Wednesday, February 12, 2014 9:45pm-2:45pm CST
Well, so much for lower attendance! On Wednesday last year the men’s class numbered 113 and today it was 124. The sister’s class last year was 89 and today it was 114. The afternoon class last year was 158 and today it was 186! Richard, Lucy, Linda and I have been pleased with the classes. The brothers here have been taught over the years that everything is black and white so they struggle with matters of opinion. Let me give you an example; I was talking on the subject of giving today and said that we should never take a ‘holiday’ from giving. You see, they have been taught that when you are traveling and in another congregation you must give and so their local congregation loses their contribution. I told them that some time back Linda and I traveled for 3 consecutive weeks and I held my checks and when I finally got back to Buckingham Road I placed 4 checks in the plate. Some of the older brethren have been taught one way and their ability to reexamine the Scriptures is lacking. Another brother said that since the servants in Acts 6 were an odd number (7) that when you select elders there should be an odd number. I am not discouraged but realize that it is going to take a long time to turn this ship around. I will not see serious change in my lifetime although I would be most happy to be proved a false prophet on that issue.
Here is how the day unfolded:
Got up at 7:15 again and had another good night’s rest. Have been sleeping well and the power has stayed on. Did regular normal stuff to prepare for the day. Got machines and arrived around 8:40. The brethren were singing I Stand In Awe and doing a fairly good job. Denis, the song leader said that he would give them a mark of 20 which is very poor. I stood up and said I would give 80 and they cheered and clapped for me! At 9 I went over to the Sister’s class to tell them how much I appreciate them and how important their work is. I then went and made some copies. I have an errand boy in the mornings but I don’t mind as it gives me an excuse to ride a machine. At 10 I met with 2 more of the village preachers along with Vincent who coordinates for them. The ones pictured below are from yesterday and from right to left are Jerry, Solomon and Jacob. They are all doing a fine job! Then at lunch I met with Denis Asikpo who I spoke about yesterday. This young man is really doing a great job. He had written out some answers to some questions that I had emailed him. One of the questions was: What progress are the brethren making in their faith? He had about 6 answers but one was that they no longer quarrel in their business meetings. I inquired about that as ‘shouting’ is prevalent in this society and in the church. He said that formally the meetings would get very continuous but since he has been teaching on surrender and behaving as Christ, a great change has taken place. I then took some papers down for Lucy and Linda to be photocopied, dropped them and went to the hotel. I had the driver stop at a petrol station and I bought him a coke, some cookies and a candy bar. A small gift from my perspective but a large one from his. It is a blessing to be able to come back to the hotel at break and relax. I work during the break but the A/C works so everything is OK. Richard and I left at 2:30 to head back to the hall. They were singing again and not doing too well so I got up and started leading. It is a blast to sing with our brethren as they really put their heart and soul into their singing. They pray every afternoon for special prayer requests and you can see at the top of the list is Terry Harlow. He is a dear brother of mine who has made 4 trips to Cameroon. He has inoperable cancer in a nerve behind his left eye and finished Radiation Treatments about a week or two ago. Please pray for him and his wife Chris. Then you see the name John Corner; this is our 8 year old grandson. Linda called me today as John had fallen and broke his elbow and had to have surgery. Hopefully, because he is a kid he will heal well. Oh, Princess is fine and Junior is getting better. It was hot today but I am not complaining as Linda says it is very cold in Dallas. I will take the heat. Lori Sutton has been shoveling snow and Richard said he had prayed that it would snow so he would not have to shovel. What a punk! He is concerned that the music is going to start up again tonight but Jean Claude has assured him that it will not. After my session Richard and I walked about half a mile to a copy place to pick up some things. Then got on machines back to the hotel. We ate in the restaurant tonight and everyone enjoyed their food. Certainly could not compete with my recipes but it was OK. I had spoiled myself the previous two days. Richard says that Lori raves about my food! He came in and sent an email to Lori – his first. She had emailed him and chided him a bit which he so richly deserved. My bed is filled with letters that I have to answer. Am fixin to Skype with Linda and Charlie Brown and then take a shower. Will then attack these letters.
1. The internet has worked here perfectly. I have connected the first time every time and the speed is quite good. Not Fios speed but still is more than OK.
2. I have become a thermostat. I am getting up and turning the A/C off and then in a while turning it back on. Right now I am starting to get a bit cold so will have to take care of my problem.
3. My fridge is really good. Each night I put a bottle of water in the freezer and in the morning I have ice water. It actually stays cold until noon or so.
4. In class when we turn to a text to read my translator will say: ‘are you there’? It is fascinating to listen to Pidgin.
We are all feeling fine. Thanks for your continued prayers.