Wednesday, July 03, 2013 9:45am-2:45am CST
Actually, Lord willing, this will not be the ‘final howdy’; only the ‘final howdy’ for this journey. Lord willing I will see Linda in about 151,000 seconds but who is counting? We left for the airport at 6 and made it with no problems. Got right in and the check-in process was flawless. At the gate the security goes through stuff and Kurt had a final bag of Oreos. I might add that he didn’t offer to share them with any of us, not even the two children. Once we got up to the gate the A/C was not on so we were actually hotter there than at any time on the trip. I didn’t get any work done at the airport because Tucker and I were destroying Kurt and Rob at Spades. I felt bad because it was like taking candy from a couple of babies. Well, I actually didn’t feel THAT bad. Alright, I was thrilled! Do you feel better? I was going to be Kurt’s partner as we had destroyed them last week and Tucker got on his hands and knees and begged to have me as a partner.
We boarded on time and actually took off within 10 minutes of the scheduled time. The plane was packed and I was reintroduced to the great culinary delights of Air France. Looking forward to the same on American Airlines later today. The flight was smooth and landed with no problems. Went through security and then took a bus to the terminal where we will fly out. Oh, I just polished off my breakfast (a Mars Bar). I remain consistent as I balanced the calories out with a Coke Zero. Part of the bottle is in French so I will bring it home and add it to my collection. Remember, that is the collection that my children are going to come to blows over after my demise. When we got to the terminal we found out that our flight has been delayed by 1 hour and 30 minutes. Our time between when we land in Chicago and when we take off for Dallas was 1 hour and 25 minutes. Being the astute person that I am, I figgered out all by myself that we were going to miss our flight. We had been scheduled to land in Dallas at 6:20 but now it is going to be after 8. We still have a tight turnaround as we have to clear Customs in Chicago. Kurt is presently taking a nap and the boys got a Smoothie at Starbucks. When they got back I asked for the change and discovered that Rob always tries to get his parents to let him have the change. According to him, his success rate is not good. We are currently in an area with a bunch of chairs and will move down to our gate area in a couple of hours.
As you know, the majority of my blogs are nothing but fluff. I know writing is not my strong suit but hopefully I can put one or two smiles on your face per blog. Let me talk about the trip we just finished; it may sound trite but this was another GREAT trip. Now, time will tell if the converts remain faithful and the churches grow in strength but even if they do not; the trip was a success. You see, we went into the vineyard with the Lord and worked alongside Him. We all know that the Lord does not put His hands around anyone’s throat and force them to follow Him. We were blessed in so many ways:
1. The fellowship of our Cameroonian brethren. Words and even pictures tell very little. For example, in our report next week Rob and Tucker are going to have some video that brings the brethren to life. Rob told me that he had seen my pictures but Vincent, Jean Claude and Louis were not anything as he had imagined. We were truly blessed by all of the brothers and sisters we came in contact with.
2. The fellowship of one another. It was a joy to be with Kurt, Rob and Tucker. I had been looking forward to this journey for some time.
3. The safety of our travel. During the rainy season the roads are more difficult than when they are dry. Someone like my dear Sister-in-law Ellen would have multiple episodes of Cardiac Arrest with these drivers. However (and I may have told you this) the other day Rob concluded that these are the best drivers in the world.
4. We had exceptional health. My little episode was the only problem that anyone had.
5. Even though it is the rainy season, the rain did not hinder our work.
6. We were blessed with good lodging and food.
I have not checked but my guess is that my Final Howdys are very similar in nature. The reason is because the work in Cameroon will not move swiftly and the things we are presently doing are bearing fruit. If you have a small child or grandchildren try to notice growth each day or week and you will see none. The growth is so slow that it is not perceptible. I am, however, very encouraged by the work that is taking place and the foundation that is being laid. I cannot end without commenting on those of you who contribute in a financial way to the work in Cameroon. There will always be disagreement over how much, if any, American dollars will go to a foreign work. For those of you who can see value; I plead with you to become monthly partners with the Cameroon Mission Fund. This fund exists for the sole purpose of funding good works in Cameroon. One time gifts are always appreciated and used. Just call or email me and I can give you any information that you need.
1. Yesterday when we met with Vincent, Jean Claude and Louis I had Vincent lead us in prayer. Talk about interesting verbiage! He prayed that the Lord would take us on a big bird and safely vomit us in America! I usually think of hurling as a fairly violent act but I know he meant it in a good way.
2. Went shopping at the airport to get some earrings for Linda. She is like Will Rogers: if you recall he is famous for saying that ‘I never met a pair of earrings I didn’t like’! That is her motto as well and Will Rogers is her hero. I walked about 17 miles to get these earrings. I went to one area and they directed me to the C gates but nothing was there. Then I was directed to the A gates (a long way away) and they had nothing. Then I went to another shop and asked them if there was any place in the airport that had earrings and they said a clothing store across from Gate 50. I went there and found them and that is next door to where we had been all along.
3. Picture below is of Vincent with his middle son, Esli. Esli is presently in college and studying computers.
4. Oh, I am very disappointed in these boys. They are not going to get their mommies a $500 set of earrings or a $500 necklace.
5. Oh, Tucker’s girlfriend has been in Paris for the past 10 days and is flying out today. I just met her in our terminal! Also, there was a guy who wanted to share my electrical outlet and he is from Lake Highlands. Small world!
I will write more on the plane.
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 3:00pm-10:00am CST
As you can see, we have crossed two time zones. Well, we may not make our 2nd connection in Chicago. We had left the gate on schedule and taxied out but then the pilot came on and said there was a mechanical problem that needed to be fixed so we went back to the gate. They finally got it fixed, put some more petrol in the plane and we finally took off but it was at least one hour late. This may turn out to be a rather interesting day (in a perverse sort of way). Just finished lunch and it was deeeeeeeeeeeeeelicious!!!!!!!!! Kurt is now my favorite elder because he gave me his desert. Every man has his price and mine is fairly low. Somewhere along the line I lost a piece of my electrical adapter for my computer so I will only have another hour or so on this battery and then probably 1-2 hours on my backup. Rob and Tucker both took Benadryl so they will be able to sleep. They did, however, ask me to wake them up for lunch. Their priorities are on firm ground. That is about it for now.
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 4:50pm-3:50pm CST
As you can see, we are getting close to home (Chicago). Only about 25,000 seconds until I see the most beautiful woman in the world (that would be my gorgeous wife)! I don’t actually know where we are at this time. Monday night you will recall our combined service of the 4 Douala congregations. They each spoke to us and I want to share a couple of remarks:
1. Beloved Kurt; it has always been a pleasure to have you in our midst. Your 6th coming to our country is an indication of your love for us and the Lord. Your presence here and devotion to the work of the Lord is an encouragement to us.
2. The fact that teenagers have been coming shows that the future of the mission work is guaranteed in Africa. Go on Rob and Tucker, we wish to see you again someday. Your commitment is a challenge to us.
We will find out within the next couple of hours if we make the second or third connection. We are all ready to be home. They just served supper but I am still full from lunch.
Wednesday, July 03, 2013 9:00pm-9:00pm CST
Well, it was the 3rd connection. Landed at about 5:15 with our flight scheduled to leave in 10 minutes! I called Linda and American Airlines had called her earlier today with the change to the flight I am on right now. When we were going through security one of the workers said: “have your photo id and boarding pass together; you are not children” to which Kurt replied: what do we do with Rob and Tucker? We are supposed to land at about 9:45. This has been a loooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggg day. It actually started yesterday at 3am your time. I don’t know how much sleep I have gotten during that time but it has not been much.
I conclude by thanking you once more for your part in this endeavor. The hand of God can be seen throughout as it was truly a blessed journey. I also want to give a special thanks to Rob and Tucker’s parents; they can be proud of their boys and I am thankful for their trust. I must thank Jean Simmons; what a great Christian woman and last and certainly not least, my lovely wife. This ministry would not exist without her. I do pray you can come to Buckingham Road next Sunday night @6.