in a normal tone you would think he was using a megaphone. At any rate, all were able to hear.
3. Yesterday the preacher for the Kumbatown Church of Christ (where we are meeting) told the brethren that the city has stated that the water is not fit for drinking. He cautioned that if they tried, they would get to go to the hospital. We bought water in containers they call Sachets and they give to each of the seminarists. The cost is about $130 per day but we are happy to provide the water.
4. I pray that I am not repeating some of the commonalities between our countries. I know that in the summer (this is the hottest part of the year in Cameroon) when you leave your house, you turn off the A/C because it might freeze up while you are gone and then you would have none for about 24 hours. There is a girl named Rosaline who is cleaning our rooms and I have her put my A/C on at 11:30 so the room will be nice when I get home. Then in the afternoon I turn it off so that I can have it for the night.
5. We have no water and did not have water last night either. I will always prefer that the water is absent and the electricity is present. The water did come on during the night and I was able to take a nice shower this morning. I don’t know what is wrong with Terry (ask Chris) but he has this crazy notion that you need hot water to shower. What a silly guy!
6. A sister at the seminar (I don’t know her name) gave each of us two handkerchiefs that we can use to wipe our brow. I use my shirt sleeve a lot and I think she noticed. I am pretty sure, however, that that is the reason why God gave us shirt sleeves. Also, another sister gave us a Pineapple.
We are all doing well and continue to thank you for your prayers.