Friday, February 22, 2019 7:45am – 12:45am CST
It is approximately 60,000 seconds before I get to see, you know who. It has been a great trip in every sense of the word. I got up at 5am this morning but had slept 11 hours so I feel fine. Got my boarding passes and checked my bag with no problem. Security went smoothly as well. I am at the gate and scheduled to leave in about 3 hours.
If you were to discuss the growth of one of your children today and then spoke again about such growth in a few months; not much would change. Physical growth is a process that does not take place overnight. Spiritual growth is much the same although I will say this; spiritual growth can be accelerated when one truly surrenders to the Lord and is serious about their Christian life. A congregation, however, will look quite different because you have brethren of all levels of faith and zeal. While some in your congregation may be making great strides; others who were baptized decades ago look pretty much the same as when they came up out of the water. Sad, but true. When you look at the church from a country-wide perspective it becomes even more difficult to be quantitative on the growth. Numerically, the church in Cameroon is growing. The same is true regarding spiritual growth. Is every church growing? No! Are all brethren experiencing spiritual growth? No! My thoughts as it pertains to the church are based on two primary things: the seminars from each February and the campaigns we have twice yearly. I have stated on many occasions that one of my goals in the seminar is to help our leaders better learn to think for themselves. On the whole, that is taking place. Yes, some are doing better than others but overall, I am seeing positive change. As we work on campaigns; we are not only seeing souls come to the Lord but watching the local churches in their evangelistic zeal. Obviously, I cannot state, unequivocally, anything from this just finished seminar. One thing that I think took place was a better understanding of what it means to be a shepherd and who would be qualified. I stated once or twice that many in the church in Cameroon were under the impression that if a man was not on the same level of Jesus; he could not serve. Our interaction regarding this subject gave me hope that the future will be bright with more and more congregations having shepherds. I believe this with all of my heart; the church is moving in the right direction. How many more years I will be able to serve are in the hands of the Lord. One thing I believe; the church in Cameroon currently has a good group of leaders and followers for the church to have a positive future.
If you are going to receive my trip report you will read some of the same type of things, I am fixin to write. The trip, from a physical point of view, could not have been smoother. Planes were safe and on schedule; taxis and machines were all safe. Neither Don, Louise or I had even one day of feeling bad, much less being truly sick. Our lodging was great with absolutely nothing to complain about. I am aware that the physical is infinitely less important than the spiritual but we still need to give thanks to God for every blessing He gives.
The pictures below are of 1) the collection at the combined service and 2) the train that slowed us down one day on the way to the seminar.
5:30pm – 4:30pm CST
The finish line is in sight! I am now within 14,000 seconds of seeing TMBWITW. Let me share what has happened since I last wrote. Boarded with no problems and the flight was fine. Was able to have another INCREDIBLE airplane meal but it will have to last me until May. Did some reading and watched one movie. Landed on time and got through Customs and my bag arrived. Went and had a nice hamburger and then went to the gate. I was able to talk with Linda and will hopefully see Charlie Brown tomorrow. I will post this tomorrow. Once again; thanks soooooooooooo much for all of your prayers!