Friday, October 28, 2016 11:00pm-5:00pm CST
I want to begin on 2 serious notes. My congregation has a food giveaway once a month on Wednesday night. Whoever is in need is welcome. We give them an opportunity for study and we have them give us any prayer needs. We have a prayer team that is coordinated by a dear sister by the name of Peggy Partlow. Each month a group of us get the prayer requests and I am always floored by how blessed I am and the incredible problems that many others have. Here is a small sampling of what they are going through: 1) Death in the family 2) Fractured skull 3) Loss of job 4) Cannot afford to pay the electricity 5) Eye surgery 6) Back problems 7) Amputation of both legs and so much more. Each month when I receive that list I pray for them and myself. I realize I need to have a far deeper sense of sympathy for others. The second is the train wreck of last week. Indeed, we pray for those who sorrow and for those who are injured. The tragedy, however, is for any on that train who left this earth unprepared. In our daily teaching, we stress the importance of being ready now. While we all know that we are mortal, so many live as though death will never knock their door. I read a statistic 3 decades ago that said in an average day; 168,000 people will die. With a far greater population today, my guess is that number is much higher. I am ashamed when I look at the many things that consume me from politics to sports. How many today went to meet the Lord unprepared? If you are older and have been in the church for some time you will remember the song: Prepare to Meet Thy God. That is a meeting that we will all have one day and I can only speak for myself; I need a greater awareness of those around me who are lost. I am not trying to guilt-trip anyone but to remind us all, especially me, that who wins the World Series or who wins the Presidential election is not nearly as big of a deal as some of us make them out to be. OK: I have just dismounted from my soap box.
I think this is trip #87 to Africa since 1988 and without exception, they have been great. We finished this campaign having taught the gospel to 35 souls and witnessed the new births of 12. We were also able to share the Word with 8 congregations. A vital part of these campaigns is the work we are able to do with the local churches. They consistently ask me to convey their thanks to you. Rest assured that our Cameroonian brethren know that you love them. I am deeply grateful for every prayer that you have uttered on our behalf. Here is how the day began: awoke at 7:30 and yes, had another good night’s rest. Jean Claude was initially supposed to pick me at 9:15 but he called and moved it back to 10:15. When he arrived I found out why. He had gone to the doctor to get an injection for his pain. Usually when I ask him how he is doing he does a good job of acting as though everything is fine. The injection tells me that he is in much more pain than he was telling me.
Oh; I just Skyped with Grandma and Charlie Brown. She echoed what Jean Simmons had told me and that the blog for the 26th did not come through. I just resent it.
We took machines to Logpom. It is a suburb of Douala and about a 45-minute machine ride. The picture on the right below is of us crossing the street. We could have gone with the flow of the traffic but that would have meant another 25 yards and why would we do such a thing. It is much easier to simply cross in front of the traffic. We made it with no problems and for the first hour or so I spoke with a number of brethren who had some questions they wanted to ask. As I have stated in the past; there are many positives about a campaign and sharing faith is one of them. I then had a 3+ hour study with a man named Samuel. For the first 2 hours, I felt very good about the direction we were heading. Then he brought up the thief on the cross and after we spoke for some time; it became apparent that he was not interested in following the Lord. I asked Jean Claude later if he had the same opinion of Samuel as I did and he said: “he is not serious.” There were some other things he brought up that were rather interesting. For example, he said that Noah and his family received baptism in the ark. He also said that when a preacher says I baptize you in the trinity that you are a Christian even though you did not go into the water. We dealt with Acts 8 and many other passages but he refused to surrender. We can only pray that the seed that was sown will one day produce fruit. The picture on the left is of the hall. The Sunday attendance last week was 23 which is fairly average. This is a new congregation and the Douala field is not a receptive one. Over the 5 decades that the American church has had a presence in Cameroon, the vast majority of the work has been on the English side which comprises roughly 20% of the geographical area as well as the population. It is true that wherever you go in the French world; the French field is not an easy one. We want to do all that we can to reach out to more and more in that part of Cameroon. After the study with Samuel we had another discussion with the brethren. We then had our evening worship and it was very encouraging. Martin picked me back to the hotel and it was so much fun riding a machine in Douala at night. 2 weeks ago, I had spoken about the joy of riding in Bertoua at night but it is a small town. Douala is larger than Dallas. It is fascinating to see lights coming directly at you and then swerving at the last minute. Americans would declare that there are hundreds of near misses in a day on a machine. They are not near misses but tactical driving! I REALLY had a blast! Martin is an expert driver although I think all of them are. When I got to the hotel Jean Claude was down and he ordered my supper for me. I have eaten in the hotel for the past 3 days and plan to go out tomorrow. Was able to get another nice shower tonight. I have no complaints about this hotel except the lifter is still not working. That, however, is allowing me to get some exercise.
- When we arrived at Logpom there were 7 brothers waiting for us. They had bought enough water to handle the Cameroonian army so we did not go thirsty.
- While I was sitting there this afternoon it hit me: I have not felt hot at all during any day on this journey.
- It is enjoyable to sing in English while they sing in French. Many hymns are in both languages.
Thank you for your prayers and please continue to lift Jean Claude in prayer. Mary continues to make progress.