Slow work

Tuesday, January 03, 2023
Douala, Littoral, Cameroon
Today, I worked through the morning. At 11:50 I received a text from the man who was to have come with his wife yesterday. They said they would arrived 12:30 at the latest. I didn’t know how long the visit would last, so I went down to the restaurant to have a quick go at the salad bar, which is a bit grandiose a title for the small assortment they offer, but at least it’s quick.
I had some avocado, grated carrots, some cheese, and a little macedoine de legumes, a common dish in France: mixed vegetables in a mayonnaise-based dressing. I asked if it was just vegetables, and was told it was. At my table however, the first bite didn’t taste like it was only vegetables. I looked closely, and was convinced there was some diced crab in it. I showed the server the small pieces. If one side of a rectangular parallelepiped (a 3d rectangle, a cuboid) is orange and the rest is white, it’s likely crab. I asked the server if it was in deed crab. “Oh, no”, she said. Then she did something a bit surprising. “If you don’t mind me tasting it, I can tell you.” I said she could, so she took a fork off another table and took two pieces of the mystery food off my plate, and chewed it, gazing into the distance. “I think it’s fish” she said, then asked “you don’t eat crab?” I said I did not. “I will go ask”, and off she went. She came back quickly and swept the plate off the table. “You were right” she said, “I hope you won’t get sick!” She apparently thought I had a food allergy. “I hope I don’t get sick either” I replied with a smile, deciding not to explain Leviticus 11. I got a clean plate and served myself some French goat cheese, one of my favorites. At 12:20, the couple arrived and walked into the restaurant. I asked them to give me 10 minutes. They sat down one table over from me and waited, while I quickly finished my lunch.
I signed for the check and went to my room to get my Bible. Then we walked out to one of the tables by the pool and had our visit. Family news first, they have a two-month old baby, number five in the family. They’re coming off a bout of malaria, though thankfully the baby has been spared. When malaria is fatal it is usually to the very young and the very old. He has steady work but the pay is barely livable, about 80 dollars a month at the current exchange rate. “That’s life in Cameroon” they told me, “salaries are very low and prices are going up!” And many people don’t even have steady work.
We talked about how the war in Ukraine is causing prices to rise in Africa. Of course, prices are rising everywhere, but the poorest are pinched the worst. They asked if this war has anything to do with end-time prophecy. I explained how alarmed Europe is, and how many nations, most notably Germany are expanding their military expenditures. Possibly a step in the direction of a united, militarized Europe.
We continued with her preparation for baptism. She is originally from the English-speaking part of Cameroon, so she asked if we could switch to English. “It touches my heart more” she said. We discussed various things for a hour, the Biblical conditions for baptism, what does it mean to repent and believe the gospel, how do the annual holy days help us understand the gospel, and so on. It was a very encouraging discussion, she has obviously been studying and is very earnest. I will see her again this weekend. I ask her husband if he had any questions. He had one. Cain found a wife away from Adam and Eve. Could it be that God created other couples that just aren’t mentioned in the Bible? Not everything is mentioned. I pointed out Genesis 3:20 that says “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.” She was the mother of all living, there was just the one couple to start things off. Cain married a sister, which was genetically practical at that time.
They needed to get back to their newborn, so we stopped at 90 minutes or so, and I walked them to the door. This was a very worthwhile use of my time.
The rest of the day in my room doing more office work.

Photos & Videos



How encouraging it is to read about the baptismal counseling and the couple’s earnest desire, their recovery from malaria, that he has work.

Eddie J.

Lovely to know of and see new faces.

Tess Washington

Wonderful that they came! Thank you for the blog & a photo of the future brethrens.