Howdy

June 21, 2018

Thursday, June 21, 2018 6:50pm-12:50pm CST

Dear All:

I fully understand that I am being repetitive but this has truly been a unique campaign. We have 2 working days left and I am truly pleased with what has been accomplished. Not only has the Lord led us to souls but we have been able to strengthen the church in ways that we have not done in the past. This day was a short one but nevertheless; fruitful. Got up at my usual time and did usual stuff to get ready for the day. We left the hotel at 9 and once again made good time. If memory serves me correctly; it was only the first day that we had significant traffic. I spent two hours talking to both new and old converts. The mission of this class was to help them go deeper in their relation with the Lord. Too many members in America and Cameroon believe that Christianity begins and ends in a church hall. A cursory reading of the Scriptures helps us to know that that is not remotely true. Yes, worship is very important but our service to Jesus is to be on a 24/7 basis. There were over 20 in the class and it went well. Candace was teaching the children while Mike and Chris were helping brethren and non-brethren with Biblical questions. We knew that there were no prospects for the afternoon as originally, we were to be with another congregation. Therefore, there was no evening worship and we returned around 1:30. Supper was at three and afterwards we brought the Cameroonian brethren into my room to let them know how much we appreciate everything they have done for us. Without them, the campaign would have went nowhere. Good news: Jan is much better today and seems back to normal. Mike, on the other hand, is his usual abnormal self! Even though there are a number of days before we leave to come home; things are winding down and I spoke at length with Jean Claude this afternoon about a host of things. I will Skype with Linda once Charlie Brown gets home.

Miscellaneous thoughts:

  1. It is a good thing that I am ambidextrous. That allows me to drink both real Coke and fake Coke!
  2. Jean Claude has given Chris ‘rabbit ears’ in a few pictures (I think I posted one) so today he returned the favor as you can see below left.
  3. The dining hall is pictured on the right and we have enjoyed each and every meal. Chris and Candace have been more adventuresome regarding their menu selection whereas I choose to eat what I know in advance I will like. Today Chris had ordered something from a picture on a menu and what came out was quite different.
  4. Candace is a lovely girl with twin sisters. She says that she is the sane one of the three and the others are a mess. I will have to get confirmation from her dad regarding that!

We are blessed and the Lord is responsible for that. We know that you are a big part of the blessing as you have been lifting us in prayers. THANKS!!!!

In Christ,

Jim Corner

 


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Howdy

June 20, 2018

Wednesday, June 20, 2018 10:00pm-4:00pm CST

Dear All:

Just finished Skyping with TMBWITU! Going to get right to it. Got up at 7:15 after another good night’s rest. That may bore you each day but restful sleep is such a blessing. Linda is going to the doctor tomorrow and hopefully get something to help her sleep. She feels fine but can’t sleep at night. Continue to keep Jan in your prayers as she stayed in today. Hopefully she can go out tomorrow. We left the hotel around 8:35 and made good time arriving by 9:20. I had told you that this campaign would be quite different and that there would be a certain element of ‘flying by the seat of our pants’ and I am proving to be a true prophet. I told you that I taught the leaders this morning for 2 hours and there were 10 present. It went well, I think. Mike and Candace taught prospects and each had one surrender to the Lord. The total thus far is 25 Bible studies and 10 baptisms and a bunch of other stuff that I will mention soon. One of them was Chris teaching the youth this morning. You can see them on the right below and he said it was a GREAT class with a lot of interaction. We then came back for lunch and it was lovely. Can’t touch my recipes but hey, what can? Went back for the afternoon and the sisters were ready for Jan so I had the privilege of teaching them. It was the first time that I have ever taught a group of sisters and we had a good class. While I taught the sisters, Candace taught the kids again. She is such a blessing to the team! We then started our evening worship and Chris was the speaker and he did a FANTASTIC job. You can see him below ‘waxing an elephant’. Got back to the hotel and I have been busy ever since. The weather has been really nice. Not only have we only seen a few drops of rain for the entirety of the trip but it has been cool. It seems like last week I sweated one time. Tomorrow everything has changed as the church we were going to work with is not prepared. I am going to work with new converts in the morning; Chris will work with the youth again and Candace, Mike and hopefully Jan will teach prospects. This is proving to be a highly beneficial journey. I am going to relax for a bit and then hit the sack. Thanks for your continued prayers.

In Christ,

Jim Corner

 



Howdy

June 19, 2018

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 10:45pm-4:45pm CST

Dear All:

I know I write this at least once per trip but every day is a good day in Cameroon. The Lord is unbelievably good to us and we appreciate all of His blessings. Today we were able to study with 8 souls and 2 of them were immersed into Christ. The picture on the right below shows a group on the left and right of the building and what you cannot see are two others being taught to the right and left at the front of the building. Not sure why I didn’t think to do a Panorama shot but I did not.

Let’s go back to the beginning of the day; got up at 7:15 and once again slept well. Mike has not been sleeping well and please pray for Jan. She was feeling bad today and did not go out. She is supposed to teach the sisters tomorrow at 3:30 and we are praying she will be up to it. While she is teaching the sisters, Candace will teach the children. You go through some serious traffic to get to Nkoabang and it takes 45-60 minutes. We arrived around 9:45 and went right to work. Everything was organized well and we all had prospects. My first one was a 19-year-old named Linda. She was a very bright girl and I do not have a good sense as to whether she will obey the gospel or not. The good news is that the seed was planted. I then taught an old man (he is 4 years younger than me) and he has been in a particular denomination for his entire life. We had a good study but he will be difficult. When you have accepted something as true for that many years; it is not easy to change even though the Scriptures are clear. That reinforces why we need to do everything we can with our kids to get them headed in the right direction at an early age. I have read that somewhere in the neighborhood of 50% of our children leave the Lord when they leave home. From what little I see, a big reason for that is they never were grounded in the faith. Around 1:30 we headed back to the hotel and had a great lunch. I think I will probably eat the same thing for the next 3 days because it is so good. We then went back to the hall and enjoyed a period of worship with our brethren. I spoke tonight and Chris will preach tomorrow night. In the morning there will be prospects for Mike, Chris and Candace (Jan will probably stay in to get strength for the afternoon) and I am going to teach my seminar material to the men for 2 ½ hours in the morning. This is what I taught in February and will do the same on Friday. Got home with no problems and was able to Skype with Charlie Brown and Linda. She is looking good and happy and I am pleased about that. I cannot thank you enough for your care for Linda. I have been doing email and will get to bed shortly after sending this.


Miscellaneous thoughts:

1. I had a wonderful dream last night because I was eating a bunch of pie. The wonderful part is that I enjoyed it and didn’t gain as much as an ounce!

2. You have to be able to adjust here. For example, in Sangmelima my A/C was not incredibly strong but as long as I kept the bathroom door closed; it was plenty cool. Here the A/C is so cold that I keep the bathroom door open.

3. This is the rainy season but today was the first rain we have seen and it was mild. Actually, it rained during the night (don’t know how much) and it drizzled part of the way to Nkoabang. Then when we left this afternoon it was sprinkling again but that is all.

4. Jean Claude’s taxi ran out of fuel tonight so he, Julien and Simon were a tad late.

5. The picture on the left below is of Candace and Emmanuel who is the daughter of Simon and Nadedge.

Once again; please pray for Jan. The rest of us are healthy and we thank you for your continued prayers.

In Christ,

Jim Corner



Howdy

June 18, 2018

Monday, June 18, 2018 9:45pm-3:45pm CST

Dear All:

I am acutely aware, as you are, that the spiritual is so much more important than the physical. Having said that I must begin with some really GREAT news regarding Linda. I Skyped with her earlier and she got her results from the MRI she had done 2 weeks ago. She has 4 cysts but they are common and not Cancerous. Praise God! She will go back for a follow-up in 3 months and then see the Cancer doctor once a year. Thank you so much for your prayers.

Got up at 6:15 and departed on time. No complaints whatsoever regarding the hotel in Sangmelima or anything else, for that matter. The pictures below were taken before we left. On the left from l-r is: Candace, Prosper, Chris and Florence (the wife of Prosper who was baptized yesterday). If you notice “rabbit ears” on Chris it is because of Jean Claude who was standing behind. The picture on the right is of Julien and Jean Claude. The trip was smooth and we made it to the hotel at about 11. Did some unpacking and left for a grocery store. I have good news and bad news from the store: the good news is that I was able to get a package of Mini Mars Bars (have already consumed 3 of them). The bad news is that they had no Coke Zero so I am going to have to drink the ‘real thing’ for the next 5 days which means I may begin looking like Teresa Blaisdell, if you know what I mean. BTW: have I told you recently what a wonderful person she is! Her husband is another story which only proves that ‘opposites attract’. The hotel is very nice and Jan is happy because she has a toilet seat. I thought it was only little kids who got excited about small things. A/C is so cold that I have had to turn it down which goes against everything I have learned in 30 years of working on this marvelous continent. We had supper and it was very delicious. Didn’t get all of our orders correct and poor Jan didn’t get her food until we were all finished. I felt bad that we all left her to eat alone. Just kidding! I have been doing various “catch-up” things as these campaigns require so much time. Tomorrow we will all work in Nkoabang where Simon preaches. We will teach prospects in the morning and then meet for a worship service at 5. I have already had my shower and am in pretty good shape, time-wise. I think I can be in bed by 11. We are all well and thank you so much for all of your prayers.

In Christ,

Jim Corner


Howdy

June 17, 2018

Sunday, June 17, 2018 7:20pm-1:20pm CST

Dear All:

Are you aware that preachers can be given to overstatement! You might hear the same preacher over a period of 10 years and on 5 different occasions he would speak of the greatest need in the church today or the greatest problem in the church today or the greatest Christian trait and they would all be different. The reason I bring that up is that I do not want you to think from my Howdys that all is well with the church in Cameroon and we have conquered every problem. Such is not the case but as I have stated many times; I am most concerned with the direction of the church and I believe it is moving in the right way. The progress will never be fast or great enough but thankfully, we have a patient Father. One of my favorite verses is the latter part of Psalm 103:14 which says He remembers that we are dust. That should not lead us to be lazy or thinking that our service is unimportant but simply that God knows our weaknesses and loves us in spite of them.

Today was a day of worship as the schedule for the day did not have evangelism in mind. Such an important part of these campaigns is when we can share the Word with our brethren and enjoy the fellowship of being in the same family. We were to leave for the church hall promptly at 9am and succeeded at 9:30! Virtually every congregation in Cameroon begins Bible class at 9 but Sangmelima begins at 9:30 (at least that is the posted time)! Once we arrived we enjoyed a period of singing and then Mike took the Bible class and did an excellent job from I Cor 9:24-27 regarding the Christian race. Jean Claude interpreted for him. We then had a 10-minute break followed by some encouraging singing. Prosper can really lead singing! Not trying to pick a fight but I am opposed to Praise Teams but not because I think they are in and of themselves sinful. Rather that they can turn the song service into a concert atmosphere (especially if the singers are really good). God enjoys every voice if the music is coming from our heart. I am convinced that some of the most pleasing singers in the church can’t carry a tune in a bucket. Reminds me of one of my teachers in preaching school who said: I can carry a tune, I just have trouble unloading it! I am not sure if I have ever heard a better song leader than Prosper! When you have a good song leader, the service will be excellent. While Mike’s class was going on Candace was teaching the children and she loved them and they loved her. Honestly; she is a pretty cool young lady! The class was centered around John 14:6 regarding Jesus being the way. She had a game they played and when they made a right decision they got a “green card” as you can see below. If they messed up there were other ways to ultimately be successful (follow Jesus). Vincent helped with the class and said it was highly profitable. He gave her “2 thumbs up” and I think he would given her more but he only has the two! Below is a picture of the congregation. As you can see, we enjoyed close and warm fellowship!

After the singing I preached from Hebrews 12:1-3 and the aim of the lesson was to help us focus our eyes on the Lord. Well, one of the sisters said that the message truly touched her heart. She had been baptized some years ago but it was the force of the husband that led her to the water. She said that she knew her eyes had not been on Jesus and she wanted to surrender to him. My experience in preaching is very limited but seldom do I have this kind of positive response. Next, we dined with our Lord and Vincent led our thoughts. Some more songs and then Chris led our thoughts as we prepared to give back to the Lord. It was a fairly lengthy service but the time flew by. Next the children came in and sang for us and about 6-8 recited a memory verse. It was really neat to see these kids and listen to them. Then Jean Claude spoke to the 5 converts from yesterday and encouraged them as they begin their Christian life. There was a Potluck afterwards but we did not eat due to the fact this is a village and we could not be sure of the safety of the food. Jean Claude announced that and no one was offended. Oh, Candace got to ride a machine today and she liked it. What is not to like? Even Ellen would love it if you could get her to climb. Kind of like Charlie Brown and not liking foods he has never tried. A brother named Lucas has been taking us around and he brought us back to the hotel. Everyone except Chris as he delayed and road a machine back with the guys. He then watched futbol (soccer) with them. The only thing worse than watching a futbol match would be if you had to dine on liver while watching! At least that is my humble opinion. We were to eat supper at 5pm and it was promptly ready at 5:45 but it was worth the wait. I spent some of the afternoon packing as we will head for Yaounde in the morning.

Let me take a minute to praise and thank our Heavenly Father. Thus far the trip has been without incident and truly smooth. The few times when the power was out did not cause any trouble. We have had safe travel, good food and GREAT fellowship. One of the greatest blessings of a campaign is the camaraderie with both the American brethren and our dear Cameroonian brothers. I was finally able to Skype with Linda last night and she is doing well. Will call her later. I may actually get in bed at a reasonable time but the operative word is may. Experience says that I always get in bed later than I thought I would. I had another refreshing shower and am ready to relax a bit. Thanks so much for your continued prayers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In Christ,
Jim Corner

 



Howdy

June 16, 2018

Saturday, June 16, 2018 9:40pm-3:40pm CST

Dear All:

You cannot judge a campaign from the first day but I was thoroughly happy with today. We had 12 Bible studies and 5 baptisms. I did not have any but one of my students was a new convert that has been struggling with his faith. I studied with him for several hours and the brother interpreting (a member at Sangmelima) said that it was very helpful. I do not have any details on the baptisms because I was busy all day doing a variety of things. You will see a picture of Mike teaching below and this man is now our brother in Christ. He did have another study this afternoon with a man I studied with last October. Both times he said no but more soil was planted. On the right are from left to right: Julien (preacher from Dakar who is helping with translation), Prosper (one of the leading members in Sangmelima and a GREAT song leader), Joseph (the member I taught this morning), Simon (the preacher from Nkoabang who is helping with the translation) and David (one of the faithful brothers in Sangmelima). We taught until about 1:30 and came back to the hotel for a break. Went back about 90 minutes later and Jan taught a class for the sisters. Mike and Chris also taught prospects. At 5 we had a worship service that was attended well. I spoke and was pleased with the attention they gave. Walked back to the junction and caught a machine to the hotel. First machine I have ridden on this journey and hopefully it will not be my last. Got home around 6:10 with supper at 6:30. I have eaten the same thing the first two days and will do the same tomorrow. After all, if you find a good horse; ride him. Oh, I meant to tell you that Sangmelima has allowed me to know that my sweat glands are still functioning well. It has not been that bad but the power has went off a few times. I took a nice shower and feel great. I tried to Skype with Linda but the call would not pass. Will try later.

While I am thinking about it: Candace wanted me to write in my Howdy that she did not have ice cream today. There are two other things you need to be aware of regarding that subject: 1) They do not have ice cream here and 2) She threw a temper tantrum when she discovered that fact. I had to put her in a “time-out”. When I was a kid I would have preferred a “time-out” to the whipping I got from my mom with a nice belt! Of course, that concept had not been invented at the time but if I would have brought it up I can here her saying: “I’ll give you a time-out as soon as your posterior cools down!” Didn’t get any participation trophies either. One other “Candace” story; on the way back this afternoon we had a car that would seat 2 in the front and 3 in the back but there were 6 of us. She volunteered to ride in the boot and we said: WHY? When she got in she was so surprised when Jean Claude said that the car was not full (and he was right).

Have some misc stuff to do and will once again shoot for a midnight departure. We are all well and thank you for each and every prayer.

In Christ,
Jim Corner



HOWDY

June 15, 2018

Friday, June 15, 2018 11:10pm-5:10pm CST

Dear All:

I am in a serious rush to be in bed by midnight and am quite confident I will not hit my target. Let me hit some highlights of the day. Got up at 5:45 as we had to start moving our stuff downstairs at 6:30. Our goal was to leave the hotel at 6:45 and we left at 6:46 which ain’t bad! The picture on the left below is of one of the taxis we loaded down. The traffic was light because of the hour of the morning. We made it to the bus station in 15 minutes or so. Lots of people at the station waiting to board. Jean Claude had purchased our tickets the night before so we were set. Left at about 7:45 and the traffic had increased. We also were on a 70-seater bus which takes up a lot of space. My sweet sister-in-law Ellen would love to drive one of these in Cameroon! It is about a 4-hour ride to Yaounde and once we got there we had to change buses. The picture on the right is of Yaounde traffic and believe me; it does not do justice to the level of ‘tightness’. Oh, for breakfast and lunch I went the healthy route. Breakfast consisted of Double Stuff Oreos, Slim Jims and OJ. For lunch I had some Cookies and Cream Ice Cream and some more OJ. There is a reason why I look so youthful. Jean Claude bought some ice cream which he is not supposed to have so I dutifully called his lovely wife to “rat” on him and try to get him in trouble and I think I succeeded. Oh, Julien who is the preacher for the Dakar Church of Christ in Douala met us at the bus station as he will help translate. Then we met Simon Parfait who preaches for the Nkoabang Church of Christ in Yaounde as he is a part of the team. We made it to Sangmelima in about 2 hours and 15 minutes. We have left the heavy traffic until we return to Yaounde. We are staying at the Lafamba Hotel and it is very nice. No one has a toilet seat but neither do we at our house. After Linda came to Cameroon she saw that it was nothing more than a luxury item and she didn’t want people to think that we were uppity. The work in Sangmelima is only about a year old, maybe a few months more. We met with some of the members and are looking forward to the next 2 days. They are well organized and have 15 prospects. We are also going to work with backsliders and do some discipling of the new members. Tomorrow afternoon Jan is going to teach a ladies class and we will have a worship service at 5. Sunday is mapped out as well so we are optimistic about the next 2 days. Came back to the room to unpack and then had supper at 7:30. It was very nice and we enjoyed our fellowship. I came back to my room and finished unpacking. I have a fridge in my room and I put two Coke Zeros in the freezer and it worked well so I gave one to Mike. I then took a nice shower and began to slow down. Was able to Skype with Linda and she is doing much better. Thanks for your continued prayers. We are all doing well and excited about tomorrow.

In Christ,

Jim Corner