Friday, May 31, 2019 12:10pm-6:10am CST
It is getting close; I will see TMBWITW (pictured below) in about 32,000 seconds!!!!!!!!! I cannot say enough good things about this GREAT Christian! All that know me well understand that I am as comfortable in Cameroon as in Garland. When I am in my ‘other country’ I am having a great time. The only exception to that is the travel but the end results make it worthwhile. Linda is a darling who does much better when I am around. I have never made a single sacrifice in traveling to Ghana or Cameroon because sacrifice involves some level of pain and I am in my element when I am in Africa. Linda is a true blessing as she is well aware of the importance she is to this ministry and the Kingdom. BTW: the other picture is of the church hall in Ngong.
While I typed FINAL HOWDY above; I have typed that so many times. I realize that one day (this could be it) I will type my FINAL HOWDY. My prayer is that that day is a long way off as I have no plans in stopping this work. I thank God for the health and energy that He has given me and I pray that neither will end anytime soon.
I slept 11 ½ hours straight last night and feel great. Made it to the ‘boarding pass’ area with no problems and was able to get my BP. Went through Customs and security and it did not take nearly as long as yesterday. We boarded and took off on schedule. We have crossed one or two time zones as there are 7 between Paris and Dallas. We still have nearly 4,000 miles to go. I have electricity in my seat so I will go over a bunch of stuff so that by the time I land; I will be in good shape.
I deliver my State of the Union address three times a year so here goes; I believe that the ultimate goal of any foreign work is to do what we can and then leave the rest up to the native brethren. Before I say anything else, I fully realize that mission philosophy is just that; a philosophy that we will not all agree on. For example; should you support native preachers or not and if so, for how long? Should you build church buildings or not? How much benevolence should you give and what are the criteria for giving? In what part or parts of the world should you work? Obviously, we will not all answer these questions in the same way and that is OK. My prayer is that 30 years from now (if there is 30 years from now) there will be no American involvement in Cameroon. If they are still dependent on us at that time; either we or they or both did something wrong. The growth of the church in Cameroon is steady but slow for a number of reasons: 1) lack of leadership 2) lack of evangelism from the members 3) lack of commitment on the part of the members. Now, this is not to say that all of the members are doing nothing because such is not the case. Over the past 23 years I have seen a positive movement from the church in general. The reality is that the church in America is declining and I would argue that the 3 reasons above apply to us as well. We need to have a greater emphasis on the church in the North and we are going to do just that. Within the next few months (I may have told you the following in an earlier missive) we are going to have a team go to the North to conduct a seminar for the sisters. Our niece is funding this journey. I plan to return to the North possibly as early as next year. There will be a need for some ‘cash outlay’ but I do not want to become their Sugar Daddy. We will supply funds with the purpose of helping them become independent. While I say ‘yes’ to many financial needs; I say ‘no’ far more often.
The Crisis continues to be a true problem in Cameroon and when it will end; only God knows. Also, the long-term harm it has done and will do to the church on the English side cannot be ascertained at the present time. I do know that for each of you who are contributing; your gifts are needed, used and appreciated. I am aware that you cannot give money to every mission work but I do solicit your prayers on a daily basis for our suffering brethren and for all in Cameroon who are going through a trial that we cannot understand.
The service you are providing in various ways is a blessing to the church in Cameroon. My plea to you is to ask God to: 1) give me the wisdom to make the correct decisions regarding this work 2) give the Cameroonian brethren a vision of self-reliance 3) raise up godly men who will serve as shepherds throughout the country 4) help more and more brethren surrender their lives to the Lord 5) help the members to take their eyes off of preachers and see their need to follow Jesus beyond the church hall. I can say with confidence that I believe the church in Cameroon has a bright future. That future will only be dimmed if we increase our footprint. We must do everything we can to reduce the American influence and increase the influence of God. There are still too many brethren whose eyes are on the American or the American dollar. The one area where we presently need to be helping with dollars is the Crisis. Our brethren simply do not have the means to do much more than live from day to day. Many of them are homeless, so many lives have been lost and they have a true and realistic fear of the future.
I am writing from my office! Had a good flight and plane arrived 20 minutes early. Sailed through Customs and my bag was there when I got to the carousel. Royce and Nancy Calhoun brought Grandma and Charlie Brown to the airport and we then went to Chilis. I actually wanted to go to a place where I could get buzzgetti but I was overruled. I am unpacked and ready to rest. One more time; thanks so much for all of your prayers. This was a highly successful and healthy trip.