Friday, February 21, 2020 8:15pm-1:15pm CST
For the 22nd time I will say; the seminar is finished. The numbers today were once again off the charts. The men’s class last year numbered 48 while today there were 110. The sisters were 33 last year and 76 today. A dear brother of mine had a question that I am sure you have had; namely, why the increase? Well, I can give a couple of reasons but they do not tell the whole story. The Bear Valley School of Preaching has a preacher school in Wotutu on the English side. For the first time ever, their students came and numbered around 20. They told Jean Claude that they were so happy and that they learned things regarding preaching from Richard that they are not taught. The Crisis had an impact as plenty who came had never been to Douala. Being able to escape the problems for even a week was a welcome relief. Generally, a certain number are chosen to come but this year still others came on their own. At any rate; we are very satisfied with the end result and I am not talking about numbers.
Let me recap the day; normal morning as I slept well again. Richard woke up at 3:30 and could not get back to sleep. He has not had these problems in past years. We ordered our lunch and then headed for the hall. Around 9:30 I went to the hotel to get Lori’s evaluation sheets and to deal with some correspondence. It will be impossible to travel tomorrow because of the Crisis so we ended at noon as I discussed yesterday. It doesn’t seem possible that I have been gone for 18 days. Linda might disagree! We had an enjoyable lunch and because I did not have to teach, we were able to visit longer than usual. I cannot say enough positive things about this godly couple. Around 3:30 Jean Claude and Mary came and we went to the Wood Market to buy souvenirs. I was done in 10 minutes but Lori went on a shopping spree. While I was waiting, I thought I would look at my phone and I saw the name of one of my dear nieces, Ashley Corner. She is the daughter of my junior brother. Junior is Cameroonian for younger. Not only did I get to talk with her but her lovely sister Gabby was there. They both came to Cameroon about 5 years ago and they were and are true blessings to the Kingdom. I then decided to be an extra nice guy (that is my nature) and I took everyone to get some ice cream. I didn’t want any but to be sociable I did have 2 scoops. On the way back to the hotel I stopped and got some water and Coke Zeros for Richard and Lori. I have definitely drunk far fewer Cokes on this trip than any in recent memory. I have evaluation sheets to look over so my night is not finished. I will call Charlie Brown and Grandma to Skype with them in a few hours. She went to the doctor today so I am interested in finding out what she said. I tried to call her but since she has caller ID, she did not answer. Here is where I would place a smiley face if I could. Tomorrow I get to sleep in for the first time in a long time. We will relax and prepare for the combined service on Sunday of all the Douala congregations.
- A young man came up to me this morning and asked: do you remember me? Then he told me that I had taught and baptized him 21 years ago so the answer was: no, I don’t remember you. If I had taught him yesterday the odds would be 50/50 that I remembered him. How gratifying it is to see those that you led to the Lord plenty years ago who are still growing in their faith.
- The pictures below are very special to me, that is, the people in the pictures. On the left is Patience and Denis Asikpo. Denis is a farmer but also the preacher for the Matoh Church of Christ. They are still meeting when possible but oftentimes have to divide and worship in the bush. This church numbered nearly 180 before the Crisis and was one of the largest congregations in the country. The second is of Melchizedek and his mother, Lucy. You saw her yesterday with me. When I first met him, he was a scrawny little kid and now he is taller than me. His little brother is even taller than Melchizedek. This is a very special family.
- Please pray for Charles Bishop. He is the preacher and one of the elders at my home congregation in Wichita, Kansas. Charles is one of the finest preachers I have ever heard and more importantly, one of the godliest men I have known. Recently he had an operation and it did not go well. He is currently in ICU and that is all I know. Also keep his dear wife, LaDora, in your prayers.
- I worked on my PowerPoint Presentation that I will make at Buckingham Road on March 8. It is not finished and my lovely and talented daughter-in-law, Jennifer, will put the finishing touches on it once I get back.
Thank you so much for your continued prayers for us. We have truly been blessed without incident. I continue to thank you for your prayers for Linda and all of your deeds of kindness towards her.