Sunday, June 19, 2016 10:00pm-4:00pm CST
Had a great first day with 17 Bible Studies and 10 baptisms. Will go into detail below. Let’s go back to the beginning. Got up at 7:15 with an 8:45 departure time. Everyone had breakfast except for me. Bryan had not ordered breakfast but he showed up and they scrounged something for him. He has ordered for tomorrow. Was able to visit with the guys before they went out. I was the last one to go. I felt bad because I was riding in a nice automobile while the other guys were struggling on machines! Scratch that last sentence. I kind of felt bad because I was riding in a nice automobile while the other guys were struggling on machines! Scratch that as well! I felt GREAT that I was riding in a nice automobile. Don’t worry; I have ridden in this area before and have enjoyed the blessed ride. I am working in Lobe which is literally a 10-minute drive from the hotel. A brother named Fred picked me and we arrived on time. Church almost started on time and I had the Bible class and sermon. The song leader was named Elvis and he did an EXCELLENT job. I taught for 40 minutes and then fielded questions for 30. There is only one song and a prayer between the Bible class and sermon so I was up again very soon. Very inspiring service. I did not count but the number was around 50 and that ain’t a preacher count either! I had 7 studies and one baptism. The other guys had a high percentage of converts. I know I tell you this on every trip but I clearly see the power of the devil when I teach many. He has done such a fantastic job (from his perspective) of creating denominations that lead people astray. I understand that the vast, vast majority of denominational people are good but you are not saved because you are good but because you follow the will of God. If good deeds saved you then people of all faiths and even many Atheists would go to Heaven. Two young men stand out in particular: Sixtus and Divine. Both would not accept the gospel because of their families. We looked at Matthew 10:34ff and this morning I preached on Luke 14:25ff but they are locked into a belief system that will lead them to eternal damnation. I will pray and ask you to do the same that the Lord will soften their hearts. It did not rain this morning but during the afternoon classes we had some serious rain. I have learned that I do not need to speak loudly when it is raining but my translator does. I keep fairly close to his ear and he had a strong voice. We were scheduled to have afternoon worship at 4 and there were 4 present at 4 and that included me and the preacher! By 4:30, however, there were over 20 and we had a good worship. We headed back to the hotel and just as I entered my room the power went off. It then started to rain seriously and as I write it is still coming down. It will be very interesting to ride on a machine tomorrow which I will have to do as my driver from today will be at work. We had another delightful supper and the fellowship is so encouraging. Jean Claude came and sprayed each room so we had a good visit out on the veranda. You have to wait 15 minutes or so before you can enter your room. Kevin, Ken and Bryan all used my phone to call loved ones in the States. I have downloaded pictures and will Skype Linda in a bit. I am thinking about waiting until the morning to take a shower because the idea of the generator going out while I am in there is not a particularly pleasant thought.
- It is a good thing that I have the strength of Hercules. At the gym I work out at the guys are envious of my biceps. They actually call them “guns” but I hate to brag. At any rate; my door does not close smoothly so you need to really push hard to open or close it.
- I thought about trying to describe different aspects of this hotel but on too many things you would say: uh!’
- Bryan tasted wine for the first time today. They use true wine for the Lord’s Supper and he said it burned his throat. The first time my lovely wife took the Lord’s Supper over here she told me: “they used whiskey” which ain’t true. (I just added ain’t to my spell checker as it was bugging me.)
- We are hoping to get through the night with the generator working. Even it is not working as well tonight and my fan is barely rotating. The lights are also flickering and while I don’t know what that means; I figger it ain’t good. I am having to add figger to my spell checker. Do you think I need a new computer?
- The picture on the left below is one of the taxis I mentioned yesterday that we piled into. This one took the majority of our stuff.
- I love the picture on the right. You see, this brother’s name is Patrick and I taught and baptized him 8 years ago and he is very faithful! He might be older than I am which would make him a distinct minority.
- Bryan had a GREAT day and is simply having the time of his life. He is a good kid and is doing a great job. Vincent worked with him and conveyed to me that I was right about Bryan.
- At all times you must know where your flashlight is!
- I am surprised that this hotel believes in toilet seats. My darling wife removed ours years ago so I just keep the seat up!
We are all doing well and appreciate your prayers so much!