October 21, 2017 6:45pm-12:45pm CST
First day was a blessing. I say this often in my blogs but “repetition” is one of my gifts. If you read this junk on a regular basis you may be thinking of a different word than gift! At any rate; the first day started off well and we had 5 studies and 2 baptisms. Let me discuss them and then I will start at the beginning of the day. On the left below, you have Sydelin. I feel very good about this study because we spent a lot of time with him. His questions were excellent and my hope is that he is serious. On the right is Pierre who was a delight. He is an illiterate and my experience has been that whoever gets to them first will win them. Since they cannot read or write they are at the mercy of the one who is doing the teaching. I told him that there was no reason for him to trust me and that is where Simon came in. He knows Simon well and the character of this fine brother went a long way in winning Pierre. Later they said they were twins since they were born on the same day!
Here is how the day unfolded: Woke up at 8:15 as we were to leave at 9:30 for our first prospect. It had rained heavily during the night but I only know that because Jean Claude said so. I slept like a rock. We were delayed about 20 minutes because of the rain but got to the house where the church meets and began a study. The woman’s was Collette and while she did not surrender; I felt very good about the study. With few, if any exceptions, after a campaign I will receive an email from a preacher stating that someone we studied with was later baptized. That study was followed by Pierre and after him I taught Sydelin. Jean Claude and I had simultaneous studies next and mine was with a girl named Gladys. The early part of the study went well but I knew I was in trouble when it was revealed to me that she was an elder in a denomination. My experience that in such cases you might as well teach a tree. I will still sow the seed and hopefully one day it will germinate. There were no breaks today as we kept busy which is wonderful. I am looking forward to the morning and carefully preparing to teach a church that is 100% infant. On the way back to the hotel I stopped and bought some more water. We are now good until Yaounde. Had another good supper which is status quo. I have downloaded my pictures and am in pretty good shape regarding my work for the night. Was unable to Skype with Linda last night. I could see and hear her but she could not see or hear me. The remoteness of Sangmelima is the culprit. I will still try again but if Skype does not work; I can talk with her.
1. I went against my better judgment (which is awful good) and turned the thermostat in my fridge from 7 (the coldest) to 6 but my stuff still has ice in it. As you can see; it is the lot of a missionary to suffer.
2. The only way you can even begin to show how packed these cars are is with a Panoramic photo. Below you can see 3 in front and back but in Kumba they put 4 in front and 4 in back. Something about them liking Sardines!
3. Simon, like almost all members of the church in Cameroon, came out of a denominational background. In one of the studies he told the prospect that he had come to the belief that immersion was the only Biblical form of baptism. He went to his preacher (they practice sprinkling) and the preacher told him the Bible taught immersion. Simon responded by asking why he sprinkled and he replied: “I would get sacked (fired) if I taught the truth.” I wonder how many people like him will lose their soul with their eyes wide open? In addition to that; how many more will lose their soul because they followed a false teacher?
4. I obviously cannot count; I have been telling you that we would work with 12 congregations but it is 14.
5. Saw two kids on roller blades today and if you saw the terrain you would say: WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
6. Cameroon has more dialects (273) than any African nation. The dialect here is Bulu. Understand that the dialects do not remotely resemble either French or English. Pierre only speaks Bulu so Simon translated as he is from the South (the province we are in) and Jean Claude knows as much Bulu as I know Mandarin Chinese!
7. A new convert from last week was given tracts to pass out and they are all gone and he is asking for more. I did not ask him his age but I am pretty sure he is older than me but so is Teresa Blaisdell. BTW; a finer senior saint you will never find!
8. Some of the denominational preachers here truly take advantage of the poor. For example, in some churches the priest, pastor or preacher (whatever they call themselves) will pray for you but at a price. If you are pregnant or want to get pregnant; you pay. Jean Claude told me of a denominational preacher that drives both a Jaguar and Mercedes; has a church of 3,000 which is primarily made up of poor people. When you say: you are giving money to the preacher they reply; no, we are giving money to God. It is hard to imagine men who are so low!
We are both fine and looking forward to tomorrow. Thank you for your constant prayers.