Friday, February 22, 2013 10:45pm-3:45pm CST
Once each year I write the following words: another seminar is in the can. Well, something like that! Final numbers are as follows: Terry had 112 today as opposed to 125 last year; Louise had 81 as opposed to 99 and I had 160 as opposed to 185 in 2012. In Douala this year are average men’s class attendance was 40 and sister’s was 39. The afternoon session was 52. In Kumba we averaged 113 men, 80 sisters and 151 in the afternoon class. I feel comfortable with the way the seminar went and pray that it will be a building block. We have the evaluation sheets and will share some of the comments within the next few days. Jean Claude told us tonight that the seminar was received in a great way!
The picture on the upper left below is of Toko William and his wife, Celestine and their daughter Linda. He is the preacher for the church that meets at Kake II. The church in Albany, Texas has been a partial supporter of his for some years and after this year his congregation will be his full supporter. Each year at the end of the seminar a collection is taken up to help a few select benevolent needs. The ‘collection plates’ were empty containers that had had a ream of paper. The upper right picture is of one of the young men who is returning his ‘plate’. The bottom right picture is of one of the recipients named Simon. He is virtually blind and was telling the crowd how grateful he was for their kindness and he was giving glory to God. When I look at the condition of some of my brethren here it makes it downright ridiculous for me to complain about any of my problems. The bottom left picture is of me, a brother named Tell and Terry. Tell was the booming voice guy I told you about the other day. This guy can talk loud and can really sing a ‘mean bass’. Oh, the contribution was 74,075 which is $161.
We came back to the hotel after the contribution. Oh, I forgot to mention that that RAT Jean Claude put us in a taxi again today. There is no enjoyment in one of those things. When we got back Terry and Louise had lunch while I got to work. Louise comes up each day and checks email and writes to different folks during the break. We got machines back to the hall and I had several meetings before my class and during both breaks. Spoke with the sister who ‘ramrods’ the village sister seminars so I could get a budget for March, April and May. They have a total of 9 seminars planned. My class went well and after the service we were bombarded by well-wishers and those who wanted their picture taken with us. I met with some of the members of the Kumba Town congregation which hosted us and gave them some money to cover the water and electricity. We got back and Louise was intent on taking a shower before supper but that can be a hard thing to do with no water!!!!!!!!!!! We had a great final Kumba meal and I have been packing ever since. I still have to start typing some evaluations quotes and then I am going to Skype Linda @ 11. She wanted me to do so at that time as she is having a couple of kids spend the night that she used to babysit and she wants them to see me in Africa. They spend one Friday or Saturday night with us each month and pick one of our grandkids to be with them. They call us Grandpa and Grandma and we treat them as grandkids.
A few interesting thoughts:
1. The language here on the English side is Pidgeon. I don’t know if that is a correct spelling because it is only a spoken language. A couple of things they will say that are different from us: we might say isn’t that so and they would say; not be so but they would run it together to sound like nabeso. When a brother is reading from the Scriptures and he begins by saying: it says they will say it talk say. Generally it is not hard to understand but impossible to speak.
2. In Cameroon they always have the preaching first followed by the Lord’s Supper. I had never thought that there might be a reason for it but I think I now know it. This morning Terry was talking with Toko William and I had mentioned in my class yesterday that we have the Lord’s Supper first followed by the preaching and Toko said to Terry: ‘is everyone there’? The reason for the Lord’s Supper last is so they know everyone will be present. Late coming is a norm over here.
3. It is a wonder that anyone gets married in Cameroon. The bride price can be extremely high. One of the things Jean Claude must provide is a big pig. By big we are talking of one that is about 4 feet high. It is going to cost him about $400! Then he has to supply a big goat which will cost about $130. One of the relatives of Mary’s family demanded that he kick in 1 million francs (about $2,200) and Jean Claude texted back that the guy was crazy. It looks like it will end up costing him about $1,300 in cash and the two things I listed above are just the tip of the iceberg.
4. During the afternoon session they brought up a brother who had been helped during a seminar 2 years ago with a benevolent gift. It allowed him to have a successful surgery.
5. Terry and I were on the same wave length today as it seems we have something in common regarding shopping and our wives. I might add; our gorgeous, beautiful, smart, intelligent and overall wonderful ‘good guy’ wives: they both love to shop and we love to stay home. I told the audience that when Linda and I go shopping for a specific thing her eyes keep moving to other things and I have to remind her that we have ‘tunnel vision’ and we are on a mission. I did not use ‘tunnel vision’ as they would have been lost but I did use the word focus and they understood.
We are scheduled to leave at about 7:30 in the morning which should put us in Douala around 11:30. Once we get there it will be ‘crash day’ but also ‘preparation day’ for the combined service on Sunday. This has been a GREAT trip and one in which none of us have had any sickness or problems of any kinds. We appreciate your continued prayers.