Saturday morning, April 23, Bonnie and I headed north from Winona, before turning west from Memphis, and then heading northwest in Arkansas. Our destination – Batesville, AR and specifically the Southside Church of Christ. There are brethren worldwide that we have yet to meet, which simply means that there are oodles of friends in Christ with whom we are not acquainted – yet. Such was the case respecting the Southside Church of Christ just south of Batesville. For the Bible class, I made my PowerPoint presentation, Motivated by the Cross, about our trips in 2010 to India and Myanmar (Burma). During worship that morning, I made my PowerPoint presentation about Bible Archaeology; it is a faith-building lesson that reassures Bible believers that they have correctly placed their confidence in the Word of God. Afterward, Bonnie and I were absorbed by the extended Bob Harris family into their Sunday holiday lunch: tasty ham with a variety of complementary southern dishes and accented with scrumptiously delicious desserts, including pecan pie and a chocolate swirl pudding cake (don’t know the real name of it). I feel like we have made some lasting friends from among brethren previously with whom we had been unacquainted. The Southside church made an initial financial participation in the work for the Lord to which Bonnie and I devote ourselves daily.
By 2:00 p.m., Bonnie and I headed beneath ominously dark clouds across ribbons of secondary highways between flooded fields toward our evening appointment. Fortunately, when we arrived at the meetinghouse of the Biggers, AR Church of Christ early, the doors were unlocked. Bonnie and I got inside and set things up for the evening service just before the bottom fell out of the angry, black clouds overhead. Some of the members were not as fortunate, and they sported raindrop Pokka dotted shirts and blouses upon entrance to the building. The vigorous storming relented by the conclusion of services.
The brethren, though few in number these days, are always delighted to see us and we to see them. The antique auditorium with curved pews dating to 1931 and able to seat 185 or so accommodates from eight to 15 precious souls today. Nevertheless, percentage wise, the local membership represents about 5% of the village population. Their preacher, legally blind, led singing completely by memory. He loves my PDF books, in part, because they can be enlarged on a computer to where even he can read them. Everything about the Biggers Church of Christ encourages Bonnie and me. We are proud to be the recipients of monthly support in our missionary work from this gallant congregation.
Services over, Bonnie and I headed for our own Bed & Breakfast of sorts, our daughter Rebecca’s home in Collierville, TN. Monday, we wended our way through some shopping on our way back to Winona. Back at the house, we finished the afternoon planting some flowers we picked up while out. That night, again came the severe thunderstorms, and especially the areas in which we had been Sunday suffered the brunt and fury of the ill-tempered weather. Rebecca’s hometown, too, was buffeted last night with tornadic activity, but North Little Rock, AR took a beating, and several people lost their lives. The South has endured a record number of tornados and severe weather and the bad weather season is barely begun, but more is forecast to come. Our sleep of late has been uneasy due to the severe weather, including tornado warnings, but alas we must be ready for glory at all times in all places.