Sunday, June 29, 2014 11:55pm-5:55pm CST
It is amazing how time moves along. I can well remember my first journey to Africa in 1988 and we are concluding my 71st journey. Without exception, they have been profitable and edifying to all of us who have traveled. I realize that numbers alone prove nothing; II Peter 2:20-22 speaks of the fact that those who become Christians and fall away are worse off than if they had never been saved. Nevertheless; it was a good trip. We finished with 84 Bible studies, 37 baptisms and 1 restoration. We pray that those who rejected the Lord will repent and those who accepted will grow in their faith. Please be in prayer for the congregations as they have many new babies to attend to.
Let’s begin at the beginning: got up at 7:15 and planned to leave with Louis at 8:15. He is working at Mudeka which is on the way to Tiko. The picture of him flanked by Mark and Chris below was taken before we left. Mark is the ‘token white’ in the picture! We took a taxi to the Car Park and then another vehicle to Mutengene. We had a nice visit on the way. Makolo picked me in Mutengene and the taxi took us directly to the church hall. We did not get stuck today as we did yesterday as there was no rain today. We arrived at about 9 with Bible class slated to begin at 9:30. Started with some songs on time and it was beautiful. We only had 51 but it sounded like 251! We had an excellent song leader and it was very encouraging. I spoke in Bible class on Instrumental music. It is sad that many of our pulpits and Bible classes are silent on this issue. I would argue that few in the church could make a good defense of their position whether it be pro-instrument of against. Full disclosure; much of this class came from an excellent sermon I heard at the Lake Houston Church of Christ in Humble, TX last August. If I have a good thought in a Bible class or sermon you can be assured that it was stolen. At any rate; we began by showing that all of the major denominations were totally opposed to the instrument at their inception; denominations such as Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist. If you want to read some scathing statements against the instrument you do not have to look to any church of Christ preachers; just denominational guys years ago. We then looked at the Biblical teaching regarding the issue. It troubles me that so many of us do not go to Bible authority to determine if a practice is right or wrong. We must always be driven back to the Word of God. We then had about 30 minutes of questions and answers which was quite beneficial. The brethren here have been taught as many of us were taught in that God has always been opposed to the instrument. Passages such as Amos 5:23 and Amos 6:5 have been severely jerked out of their contexts to say something that the Bible does not teach. In II Chronicles 29:25 the Bible clearly states that instrumental music in the Temple worship was commanded by God. At any rate; the class was good. In Cameroon, after the Bible class they have a prayer and one or two songs and the preacher is back up again. This morning I preached from Philippians 3:1-11 with the emphasis on knowing Jesus. We then had the collection followed by the Lord’s Supper. Immediately after worship I taught a young man by the name of Peter (second day in a row for that name). It was an encouraging study and he wanted to give his life to the Lord. We then taught a young girl named Besong. She is 23 and after a good study also requested baptism. 5 of us climbed on 3 machines and we headed for the water. Besong was baptized in the very dress she wore to worship. We then came back to the hall and Makolo had some lunch. We then started our afternoon worship at 4. Had a good attendance and thoroughly enjoyed my time with these brethren. Got in a taxi that took 6 of us and dropped the brethren at various places. Got back to the hotel around 6:10 with supper slated at 7. It was about 7:30 before we cranked the supper up but it was a blessed event. Due to the rains, our laundry did not come back until today and I am missing several articles of clothing which are probably lost. Also, if you like wet laundry you would enjoy this. We are going to check again tomorrow before we leave. I am mostly packed although I still have some stuff to do. No water which has been par for the course. We are going to enjoy the hotel in Douala! Oh, tonight I was praying and thanking God for the fact that we had had no electrical outages. Within 30 minutes the lights went out for about 30 minutes. Had my trusty flashlight so did not miss a beat.
1. When I say in English that I want to say one more thing and be quiet it is translated: I will lock my mouth.
2. While I was preaching this afternoon a brother walked up to me and smacked a mosquito on my neck. On one hand they can be very formal but in other ways they are not.
3. The taxi we rode from Buea to Mutengene had power windows that work! Typically you have one crank that the driver has. If it starts raining he rolls up his window and passes the crank to the passenger in the front; when he is done he passes it back to the guy behind him and finally the poor ‘wet guy’ behind the driver gets to roll his window up.
4. When we got to the hall this morning Makolo had not eaten breakfast so he said to me: I am going to take fuel!
5. The church has two different song books. On each song they have written the corresponding number in the other book. The song leader will tell you what number goes with what book. Not exactly PowerPoint.
6. When Makolo made the announcement of the afternoon worship (they typically only worship on Sunday morning plus Wednesday and Friday evenings) he stated 4 O’Clock. He then said: “No African 4 O’Clock but white man 4 O’Clock.
7. The picture on the right is of Makolo, Kinge, Therese and Sidonie. They are a great couple and are doing a great work.
This has truly been a blessed trip. It has been seamless with good travel, nice hotels and good health. Most of all, we have been able to share the Word with both our brothers & sisters in the Lord and the lost. Your prayers have made a great impact. We head for Douala in the morning.