Saturday, October 15, 2016 9:15pm-3:15pm CST
A thought to begin this missive. In I Timothy 3:3 it says that an elder cannot be ‘greedy of filthy lucre’. For you youngsters out there, lucre is money. Was the Apostle Paul speaking of the state of the currency in Yokaduma? This stuff needs to be run through a washing machine! Let’s try to recap the day.
Got to sleep in till 8:15! My darling and beautiful wife thinks of noon as sleeping in! The generator ran out of fuel during the night but it is not too hot so everything was OK. I can remember times in Ghana during the February campaign. This is one of the hottest months of the year and I would quickly be soaked and wake up as though I had just been through a car wash! I slept well and have no complaints. We left the hotel around 9:30 and made one of my most important purchases. I got a bunch of candy and crackers for Rodrique’s kids. When I gave it to them their mother she said they remembered the same gift two years ago. When I ate supper with Rodrique and Cristel last night they said that the kids were asking; is Grandpa coming to spend the night with us? When I was here two years ago they would sit with me during church and started calling me Grandpa. It may have rained during the night but I was sleeping so am not sure. We took two machines this morning (there are no car taxis in Yokaduma) to the church hall. When we arrived my first prospect was waiting and I hope to give you a picture of her tomorrow. She is a 14, nearly 15-year-old by the name of Muriel. The high percentage of baptisms that we have on these campaigns is directly related to the prep work that the local church does. The study was long and she had a number of excellent questions. The picture on the right below is of the “baptistery” where she became a child of God. We understand that the power is in the blood and that the water is simply a tool that the Lord uses. Some are prettier than others but they are all beautiful in the fact that the Lord uses them to change a person from a child of the Devil to His child! Our second study was with a woman whose husband is a brother. This has been a difficult process as many have studied with her, including me 2 years ago. There is a lot of pressure from her parents to remain in her denomination. She said that she will be baptized tomorrow which always scares me. It is fascinating to watch the urgency of every NT baptism compared to our day. Sometimes people will “schedule” a baptism so family can be there. Nothing wrong with wanting your family at your new birth but if you believe you are lost today and want to surrender to the Lord; would you gamble with your soul? On our journey yesterday we crossed a river and the driver told us that a few months ago a car went inside the river and was immersed. No one could see it but people started trying to determine where the car might be. They finally came to the river and used long poles to probe and found all people inside and of course, their eternal fate had been sealed the moment they died. I have no idea how many or what ages or whether or not they were God’s children. What I do know is that they did not plan to die that day. I just pray that Jean-darc (the woman we studied with) will give her life to God tomorrow. Please pray for her. The prospects were finished for the day but I try to make the most of my time so I sat down with Rodrique and Jean Claude. Need Jean Claude to translate as Rodrique understands very little English and I can say good morning, good afternoon, how are you and what is your name in French. We had a very profitable time in discussing the church in Yokaduma and some things that can be done to strengthen it.
We came back to the hotel and found that the electricity had went on vacation and the fuel in the generator was finished. Not a good combination! We paid for some more fuel and I have a nice fan blowing on me. I may or may not have told you yesterday that the generator cannot run the A/C or even the fridge. If I told you that already, note my comments regarding my darling daughter from yesterday. I had a lovely lunch of 2 Twinkies. Now, if you are snubbing your snubby noses at me I will have you know that I got 36% of the saturated fat I needed today (saturated fat is good, it must be because of the wonderful taste it provides). I also had 30% of the total carbohydrates I need, 4% of the protein, 4% of the Calcium and 8% of the iron, SO THERE!!! I worked on several preacher reports and then had supper by myself. You see, Jean Claude had been invited by Rodrique to have some genuine native food and I prefer genuine non-native food. Had a good steak (tough as a boot but tasty) along with rice. That is pretty much your options but it was delicious. They have NO drinks in the entire hotel so I had a good bottle of water. Came back to my room and started with some more reports and fine-tuning my class for tomorrow. Both sermons for tomorrow are completely done.
- Picture on the left below is of Chris, Rodrique and Cristel’s youngest son. He is named after Chris Lowe who is a shepherd with the Cloverdale Church of Christ in Searcy. This great brother, along with his dear wife Angela, have done so much for the Kingdom in Cameroon and continue to do so. Pretty cute kid, ain’t he!!?
- I meant to tell you yesterday of the “rain gauge”. There are many of them on the roads in this country. They are operated by locals and when the road is too bad for the big trucks to cross; they are down and the trucks sit until they are allowed to move. These trucks can do much harm to the roads. If they were allowed to travel at all times they would leave ruts that would swallow a car.
- We all understand the concept of taking someone or something for granted. As I was riding this morning I am hoping that I never take the joy of riding a machine for granted. You see, I am so familiar with these marvelous contraptions that I often times forget what a good time I am having. I spoke about the long journey yesterday but one of the positives about this long trip is that I will get to spend more time on machines than on other trips.
- Today I saw a driver with 3 passengers! In this case the driver rides on the tank so the others can have some room. I use the word room advisedly.
- There is gas rationing in Yokaduma. You see, there are only two petrol stations and one has been closed. Employees were stealing petrol by pumping, let’s say, 5 liters and showing only one. They would sell the rest at a reduced price and pocket the money. Once they were found out two things happened: 1) all of the employees were put in prison and 2) the station was closed. Therefore, you have one Total station in town and you can purchase between 6- 8am and 5-7pm. When we drove by there today there was a long line of machines waiting for fuel. Oh, you can get some at other times if you slip the attendant some cash on the side. Jean Claude says the petrol worker is doing really well!
- Oh, let me tell you about my shower last night. In Douala the water can scald you and I am serious. If you turn it all the way HOT it will smoke! Not the same here, in fact, the cold water (the only kind they have) will take your breath away. After a while I finally adapted and it was OK.
- Jean Claude came in a few minutes ago and sprayed my room. I have not seen any mosquitoes but he said he did last night.
I am going to finish with some bad news. From time to time things happen to us that put things in perspective. You see, I am going to be in total dark all night with no fan or anything. Normally that would perturb me but I am worried for the workers here. You see, the electricity went out and they went to put the generator on but it burst into flames and was totally destroyed. I spoke with Jean Claude and he said that the probability is that all of the workers will get sacked (fired). He said that a proprietor does not take into account that an accident could take place. They just want their money. Please pray that nothing bad will happen to any of the workers as they were just trying to do their job.
Linda is out with some brethren eating Bar-B-Que. They are supposed connoisseurs of fine Bar-B-Que. I plan to shower and see if she is back so I can Skype with her. I don’t understand modem speeds as I would think that 3G in Yokaduma is the same as 3G in Douala. Not so, my dear friends. The speed is much slower and this is one more thing that demonstrates how rich and spoiled I am. I am excited about tomorrow and thank you for your continued prayers.