Good News!

Posted April 21, 2014 by Louis & Bonnie Rushmore
Categories: Preaching Appointments, Good Eats, Good Friends, Magazines & Books, Postcard Perfect Picture, Travel, Overseas, Gospel Meeting, Worship, Back at the House, Guyana, Biblical Lesson, Sickness, At the Office, Cancer Treatment, India Missions Conference, Mission Trip

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Old Union Church of ChristSunday, April 13th, Bonnie and I worshipped in the morning with the Old Union Church of Christ. We went out early enough to take some pictures of the quaint, country setting in the early morning light and the new, leafy green of the trees and bushes. That evening, Bonnie and I worshipped with the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ in Jackson, MS; we had some details to attend with the elders respecting our mission work that they oversee. Monday and Tuesday evenings, Bonnie and I attended the Gospel meeting hosted by the West President Church of Christ.

Wednesday afternoon April 16th, Bonnie received GOOD NEWS at her oncology checkup. Her blood analysis and physical examination were just fine! That evening, we attended Bible class once more with the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ, whereupon I taught another lesson from the Book of Job to the adult auditorium class.

Saturday, April 19th, Bonnie and I headed for Huntsville, AL to the home of brother Lindell and sister Sharon Smith; he is an elder for the Farley Church of Christ where I was to speak the next morning (Easter Sunday, by the way). Lord’s Day morning, I made my PowerPoint presentation about our 2014 Guyana mission trip, and for worship, I preached “Understanding How God Communicates with Mankind, Today.” Though the congregation does not regularly support our work, their annual help when we visit makes it possible for our work to progress.

The in between days (days between cited dates) and today, we worked on the next issue of The Voice of Truth International; we are running behind, and I have not even started the April issue of Gospel Gazette Online yet. We along with Jerry and Paula Bates (newly returned to the USA and the office after an extensive overseas mission trip) plus Betty Choate prepared for the 2014 India Missions Conference. The World Evangelism team and Heritage Christian University in Florence, AL are cohosting it. We loaded our van, pressed some clothes once back at the house and otherwise prepared for a Tuesday morning departure from Winona to Florence. The program will run Tuesday night through Thursday; there will be a Florence area restoration history tour on Friday.

The highlight of the past several days has to be Bonnie’s good checkup. She continues to recover from pancreatic cancer. Though often tired for the past couple of weeks or so, all appears to be well, and Bonnie is regaining her momentum. Hand in hand, we continue to pilgrimage on God’s green earth with our sight trained on the heavenly horizon. Not only do we hope to arrive at and pass through the white pearly gates someday to walk the streets of gold, we earnestly desire as many as possible to make the same journey with us. We are pilgrims, not homesteaders!

Highlights Here and There

Posted April 12, 2014 by Louis & Bonnie Rushmore
Categories: At the Office, Back at the House, Biblical Lesson, Good Eats, Good Friends, India Missions Conference, Literature, Magazines & Books, Missionary Retreat, Preaching Appointments, Technologically Challenged, Travel

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cabooseApril is upon us, and Bonnie and I are as far behind as we have ever been in recent memory. If we were any further behind, we would be essentially in the position of the little red caboose on a short, circle track ringing the picturesque old-time Christmas tree of many decades past. “I can see the engine of my own train that (though pulling us along) is about to crash into the back of the caboose.” Our train is about to lap itself!

Wednesday, April 2nd, Bonnie and I journeyed once more to Jackson, MS to teach the adult, auditorium class of the Siwell Road Church of Christ. Late Friday afternoon, Bonnie and I pointed the old, weary van toward Florida; we angled down through Alabama, stopping for the night on the south side of Montgomery, AL. Saturday afternoon, we arrived at the home of Mary Fox in Jacksonville, FL; she and her husband with their family had been missionaries for several years in Thailand. Sunday morning, it was a pleasure to be once more with the Chaffee Road Church of Christ, whereupon I made my PowerPoint presentation “2014 Guyana Mission Trip” for Bible class, and I preached “Understanding How God Communicates with Mankind, Today.” We all enjoyed a fellowship meal afterward. I spoke Sunday afternoon at Taylor Manor, a Jacksonville retirement home. Sunday evening, Bonnie and I worshipped with the Riverview Church of Christ in Jacksonville, at which time I made my PowerPoint presentation “2014 Guyana Mission Trip.” No one ever treated us any better than the brethren there did; several members personally helped us financially in our efforts for the cause of Christ, as well as the congregation itself.

Leaving Jacksonville Sunday night, Bonnie and I drove to Ocala, FL, where we spent the next two nights with our good friend Martha Noland. Martha and her husband Bob work with a small congregation of the Lord’s church in Hanoverton, OH; a sister in Christ from there had accompanied Martha to Florida and was there upon our arrival. Besides spending time together and eating out, the highlight of this side trip was an unplanned trip to Best Buy – twice! The graphic card in each of our new computers, as it turns out, are defective. It took several hours for sales and tech personnel to determine that the graphic card was inoperable—not only in our two, new laptops, but also in their store display models of the same brand and every other brand sporting that same graphics card. Happily for us, Best Buy took back our two defective units and traded them for two other new units of a different brand with different graphics cards from the brand of defective card.

However, that necessitated buying an external hard drive to offload data files from the two defective computers before we made the exchanges. With that, hours of transferring files ensued. Of course, after acquiring the new computers, we had to put the data back on the new computers. The programs, though, were in Winona and could not be loaded just yet.

Tuesday after lunch, Bonnie and I parted from Martha’s home, and we headed for Jackson, MS where I was to teach Bible class again on Wednesday evening. We made it as far as Pensacola, FL before we sought a motel for the night. After checking in at the Quality Inn along I-10, we sauntered down to the local Sonny’s Barbeque restaurant; this was our second time to eat at one of those eateries, and we were amply satisfied both times. With a hotel Internet connection, Bonnie and I were able to begin downloading to our newest laptops some subscription software that we use in the production of literary works like The Voice of Truth International, Gospel Gazette Online, tracts and books.

The first half of Wednesday, April 9 was spent traveling through Florida, Alabama and Mississippi to Jackson, MS. Upon arrival, we visited hurting brethren in two Jackson hospitals. In the interval between those hospital visits and Bible class, Bonnie bought some groceries and got gas so we could expedite our trip home later after class at the Siwell Road Church of Christ. Finally, I concluded the 42nd chapter of the Book of Job! However, we are not quite done just yet; I want to spend a little more time treating standout verses throughout the volume as well as short studies about “Satan” and “Pain and Suffering.”

After Bible class, Bonnie and I started our trip back to the house in Winona, MS. We punctuated the two-hour ride with grabbing a bite to eat and buying some perishable groceries, and Bonnie and I arrived back in Winona ten minutes before 11:00 p.m.

The times between the “highlights” through end of day on Friday have been very tedious—the jaw and neck tightening kind of details—mostly trying to install computer software, some of which says, “What is Windows 8.1? No, I will not work with that!” Don’t get me started about trying to get two computers and two (so-called) smart phones to talk to each other. At one point, I lost my digital appointment calendar; I hope that we didn’t have any appointments this Sunday!

We shipped several packages of books and tracts to individuals and congregations. We are way behind on the next issue of The Voice of Truth International. I haven’t started the April issue of Gospel Gazette Online. The 2014 India Missions Conference (April 22-25) is nearly upon us, and there are details and schedule changes that need my immediate attention. On the heels of that, we have the Annual Maywood Missionary Retreat the following week. Peppered in there, too, are speaking appointments and daily work at the office/warehouse in the World Evangelism Building.

Whew! I think the caboose and the train engine are about to meet—in a bad way!

Runaway Train!

Posted April 1, 2014 by Louis & Bonnie Rushmore
Categories: At the Office, Back at the House, Biblical Lesson, Family, Good Eats, Good Friends, Guyana, Literature, Magazines & Books, Mission Trip, Moral Encouragement, Preaching Appointments, Rushmore Newsletter, Travel, Worship

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Train1 CLIPARTCOMLike a runaway train, the hours and days have been rushing by so rapidly that Bonnie and I have hardly been able catch our breath. Consequently, we are way behind in posting our blog. You, the Reader, may not have missed the words herein as much as I at least need the therapy from jotting it down.

Thursday morning March 20th, Bonnie and I both had dental cleanings scheduled in Jackson, Mississippi. Rather than return to Winona, Mississippi following Wednesday evening Bible class at the Siwell Road Church of Christ, we stayed over in a hotel not far from Thursday’s appointment; we steal our down time whenever and wherever we can snatch a few precious moments. Besides, staying overnight in Jackson saved us four hours of driving time.

train wreck1 CLIPARTCOMAfter working around the office Thursday afternoon and all day Friday, Bonnie and I packed the car and headed for Rebecca’s home once more. Gluttons for punishment I guess, we worked for hours in our daughter’s yard that night and Saturday. I think we raked and hauled to the curb over two weekends two or three years of leaves and yard debris – enough to keep the city busy besides what the whole neighborhood had to offer.

Sunday morning March 23rd, Bonnie and I were pleased to worship with the Collierville, Tennessee Church of Christ. Rebecca has been an active member with these good brethren since her graduation the first time from Freed Hardeman University. We ate at one of our two usual haunts for Sunday lunch out – McAllister’s. That afternoon following second worship from 1:30 p.m. to about 2:30 p.m., we struck out for Walls, Mississippi and the Lake Forest Church of Christ. It was my good pleasure to make my new PowerPoint presentation about our recent month-long mission trip to Guyana, South America. Afterward, Bonnie and I enjoyed a fellowship meal with the congregation; it had been two years since we had visited them, and we were glad to renew our fellowship with them. Parting from them, we made the lonely, nighttime drive down I-55 back to Winona.


Monday
was another day at the office, buried under the usual, unending workload of behind the scenes activities that make the visible aspect of our work possible. Tuesday and Wednesday, we had another visitor in Winona – at the office and in our home. It was our privilege to host brother Ken Upchurch, who has undertaken acquainting churches with various facets of the World Evangelism work. He hopes to persuade brethren to participate financially, particularly regarding the new Bible curriculum – the dream and pet project of sister Betty Choate for a couple decades now, but now a work in progress.

Train2 CLIPARTCOMAfter lunch on Wednesday, Bonnie and I traveled back to Jackson, Mississippi. Our first stop upon arrival in the capitol city was to visit brother Gene Gibson in a rehab hospital. He was asleep, and his wife Madolyn had stepped away. Earlier in the day, we had stopped by their Winona home to pick up clothes and other items to bring them.

Next, we sauntered into the Best Buy store not far from there. Our laptop computers – the only computers that we use and that we cart around stateside and abroad – have been giving us warning signs of failure (e.g., broken and missing pieces off the external cases, error messages about failing USB ports and graphics card). Reluctantly, we purchased two replacements. Our reluctance pertains to the expenditure as well as the heartache of transferring data and programs from computer to computer times two. Compounding our misery, we replaced our three-year old dinosaur-like cell phones that thrust us into the 21st century; goodbye Blackberry!

For days after we stumbled through setting up computers and smartphones! I’m afraid that we’ve permanently burnt out some brain cells ahead of time over all of that. Both the computers and the phones were valid upgrades that will help us do our work more efficiently, but in the future, we would be well-advised not to do computers and phones at the same time. Doing both at the same time makes about as much sense as having both feet operated on at the same time!

For Bible class at Siwell Road Church of Christ that night, I taught my lesson, “Did Dinosaurs Really Exist?” (This involved Job chapters 40 and 41.) I jumped ahead a little bit from where we had been studying in the Book of Job. We also finished the last of the discussions between Job and his so-called, three friends.

Train3 CLIPARTCOMThursday March 27th, some sisters from the Huntsville Church of Christ in French Camp, Mississippi helped Bonnie and sister Betty Choate process her newsletter for mailing. Later that afternoon, sister Choate helped Bonnie and me process our newsletter for mailing. Friday, Bonnie and I continued processing the Rushmore Newsletter for bulk mailing. We were able to send most of it out that afternoon, but we had to leave 289 pieces for the following Monday. Saturday was cold and rainy, so we didn’t leave the house; we worried ourselves over transferring information between computers and fretting about installation of our programs into the Windows 8.1 operating environment.

Sunday morning March 30th, Bonnie and I wended our way through the tar and chip as well as gravel roads to the Old Union Church of Christ. During Bible class, I made my PowerPoint presentation about our Guyana mission trip this February. Later, I preached about “Understanding How God Communicates with Mankind, Today.” Despite some regular members being absent, the meetinghouse was full; brethren from sister congregations, family, friends and neighbors attended worship and stayed for a fellowship meal together. The setting is shrouded delightfully by forest around a clearing in which an old, white frame church building stands, surrounded by an equally old cemetery. Sunday evening, we worshipped with the Batesville, Mississippi Church of Christ, whereupon I once more made my PowerPoint presentation about our Guyana mission work this year. Covered by the darkness of night, we made our way wearily back to our Winona home.

train wreck3 CLIPARTCOMMonday throughout the day, Bonnie and I finished preparation of our newsletter mailing. Altogether, we sent out between Friday and Monday around 1,000 printed accounts awash in color pictures of our February month-long mission trip to Guyana. We also just about completed transfer of information to the new computers; we have yet to install or replace and install crucial programs for our work in publishing The Voice of Truth International magazine and other literary works. Proverbially speaking, we are pulling out our hair to the point of baldness (figuratively) – more dead brain cells! We shipped several packages of books and tracts, both stateside and abroad, too.

If that wasn’t enough, when we went home for the evening, Bonnie and I dug up flowers for transplanting; worked new, rich dirt into the front flower bed adjacent to the driveway and planted 12 blooming flowers. We had purchased the new dirt and flowers a week ago, and we were trying to keep the plants from freezing to death by keeping them in the carport shed. Guess what we will be doing tomorrow evening – with all of the plants that need to be transplanted and eight more cubic feet of new dirt.

train wreck2 CLIPARTCOMOur train may be running at full tilt – a sure enough runaway, but we are trying our best to keep it from jumping the track. Famously, we would look for the light at the end of the mythical tunnel, but we are certain that all we see is the oncoming headlamp of a freight train bearing down upon us! We’ll not have a train wreck on our watch if we have anything to say about it.

No Day Off, Yet!

Posted March 20, 2014 by Louis & Bonnie Rushmore
Categories: At the Office, Biblical Lesson, Good Eats, Good Friends, Literature, Magazines & Books, Preaching Appointments, Travel

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Wednesday Night ClassSaturday afternoon of March 15th, Bonnie and I parted from our daughter’s Collierville, TN home and headed for Imboden, AR. We didn’t get all of Rebecca’s backyard cleaned of tree debris (i.e., branches and leaves), but we needed a break anyway. We’ll finish that job another day.

A little after 5 p.m., I wheeled the Town and Country minivan into the driveway of brother Gevan and sister Sharon Murphy. As always, we were wonderfully received, more than amply fed and lodged overnight. Sunday morning, I made the version 1.1 presentation of my PowerPoint about our recent four-week mission trip to Guyana; I finished it up the night before in the Murphy living room. Bonnie had suggested that I needed to make some improvements or adjustments over the PowerPoint (i.e., version 1.0) that I presented the week before. During worship, I preached “Understanding How God Communicates with Mankind, Today.” Whereas the previous night sister Sharon cooked and baked (i.e., I had two pieces of delicious coconut cream pie), the Murphy’s treated us to some sumptuous food at a diner in nearby Ravenden, AR – the home of the 12-foot tall statue of a raven along the roadside. Afterward, we returned the two and a half hours back to our very own bed and breakfast – Rebecca’s home in Collierville, TN.

Monday and Tuesday, we entertained a guest back in Winona, MS; Robin Dunaway had driven in Monday from Alabama, and we had arrived back in town a few minutes before he rang the doorbell at the World Evangelism Building. He is working on the proposed, new Bible school curriculum long envisioned by sister Betty Choate. Brother Dunaway is coordinating the efforts of numerous volunteers, and Bonnie was helping him with a database that pertained to it.

Bonnie worked on The Voice of Truth International, office accounting, answering the phone and processing orders for books and tracts. I continued to work on Gospel Gazette Online for March and help with the shipping of book and tract orders. Wednesday, we spent half a day at the office with office accounting, The Voice of Truth International, shipping and answering a biblical question for a preacher friend in a foreign country. By 2:15 p.m., having shipped orders at the Post Office and made bank deposits, we pointed the silver van south toward the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ on the south side of Jackson, MS; I taught another lesson in the Book of Job.

Right before time for supper and prior to arriving at the Siwell congregation’s building, I was able to publish to the Internet the March edition of Gospel Gazette Online, as well as send out the notifications to nearly 1,500 subscribers.

Brother Mark and sister Michelle Teske, associated with Gospel Broadcasting Network (GBN) were present at Siwell Rd. for Bible class. Bonnie and I with the two of them used each other as an excuse to drive ten miles out of our respective ways to eat some dessert at a diner. They and we have different reasons for being in Jackson, MS on Thursday morning, and we may bump into each other again once or twice tomorrow.

Bonnie and I are thinking about taking a day off sometime at an undisclosed, undecided date in the future. Personally, I don’t remember when we last took a day off. One of these days, though, we’re really going to do it.

Uncommon Exercise!

Posted March 14, 2014 by Louis & Bonnie Rushmore
Categories: At the Office, Good Friends, Guyana, Literature, Magazines & Books, Preaching Appointments, Travel, Workday

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1,820 copies Voice of Truth InternationalMonday through Wednesday, I worked faithfully on preparation of my Wednesday evening Bible class material on the Book of Job that I am teaching at the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ in Jackson, Mississippi. Bonnie worked on office accounting in the absence of Paula Bates, who with Jerry is in India for several weeks. Bonnie also worked on our “Thank You” cards for contributions received for our mission work the prior week. Wednesday afternoon, Rebecca accompanied Bonnie and me as we drove from Winona, MS to Jackson – two hours away.

Tall Box!Our first mission was to locate a compatible replacement battery for the security system at the World Evangelism Building; as far as I know, one cannot be purchased in Montgomery County, Mississippi. Next, we had supper at Cracker Barrel, after which we did a little shopping at Sam’s Club. Finally, we made our way to the Siwell building for Bible class. We arrived back in Winona around 10:30 p.m.

Finishing TouchesThursday, we packed 1,820 loose copies (the contents of 52 boxes of 35 each) of The Voice of Truth International into one box for overseas shipment to Guyana, South America. That humongous box is a little over three feet tall and a little less than two feet per side, and when we were done, it weighed 520 pounds! We had to use tools to stack the lower layers of magazines until the magazines stacked inside rose to meet our extended arms.

Moving the MountainGetting that box into our van was a challenge, which began by just getting it to the doorway. It may appear that Rebecca Rushmore and Betty Choate are trying to take the box in one direction on a handcart while with another hand truck I am attempting to move the same massive box in the opposite direction. Actually, we are all moving it in the same direction; steering was tricky!

Loading the Big BoxI backed the van nearly into the warehouse, and I got so close that I crawled through the van to make my entrance into the building. Bonnie and Rebecca Rushmore, Betty Choate and I barely managed to tip it across the threshold of the van’s rear door, lift it and push sufficiently to clear the car’s cargo door so it would close. Then, we added another six boxes of sermon outlines for the preachers throughout Guyanese churches of Christ. The Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ ladies will parcel out The Voice of Truth International and other books for delivery to all of the congregations of the Lord’s church in their country. Brother and sister Nigel and Jasmine Milo work with that fine congregation in Linden. Packing and especially moving the massive box proved to be uncommon exercise that had all of us huffing and puffing, hoping we hadn’t harmed ourselves or shortened our lives.

Voice of Truth singlesWe also packaged and sacked the single subscriptions of The Voice of Truth International that go forth from Winona through the USPS (snail mail). Betty took the sacks to the local Post Office on Friday. Thursday evening, I worked a little on Gospel Gazette Online.

Friday, March 14, 2014, Bonnie and I with Rebecca riding with us spent all day hauling our heavy freight to a shipper in Nashville, TN. In a sense, we dragged it! We dragged exiting my driveway (as I dragged the night before entering my driveway). We were riding so low that I had to change all three mirrors to correspond with our new view of the world as the 700 pounds or so in the cargo hold of the Town and Country changed the tilt of the vehicle.

We finally arrived back in Collierville, TN at our daughter’s home around 9 p.m. On Saturday morning, we will help Rebecca clean up her yard of fallen leaves and branches as thick as my arms; she helped me clean out gutters and clean up our yard in Winona. Saturday afternoon, Bonnie and I will make our way to Imboden, AR where we will spend the night with good friends and brethren of the Imboden Church of Christ. Sunday morning, I will update that congregation about our foreign mission work and preach during worship. We will return, Lord willing, to Rebecca’s home for the night, before returning to Winona early Monday morning. We have an all-day appointment in at the World Evangelism Building on Monday.

A Week in Review

Posted March 11, 2014 by Louis & Bonnie Rushmore
Categories: At the Office, Back at the House, Biblical Lesson, Good Friends, Literature, Magazines & Books, Preaching Appointments, R&R, Rushmore Newsletter, Travel

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Crockett Church of Christ

Since Monday morning, March 3, Bonnie and I have been overwhelmed with trying to catch up from our month-long absence while we were in Guyana, South America. We are working on Gospel Gazette Online and The Voice of Truth International. We are fulfilling orders for books, tracts and magazines. We also put together our March edition of the Rushmore Newsletter. We published the electronic version to the Internet, but we will have to wait several days for the printed version to arrive in Winona for processing. We also drafted a postcard insert to encourage additional financial participation with us in our mission work.

Of particular importance was preparation I needed to make for Wednesday night teaching the Book of Job to the auditorium class of the Siwell Road Church of Christ in Jackson, Mississippi. Then, I worked diligently on preparation of class material for a class I was teaching on Thursday night for the Mississippi School of Biblical Studies, also hosted by the Siwell Road Church of Christ; I finished my preparation at about 3:45 p.m. Thursday! Our lives are triaged on the basis of whatever is next, we will work on that. Sometimes the deadlines and our preparation come together on the same day!

An aside regarding our Wednesday-Thursday venture to Jackson was a two-night stay not far from the Siwell Rd. congregation in a motel. Bonnie and I opted to take partial days for ourselves and relax a little bit (while still working on lessons!). Though we had been together crisscrossing Guyana by van, boat and plane for a month, it wasn’t a relaxing adventure at all.

Unlike usual when I am teaching in Jackson, we didn’t dress for the class, but we were going to change our clothes in time to make our way from the motel to the class on Wednesday night. To my surprise, I had forgotten one important ingredient to my wardrobe—my pants! Well, since I was going to have to wear my faded blue jeans, I opted not to wear my tie either. Nobody complained, but one sister observed that she had never seen me wear jeans before. The next day, I bought an $8.00 pair of pants on a closeout rack at a department store, permitting me to look a little bit more like the speaker of the hour for the Thursday evening class. All of the auditorium classes and Biblical Studies classes are streamed live to the Internet and archived, too.

Friday morning, Bonnie and I returned to Winona in time to receive a tractor-trailer and one pallet of books coming in from the printing company. Triage demanded that our next task was to prepare a PowerPoint presentation about our recent work in Guyana for our Sunday appointment. We also invited sisters Barbara Oliver and Betty Choate to supper at our home; Rebecca was also in for spring break for a few days.

A large part of Saturday was spent cleaning up the yard from months of accumulation of tree debris; we needed to get the layer of broken branches and the carpet of pine needles up before the grass would grow intertwined into the mess.

Sunday was the first day of daylight savings time for 2014, which meant that we lost an hour’s sleep. Compounding that, we had about an hour and a half travel time from Winona to the Crockett, MS Church of Christ. Since their Bible class began at 9:30 a.m. and we wanted to be early enough to go in as soon as the doors were opened, we left home at 7:30 a.m. Brother and sister Rawson were absent owing to the death of Jane’s sister in Arkansas. Nevertheless, the brethren were gracious to us, and we enjoyed our time in class and worship with them again this year.

That night, not having an appointment, we worshipped with the West President Church of Christ. They have befriended us and inquire about us even when we are traveling and unable to assemble with them.

Monday and Tuesday, I worked feverishly preparing my class on the Book of Job for Wednesday evening’s class with the Siwell Road Church of Christ. (Monday and Tuesday evenings, Rebecca helped her dad clean the gutters, removing overflowing amounts of pine needles clogging them.) I have other projects awaiting attention, and Thursday and Friday, I will attend to them (triage, don’t you know).

Weary Trip Home

Posted March 3, 2014 by Louis & Bonnie Rushmore
Categories: Guyana, Mission Trip, Travel

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Parika to Bartica

Parika to Bartica

By the time we got to bed upon our arrival in Collierville, TN, USA, we had been without sleep for two days. We were busy all day long in the final seminar at the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ in Linden, Guyana, South America. Then, we tied up loose ends respecting the mobile seminars that cover all 10 regions of the country. After packing for the return trip home, we barely had enough time to lie down before leaving for the airport.

We were early, as the airport had not opened yet. Finally in, we just underwent the usual preliminary hurdles, obtaining replacement boarding passes, persuading the counter person to check our luggage (against her will) all the way back to Memphis, TN, paying our exit tax ($8,000 Guyanese Dollars), scanning luggage, scanning ourselves, pat-downs, redressing upon exiting security and waiting for our plane. When the boarding began, everyone riots toward the doorway, and so we just push our way into the glob of people, too. All of us walk outside about 300 feet to our super puddle jumper and climb the plane stairs to the cabin seating.

Upon taking off, we headed for Port-of-Spain, whereupon we had an on plane layover of an hour or so. Then, we had hours of flight time before landing in Miami. After checking through Immigration and reclaiming our checked bags, we proceeded through Customs. Unfortunately, from there, after we put our bags on the re-check belt, we were let out in the unsecure part of the airport. We had to fight no less of a chaotic mob to get boarding passes for our stateside flights.  Regrettably, my boarding pass failed to indicate that I was TSA Pre-check approved, which delayed us almost to the point of missing our next flight. We just made it to the gate as the last of the passengers were boarding our flight.

We flew from Miami to Charlotte, NC on US Airways (which claimed to be part of American Airlines). Finally, we were afforded an opportunity on the layover in Charlotte to get something to eat for the first time that day. When we boarded the next flight bound for Memphis, TN, things didn’t go as planned—the plane broke down. Is it important to be able to shut all of the doors securely? Evidently, it was, so we were delayed an hour and a half on the plane while maintenance attempted to fix the problem. At one point, three rows of passengers in the middle of the aircraft had to deplane so maintenance workers could rip up some of the floor to access parts also being approached from underneath. Eventually, we took off way late.

Upon arrival in Memphis, we discovered that the carryon bag that was too big for the regional flying machine on which we rode, and which had been stowed in the belly of the bird, made the trip with us as expected. However, our two checked bags did not fly with us. After standing in line at the American Airlines baggage complaint counter, we were turned away to another office in the airport that is run by US Airways (the two airlines are not completely merged yet). It was then that we found out that our bags were on the next airplane. So, at last, an hour and a half after arriving in Memphis, we were able to acquire our other two pieces of luggage.

We traveled, then, to Rebecca’s home (our daughter) in Collierville, TN. By 2:30 a.m. Guyanese time (on which we had operated for the past month), we got to bed. Sunday morning came early! We worshipped with the Collierville Church of Christ, and after that, we hastened back southward another two hours to Winona, MS—trying to stay ahead of wintery weather descending on the area. We had to buy groceries, too. Weary, we retired eventually in our own bed. Given the cold, winter weather battering the nation and the trouble of travel, it would be tempting to stay just a little longer in Guyana. However, we were weary often in Guyana, too, such as on a long, speedboat jaunt from Parika to Bartica on the humongous Essequibo River.


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