Thursday, October 30, 2014 7:55am-1:55am CST
Well; Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 3 that there is a time for every season; a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to do a Pre-howdy and a time to do a Final Howdy (or something like that). I am writing from Paris and will write more on the plane and possibly some final thoughts from my home in Garland tomorrow. By the time I get home I will have been up for about 40 hours with 3 hours sleep so I doubt I will crank up my computer when I get home. I will see Linda in about 54,000 seconds! I will try to retrace my steps starting yesterday morning. On a travel day I would love to be able to sleep until noon but I woke up at 7 and could not go back to sleep. Linda and Louis came over at 10 so we could discuss Noble Age 5. This is the curriculum we are going to write for teens. Our task will be to lead them to true surrender and our prayer is that this material will have a big impact on the future growth of the church in Cameroon. Tom Kimmey (Buckingham Road’s Youth Minister) is going to work with me and we will have some Americans and Cameroonians write the lessons. I will be the editor as there is terminology that I know will not work in Cameroon so I will be in charge of the final product. There will be a lot of emails flying back and forth between me and Louis before the final product is done. That meeting took about an hour and Jean Claude and Mary showed up and we headed for the restaurant. Had a great time and then Don and I took machines back to the hotel with the others riding in a taxi. The two couples are shown below; Jean Claude and Mary on the left and Louis and Linda on the right. I spent the afternoon visiting with Don and being on the internet. The internet connections were good throughout the trip with the exception of Yokaduma where there is no signal. The modem that Louis has is one I borrow when I am in Cameroon and it worked very well. We headed for the airport at 5 or so and arrived with no problems and got in quickly and obtained our boarding passes. We then went up to that wonderful lounge with A/C but there was one small problem; no A/C! I sweated more last night than I have on the entire trip. Took off on schedule and had another marvelous meal. I had beef for the first time in 2+ weeks and it was yummy. I was able to do some reading and then go over all of the February seminar material of Chris, Louise and myself. I am excited about that trip and pray that it will have a great impact on the leaders in Cameroon. We landed 25 minutes ahead of schedule and soon after we landed Don and I parted company. His flight is going out of one terminal and mine another that is far away. It was such a blessing to be on this trip with him. He always does a great job and it is fun to reminisce about our childhood. He kept remembering thing after thing that I did as a kind, big brother. He claims that I must be the best big brother in the history of universe! I don’t have my boarding pass yet as the gate is not open so I went hunting for an electrical outlet and thought I was in Douala. You see, in the boarding gate in Douala there are numerous outlets but NONE of them work. Well, after 2 tries I finally found an outlet in Paris that had juice. I am scheduled to take off in less than 2 hours so figger I will be able to get the boarding pass fairly soon. Will sign off for now.
I will see Linda in about 32,000 seconds. As you can see we have crossed several time zones. Currently I am over the Atlantic somewhere. After I wrote the stuff above I went to get my boarding pass and the plane took off on schedule. Hey, we all know how sumptuous airplane food is but American Airlines outdid themselves today. I wish they sold their meals online or had frozen AA meals at Kroger. I worked on my trip report and watched an episode of Rob Foster’s favorite show: The Rockford Files. Oh; I forgot to tell you two things: 1) Yesterday morning I looked in my fridge to pull out a Coke Zero and both of them were frozen. One would not even stand up because it had started to ‘push out’ the bottom so I put it in the sink. Don came in and we were talking and we heard a cracking sound coming from my sink and it was the Coke coming out of the bottom. In the picture below you can see that the Coke completely opened the bottom of the bottle! 2) I have some videos of KB (that is Stephanie and Dean’s 6 year old) playing Soccer and talk about using language loosely; to say that he played is about as loose as you can get. In one of the videos he is the goalie with his back to the field and a ball comes in and hits his leg so he makes a save by mistake. Another time he has his back to the field again and the other team scores a goal and he has no idea what just happened nor did he care. At any rate; Louis and Jean Claude loved those videos and Louis wants copies so he can show kids how NOT to play soccer!
I am going to get out of character for a minute and get serious about the work in Cameroon. We are taking baby steps but they are headed in the right direction. The seminar in February continues to lay good foundation for the future. I am excited about our children’s ministries and the hope they hold for a bright future long after I am gone. The churches are growing slowly in number but more quickly in spirit. For sustained growth we will have to see spiritual development on a large scale and we are moving in that direction. The work that is being done with the villages is also bearing fruit. For those of you who have been reading from me for some years you may think I am a broken record but growth is slow and we are not going to try to involve ourselves in so many things that we spread ourselves too thin. My confidence is high regarding so many of our brethren in Cameroon and I believe there is a sunny future for the church in Cameroon.
I want to go back to the ease of the trip for a few minutes. I fully understand that physical comfort is not essential to a great campaign. I have had more than my share of days with no water, no electricity, poor weather and other obstacles. This trip did not see one second of electrical outage; not one minute when the water in the hotels was not flowing. We had seamless travel and in every way our physical needs were met at a high level. That, of course, pales in comparison with the GREAT time we had in fellowship with our brethren in Cameroon. I wish you could go with me to a small village and see extremely high levels of faith on the part of some of our brethren. My heart never leaves Cameroon and I am already excitedly looking forward to February. I want you to pray for that journey as Louise Clement will once again teach the sisters and Chris Lowe will teach the men for the first time. Louise has few peers and has been a treasure to the work in Cameroon. Chris will be making his 3rd journey and I know he will do a GREAT job.
Friday, October 31, 2014 Noon-Noon CST
Balance of flight was perfect and we landed early. My daughter-in-law’s brother-in-law Andrew picked me at the airport and we made it home with no problems. It was good to see Linda, Charlie Brown and Michael (he is a 3 year old that Linda babysits on Tuesday and Thursday). I got about 10 hours sleep last night so it is time to ‘catch up’. Once again; THANKS SOOOOOO MUCH for all of your prayers.