HOWDY

Saturday, June 27, 2015 8:05pm-2:05pm CST

Dear All:

The Lord blesses all of us in various ways and the campaigns have many such blessings. Obviously, the souls that are won are a blessing but there are many others: 1) The time spent in worship with the brethren. 2) The ability to have brethren listen and learn as we teach. 3) “Down times” when we have a chance to interact on a one-on-one basis with the brethren. 4) The knowledge of how blessed we are in a physical way in the States. 5) Those who have fallen who return to the fold. 6) Those who are weak and grow stronger. My sister-in-law asked a very valid question that went something like this: do the congregations have the man power to maintain the new babes? Quite candidly some do and some do not. My limited experience in the States would say that we have the same situation. I believe one of our greatest weaknesses in the church is a lack of discipling. We do a fair job of ‘pew packing’ but many of our brethren are not living surrendered lives. The same is true over here. Thus far I have worked with three congregations and they were quite different in this way: the first (Lipenja) is a weak congregation and we had one baptism. Thankfully he has been attending there for a long time and I feel that he will remain faithful. The second (Bole) is a strong congregation with a really good preacher. Even though we had many souls I feel good about that situation. Farm Road, where I worked today, is also blessed with a good preacher and some strong members. The retention rate over here varies from as little as 10% (very poor) to over 50% which, unfortunately, is good. I would argue (and this is my guess) that less than 20% of our converts remain strong and become core members. Especially if you remove our children who are baptized.

Today the Lord led us to teach the saving message of Jesus to 20 with 7 of them giving their lives to the Lord. We also had one fallen brother who returned. Here is the day: rested soundly again and was up at 6:51. The A/C was good all night and I actually turned the thermostat up so it was quite comfortable. Devo was in Kurt’s room as usual and he led our thoughts. He is such an inspiration to me and to all of the brethren here. For the past 12 years (I think) he has been coming every other June. We went down to breakfast and I had some bread again and all enjoyed their food. I am working with the Farm Road Church of Christ and Glenn Besong is their preacher. I have known him for many years and he is really a good guy. He wanted us to take a taxi but I leaned on him and said I wanted to ride a machine which we did. The journey was only 25 minutes in duration. The road was tame compared to the Lipenja Road. Of course, the wildest ride at 6 Flags is tame compared to that road! When we arrived the church was assembled for morning worship. The picture of the girl below is Rene and the guy behind her is her day, Glenn. He was leading the songs and she did not stray from him. At first she would have nothing to do with me but after she was around my charming personality for a brief time, I was her best friend. That is how Teresa Blaisdell was with me. For decades I have been her favorite missionary and if you will keep this from her husband,; her favorite preacher! We then began to teach prospects and I taught 9 today. The first ones did not obey but all but two of them were good prospects. After we leave, the church will follow up with them. The last three are serious and it was good to hear them ask many questions rather than simply listening to me. One of the things I try to do is take myself out of the picture and let God do the talking. 7 of us joined the driver in a taxi for the ride to the stream. Glenn was on the LEFT of the driver with two of us to his right. 4 inhabited the back seat which is normal. You can see the baptistry below as it doubles for a car wash and washeteria. I am not sure how to spell ‘washeteria’ because I tried two different spellings and both of them came up RED. It was raining lightly but did not hinder us at all. We then took the taxi back to the main road where I climbed a machine. It was raining and as we moved along the rain become a little harder. We still made it to the hotel with no problems. We had supper early tonight and I had fish again. You should have seen what Jean Claude was eating. Well, really it would not be good to see what he was eating unless you wanted to ‘lose your cookies’. Jude came from Bole to collect the Bibles for the new converts as we are carrying them with us. Oh, when I first got back I had a nice cold shower and it really was nice. My fridge is now working which makes Stephanie happy because she has some things in it. Those of you who have been following my blogs for some years may find this hard to believe but I ate my first Mars Bar of the trip at 4:29 this afternoon. I am fixin to Skype Linda. Found out that our A/C went out AGAIN yesterday which makes the 3rd time in the past 3 months. I think the unit was built in 1926 which coincidentally is the year that Teresa Blaisdell was born! It is quite comfortable here and cooler than in Texas. In fact, today it was actually cool. I still have some stuff to do but am looking forward to our last day. Jean Claude has a boil in his ear but we got him some medicine and he is better. The rest of us are all doing fine. Thanks for all of your prayers.

In Christ,
Jim Corner

Miscellaneous thoughts:

1. I asked the church today to guess my age and the range was 50-75 so I do like some of the members!

2. During the one-on-one Bible lessons the majority of the students take notes while I am teaching.

3. I was on a hard wood board for hours on end with no break. I am used to this as it did not trouble me.

 

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