Wednesday, October 25, 2017 9:00pm-3:00pm CST
I feel like “waxing an elephant” so here goes. We had two studies today with true prospects and another discussion with a woman about instrumental music. I am fixin to make a critical statement but one that I believe to be true. I would be so pleased if I am wrong. I was raised in the church and have been in full-time ministry for over 39 years. Doesn’t mean I know everything (not even close) but I have seen a few things. One is that a plethora of our members (my experience) believe what they believe because of a preacher, elder, parent, etc. and not based on their personal study of the Bible. We need to be slow to condemn our denominational friends for simply listening to their guy when many of us are guilty of the same practice. The sister that I spoke to regarding instrumental music seemed to be a dear, sweet and sincere woman. She used an argument that I had never heard and that was rather inventive to defend the unauthorized use of instruments in the NT worship. We had a good discussion and she seemed to understand the fallacy of her argument but only time will tell. A dear sister that I have known since she was a teen is a good friend with this woman and hopefully with time, she can see the truth. The two studies I had were with a son and mother. Both study and experience show that the older a person becomes, the less likely they are to change their beliefs in any realm. The mother was not receptive (she was kind) but the son was able to grasp the gospel and was baptized. The picture on the left below shows that baptism. The Biyem-assi congregation is one of only two congregations (to my knowledge) in the whole of Cameroon that have a baptistry inside the hall. The young man’s name is David and you can see Jean Claude giving him some counsel after his baptism.
Here is how the day unfolded:
Because we were not going to go out until the afternoon I was able to spend the morning and part of the afternoon working on the sermon I mentioned yesterday. It is basically done and I will simply “fine-tune” it over the next few days. Because we did not leave until 2:45 we ate lunch instead of dinner. Jean Claude ate again tonight as did I but I ate “heart healthy” food from my room. Read the ingredients on Double Stuff Oreos, cheese, Pringles and Milky Ways and you will be surprised. After lunch we hailed a taxi and the drive to Biyem-assi is only 15 minutes. We were busy the entire time and I was able to preach to the church tonight. This is one of the largest congregations in the country and the one with the finest hall by far. Every bench has a back, the floor is a beautiful tile and the rest of the hall is immaculate. After services we walked a short distance before finding a taxi and heading back to the hotel. I was able to take another nice shower and will be able to finish my work soon.
1. On each trip I will write something about the physical blessings that God gives us that we often take for granted. Here goes:
1) My fridge gives me really cold drinks. I would assume yours does to but how often do we think about it?
2) The A/C is blowing very cold, in fact, I was so pleased to look at my arm and see goose bumps. Once again, a very nice blessing that we may take for granted.
3) Cold tile floors; yes, the floor feels so good when I take off my shoes.
4) Good, safe food. All of the food we are eating is both tasty but healthy (especially the Milky Ways).
5) Toilets that flush, sinks that work and hot water.
2. Let me share another problem in the church in Cameroon. So many of our members are marrying those from denominations. This tends to lessen the knowledge that Jesus only has one church and that he will only save those in His one church (Ephesians 5:23). It also greatly increases the probability that many of the children born to these unions will either never enter the church or one day will leave.
3. The first time I took a shower I was very careful because the floor was very slippery and I was in no mood to fall and crack my skull. I later noticed that they have flip-flops in the bathroom and I don’t know if the purpose is for the shower but I put them on and they worked great. No worry about becoming Humpty-Dumpty.
4. Between studies we spoke to Bertha (the girl I mentioned above) and discovered that as a child she was well beaten by Catherine, Jean Claude’s first wife. In Acts 10 we read that God is no respecter of persons when it comes to salvation and I have learned over the years that Catherine was an “equal opportunity whipper”. I think I told you in another post on another trip that a brother named Godlove said she was a walking terrorist! What is fascinating is that all of these youngsters who are now adults only have love and praise for this godly woman.
5. Prior to the preparation for the baptism; the brethren were singing and trying Home of the Soul. If you know the song it has an alto lead and the sisters didn’t know it. Generally, I cannot sing alto but I know this song so us girls banged it out and did a good job!
6. I spoke to a brother about his profession and he is a school teacher. The phrase he gave was: I teach little peoples. When I think of my small grandchildren I am not always sure that they are people (especially KB and Charlie Brown) but maybe they are.
7. I know I will butcher this saying but I know that many of you will know what I am saying: if you enjoy what you do, you will never work a day of your life. That may not be word for word but it describes me. I thoroughly enjoy what I do and thank God every day that I have not had to work for over 40 years (we all know preachers don’t work). I think I would be driven to depression if I had to work!
I will Skype with Linda and Charlie Brown in about 2 hours. I am praying that she is doing better. Jean Claude and I are well and look forward to tomorrow.