“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” II Corinthians 12:9
Why did God want only 300 with Gideon or Elijah by himself against the prophets of Baal? God was graphically showing that the victory comes only through dependence on God and not through our own power. God used Paul’s thorn in the flesh and uses our own weaknesses to show the same thing.
I was impressed with my total dependence on God for this last trip to Cameroon, from October 10 – 24. In the past I did not think twice about making trips to Cameroon. This time however, being older and having blood pressure problems, my human weakness was apparent. I no longer can make the whole trip “in a single bound” but have to stop overnight at the halfway point in Europe. I have made many flights to Cameroon and Brazil in the past, but on this trip I started to have inflight trouble with my blood pressure spiking. The trip is always arduous with the heat, bugs, mud, sickness, and the French language. I had the requisite stomach problems and there is always the threat of the more serious problems of malaria and typhoid fever. But praise the Lord that He gave me the needed health and strength necessary for this trip.
In the past I obtained a resident visa while in Cameroon, but this has become more difficult and much more expensive. This time I decided to just get a tourist visa and the Lord greatly blessed. I sent the visa paperwork to the consulate in Washington on a Tuesday and by Friday the visa had arrived back home in Smyrna. Functioning in French is difficult after working in Portuguese in Brazil for the last ten years. What makes it so difficult is that French and Portuguese are similar. I had to be continually doing what one Cameroonian said was mental gymnastics to try to ascertain if the word I was about to use was Portuguese or French. I traveled in October since that is the “big” rainy season and it is somewhat cooler.
While in Cameroon, I usually travel with my “entourage” of four. The first is Olama, who is a former student of mine from the seminary, and is now a teacher there. The second is Guy, who was our guard and student when we lived in Cameroon and is now finishing his seminary studies. The third is David, who is another former seminary student and is now a faithful pastor. The fourth is the chauffeur of our rented taxi. I have pictures (on the back) of them eating in the seminary director’s house and also of pushing our taxi out of the mud.
Every time I go to Cameroon it is as if I never left (12 years ago). I was able to teach in the Presbyterian seminary, preach, and make various visits giving out some gifts. I taught Evangelism and Presbyterianism, showing the importance and Biblical basis of both; a test was given over the material at the end. I attended two presbytery meetings and preached in a small church out in the bush. I visited church officers and former students. Last time in Cameroon, two years ago, I was in a meeting with two men named Solomon. They both had passed on since the last trip, so I went and visited the two widows. Here is a picture of one of the widows and the grave of her pastor-husband in front of their house.
In the past I did evangelism by showing gospel films in the villages. It is an excellent ministry, especially in villages with no electricity. I have given projectors, sound equipment, and DVD players to my entourage to continue this ministry. The problem has been that they have fried their projectors using generator power. So, on this trip I finally figured out that I had to give them surge protectors with the projectors. Hopefully that will do the trick. I also gave out books at the seminary and various other things. I always take two full suitcases (50 pounds each) that I leave in Cameroon.
Our spring edition of The Fundamentalist is being sent out all over Brazil by our distribution agent. We finished the article, “Mission to the Bottom of the World” which is also being published in English in the fall edition of Redeeming the Time. It is a compelling story of pioneer missions to Cape Horn. We also put an article, “Vote with Discernment” detailing what we should look for in a candidate. Brazil just had elections and probably the best candidate ever was elected President. Praise the Lord! Another article included is, “Division of Labor in the Family.”
Ken continues preaching at the Marcus Hook BPC once a month along with preaching in the Nursing Home. He also preached and taught in a couple of other churches as well. We attended the IBPFM meeting in October, along with the Faith Presbytery meeting, and the final day of the ACCC. Paul and Isaiah Durand from Chile were able to stay with us in Delaware for three days. Ken is singing “The Creation” by Haydn in a local community choir. The last time he sang it was in Shelton College back in the 1970s.
Thanks again for all your prayers and support that make this ministry possible. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
In His Service,
Ken & Ira Olson