Monday, February 5, 2018 10:10pm – 3:10pm CST
Had a great first day. Men’s and women’s classes were identical with an attendance of 66 in both. The afternoon class had 130. At the sake of redundancy let me briefly tell you about the seminar and its goals. If I have already stated this in an earlier Howdy, my apologies. This is #20 with the seminar beginning in 1999. We will have leaders from well over half of the congregations in the country represented. Not only do we teach but we give them materials that they can take back with them to mature their brethren. The overall goal is that we cannot reach every congregation on our own but through these leaders, we can reach so many. Richard’s class is entitled: Fixing Your Eyes On Jesus. He would have put fixin but they would have wondered about that word. The goal is to have leaders who are truly committed to the Lord. That might sound strange but I have known my fair share of leaders in Ghana, Cameroon and America whose eyes were on the church (church is a blessed place) or on the preacher (nothing wrong with preachers, at least not most) or doctrine (we most assuredly must teach sound doctrine but the focus should be on Jesus). Lori’s class will have the women doing 2 things: 1) daily devotionals from the book of James. As you know, James is heavy on daily Christian living. 2) Then she is going to highlight (why do I think I have told you this already) 10 women in Scripture who were faithful servants of God. The idea is not to simply learn facts about these ladies but see how we can learn from them to bring our lives more closely into conformity with the life of Jesus. My class is on the subjects of patience, humility and forgiveness. While these are common doctrines; I pointed out today that Peter will speak of common teachings in II Peter 1:5-7. Then in verse 12 he will tell them that he wants to remind them of such teachings even though they know them.
Let’s go back to the beginning of the day: got up at 7:05 after a great night of sleep. Richard said he woke up at 3 and could not go back to sleep. He walked the halls and said he could hear me snoring so I pray that he repents of that accusation. You can ask my lovely wife if I snore and she will plainly say I do not. Hold on; scratch that last sentence! Jean Claude had taken the books, name tags, pen and paper up to the 8th floor where Lori’s class is. They have A/C there whereas us poor men suffer in the heat of the Kumba Town church hall. Richard even stated to me that he had forgotten how hot the hall was! We (Jean Claude, Richard and myself) climbed on 3 machines and headed to the hall with the stuff for the men. The first day is always a joy as we get to see many that we have not seen in a year or in Richard’s case 2 years or in Lori’s case 6 years. I think Lori has fully repented and will be here in 2020, Lord willing. The first day’s attendance sees people staggering in as many have to trek (walk) or come from long distances. Jean Claude told us that some began trekking at 5 this morning to come to the seminar. The seminar is truly making an impact and the sacrifice that so many are making is proof of that. We had 26 at 9am and the number had grown to 61 by 10:30. Around 10:15 I climbed a machine to come back to the hotel to make sure that Lori’s class was going well. I was forced to go to my room and enjoy a Coke Zero. Don’t ask me to tell you who forced me because that is a secret and I do not want to betray a trust! At the end of Richard’s class, he and I trekked back to the hotel. The distance is close enough that our mood determines if we ride or trek. I ate some crackers in my room and primarily worked on my afternoon class. Obviously, it is written but I wanted to be sure that I knew what I was talking about. We left about 2:30 and the brethren started singing shortly after we arrived. The preacher of Kumba Town is named William Ngah and he made a short “welcome to Kumba” speech. I then gave a much longer introductory speech. All three of us feel that our classes went well and Jean Claude confirmed that. He was highly pleased and said that the brethren who had spoken to him said the same thing. When I am teaching I carry a handkerchief with me and at the end of my class it was wet! Understand that this is the hot part of the year and while the hall has ceiling fans, even they were out for a period when there was no electricity. Not complaining as I LOVE teaching in the seminar. After the afternoon session I took a machine back while Richard and Lori trekked. Hey; they had been sitting for 3 hours while I had been standing! Got back and went down to a wonderful supper. The food is always great but the true joy is visiting with Jean Claude and one another. Came back to the room and took a nice hot shower. Then I tried to Skype Linda and there is good news and bad news. The good news is that she can see me; the bad news is that there is not audio. If you live anywhere near Linda and know anything about Skype; would you please call her and come over and help her? I am going to Skype at 3:30pm CST so I can see Charlie Brown. It has been 4 days since I last saw him and I am having withdrawal pains. Have a few other things to do but hopefully will be in bed by 11. Please remember to pray for Linda tomorrow as she will be having her test. A GREAT couple from our congregation, Royce and Nancy Calhoun are going to take her. I appreciate them so much and all of you who are calling or visiting her. We are all fine here and look forward to another great day tomorrow. Please pray for those who will be traveling tomorrow. Typically, our highest attendance is on Wednesday and Thursday. We are all well and continue to say THANK YOU to our Father for your participation. Oh, I didn’t take any pictures today so the one below is of our twins, Michael and Bapp along with her son, KB. That picture is 8 years old so some things have changed.