Friday, October 18, 2013 9:55pm-3:55pm CST
It has been another great day in Cameroon. Let me go back to the beginning. The electricity came on during the night or morning although I don’t know when. I slept well and didn’t get up until about 9:30. Last night the water was barely flowing but this morning it was gushing out so I got a good shower. Around 12:30 the electricity went off again but came back on within 20 minutes or so. This morning Jean Claude, Louis and I climbed 3 machines and went to town to a Super Market to buy a few things. Got some laundry soap for the sisters who will do our laundry in Bertoua and Yokaduma. I got some crackers and chocolate for the long journey tomorrow. In Yokaduma there is not much that you can buy in the realm of necessities. We had lunch at 3 and it was delicious. Louis and I had chicken and Jean Claude told the lady to cut it in half and give us each our share. Well, I have never had this happen before but I got a foot! I didn’t eat it and Jean Claude said the reason was that I was afraid that it would start walking inside me and scratch my stomach! He said that when he was a kid his dad told him that if he ate the head of a chicken, he would start making sounds like a chicken so he has not ate the head to this day! I went over the October trip for next year with Louis. We plan to go to Garoua and Maroua. Maroua is in the Extreme North region; yes, there is a North and Extreme North. The Extreme North is the only province I have yet to see. It will be another long journey but the brethren in the North do not get much attention. We climbed machines for Louis to go and buy the bus tickets for the morning. We are leaving on the first bus at 6 and if you wait until the morning, there is a good chance you will not get a seat and have to take another bus. Because we are traveling such a far distance we need to start right away. The meeting with the church tonight went well, as least I think so. I am trying to help them focus on their need to have a long range plan in place to take care of their own work. It is very difficult for Cameroonians to plan beyond tomorrow because of their financial struggles. When Jesus said in Matthew 6:34 that each day has enough trouble of its own our brethren here can far better understand that. You see, if they get sick and have no money for medicine, they simply stay sick. If they go to the hospital and need emergency care and no money, they die. There is no such thing as a ‘safety net’ so their struggles are beyond an American’s mind to comprehend. We need to be very patient with these brethren as their faith is weak and therefore, their giving is weak. Rome was certainly not built in a day and the church in Cameroon will not turn around overnight. It is fascinating to ride a machine at night. Most of the streets have no lights but the potholes remain! Got back about 8:30 and the electricity was off. Fortunately it came back on and right now the A/C is working. I realize that the vast, vast, vast majority of those in Bertoua don’t care about electricity because they have no A/C to run. We are truly blessed. The picture below is of Paul (Jean Claude’s brother), his wife Rose and their children from left to right; Fiona (4), Virgil (9) who is named after Virgil Butler and Andy (3). Paul is doing a great job!
Some Miscellaneous stuff:
1. I was talking with Louis this morning about teenagers today versus in my day. He said I lived in the ‘Dark Ages’ which is the first time I have ever been confused with Teresa Blaisdell. He mentioned Facebook and Twitter and said that in his congregation the teens often are ‘Facebooking’ during worship. I know the same is true in our country. I believe that all cell phones of teens should be confiscated when they enter the worship hall and given back at the end of the service. I REALLY do!
2 Last night we were greeted by a brother in Christ by the name of Charlie Mboka. I had not seen him in possibly 10 years and he has really grown. Not in height but in width. I would never have recognized him because he was a skinny youngster the last time I saw him but he has put on some serious weight.
3. Let me add to some things I stated in an earlier HOWDY regarding this trip and its length. Some might wonder why we would spend so much time in traveling to work with only 6 congregations. The French churches are few and far between and they often lack encouragement. The brethren are always happy to see us and we will be able to be a blessing to them. The church in Batouri has been struggling since its inception and I plan to meet with them next Tuesday night to get an idea of what kind of future the church has in that city. As I stated above, I needed to meet with the church here in Bertoua. The church in Ebolowa has also struggled for some years and they have two full-time preachers. I will meet with the preachers and with the church in separate meetings to determine which of the preachers, if any, will remain as the preacher in that congregation. While we are providing the finances, the church needs to be happy with their preacher. Please be in prayer for the meetings in Batouri and Ebolowa.
4. I only brought my IPhone as a camera so that my lovely, smart, beautiful, wonderful and intelligent daughter-in-law Jennifer could have my nice camera for the Fall Festival of which she is the ‘Big Cheese’ at our congregation. I am truly sorry that I will miss the Fall Festival with all of those lovely brats, er sweet children but duty calls me here. At any rate, I forgot that I needed electricity to charge my IPhone each day and it will be interesting to see if I have enough periods of electricity to keep it going. It would be nice to be able to use it as my phone as I do in the States but the charges for calls and internet would be through the roof.
5. I am not sure how I functioned in Africa for the first 15 or so years of my ministry. You see, in Ghana I never rode a machine and in Cameroon it has only been about the last 7 years or so that I have ridden. They are so much more economical on time. I have ridden with 6 different drivers today and 3 of them have been wearing Sock Hats pulled down over their ears. It is at least 85 degrees and I start sweating when I look at them!
Well, I need to Skype Linda and get to bed. Will take a quick shower as I am packed for the morning. Jean Claude will remain here in Bertoua and work with his brother while Louis and I travel to Yokaduma. We are ready to get to work. Thanks for your continued prayers. Oh, Jean Claude’s mouth is fine and Louis’ side is getting better.