Thursday, February 25, 2016 4:40pm-9:40am CST
I will see my darling in a little under 119,000 seconds! Whoopeeeee! Earlier this month I sent my Pre-Howdy and since that time have sent over 20 “fluff jobs”. I now am on my last leg and will write this in several installments and probably send it on Saturday. Later in the blog I will go into detail regarding the trip as a whole. I woke up this morning at 5:32 and thought: “oh no, I am waking up too early.” I thank God that He allowed me to go back to sleep for 3 more hours. Did some more packing and Jean Claude came over at 11 or so. The other night we passed a new grocery store that I wanted to see. One of the aisles is below and this is their version of Wal-Mart. It was a VERY nice store. We then went to lunch and Ricardo had what he had yesterday and is debating on whether or not to stay for another week so he can eat that dish several more times. He said and I quote: I can do without Lori for another week! He should be ashamed! I will tell you this: each time I am with him my sympathy for Lori increases! She is a strong and patient woman. The Bible says that tribulation works patience and Ricardo has led her to be the equal of Job! We then came back and while I took a shower Jean Claude took a nap. You will see him below. His compadre is below and they are both doing what they do best! We will head for the airport at 5:30 and the flight is scheduled to leave at 11:55 tonight. I am supposed to land at 6:25 and fly out at 8 so I am hoping the connection is OK. I missed the flight in October and had to go through Minneapolis.
It is now about 108,000 seconds before I see Linda! We got stuck on the elevator again so that was the last time we used it. Decided the stairs weren’t all that bad. Muabe Peter, the brother who picked us when we arrived was busy but sent his Gendarme truck to take us to the airport. Hotel vans and other cars cannot go up where you enter the airport but the Gendarmes can go anywhere so we were dropped at the front door. They have a ‘metal detector’ outside and he explained that I have a pacemaker and was waved in. We didn’t have to wait long to get our boarding passes and the guy was very friendly. He told me that Corner is French (although I thought it was English) and he told Ricardo that Boise (that is where Ricardo is flying to) is French which is true. Got through Customs with no problems and we are at the gate. I have some good news: they have plenty electrical outlets and I tried the first 3 and they were all as lively as the head of a hammer. The 4th, however, works so I don’t have to waste my battery. This afternoon I wrote the rough draft of my trip report and will redo it several times before the finished product is done. We only have 5 more hours before we fly out and several people give me grief about coming so early. Well, I learned last year when Louise flew out a day or two before me that if you wait until later; you have the privilege of waiting in a hot line with no A/C. As I write I am enjoying some nice A/C. I will call Linda a couple of times before I leave. Once we are out of here I cannot talk to her again. I could use my IPhone in Paris but it would cost a bunch! She is worth ¾ of a bunch but not a whole bunch. Now, don’t tell her I said that if you value my health! A couple of things I forgot to tell you: 1) at Bible class and during sermons when a brother reads a passage; he always stands up. 2) Jean Claude told us today that his 2nd or 3rd surgery was done wrong and Ricardo kidded that he could sue. He replied that in Cameroon the government protects doctors so such a suit is never brought; no matter what the case.
Friday, February 26, 2016 9:35am-3:25am CST
I will see Linda, Lord willing, in about 50,000 seconds but who is counting (besides me). We have crossed at least one-time zone. We actually boarded and left on time last night and arrived on time this morning. Flight was uneventful except for the marvelous meal. I have thought about calling American, Delta or United and see if they need someone to fly all of the time to check on their service. That would be great to eat airplane food on a regular basis. I remember watching an episode of The Rockford Files and a snooty guy said in a mocking way: there are people who eat airplane food and ask for seconds. Don’t know why he didn’t mention my name! My plan was to eat and sleep and it worked! Got 4 hours of sleep and landed at 6:25am. My flight out of Paris was scheduled for 8 and when we deplaned we had to ride a bus to the terminal and it was a rather long bus ride. Once we got inside the airport Ricardo realized he had left his IPad on the plane. We said bye as he tried to go back to retrieve it. Not sure how he could get back to the plane but hope he did. I had such a good time with him and we were able to swap stories about our wives but only good stuff. You see, when you talk about Linda and Lori there are no bad things to say. I will confess when I told Ricardo about the “3/4 bunch” thing regarding Linda he said that Lori was worth 11/16ths of a bunch. I got to my gate after going through security. The flight took off about 30 minutes late so I am not sure if I will make my connecting flight to Dallas. I only have 90 minutes but have to collect my bags and go through Customs. It will be tight. It never entered my mind that since the flight left at 8am that they would serve breakfast but it was EXCELLENT. Generally, the breakfast that we are offered on these flights are at the end of the flight and it is pretty vanilla. This was a really good breakfast and the only better one I have ever had on a plane was in February of 1996. I was flying from the Ivory Coast to Douala on Cameroon Airlines and it was a FANTASTIC breakfast. I have been reading and will work on my PPT for March 13 of the trip. I have selected the pictures and will have my wonderful, beautiful, marvelous, intelligent and over all good-guy daughter-in-law make it purty. We are still 7 ½ hours from Atlanta. Oh, I have electricity in my seat so can stay on the computer for the entire journey. The lights in the cabin are dimmed and I am still excited about my “lit up” keyboard. It has really been a blessing on this trip.
Let me get serious about the journey for a minute. I am not stretching the truth when I say that trip #52 to Cameroon was another great one. As you saw from some of the comments on the evaluation sheets; the brethren were very happy with the seminar. Richard, Mary, Lucy and I were all pleased with the way the seminar was received. The men and women are developing a greater ability to think for themselves. In the past, they were more inclined to simply accept whatever they had been told about a particular text or doctrine. One of my major goals is to help them use their brains and not rely on others. Now, there is nothing wrong with listening to someone else but we know that many good people will spend eternity in Hell because they listened to a false teacher and bought what they were selling. I tell them on a regular basis that I am not God and neither are they. There has been one perfect teacher walk this planet and His name was Jesus. The rest of us are fallible and are simply trying our best to follow His example.
We have flown nearly 4,000 miles with less than 500 to go to Atlanta. We are now down to 25,000 seconds until I see Linda. It has been such a blessing to be able to Skype with her every day. When I first started traveling to Ghana there was zero contact of any kind after she left me at the airport. I have been doing a number of things since I last wrote: fine tuning my PPT, ditto for my trip report, watched a movie and an episode of The Rockford Files, slept a bit and they have fed us two snacks. One was ice cream and I didn’t want to eat it but I also did not want to offend the flight attendant so I forced it down! It appears that we are going to land on schedule even with the late departure so I am hopeful to make the connection. My brilliant son-in-law and 3 of the grandkids are going to pick me up at the airport so it will be good to see them (the grandkids, that is).
Landed with no problems in Atlanta. Cleared customs and got my luggage easily. Took a train to the terminal I flew out of. I will see Linda in less than 14,000 seconds! On the way I spoke with her and she has a severe back ache and one or two other problems. I felt so sorry for her as she was crying because she did not know if she could pick up Charlie Brown from school. The timing to my gate was almost perfect and I have about 2 hours of flight time. Will do some reading and resting.
I want to finish by telling each of you how much I cherish your prayers. I know there are people who fear travel but such fears have never entered my mind. It is not that I am so brave but I know that I have a Father who is taking care of me. In addition, He has many children (you) who have uttered thousands of prayers over the past 3+ weeks for my safety and the blessing of the seminar. I struggle to say THANK YOU in an adequate way because I realize that it is impossible to give you the thanks you deserve. I am grateful to those of you who were able to contribute in a financial way and thankful to each of you who lifted prayer after prayer. This ministry is not run by one man or even a few. It is led, first and foremost by God, but He is using you to do His bidding. Thank you for your faith.
P.S.: The reason for the delay in getting this out was that I took Linda to the ER this morning. She had severe back pain and had thrown up so much that she was simply ‘dry heaving’ all morning. Nothing serious and she is on some medication and sleeping now. Please keep her in prayer.