Saturday, June 29, 2013 9:25pm-3:25pm
It was another good day with 11 Bible studies and 2 baptisms. I got up at regular time and prepared for devo. Kurt did the ‘sermon’ and had some excellent thoughts. Everyone except me left at 9 and I did not leave until 11 as we had no prospects for the morning. I worked on a sermon for Monday evening, read and replied to three reports from one of the preachers that is partially supported by Americans and wrote an article. While I was here we had 3 power outages. None lasted more than 5 minutes and caused no trouble in the least. Makolo came and picked me at 11 and we took a taxi followed by another taxi followed by a 3rd taxi. We then climbed on two machines that took us to the building. This is another example of terminology; instead of saying ‘can you ride a machine’ they ask ‘can you climb a machine’? I told him I climb often and the trip was an adventure. It is fascinating; in the rainy season, to watch them choose which pot holes to avoid and which puddle is too big. While I am thinking about it I have an assignment for you. Get a Toyota Corolla or Nissan Sentra or Honda Civic or some such size car and do the following: put 4 adults in the back seat and 4 in the front. Regarding the front: place one passenger to the left of the driver. Yes, you read correctly as I am not ‘directionally challenged’. Be sure it is a 4 speed and place the passenger to the right of the driver touching the stick shift with the left side of their hip. Now; drive around for about an hour. Unfortunately, you cannot get the full beauty of Cameroon because of the roads but at least you will get the idea of space (or lack thereof). I had two studies today and they were the kind that may bear fruit one day but only God knows. The picture of the two old men below are William and Ashu. William on the left is a Christian brother while I studied with Ashu. He knows he is in his 60’s but not sure how old he actually is. He was raised in a denomination but has been turned off by all of the different false teachings and churches that purport to follow the Lord and yet have their own doctrine. He asked good questions but those of us who have a few years on us understand how difficult it is for the gospel to penetrate the heart of an older person. The problem is not with the gospel but the resistance to the gospel. The other study was with a school teacher named Olivia. She was a delight but has a major problem with her husband. He is staunch in one of the denominations and will not allow her to make her own decision. If you have read my blogs on previous trips you know that this is a severe problem in Africa. Husbands have all of the power and many will easily divorce their mate if she doesn’t do exactly as he says. I understand that we must put Jesus above anyone but that is easier said than done for an African woman. In most cases, if she is put out she can either become a beggar or a prostitute. There is no ‘safety net’ as we have or a mechanism where a woman can support herself. There are exceptions to what I just wrote but that is precisely what they are: exceptions. I am very impressed with Makolo as he told her that he would fast and pray for her husband and I have known this young man for many years and I take him at his word. We climbed machines to go to the main road and then got a car to Mutengene and then one to Buea. We ate supper early at 5 and Louis made it back from Douala by 5:30 and was able to eat with us. Tucker told two jokes (I use the word ‘joke’ very loosely) that tell me that either he has no sense of humor (Rob, too) or they are just two kids that wouldn’t know humor if it came up to them and said, “howdy”. Came up to my room and had a discussion with Jean Claude and Louis about two issues. One is the October campaign and the work we are supporting in Ebolowa. There are two preachers there and we need to make a decision as to which will stay and which will have to move. I then had a discussion with Vincent regarding the campaign next June.
I am a slob and happy to be one. You see, slobs are the happiest people in the world because nothing bothers us. A perfectionist, on the other hand is rarely pleased because we live in an imperfect world. Well, tonight I found out that I have a fellow slob with me by the name of Kurt Simmons. We had finished supper and a French fry was on his shirt but he was unaware. Rob pointed it out to him and Kurt said: ‘I was planning on taking it upstairs’. He then took the French fry off, put some Ketchup on it and ate it. A man after my own heart! Jean would be proud!!!!
1. One thing I forgot to tell you about this hotel is that on the stairways they have sensors to turn on the lights when you are moving on the stairs. While that may not sound that impressive to some, it is very impressive to me!
2. The picture on the right is of the first padded pew that I have ever seen in Cameroon. It is the only one in the congregation so I am interested tomorrow to see if there will be any fisticuffs as to who gets to use it!
3. As I have stated before; there are many favorable comparisons between the States and Cameroon. For example, I am sure that you (like me) turn off your computer when you leave the house because you know if the electricity goes out it will run the battery down.
4. When you are hailing a cab you yell at the destination you are seeking to attain. For example, Makolo will shout ‘Mutengene’ and if the driver is going there; he honks his horn which says to come and get in.
5. This morning we got in the back seat and there were already two ‘full-size’ women present. Now, they were not overly large but they were no small kids either. Makolo had me get in first and he could not shut the door so he said to them: “shift small”. They did so and he was able to get in. Riding in these taxis brings a whole new meaning to ‘close fellowship’!
6. This morning I said to Makolo: “thank you for being punctual” to which he replied: “thank you for thanking me”!
7. I trust you all have been using your buckets of water in your bathrooms for flushing, bathing and whatever you do in a sink. Hey, I am serious about turning the water off in your homes. This morning, for example, I wanted to water my hair so I could make it look beautiful (not hard to do) and so I took my small container and filled it with water and poured it on my head.
8. When the power went off today I did as you do: I put the curtain out the window so I could get some light. You do do that, don’t you?
9. Oh, since I stayed in to work I decided to have a healthy breakfast so I had a Snickers Bar and a bottle of Orange Juice. Do you realize there are 7 food groups in those two things which is remarkable since there are only 5 food groups (or something like that).
10. Let’s get back to words for a minute: when you hear the word ‘bridge’; what comes to mind? Well, over here a bridge can be something as simple as a plank that crosses a body of water. Sometimes when you cross you need to be very careful or you will fall.
11. I don’t know if I have ever posted the final picture below but it is one of Linda’s favorites.
Well, it is time to call Linda and then to take my wonderful bath. Tomorrow Rob and I will be in the same congregation and he will have the Bible class and I will have the sermon. We will then teach prospects in the afternoon and finish with an afternoon worship. Please pray for our final day of work. We are all feeling well and continue to thank you for your prayers and love.