Thursday, June 26, 2014 10:55-4:55pm CST
I am sorry that you will not receive this until tomorrow. We ran ‘out of gas’, that is, credit in the modem and we cannot replace it until tomorrow. Here is the day:
Got up at 6:45 with a targeted departure from Kumba at 8:00. The driver was early and we actually got loaded and left by 7:45. You can see the van below with our stuff on top. You will see vehicles carrying stuff 4 times that high and twice as wide and long! The ride was only 90 minutes and there was no rain and we were on a good road. The road was ‘culture shock’ for Chris and Mark after the Matoh Road. Talk about something you will never forget. BTW: have you ever said; “I will never forget that!” If you forget it, you won’t know it! My guess is that elderly people like Teresa have probably forgotten dozens of things that ‘they would never forget’. The hotel we are staying at is one that is new to us. The rooms are nice with cold A/C. The city of Buea rations water but we had some today. Mark came over to my room to shower because I have a hot water heater that works and he does not even have one that does not work. He took his shower in the afternoon but I waited until tonight. Well, they had closed the tank so no water. Vincent went and talked to someone and they opened it. Well, kind of as it was basically a small stream. That is OK because I got wet! They also brought a fridge in my room and I am housing drinks for Mark and myself. Chris doesn’t drink Cokes (some mental imbalance I guess) so he is OK with water. Oh, yesterday I went inside my bathroom and saw a marvelous sight and was not sure what it was. I called Chris and Mark and they told me it was called a ‘toilet seat’ and when they explained it to me I remembered. Some of you recall that I have stated in other ‘Howdy’s’ in other years that in 2008 Linda came with me to Cameroon for 11 weeks. Once she saw that a ‘toilet seat’ (I hope Chris and Mark gave me the correct name) was a luxury she removed them from our house and we have not used one in 6 years! We met the church leaders of the 3 congregations we will work with at 3. As with all campaigns, the meeting went well but time will tell regarding the fruit. Oh, after we checked in we went to a local grocery store to buy some staples such as Coke Zero, Mars and Snicker Bars, Pringles and other necessities. Do you see the Walmart brand of oatmeal below! That was purchased here in Buea. My A/C was blowing really cold air and I was concerned about tonight. Tom Steed, the preacher for the church of Christ in Auburn, Alabama had given me a universal remote. I may have written about it earlier. Well, it wouldn’t work my A/C but Mark’s remote wouldn’t work his. He brought his over and it works on my A/C and my remote works on his! I had called Linda and told her we would Skype with everyone tonight but had to call her back and give her the bad news. She was sad but hopefully tomorrow we can. My best friend (that would be Mark) came over to do some more work on transferring my calendar and address book to Gmail. He also tried to move some Contact Groups but the connection was soooooooooooo slow and before he could complete the job; the internet went bye-bye. He and I had a wonderful visit for an hour or so. He is really a remarkable young man and is a blessing to the Kingdom. Chris went into Jean Claude’s room and visited with him. I will work with Tiko tomorrow and pray that I have good news. We are all doing well.
Saturday, June 28, 2014 12:45am –Friday, June 27, 2014-6:45pm CST
As you can see, it is late. Several reasons for that and they will become clear as you read on. Oh, clearly Louis got more credit for the modem so here it is.
Day began at 6:45 with devo slated for 7:30. Chris led it and did an EXCELLENT job! It has been such a joy to have him on this trip. Had a good night’s rest and the power stayed on. Thus far we have had no significant power outages and we are thankful to the Lord for that. Vincent and Chris are working in Mutengene while I was working in Tiko. The team had 5 baptisms today making a total of 32 for the journey. We pray that these babies will grow. Describing a Car Park is 100% impossible. I would love to video it but I would get shot (or something like that). We dropped Chris and Vincent in Mutengene and Makolo (the preacher in Tiko) was waiting for me. We hopped two machines and the ride was nice. I do have some good videos of riding through the mud. When we arrived at the church hall a prospect was ready. His name is Peter and he has been visiting the church for 4 months. The type of prospects we have determine the number of baptisms and the level of future faithfulness. We climbed several machines to go down to the water. You can see the ‘baptistery’ below. We then climbed machines to go to two more prospects. This is such a cool story; in 1996 or 1997 Virgil Butler led a man named Martin Manyaka to the Lord when he lived in Muyuka. A few years ago Martin became the preacher for the Biyem-Assi Church of Christ in Yaounde. He led a girl named Evelyn, who was a student at the university, to the Lord. She came back to Tiko and today her mother and sister became Christians. The picture below is of Evelyn on the left with her sister Pamela (pronounced Pa-mel-a), her mother Bertha and Makolo. Baptism in Cameroon is quite different than America. With Bertha and Pamela we trekked through some jungle to find a stream. Sometimes we were on a path and other times we made the path. We got there and the water was not sufficiently deep. Well, we trekked to another area and it was also too shallow. We went back to Bertha’s house and Makolo called the two drivers to come and pick us. They brought a 3rd machine as there were 5 of us to carry. You might think: ‘you need 5 machines for 5 people’ and I would say: ‘what’s wrong with you’! When we got there a man was bathing so we waited for him. He took forever so Makolo went and found another spot. To walk down to the water was truly treacherous. In the States a baptism is so simple and comfortable. We then climbed machines back to the church hall. A prospect was supposed to be there but he did not show. I talked with the preacher’s wife whose name is Sidonie. She is such a sweet girl and will deliver their 3rd child next month. Her stomach and Jean Claude’s share a striking resemblance! The evening worship was excellent with all of the converts present. Of course, the question is will they be there a year from now and 5 years from now. BTW: we had 3 converts from last year; 2 are very strong and one has completely fallen. The walk to the main road was interesting, to say the least. There were no street lights but I had my flashlight. I have no idea where we were going because my head was plastered to the ground lest my face make contact with the planet earth. The brethren here can see in ways I can only dream of. Makolo would tell me to shift right or left and he kept me afloat. We got to the main road and took machines to another main road. Then we took a taxi to Mutengene. We then took another taxi to Buea and I made it home by 8:15. Supper was supposed to be at 7:30 and I had called Louis and told them to go ahead. They waited, however, so we journeyed to the restaurant. The food was still not ready but after 15 minutes it started coming. Mary (Jean Claude’s wife) and Linda (Louis’ wife) are here for a few days. We fear that Jean Claude and Louis are not doing a good impersonation of Uriah! After supper everyone came to my room and we tried to Skype Linda and Charlie Brown but the connection was too bad. We hope to do it on Monday in Douala. My best friend came over and did some more work with my Gmail account. My fear is that he is giving me ‘brain overload’ which is quite a feat since I have such a powerful brain! My best friend left about an hour and half ago and I am now getting to the place where I will be able to go to bed within the next 15 minutes.
1. Our rooms here are within spitting distance of one another. I know because Mark spit on each one to determine the distance! Unfortunately Jean Claude was in the ‘line of fire’ on one such attempt. Mark is across the hall from me with Chris next to him. Then Jean Claude is next to me with Louis next to him. Vincent is around the corner so we can get to each other’s rooms with no problems.
2. Sidonie is a school teacher and has worked for 2 years without pay. That is common here; you work for a year or 2 or 3 before you receive one franc. Oftentimes they will pay your back salary if they keep you on but not always. If they decide to fire you then you get nothing. Americans find that fascinating and wonder why they would work for nothing. The answer is the hope of a salary.
3. One of the 2 faithful sisters is named Gwendoline. She is helping Sidonie with the children’s class. She asked about Rob Foster (he is a teen from my congregation that came last year along with Tucker Harding) and said she has been trying to forget him but has been unsuccessful! She says that that failure has caused her much grief!
4. Let me go back to Peter that I mentioned above. He is a real truth-seeker. He had visited plenty of churches and compared what they taught to the Bible and found them wanting. He came to the Tiko congregation one Sunday to investigate and after time saw that this was truly the church that Jesus built. As I have stated on so many occasions; the devil has worked mightily by constructing all of the denominations. You would need a crow bar AND a search warrant to find the concept of denominationalism in the Scriptures.
5. When we finished baptizing Peter there was a man named Kenneth who said he wanted to be baptized. Well, I wasn’t simply going to ‘dunk’ him without first studying. We spent some time and have a rendezvous for tomorrow and I pray he will be there.
6. When I got home they said the water was flowing but I checked in my room and it was not. They said again that they had fixed it and was now ready. Immediately after supper I came up and it was flowing. I use the word ‘flowing’ in a very loose way. Dripping would be a better word. Well, I rolled the dice and won. I shampooed my hair not knowing if I would ever get the shampoo out but I finally did!
We are all doing well and thank you for your continued prayers.