Friday, February 13, 2015 11:15pm – 4:15pm CST
We have reached the halfway point by finishing our work in Douala. We had good attendance but less than last year although last year was the second highest attended seminar of all of them on the French side. On the English side it was the highest so we will see what happens in Kumba next week. The men’s class was 39 today as compared to 45 last year; the women’s was 36 as opposed to 42 in 2014 and my class had 60 instead of the 72 last year. We averaged 38 men which was 5 less than 2014; 33 women which was only 3 less but 52 in contrast with 72 last year. I guess they heard I was speaking again! As I have been saying; Chris, Louise and myself feel very good about the seminar. Louise said the women did a good job of presenting lessons that they would teach to children; Chris did a masterful job and the men really enjoyed his teaching and wisdom and I felt as though my class was well received.
Day began in the usual way; I am fully aware that those of you who have been reading these blogs for years must wonder why I have no originality. Well, I write what I write and I realize it is highly repetitive. Hopefully every once in a while I can say something that will encourage you. The ride to the hotel where the women meet is rather boring because it takes place in a taxi. Crossing the street to get to the other side requires a keen sense of ‘when to move’ and ‘how far’ at a time. I have never seen anyone hit which is rather amazing. When my beautiful wife was here she dreaded crossing the road in Douala. The ride to the hall is always exciting and uneventful. My dear sister-in-law would have Cardiac Arrest after one minute on a machine but her passing would not be warranted as she would miss so much fun. When we arrived the men turned in their evaluation sheets but I have not had time to look at them. Chris came down tonight and sorted them by name and language and hopefully I can read them on the way to Kumba tomorrow. I had to go over and collect the sheets from the women and Martin carried me again. The guy always has a smile and is a delight to be around. I would really enjoy it if I could communicate with him as his English skills rival my French skills (which ain’t good)! I always buy the girls a Coke on one day which makes them very happy. I tell them to be quiet and not allow the men to know what I am doing. The picture of the sisters is down below. I then went back to the hall to listen to the end of Chris’ class. Today he did a number of ‘Case Studies’ to see how to apply what they had learned this week. Progress was truly made. We came back to the hotel for lunch and ate in Chris’ room. He asked me if I ate that way (speaking of the kind of food I eat) in the States and I said no. Truly speaking, I do enjoy lukewarm food and can eat out of a can and be very contented. I think that is what Paul was talking about in Philippians 4! He had learned to eat hot food and lukewarm food. You have to know the Greek to get that out of the text. After we ate we walked down to a bakery to get some bread for our journey in the morning and then to another store to get Chris some Peanut Butter. We found some Skkippy and I spelt it the way it was on the jar! We then came back and I had to get money in order to give to various people. You will recall that we fund the 10 brethren from the North. I then had my class and afterwards we did a couple of things. First, we sang the song Higher Ground and as you can see in the photo below; the song was dedicated to Terry Harlow. I hope you can read the top which says: ‘In memory of Terry Harlow, we sing Higher Ground’. It is interesting how emotions work but halfway through I could not sing for the tears in my eyes. Terry was such a dear brother and I was blessed to know him and still blessed to know his precious wife Chris. Then the sisters came in singing to us and gave us a wood carved gift of African fruits. The gifts were very nice. After our closing prayer we took a bunch of pictures and off to the hotel we went. I was able to take a good shower and then the work of packing commenced. We are fixin to leave Paradise for what we don’t know. Kumba can be nice but it can also be not so nice. The electricity is spastic so we will have our flashlights by our sides at night. The attendance will be 3 times what it was in Douala. We are scheduled to leave at 8 in the morning and go to the Orphan’s Home at 3. We are excited about the balance of the journey. We have had no problems and your prayers are a big reason for that. I am going to Skype Linda and Charlie Brown and then go to bed. Please pray that my internet works in Kumba.