Final Howdy

June 28, 2018

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 9:00pm-3:00pm CST

Dear All:

Do I have a story to tell but you are going to have to wait a bit. Only 97,000 seconds before I see TMBWITU who is pictured on the right below. You have heard that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and she is by far, the most beautiful woman in the world and/or universe. The picture on the left is the most beautiful site for Candace. She told me that whenever she feels down, she is going to look at that picture as it will bring a smile to her face! Since I last wrote we hung out and had a good time. I was able to Skype with Linda which is a highlight of my day. We left the hotel at 5:30 and the traffic was not too bad. Made it to the airport with no problems and got in easily. That is where the story begins; Chris and Candace were scheduled to fly out on Brussels Airlines and I noticed that they were headed to the office. The person who issues boarding passes said they had to go there. We were in the office for at least 20 minutes as the man spent time playing on his computer. Finally, a boarding pass was printed for each of them to Brussels and they were told to get their other BPs in Brussels. They went back and the person (I don’t know if it was a man or woman) said they could only check their bags to Brussels and not to Dallas and they would have to take them off and recheck them. Well, that wasn’t good so they went back to the office and finally got everything worked out. While I was in the office with them I looked out and noticed that the Air France line had opened up so I went to Mike and Jan and told them to go on and I would take my bags. The next thing I knew was that Mike and Jan had to go to the Air France office and all of this (I assume) is because of the cancellation last night. Mike told me that I might end up there and unfortunately, he was correct. When I spoke to the lady who would give my boarding pass she said I had to go to the office. Reminded me of junior high as I spent too much time in the office. I must add; I was ALWAYS innocent! Well, finally the girl told me that my ticket number was no good because my travel agent had to reissue and Air France did not have the number. Talk about being up a tree without a paddle or something like that! I called my travel agent (I am really glad I had my phone on me) and she was at lunch. One of the guys there could not help me so I waited 30 minutes and called her back. Finally got the ticket number and was able to get my 3 boarding passes. Customs was no problem and when I got to the gate went in easily. They have checked my carry-ons and all is well. I assume that in previous missives (not on this trip) I have told you that my family and many who travel with me mock my getting to airports so early. Well, it paid off as I am in the boarding area with 2+ hours to spare. Oh; the area downstairs was borderline cold. Usually it is a bit cool but they had cranked up the A/C. It is nice up here. I plan to work on my trip report and PowerPoint for July 8. Once we board I plan to eat and then sleep. Will not have a book or anything. Well, in case I cannot sleep I will work on my class for February at the seminar. It will be at the airport in Paris or on the plane to Cincinnati before I write some more garbage.

Thursday, June 28, 2018 9:15am-2:15am CST

Roughly 58,000 seconds before I see TMBWITU but who is counting! This will surprise no one who has ever traveled but I had a Marvelous meal on the plane last night. Hard to believe that Business could be any better. We took off about 40 minutes late and landed 30 minutes late but no problem as I have enough time built in. We started out in Gate A32 and then after a couple of hours they moved us to A21 where Chris and Candace had flown out of. They should be taking off for Dallas in an hour or so. Was able to sleep about 4 hours which is great. Went through security and am at the gate right now. We will start boarding in about 20 minutes. It is so cool that they have free internet in the airport. Was able to check email and get some responses. I am hoping that I have electricity in my seat on this next flight. I only have a window of 1 hour and 10 minutes to clear customs in Cincinnati, retrieve my bag and get to the gate. My guess is that I will miss the flight but there is one 2 hours later.

12:45pm-5:45am CST

We have crossed one-time zone. I have come to the conclusion that Air France and Delta are in a competition to see who can serve the best food. While last night’s meal was deeeeeeeeeeeeeeelicious; I think the lunch I just finished was a little bit better. Of course, none of these delicacies can touch my unbelievably great recipes. Boarding was smooth and I have a nice seat with a lot of legroom. I am happy because I have electricity in my seat so I will stay on the computer for some time. Some will be work and other will be watching videos.

2:00pm-10:00am CST

You might not know it from reading my fluff but I do have one or two serious bones in my body. There are two things I want to discuss with you.

First; I am highly aware that from Final Howdy to Final Howdy as I share the state of the church in Cameroon; things don’t change in a great way. I believe that is true because positive change takes more time than we would like. If your local congregation has changed for the good in a great way over the past, let’s say 5 years, that is fantastic. I know from what I read that the church in America is declining in growth. Some of what I am about to say has been stated in earlier “Howdys” because I want to give not only a ‘status report’ of the church but how this campaign contributed in a positive way. If you have been reading my reports for any length of time; you are aware that my concern is always direction. We will never grow as fast as I would like but the central question is: which direction are we headed? I now have a 22-year window to look through regarding the work in Cameroon. Is everything positive as it pertains to the church today in that country? Absolutely not! One of my mission philosophies is that we must push them out of the nest. This does not make me right; it is simply my view. I believe that the church over decades in foreign work has done much harm with dollars. It was always done with a good heart but in country after country we have developed an entitlement mentality where the native church expects us to do all of the funding. That retards their growth in giving as I believe the church in Cameroon can do so much more than it is doing regarding finance. There is a reason why I only spend a small amount of time in Cameroon in Leadership Training, Evangelism and Encouragement. I want the church in Cameroon to fund itself, train itself and sustain itself. I believe that will take place but not until we begin to pull back. For example, 8 years ago we had 14 preachers on support and that number is now 7. The goal is for the number to be zero. I am not saying that we have reached the place where we should stop all funding; simply that adding new financial commitments will slow the growth of the church as it pertains to taking care of itself. This past campaign may have been the best one ever. Oh, not in number of baptisms but in the various ways that I spoke of day after day where we were maturing the local congregations. The brethren were highly pleased with the work that was done with children, sisters and leaders. You can never judge the success of a campaign by baptisms, even if the number is high. The question is not how many were baptized over a campaign but how many of them will be faithful 1 year, 5 years and 10 years from now? The work we did with the local churches will have, I pray, a great impact on the future of the church. I do believe there is a good nucleus forming of both leaders and followers.

Let me address a severe problem that I will place in my trip report that will go out to many, but not all of you. There has been simmering tension for a number of years between the French and English in Cameroon. It would appear to me that all of the power (political and military) is with the French. Over the past few months there have been rebels who are stirring up trouble. The military is fighting back and here is the result as it pertains to the church; many of our congregations are not able to meet at all and the rest have seen their numbers in worship reduced in a great way. Many of our brethren are living in the “bush” in fear and have little or no food. I want to help to the greatest degree possible and if you could contribute any amount; make a check payable to the Buckingham Road Church of Christ and put “Cam Benevolence” under memo and mail to:

Buckingham Road Church of Christ

Attn: Jim Corner

3630 Buckingham Road

Garland, TX 75042

My plan is to wire money around August 1 and I have chosen two reliable brothers who will take care of the distribution. Only God knows how long this crisis will go on so please ask Him to intervene to bring peace. I cannot state strongly enough that many of our brethren are suffering and living in fear.

4:45pm-3:45pm CST

About 14,000 seconds to you know what! Flight from Paris was great and we landed about 10 minutes early. I had a fairly tight connection but everything went well and I was at the gate before boarding began. For some reason they put me in 1st Class which is fine but I ain’t eating anything because Thursday night is Dairy Queen night for Linda and me. Actually, with her Celiac there ain’t much for her except a salad and blizzard. I called her and she was at Chili’s so she will be fairly full. Customs was no problem in Cincinnati and my bag came out so all is well. I did get a text from Chris and he and Candace are in Germany until 5pm their time and will fly to Chicago and then to Dallas arriving about midnight tonight. They have REALLY had a long trip home! We have about 90 minutes before we land so I am going to relax. Can’t end without telling you once again how grateful we are for all of your prayers. We do not take them lightly and they give us comfort. Remember that we will make our trip report at Buckingham Road at 5pm on Sunday, July 8. Hope you can make it.

In Christ,
Jim Corner

 

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Howdy

June 27, 2018

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 3:20pm-9:20am CST

Dear All:

Only 122,000 seconds before I see TMBWITU! Here is how the day has unfolded thus far. I was really blessed to sleep until 9 am which is 3 am in Garland. By the time I get home tomorrow I will have been up for roughly 41 hours minus any sleep I can manage on the flights. My life was spared once more as Jean Claude knocked my door at 11:25 so the old ticker is still working fine. He and I did some work on the campaign for this coming October and visited about a few other things. We then got in two taxis and made the journey to the restaurant. The traffic today was unusually light. The picture below is of us at the eatery. We enjoyed our final meal. I told Candace that a valuable part of Christianity is discipline and that she should refrain from eating any ice cream today. Well, that went over like a lead balloon. I had made mention that her meal might fill her up to which she replied: there is always room for ice cream. While we were eating I noticed that Jean Claude violated the rules that his doctor and wife have set down regarding ice cream. I called Mary, as I love Jean Claude, and told her the news. Once before she withheld food from him and according to her; he cried like a small child that has just received a good spanking. Check-out time is normally noon but they allowed us to stay in our rooms until 2. Below you can see all of us in my room. The hotel was kind enough to let us use it until we leave at 5:30. Chris and Candace fly out at 9:30 but Mike, Jan and myself will not leave until 11:20. I will begin my Final Howdy at the airport and write in several installments until I get home tomorrow, Lord willing. This has been a GREAT trip and we are all thankful for your prayers and concern for us. I especially thank each of you who ministered to Linda in any way.

In Christ,

Jim Corner



Howdy

June 26, 2018

Tuesday, June 26, 2018 8:00pm-2:00pm CST

Dear All:

Well, I am still in the land of the living as Jean Claude showed up at 11:15 instead of the 10 he had said. To be fair; he later amended it to 10:30 but the last time I checked 11:15 is after 10:30. This was supposed to be my FINAL HOWDY but that will have to wait for one more day. We are flying out tomorrow night but in different ways. Mike & Jan will go from Douala to Paris to Houston which is no change for them. Chris and Candace are flying out earlier than Mike, Jan and myself as they are traveling to Brussels and then to Frankfurt and to Dallas. I am flying to Paris and then to Cincinnati and finally Dallas. If you know anyone who thinks that traveling is wonderful; give them my email or phone # and I will set them straight. When I called Linda last night she was not happy. I told Beatrice (the main girl at the desk in the hotel) that we had to stay another night and she was very happy. I told her that Linda was not and she said that she would be happy for her. I am sure when Linda reads this she will cheer up. The photo below on the left is of extremely light traffic. The one on the right is of medium traffic. Sorry I do not have any photos of heavy traffic. We went to the restaurant to order lunch and then I and Jean Claude climbed machines to go and do an errand. We were gone for about 25 minutes and when we got back the food was still not on the table. If people went to restaurants here in a state of starvation; it would be wise to have the funeral companies with their hearses prepared! Had a great meal and then Mike and Jean Claude went to get his medicine (see #1 below) while Mary and Candace went to the market to shop. When Candace finds a husband; I will pray for him daily. She is a good girl but like so many other wonderful women; does not know the proper way to shop. I have been working on Linda for decades but nothing works. I tell her that when we go to a store we are on a mission and to stay focused on the item we went to purchase. Instead she has eyes that dart to and fro and I have to continue to remind her: focus, focus, focus. Jan, Chris and I went to a grocery store to buy some essentials. Since we were originally scheduled to fly out tonight we had no snack food left! I had a good visit with Mike and Jan. They are a GREAT couple and wonderful examples of what a Christian should look like. I went down and watched my brethren eat for a while and then came back up. I have taken my final shower, at least I hope so. At the dinner table tonight Jean Claude (or it may have been Candace) joked about the flight being cancelled tomorrow night. I am not worried.

Misc Thoughts:

  1. Mike ran out of a prescription but no problem; here you do not need a prescription. The drug was Lyrica and we simply went to the Pharmacy and bought it over the counter.
  2. I am on another “death watch”. You see; Jean Claude told me that he will definitely be here at 11:00am sharp tomorrow. If you love me, please pray that he is late!!!!!
  3. Candace is eating so much ice cream I fear she will turn into an ice cream cone!
  4. Here is one of the many redundant statements I have made over the years: I found myself smiling once more on a machine today! If you enjoy a safe and enjoyable ride; you need to come here and ride on a machine. I am not joking; these guys are sooooooooooooooo good!

We have been so blessed and thank you for every prayer. In my Final Howdy I will write in more detail regarding the impact of the campaign. If you live in the Garland area please come to the Buckingham Road Church of Christ on Sunday, July 8 at 5 pm to hear of the journey.

In Christ,
Jim Corner

 



Howdy

June 25, 2018

Monday, June 25, 2018 7:20pm-1:20pm CST

Dear All:

Today was a nice and relaxing day. Had some good visits which I will mention below. Wanted to sleep until 8:45 but only made it to 8. Tomorrow is a unique travel day because we do not have to get up early. We do not fly out until 10:50 tomorrow night and will leave the hotel at 6 so I am not setting an alarm. My experience tells me that I will wake up early and get to stay up for about 42 hours or so before we make it home. Jean Claude was supposed to be here at 10:30 and he arrived promptly at 11:15. He says he will be here at 10 in the morning and I have already told Candace to have them say some nice things at my memorial service if he arrives at 10. You see, I will go into severe Cardiac Arrest if he is on time. He and I took machines to a couple of places to get Post Cards for my next trip. The entire journey took about 30 minutes. If we had taken a taxi, we would probably still be on the road! Mary met us at the hotel and we all went to eat lunch. You can see Chris and Candace below. I then took a machine back to the hotel while the others went to the Wood Market. I didn’t have anything to buy so I knew I could get some work done. Julien and his family came for a visit at 3:15 and we had a delightful time. You can see his three children below; the oldest is Deborah (12), the middle is David (8) and the youngest is Jason (4). I had a great time with Jason as he is very ticklish. Natalie, his wife was also with him. The shoppers came back and were able to visit some as well. Mike, Jan, Chris and Candace went down for supper but I am maintaining my youthful waist and will only have a healthy snack or two tonight. Then Glory came for a visit. Many years ago, when we had sisters travel with us to cook for us; she was one of them. She now is a teacher and is also one of the sisters who were trained by Louise Clement to hold seminars to train women. Only the Lord knows how much good has been done through Louise and how many children will grow to be faithful saints because of her work. I was able to Skype with my lovely bride but after I hung up I looked at my email and our flight tomorrow has been canceled. When I called her to share the news she was not a “happy camper”. When I look at the myriad of problems that people have; a canceled flight and some inconvenience is very minor. Hopefully we can fly out on Wednesday and get home on Thursday. Of course, everyone else wants to make that flight and all will not be able to do so. I should know within the next few hours of our situation.

Misc Thoughts:

  1. I have been the dispenser for Candace regarding Double Stuff Oreos. I bought two boxes in Yaounde and give her a packet of two each day. The others I gave to the guys.
  2. At lunch Candace had her usual ice cream and made the following statement and I quote: I am just like Will Rogers who said “I never met a flavor of ice cream I didn’t like!” I do think she has her message messed up because what he really said was “I never met a pizza I didn’t like.”

Thanks so much for your continued prayers.

In Christ,

Jim Corner


 


Howdy

June 24, 2018

Sunday, June 24, 2018 8:50pm-2:50pm CST

Dear All:

Trip #60 to Cameroon and #83 to Africa is now in the books. Like all of its predecessors; this was another great trip. I suppose it will be possible to have a bad trip one day but so far, that has not been the case. We had a good day of worship and evangelism and ended with 40 Bible studies, 13 baptisms and countless classes taught to the brethren. I got up at 7:00am (I realize that much of this ‘fluff’ must bore you) and went down at 8:20. A brother named Frederick picked me and he, I and the driver rode the machine to Mambanda. The bridge to Bonaberi is so nice and a good deal of it is now 3 lanes on each side. Of course, with today being Sunday the traffic was light. I taught both the Sunday school and preached. You can see the congregation on the bottom left. I think the picture makes the hall look bigger than it is. We had 23 which is fairly typical. Afterwards I had a study with a lady named Lucenia. My gut feeling is not good but that does not always tell the tale. I will continue to pray that God works through the seed that was sown. Daniel (see #2 below) brought me back and Jan was here. Shortly thereafter Mike arrived and neither had any studies today. Later Candace came back and then Chris. While the campaign was encouraging; the evangelism today was not. Chris had 2 studies plus my 1 and that was it for the day. I am disappointed in the Douala congregations as you would have thought they would have many prospects on a Sunday. Everyone except Chris was back by 2 but he rolled in around 4:30. We ordered supper in the hotel restaurant and the schedule was to eat at 6 and the food was promptly ready at 6:45. Everything was good. I just finishing Skyping with TMBWITU and she still is. I am so thankful that she is feeling well.

Misc thoughts:

  1. Many of the churches have a time keeper when you teach Bible class or preach. With class today, the signs the timekeeper had began with 45 minutes and went to 20, 10 and then 5. I timed it well so I did not see the STOP sign which they have. I actually did not look during my sermon as I try to preach as long as I desire although this sermon was not a long one. In the States I represent WBS and preach on a Sunday morning in various congregations. For example, in July and August I will preach for 6 different congregations and don’t have to worry about the time because they can’t fire me!!!!!
  2. When I was fixin to come home a brother named Daniel took me on his machine. Just as I was getting aboard he told me to wait. He came back with a wet cloth and wiped the seat. With reference to the heat of the seat he said: there is fire on the machine and he was gracious enough to keep me from burning.
  3. I forgot to tell you that the lifter (elevator) is not working so we have the pleasure (I use the term loosely) to climb stairs. We are on the 2nd floor so it ain’t too bad. Beats getting stuck in a lifter as Terry Harlow, Louise Clement, Louis and Linda Bassay and another couple were a few years ago. It wasn’t all that pleasant but it made a great story!
  4. The picture on the right is of Simon and his family. His wife’s name is Nadedge and you have Herman, Daniel, Esther and Emmanuel.
  5. When I came up to my room after supper I thought I was in Alaska! Had to turn the A/C up before frostbite set in!

We are all well and looking forward to a day of relaxation tomorrow. Thanks for your continued prayers.

In Christ,

Jim Corner


 


Howdy

June 23, 2018

Saturday, June 23, 2018 9:05pm-3:05pm CST

Dear All:

We have all had the experience of waiting in a hospital room or waiting room for countless hours. You do nothing and yet you get tired. Well, today we didn’t do much but it was tiring. Got up at 5:30 and slept well again. We started carrying bags down at 6:15 and were on our way to the bus station by 6:35. Traffic was still light so we made it by 7. Bus was scheduled to depart at 7:30 and it did!!!!! This may be the nicest bus I have ever ridden on (or is it in)? It had wonderful A/C; each seat had a personal video (although I couldn’t see what to do with it), seat belts, a clock that worked and also a ‘thing’ that told us the temperature. It said 20 but I don’t think it was that cold! I will confess that I got goose bumps. Oh, it also had a very nice and clean restroom. We made good time to Douala and then the creep began. After about an hour or so Mike said: I will never complain about traffic in Houston again! We made it to the bus station and got 3 taxis to take all of us and our stuff to the hotel. We dumped our stuff and headed to get something to eat. Candace was so excited because we went back to the joint that has ice cream. You can see her digging in below. Martin then took me to one grocery store (note #2 below) and they had no Coke Zero. Well, I know a bunch of grocery stores in this part of Douala and we hit pay dirt on the second try. When I got back I started unpacking and then began work on my PowerPoint Presentation for July 8. We are going to have a devotional and after the ‘formal’ service is over; we will all meet in the MPA and Chris will speak first, then Candace and finally me. Mike and Jan have a plumbing problem (all they need is a plunger) and we have been working on getting someone here for 90 minutes. He did come once but without a plunger and was supposed to come back but as I write; he is still absent. Tomorrow Candace will teach the children at Jean Claude’s congregation; Mike will speak at Dakar (where Julien preaches); Jan will teach the children at Bonaberi, Chris will teach at Logpom and I will be at Mambanda. We will hopefully have prospects after the worship and look forward to worshipping and winning souls. I am fixin to have supper and plan to dine on a banana Twinkie. It is very healthy as I read the “nutrition facts”. It has 15% of my Carbohydrates for the day; 0% of Vit A; 0% of Vit C; 2% of Calcium and 4% of Iron. Not only is it healthy but it is tasty. I may chase it down with a Mars Bar and Coke Zero. You add all that up and you are sitting pretty good!

Misc thoughts:

  1. Candace is going to have to return because she did not experience Africa. You see, the roads were all good, the weather was nice and all of the lodging was great.
  2. I was a bit disappointed in Martin today. He had taken me to the grocery store to hunt some Coke Zero (which we found) and on the way back he stopped at a red light. I thought that he knew that if you are a machine you simply look and if the coast is clear, or kind of clear; you move.
  3. Crossing the street in the front of the hotel brings a whole new meaning to: watch both ways before you cross. You see, even if you are on a median and you expect no traffic from your left; there may be!
  4. The bus we rode in is a biggun (I just added biggun to my dictionary)! At any rate we are going down the highway and a machine is headed in our direction. I guess he figgered that getting splattered on the front of a big bus would not be a good thing so he moved to the shoulder.
  5. The picture on the right is actually from yesterday. I do not think I have made mention of the traffic on this trip so here goes: you cannot understand the congestive nature and how well they all get around!

These campaigns fly and tomorrow will be it. We have been so blessed by our Father and we thank Him and you for your prayers.

In Christ,
Jim Corner

 



Howdy

June 22, 2018

Friday, June 22, 2018 10:00pm-4:00pm CST

Dear All:

I cannot remember from trip to trip how much I brag on the success but it appears to me that I have been saying more positive stuff about this journey than any before. We have finished the majority of the campaign with 37 Bible studies & 13 baptisms but that only speaks of a fraction of what the Lord has been doing. Let me begin with the start of the day and go from there; got up at 7:15 after another good night’s rest. Have not had any more “pie” dreams but hopefully I will have one soon. The team has breakfast each morning but I skip it to avoid excess calories. They have been enjoying their time together. We left around 9:15 and got there at 10 or so. I continued my class from Wednesday and taught on forgiveness today. Had a good and lively discussion. Oh, I just finished my last “mini Mars bar” and the last of my Cokes. This hotel has been extremely nice. No power outage a single time and everything was great. While I was teaching the others were with prospects. This congregation has been amazing as we have stayed busy for the 4 days we were with them. Mike dealt with questions from brethren today and Jan taught the sisters. Chris and Candace stayed busy with prospects. Below left you will see a new brother in Christ named Emmanuel. Chris taught him the gospel and the young man joyfully went to the water. On the right is Simon, Julien and Vincent. On the way home, the taxi that took Julien, Mike, Jan and Chris got lost. They left before we did but arrived at a later time. Still we were all able to enjoy a final meal together. When we leave in the morning we say goodbye to Simon as he lives here and once we get to Douala we say goodbye to Vincent as he will head to Muyuka. We went back to the hall at 3 and all of us were immediately put to work. As I had stated in an earlier howdy (I think), I was concerned about whether or not 5 Americans could stay busy for this entire trip. Truly Nkoabang was a blessing to this campaign. I spoke this afternoon regarding Jonah and drew 4 lessons that we learn from the prophet. Traffic was heavier today than in the past and it is wonderful to watch the expertise of these drivers. Once we got home I started packing as I want to be ready to go in the morning. We are leaving the hotel at 6:30 so I need to get in bed earlier than usual. I do need to Skype Linda and also call KB (note #3 below) to sing to him and wish him a happy birthday.

Misc thoughts:

  1. You will be happy to hear that I have been sharing my Double Stuff Oreos. It is not an easy thing to do but I am trying to be disciplined.
  2. Cameroon is making me soft. I have been taking showers with hot water and will have to readjust when I get home. Since Linda’s last trip to Cameroon she said and I quote: “hot water is a luxury and we do not want to be snobs. Therefore; I am having the hot water turned off.” She seems like a real sweet girl and for the most part is but I have learned over the years not to cross her.
  3. Today is our 9th grandchild’s birthday and he is 10. His name is KB which stands for Karson Andrew!
  4. This morning Jean Claude was leading some songs and he pointed to his big belly and said that is why he can sing better than me because his stomach is about 5 times the size of mine. Never knew that the size of the stomach determined your singing ability. You learn something new every day!

We are all well and continue to say THANK YOU for your prayers. Sunday is our last working day and we are excited about worshipping with our brethren. Each of us will be at a different Douala congregation.

In Christ,

Jim Corner