February 8, 2019
February 8, 2019 9:00pm – 2:00pm CST
The English seminar has concluded. Very pleased with not only the attendance but the work that was accomplished. I will continue to praise God for His work and also His children, like you, who are so faithful. The seminar is going along well because He is blessing it and because you are imploring Him to do so. Thanks! Each time (whether a campaign or seminar) I make this statement: I know that numbers do not tell the story but they at least are some type of metric. Louise had 33 in her class today, Don had 48 and I had 78. The averages were 28 for Louise; 44 for Don and 73 for me. Obviously, my class is larger because I am teaching both the brothers and sisters. The numbers are much lower than in previous years but we knew that would be the case going in. That does not, however, remove the fact that the Kingdom has been strengthened.
Morning time, that is, before we left for the hall was normal. Martin was on time (he always is) and we made it to the hall 15 minutes early. I collected the evaluation sheets and will share some of the comments in the coming days. If you are new to these blogs, each year we ask the brethren to evaluate the seminar. They are not required to put their name on the paper as we want them to feel free to say whatever is on their mind. Around 10 I hopped a machine and came back to the hotel to snap the sisters (you can see them below), to collect their forms and to take them some pens. The reason that some, including Louise, appear so tall is that they are standing on chairs. I snapped as quickly as possible as I did not want accidents. Oh; I was coerced into going to my A/C room and having a Coke Zero. If it makes you feel any better; I felt sorry for my poor brothers who were in the heat. Went back to the hall and finished listening to Don’s class on Philippians. It has been a very practical series of lessons on how the child of God is to behave and how the leader can influence that behavior. We then came back to the hotel and ate lunch in my room. I would take a picture of the plate but that might lead you to be envious and that is a serious sin and I do not want to tempt you. Let’s just say: it was deeeeeeeeeeeeeeelicious! I did take a picture of all of the stuff before we ate and will post it tomorrow. Now you have something to look forward to with great anticipation! After Don and Louise went back to their rooms I went over my class for the afternoon. The session went well and we were sorry to have to say goodbye. Came back to the hotel and snacked in my room and relaxed. Tomorrow we need to go to a grocery store to buy a few things but we are pretty much set for next week.
- Picture on the right is of Terrance and me. He and a brother named Glen interpreted for both of us. I will give you a picture of Glen tomorrow.
- There are a number of brethren who are using the Bible on their phones. I have such an app but I still prefer the old way as I can have my fingers in different places while I am listening to the sermon. It also may because I am an old geezer but what does that make TB?
- I have a small freezer in my refrigerator so I put a bottle of water in last night. This morning it had a good amount of ice but after getting out in the weather at the hall; that ice became history very quickly.
- I got a great laugh this morning. Don had spoken of the joy that Paul had and a brother said: do you think that was because he did not have a wife and kids!!!! At the break I asked Vincent if I should say that to Linda and he said: if you do, she will report you to the elders and they will discipline you. Even if they did; I would be far more worried about the discipline she would distribute.
- The brethren from the English side cannot return until late next week because the rebels have blocked the road. They will stay at the church hall in Bonaberi. I gave them transport money to get back and food money for next week. Those of you who gave extra for this campaign are to be congratulated.
I was able to Skype with Charlie Brown and Grandma last night. It was a joy to see her last night (always is). She is the light of my life and a blessing that cannot be measured in human words. As I have stated on many occasions; she is the backbone of this ministry. Thanks for your continued prayers. Please ask the Lord to grant those who are coming from the French congregations for safety. This is strange that we are not packing tonight for a journey tomorrow.
February 7, 2019
February 7, 2019 9:45pm – 2:45pm CST
As you can see from the time; I am a bit behind. Let’s get right to it; got up at 7 and things each morning are pretty much the same. We went down on the way out to order our lunch. Martin was prompt and we had no problems in getting to the hall. While I love machines, with the exception of the first two days with the Bike Race it has been nice to have him carry us all at the same time. We arrived in plenty of time and Don went to work. He has done a GREAT job! At 10:00am I had a meeting with some of the village preachers. It is sad to see what is happening to this country. I just pray that God will intervene. After his class we got back to the hotel and ate our lunch and it was very nice. Came back to my room and hopped on the computer. Left for the hall at 2:30 and once again, had no traffic. Now; no traffic here is traffic in the States! My class went well and after the first break we took a group photo which you can see below. You can also see Louise teaching her class. Got back after the afternoon class and after a nice cold shower (yes, after a hot day the cold water feels good), Don and Louise came down to my room to eat. Louise gets on my computer each day and this was no exception. Don and I visited while she typed. I have been doing some other things to wind down the English seminar. Our numbers are increasing as Louise had 32 today, Don had 46 and I had 77. The three of us feel as though the seminar has been a blessing. We have representatives from 30 congregations which is great. Our goal, because of the Crisis; was to have fewer participants but still a good representation of the churches.
- My junior brother shows no respect to his wise and elderly brother (that would be me). Typically, I use the lifter (elevator) while Don and Louise climb stairs. Just another example of my wisdom. Well, the lifter had a bunch of people climbing on it so I walked. Don knocked the door of Louise and said: we might have to call an ambulance because the old man took the stairs. Is that any way to treat a senior saint? Well, I may be a saint but the senior part only belongs to people who have reached the advanced age of Teresa Blaisdell!
- I have decided not to go to a “sweat gland” doctor when I get back. The only possible need I would have of such a guy is that I may be producing too much sweat. Man, my shirt was drenched after my class.
- Once I get back, I crank up my A/C. When Louise walked in for supper she immediately turned around and said: I have to go back and get my sweater. Why would you bring a sweater to Cameroon in the dry season?
We are all doing well and look forward to the last day of this part of the seminar. Thank you for your continued prayers for us, the Crisis and Linda. She seemed to be doing well yesterday and Charlie Brown is always good. Lord willing, I will Skype with them in about 90 minutes.
February 6, 2019
Wednesday, February 6, 2019 8:20pm – 1:20pm CST
Had another great day (are there any other kind in Cameroon)! My second home is a true place of joy and I am happy for each minute I am here. Louise had 29 in her class, Don had 44 and I had 80. I am a bit surprised that the number has increased. I cannot imagine it will go any higher Thursday or Friday. One of the brothers told me that he did not make it yesterday because of the Bike Race. The classes are going well and the brethren have conveyed that they are learning and pleased to be here. In Louise’s class Linda Bassay presented how you can teach toddlers. So many over here are surprised that you can teach that age group.
I got up at 7 and did usual things. Don and I went down at 8:30 and Martin was there. Since the bike race is history, we made it to the hall 20 minutes early. Always enjoy the fellowship before and after the sessions. Don and I made it back with no problems and we ate our lunch in my room. I will not give you the recipe for today but it was deeeeeeeeeeeeeeelicious. (I have obviously used that word before because my spell checker did not correct me). Because of the great demand; I believe I will write a cook book with all of my recipes in it. With me; you get a balanced diet from just one meal. During my class Louise met with a number of sisters regarding the work with children. They are pictured below. Everything went well and we have now passed the ½ way point of the English seminar. Got back to the hotel with no problems and have been eating healthy snacks (the only kind I eat). Don and Louise came down and I have been giving them pointers on the correct way to eat. With Don it is not only the proper nutrition but how to always hit your mouth!
- The term “close fellowship” can be used in a variety of ways. You can speak of the close fellowship we have with our brothers and sisters in Christ. You can speak of the close fellowship you have with your physical family. And you can speak of the close fellowship you have on a machine in Cameroon! You are able to get up close and personal with so many people. You could touch them, shake their hands or have a conversation with them (provided you speak French),
- Louise wanted me to snap a picture of her teaching so I came over on the first break. After fulfilling my mission; I was leaving and heard my room calling. Well, actually it was three things: 1) the A/C in my room 2) The Coke Zero in my room and 3) The Snickers in my room. I do not like to disappoint them so I heeded the call!
- I was sad last night because I only got to speak with Charlie Brown and Grandma instead of Skyping with them. They were at Walmart and it was getting very late so I had to hit the sack. I am excited about seeing them in a few hours. Linda did say that she was feeling good but I don’t know if she can be trusted. Oh, she is a good girl but I hope she is not saying that just to make me feel good. I am sad when she is not well.
- The picture below on the left (I don’t know if it comes out right or left for you) is of some brethren before the morning session.
Tonight, I was able to get a lot of correspondence done along with catching up on various things. I do not know if I am busier in America or Cameroon. At any rate; I am thankful that I am busy and feeling well.
Please continue to lift up our struggling brethren on the English side, Linda’s health and energy and the seminar itself. Don, Louise and I are all doing well.
February 5, 2019
February 5, 2019 8:30pm – 1:30pm CST
I am not an overly emotional guy. Several times a year during the Lord’s Supper; for reasons I cannot explain, I will tear up and the cross simply hits me in a greater way than usual. I bring that up because while I know I am a child of God; it was brought home in an emotional way this afternoon. Just before I began my class, we had a prayer and the brother said; be with your son as he begins to teach. I cannot explain why but when he stated that I was God’s son, it hit me in a most positive way. I know I John 3:1 well but it came to me in a special way today. Indeed, all of us who are children of God have a blessing that cannot be defined or understood.
A dear friend of mine emailed yesterday and pointed out that I had not given attendance figures. Yesterday we had 22 sisters in Louise’s class and 25 today; Don had 37 yesterday and 47 today. I had 62 yesterday and 67 today. Due to the Crisis and inability to travel, I would be surprised if these numbers change much for the balance of the week. I doubt if they will go significantly higher or lower. I am really pleased with those who have come and feel that the seminar is going along well. Please continue to pray for our brethren on the English side because they are truly suffering.
A synopsis of the day is as follows: got up at 7 with an 8:30am departure. Will discuss that in #2 below. Don’s class went well. The bike race is now over and they have gone to Nkongsomba and will then go to Yaoundé. These are serious bike riders. Went to lunch at the hotel restaurant and all had spaghetti. Don commented that it was as good as Olive Garden although he did miss the bread sticks. Louise was happy with her class as are her students. Went over my lesson before we left for the afternoon. Since the bike race is history, we had no problems in getting to the hall. Actually, were quite early but got to participate in some GREAT singing. In my class I finished with Discussion Questions for the entire class and they participated well. Martin brought Don and I back (Louise was having a meeting with some sisters) and then he brought Louise. At 7 they came down to my room and we enjoyed snacking. Visited for about 90 minutes and Louise got on my computer and did some email. We looked at the YouTube “thing” called Nail In The Head. If you have never seen it, by all means do! It is only 1 minute and 42 seconds but worth the comedic relief.
In a couple of hours, I will Skype with Linda. Thank you for all of your prayers. Yesterday she said she felt OK but was very lethargic. Please continue to call and visit her.
- I had a real blessing yesterday. A convert of mine from Tiko was at the seminar. His name is Peter and I taught him in 2014. He is currently at a Bible school studying the Word of God.
- You should have seen the traffic this morning. We left the hotel at 8:30 but only got a short distance until we were stopped. Then finally moved and went all over Douala seeking a street where we could go through. At about 9:20 (we were supposed to start at 9:00) we got as close as we could and took a machine for a short distance and walked the rest of the way. When we informed Louise of this at lunch she said: oh, I feel so bad because I was in a nice air-conditioned room. She did not have a nice laugh when she said it. Then coming back for lunch, we finally got two machines and the ride was exhilarating.
- As it pertains to the just finished paragraph; I am more convinced than ever that my wonderful sister-in-law Ellen needs to come to Cameroon to ride a machine. At first, we would have to give her a serious tranquilizer and tie her to the machine but with time we could lessen the dose and loosen the ropes. After a period of time she would be clamoring to ride!
- The picture below is of the class this afternoon. This was during a singing part just before I got up.
Thanks for your continued prayers.
February 4, 2019
Monday, February 4, 2019 8:15pm – 1:15pm CST
Today was a HOT day! I don’t know what the temperature was but I used my handkerchief to wipe my brow and by the end of the day I could squeeze out sweat!
Let’s begin at the beginning: Got up at 6:45 as we always have extra stuff to do on the first day. Went down with Louise to her classroom and made sure everything was in order. Later found out that I had left the booklets for the ladies in my room but Mary was able to get my key and get in and collect them. Martin picked me and Don in his taxi and we were at the hall within 10 minutes. The first day is always so neat because it is good to see brethren that you have not fellowshipped with in a year. So many good and friendly faces! Generally, I go over to Louise’s class around 10 to make sure everything is OK. Today, however, there was a bicycle competition so the road was blocked so I stayed all morning with Don. He did a GREAT job. You can see him below with Terrance who translated into Pidgin for him. Not sure that that is the correct spelling of Pidgin but my spell checker did not go crazy so it must be. Of course, I may have added it to the dictionary on a previous trip. Martin brought us back to the hotel where we ate in my room. My darling brother said that I needed to share my recipe today so here goes: 1) take a Hormel dinner of Salisbury Steak and Mashed Potatoes 2) add Tuna 3) add Beenee Weenees 4) add Vienna sausage and 5) canned corn. The key is to mix it all up on your plate and eat at room temperature. Scientific studies have shown that for every degree of heat you put this stuff on; you lose 1% of the nutrients so you can see that when you heat your meal; you are ruining the food value. You are welcome for that tip! I went over my lesson for the afternoon and we headed back to the hall. The road was locked (blocked) because of the race so we took another route. The picture on the right below shows where a train slowed us down. The red thing on the left is the locomotive and it was very slow in moving. The machines are interesting in the way they are trying to pass. We then got stopped behind a big truck and could not tell the problem. Martin got out and assessed the situation and came back to tell us we were walking the rest of the way. I think it was about a 10 mile walk but Don and Louise do not concur. I was reminded of why machines are so superior to automobiles. At any rate; we were about 20 minutes late but a brother was cranking out the songs. My class went well (I think) as we began to look at Shepherds, some miscellaneous thoughts about them and their selection. We were able to get about halfway through the qualifications and I will finish them tomorrow. There are over 200 congregations in Cameroon and only 2 have shepherds. I feel as though this is a timely class. Martin brought us back and I was able to take a nice shower. I actually tried to get the water as cold as possible because I was hot. Louise came down and did some emailing. I have been downloading pictures, working on my class for tomorrow and writing this. I will snack on some health food and Skype with Charlie Brown and Grandma once he gets home from school which is another 2 ½ hours. Linda told me yesterday she is adjusting to the Heart Monitor and she has one more week to wear it. Thanks for your continued prayers. We are all well!
February 3, 2019
Sunday, February 3, 2019 9:00pm – 2:00pm CST
Have had a GREAT Lord’s Day! Slept well again and got up at 7:00. There is a secret to sleeping well; go to bed with a Snickers or Mars Bar in your stomach! The preacher where I spoke (Logpom) has a phone that does not work. Therefore, Martin carried me to worship and they had no one to translate for me. Fortunately, a brother named Victor who I have known for a long time was visiting and he did a great job. I have not really experienced any heat until today; my handkerchief was fairly soaked by the time the worship was over. I taught the Bible class from Ephesians 2:1-10 and my sermon was from the parable of the Sower. The majority of the sermon dealt with application. Oh, after the Bible class we had questions and answers and they went so long that I was finally told to stop. The picture below is of the brethren at Logpom. After the worship we visited and then headed back to the hotel. Martin is a delight to be around. His wife is currently in Nigeria where her parents live. They are sick (one has an eye problem but I do not know what kind) and she has gone to care for them. Don and Louise both had great worship services and we ate in the hotel restaurant. Don and I took machines to a grocery store to get some Mayo for his tuna. If we could have walked, I would have let him go by himself but since we got to ride; it was well worth the journey. While we were gone Louise got on my computer and did whatever she does on a computer. Once I got back, I spent several hours doing various things. I visited with Louise about a number of things. She is such a blessing to the work in Cameroon. Then Jean Claude and Mary came and she visited with Louise while Jean Claude went back to the hall. Don came over and we dined; cheese, Pringles and Oreos! We talked for several hours. Jean Claude came and dropped the seminar books for the ladies and he and Mary have left. I am fixin to Skype with Linda.
- Logpom is a French congregation but they sang a combination of French and English songs. I noticed that when they sang in French there was more gusto!
- I know I have mentioned this before; Cameroon has 273 dialects which is more than any African country. The dialects are not remotely close to English or French. Virtually all Cameroonians speak a minimum of 2 languages; English or French and their dialect. Many speak more.
- Jean Claude informed me that many brethren have come tonight. Tomorrow will be the first time that I have no “feel” for how many will be in attendance. It is very troublesome to travel on the English side.
- The big fan you see is carried on a machine to the hall. There used to be 4 ceiling fans but thieves stole them.
Please continue to pray for the seminar. Thanks so much!!!
February 2, 2019
February 2, 2019 9:45pm – 2:45pm CST
Today was a grand day topped off at the airport. Will get to that in a minute. Slept till 9 and had a restful sleep. Don slept well but Louise not so much. This morning Jean Claude had a meeting with the Board of Trustees so Don, Louise and I grabbed a taxi at the hotel and went to two different stores on important missions. We were able to succeed; the primary mission was to find Coke Zero! Shortly after we got back Jean Claude, Mary and the 3 of us went to a new restaurant. It is like KFC or Canes in that it is chicken only. Was very nice. We came back and Don, Louise and I started putting name tags together for the seminar. You can see two of them hard at work below. I primarily filled the role of supervisor and watched to make sure they weren’t messing up! I called our oldest son Robin as he is 46 today which is hard to believe since I am only 53. Don and I visited for a good period of time. It is always good to be with my junior (little) brother. Jean Claude was supposed to pick us at 7 to go to the airport to check on Louise’s baggage. I called him at 7:10 and asked him where he was and he had completely forgotten. Well, he was at the church hall which is only 10 minutes away and got here quickly. Made it to the airport with no problems and went in easily. They directed us back to the luggage area and there were her bags. Yea!!!!!!! We collected them and were out in2 minutes time. When we got back, I took a nice shower and am going to try a pastry type thing that I bought today. I will Skype with Linda in a bit. Oh, she told me yesterday she is beginning to feel a bit more comfortable with the heart monitor. I continue to thank each of you who are calling her or visiting her and praying for her. Tomorrow I will worship at Logpom, Don at Dakar and Louise at Cite de la paix which is Jean Claude’s congregation. Thanks for your continued prayers and especially for your prayers regarding Louise’s bags.