Archive for December 2012

I Still Play with Trains!

December 28, 2012

My Trains Not often, but sometimes, I still play with trains. I am especially enamored with old, American steam trains. Bonnie and I have ridden several of them, and we have in mind someday to ride the train that runs between Silverton and Durango, Colorado.

Railroading must be in my blood. My grandfather Porterfield was a conductor on the Bessemer-Lake Erie Railroad, both during steam and diesel operation. My father and father-in-law as well as my brothers-in-law used to build and repair railroad cars. Bonnie and our children helped me over decades build a four foot by five foot railroad island table, and for several years, the easy gift for me was some train component. Some of the greatest recreation I have ever enjoyed was building the scenery and layout for our own little railroad.

My TrainsMy train set is aging, and some of the newer locomotives, for instance, will not clear the crossings and switches. With difficulty I was finally able to acquire a new, hopefully reliable engine that will pull my excursion train up the mountain and through the tunnels. Unfortunately, I had to resort to a diesel engine rather than a steam locomotive since I have had no success in finding a reliable N Scale engine to do so; I have three beautiful steam engines sitting on a siding because they refuse the assignment.

Herein are some photos of our train set, taken with my new camera that I purchased for use on overseas mission trips. That makes two digital cameras for us because with one camera and both Bonnie and me teaching at the same time, one camera is insufficient to take photos of both our classes. Sadly, Bonnie cannot go with me on my next overseas mission trip due to her recent and ongoing illness.

Inching Ever Northward

December 28, 2012

Bonnie Rushmore 2010Bonnie is inching ever northward in her recent medical procedures. Her doctor in Winona, MS sent her to Grenada, MS – 25 miles northward. That doctor eventually sent her to Oxford, MS – an hour and a half north of Winona. After procedures and hospitalization there, now she is being sent to a hospital for a procedure in Memphis, TN – about two and a half hours north of Winona.

Despites multiple procedures at the hands of several physicians and technicians, still the nature of the blockage of Bonnie’s bile duct remains a mystery. Hopefully, the 5 a.m. procedure to occur on Monday in Memphis will lead to identifying the source of inflammation that has closed the duct. Only then can appropriate treatment begin with any likelihood of opening the blocked duct.

Still at least one more procedure lurks in the future to replace the temporary stent placed in her bile duct after much difficulty over three days. Time will tell if any additional surgery or hospitalization will be necessary.

Bonnie turned 22k yellow gold prior to the installation of the temporary stent, and she turned strawberry red afterward with an allergic reaction to something, what for sure we do not know (e.g., too much antibiotics, dye in one of the tests). Invariably each year in Myanmar (Burma) she is mistaken for Burmese, and sometimes she is mistaken for a resident of northern India. Truly, Bonnie has been a rainbow of colors this year – red, white, black & blue and yellow. It’s a good thing that I am color blind – she looks all the same to me – my sweet wife and my best friend.

Due to her illness, irrespective of what the outcome of the tests is, Bonnie will not be able to go with me in February to Guyana, South America. The Christian sisters throughout the country will miss out on the good, biblical lessons that she would have taught them. I will proceed without her as long as her ongoing tests and treatments do not project anything dire. I will miss her, especially holding my hand on the planes, boats and various modes of land transportation; my first seminar in Guyana will be at Monkey Mountain, to which some brethren have determined to walk eight hours to attend.

Home at Last!

December 22, 2012

smiley-faces1Bonnie, Rebecca and I returned from the hospital in Oxford, MS to Winona, MS yesterday evening, arriving home at about 10:45 p.m. An outpatient procedure on Wednesday turned into a total of four procedures in three days and hospitalization. Bonnie is resting at home. We await the results of tests that may take up to a couple of weeks or so to be completed. Then, Bonnie will return to the hospital for another procedure or for treatment corresponding to the test results. We are very appreciative of the moral encouragement and prayers made on Bonnie’s behalf.

A Difficult Day for Bonnie

December 20, 2012

96 dpi 4x6 Bonnie Oxford MS Hospital2Today has been a difficult day for Bonnie. This morning, she received three units of potassium via IV, which burned; that took about five hours. Next, she had a repeat of yesterday, both as far as procedure and that it failed again to bridge the obstruction in Bonnie’s bile duct. Directly from that procedure, she was taken to radiology. There, that department attempted to go across the obstruction through the liver, which involved penetrating her side and liver through which a wire or catheter was placed. The obstruction was pierced, and a stint was inserted as well as drainage tubes attached to an external bag. It is still not known what is obstructing the bile duct. After consultation between doctors Friday morning, we anticipate a third attempt at the ERCP to take scrapings from which to identify the nature of the obstruction, to permanently internalize the stint and possibly to remove the so far unidentified obstruction. The obstruction may pertain to a twisted bile duct, an embedded gallstone, a tumor or other fibrous growth or cancer. I am staying in the room overnight with her again, but Rebecca is returning to our home in Winona; she will return with clothes, etc. sometime tomorrow. We do not know how many days Bonnie may remain hospitalized, but perhaps tomorrow if the obstruction can be removed without surgery we can get a better idea. Bonnie’s birthday is December 25, fast approaching. She just received pain medication and is trying to sleep.

Surgery, Doctors & Procedures

December 19, 2012

96 dpi 4x6 Bonnie Oxford MS Hospital1So far, this has been Bonnie’s week to seek treatment. Monday she had a crown installed on the tooth that she broke while eating toast abroad in Asia. Tuesday, December 18, she had a follow-up visit with her surgeon respecting her recent gallbladder extraction. Since Thursday of last week, Bonnie has been alternating between heavy discomfort and excruciating pain in her abdomen, along with corresponding symptoms. She has turned yellow with jaundice, developed a widespread rash or hives accompanied by severe itching. Her doctor ordered more blood work and a CT scan, which led him to send her to a doctor on Wednesday in Oxford, MS for an ERCP procedure. The doctor was unsuccessful in determining why her bile duct is obstructed and transferred her from outpatient to patient in the hospital there.

The homemade holiday gifts crafted with loving hands will simply have to wait and belated; Bonnie had begun but not finished making her delicious caramel corn and other party mixes. Gift cards to the grandsons will have to wait. Work on The Voice of Truth International is interrupted. Thursday, Bonnie must undergo another attempt at an ERCP by another physician to identify and remove a blockage. If that doesn’t work, then another option will be pursued.

72 dpi baptist memorial hospital oxford ms

Understandably, Bonnie was disappointed to be admitted to the hospital, and she likewise is saddened that she will spend a minimum of two nights in the hospital. Rebecca and I are lodging with her in the hospital room on one couch and one chair. This hospital is the most accommodating and staffed by the friendliest folks that we have ever encountered in similar previous circumstances. Thank you for your interest in Bonnie’s wellbeing and speedy recovery. Besides matters stateside, today we are continuing from the hospital to finalize plans for our departure in February for three weeks for workshops in Guyana, South America. We will teach lessons under the theme of “Value-Added Lessons for Christian Servants.”

My Sweetheart

December 17, 2012

Monday, December 17, Bonnie and I arrived at the dentist office before 9:30 a.m. for the installation of a crown on one of her teeth. She had broken a tooth – eating a piece of toast – while we were overseas in Asia this fall. Prior to that, we enjoyed a Burger King breakfast together just a few blocks away.

My dear wife is not recovering well from her gallbladder surgery nearly two weeks ago. She is in excruciating pain internally, and she has turned the color of a stick of butter or good quality gold. More recently, she has become increasingly itchy, so much so that I’m afraid that she’s going to dig holes in herself. Now, she has a rash spreading across her body. She has not slept well for many days, but despite these inconveniences, she has continued to work out of the Winona office of World Evangelism and this past weekend accompany me on my preaching appointments. Fortunately, she has a follow-up office visit with the surgeon on Tuesday morning. She is about at the end of her proverbial rope. We are thankful for the well wishes and prayers offered on her behalf. Anyone who loves someone knows how the pain of one’s love affects him or her as well.

Bonnie & a Baby

Vani, baby & Bonnie

Living Principles book hot off the press!96 dp 4x6 Bonnie Yangoni 96 dpi 4x6 Bonnie6 96 dpi 4x6 Bonnie20 96 dpi 4x6 Bonnie27 96 dpi 4x6 Bonnie88 96 dpi 4x6 Women

Serene Setting

December 16, 2012

ChurchSky 96 dpiSunday, December 16 found Bonnie and me that morning at the serene setting of the Old Union Church of Christ in Carroll County, Mississippi. Tucked back in the woods, accessible via that day by some soupy muddy roads a full house assembled to worship Almighty God. The weather outside was dismal at best with a steady and relentless rain, but the quiet scenery was graced by classic, old, white frame meetinghouse accented with an old fashioned cemetery. Bonnie and I are pilgrims with no special place to call our own, sometimes like fish out of water, and we have been wondering lately where we will lay ourselves to rest on this celestial ball. Like the Patriarchs who were wanderers themselves, I suppose we will inter one another along our route of travel. If we still reside in Mississippi when life for either of us comes to an end, shaded by green, leafy trees and beneath the lawn of the Old Union Church Cemetery, visited daily by deer and squirrel, our idled bodies lying dormant there will be quite satisfactory.

For Bible class, I presented my 2012 Mission Trips PowerPoint presentation. During worship, I preached From Creation Until Now. Following the assembly, all present enjoyed a fellowship or potluck meal together. Admittedly, some present probably came for the proverbial bread and fishes, like many of those who followed our Lord, but that is a start and an opportunity for both them and Christians to favorably interact with them.

Siwell Road Church of Christ, Jackson, MSNext, we made our way through the raindrops over wet highways to Byram, MS for evening worship with the Siwell Road Church of Christ, which is our sponsoring congregation for our missions ministry. We met briefly with the elders prior to the assembly, and once more I made the PowerPoint presentation 2012 Mission Trips. This congregation, too, had a finger foods get-together after worship, for which we stayed, mostly to commune with friends and brethren.

Graciously, Dana and Andy Dulaney lodged us overnight in their home. Their youngest daughter dutifully vacated her room to permit Bonnie and me to occupy her bed for the night. We are so fortunate to enjoy the hospitality of so many brethren worldwide with such frequency. This overnight stay afforded us greater convenience for attending to Bonnie’s dentist appointment on Monday in Byram. It was another good day!

New & Improved Newsletter

December 10, 2012

Rushmore NewsletterMonday, December 10, we were finally able to mail our November Rushmore Newsletter. We opted for outsourcing our bimonthly newsletter for the first time. Over the years, we have alternated between various in-house productions of our bulletin about our missions ministry. Our aging digital duplicators helped us make the leap to using our color laser printers (which is neither cheap nor fast, but it greatly improved the quality of the output). We are always weighing productivity and usefulness against costs and available funds. Finally, everything pointed to outsourcing at a price comparable to or less than other means of producing our newssheets ourselves. The bonus is that the Rushmore Newsletter never looked any better than it does now.

Owing to changing postal requirements for our type of mailing and using a different printing company than those with which we are familiar, we did not get the newsletter printed and mailed as quickly as we had hoped. We wanted to get everything just right to avoid costly mistakes at the Post Office or goof ups on the printing. Finally, three boxes of newsletters arrived at the World Evangelism Building on Friday. Remember that I drug Bonnie to the office in anticipation of a delivery? This was the delivery for which I was waiting.

Before leaving for my weekend appointments, and since Bonnie could not go with me due to her recovering from surgery, I took the Rushmore Newsletter, mailing labels, tabs and inserts to the house so that Bonnie and Rebecca (who was caring for Bonnie in my absence) could work on assembling and preparing it for mailing over the weekend. Consequently, we were able to mail the newsletter Monday afternoon.

This issue is eight pages or double the normal size because of inclusion therein of information and pictures about our recent travels in Asia for nearly two months. We think that regular editions will be half that size for about half that price. It is exciting for us to experience the things about which we write concerning our foreign travel for our Lord, and we hope that to some extent that it is exciting for each of our readers as they read about them. The Rushmore Newsletter is available in printed form sent about every two months to one’s mailbox, or it is available electronically. Requested for printed editions may be made to, and electronic editions may be found through a link in the masthead of Gospel Gazette Online ( Let me know if you would like an email notice when each newsletter has been published electronically. Bonnie and I hope that you are interested in being coworkers with us in the vineyard of the Lord.

Disappointing, Lonely Drive

December 9, 2012

Saturday, December 8th around 10:30 a.m., I aimed my car toward Alabama from Winona, MS. Unlike other weekend preaching appointments, I was traveling solo. To my dismay, Bonnie had not recovered sufficiently from her gallbladder surgery on Wednesday to make the trip with me on Saturday. Friday, though, I had taken her to the office, about an eighth of a mile from our residence, because on one hand I could not leave her alone due to her recent operation and on the other hand I was expecting a delivery at the office. Not knowing when the delivery would come, I needed to be there all day. Of course, Bonnie resumed office duties; she did lie down for a while on one of the couches. However, three of her four incisions had now bled by Friday evening.

Taj Mahal

Bonnie had been resting in bed Friday evening when she came to the living room to inform me that she had texted Rebecca to come down for the weekend and stay with her while I went to my appointments. Of course, that was the correct thing to do, but I was disappointed that she would not be traveling with me Saturday and Sunday. We had not been separated from each other for a day for decades, maybe between 25 and 30 years. Especially now that our children are grown, she goes everywhere with me stateside and abroad. We work in the same small office space. For years, it has been nearly impossible to buy her a card or a gift without her knowing ahead of time, since she and I are always side-by-side.

Naturally, I found my journey on Saturday and Sunday a lonely one. Standing at the door greeting churchgoers exiting the auditoriums where I had spoken, I found myself thanking brethren for having “us” on the Lord’s Day.

The David and Kelli Barker family lodged me Saturday night in their home. Especially their daughter Anna was familiar to me since I have been teaching her in Bible Geography classes for years at Polishing the Pulpit. It was a pleasure as well to renew acquaintance with her older sister Kayla, too. Reesey, the Barkers’ miniature Dachshund was a new friend, once the initial barking at a stranger subsided. Not long after my arrival, my new four-legged friend took a nap in my lap.

Midway Church of Christ

Midway Church of Christ

Sunday morning for Bible class, I made my 2012 Mission Trips PowerPoint presentation for the Midway Church of Christ in Trinity, AL. For worship, I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. After lunch out at the local countryside eatery, I headed toward my next appointment near Jasper, AL. That evening, I made my 2012 Mission Trips presentation to the Blackwater Macedonia Church of Christ. Both congregations received me well and offered words of encouragement. The latter church does not support Bonnie and me regularly in our mission endeavors, but it subscribes to The Voice of Truth International magazine and helps with foreign radio programs. Blackwater Macedonia has been working with J.C. and Betty Choate for many years, but since the passing of brother J.C., Bonnie and I report to these brethren regarding the work that they continue to embrace.

Sunday evening, I made my three and a half hour journey back home to Winona. Both Saturday and Sunday, Bonnie not being with me, I opted for sandwiches and brief stops at mealtimes instead of choosing something such as Cracker Barrel. Things are different when by oneself as opposed to being with one’s better half. We both dread the day when illness or death will prevent us from traveling the highways and byways of life together in the service of our Lord. (Some years ago while aboard an airliner with Bonnie and Rebecca returning from overseas, I remarked that perhaps Bonnie and I will die together – maybe on an airplane. Our daughter immediately objected, saying, “Wait a minute! I’m on this airplane!) I am so happy that Bonnie and I are making our pilgrimage together toward the heavenly hereafter!

Bonnie Recovering from Surgery

December 5, 2012

BonnieMirror 8X10 300dpiWednesday, December 5 was a special day out for Bonnie and me – not recreational but medical. We have made several visits to doctors since our return from our most recent mission trip abroad. Some of the tests that Bonnie took led her to have her gallbladder removed today. We were at the hospital in Grenada, MS by 6:30 a.m. and back at the house in Winona by 1 p.m. – minus one gallbladder – with pain pills in hand. Bonnie is in pain, but the recovery is supposed to take only a matter of days. If she is up to it, Bonnie will travel with me to appointments in Alabama this weekend. Between now and then, I need to stay with her for at least the first couple of days. Our daughter Rebecca may come down this weekend to stay with her mother if she is unable to travel with me. We are thankful that such medical treatment was not required overseas, especially in some of the remote areas to which we had gone.

If she feels a little better tomorrow or Friday, Bonnie brought things home from the office, and with her laptop computer, she can plug along on any number of things (e.g., The Voice of Truth International). Likewise, I can work on various aspects of office work these days I keep Bonnie company these first couple of days after her surgery. There are several projects on which we are working, as well as beginning preparation on our next mission trip to Guyana, February 8 through the 28th.

We are thankful for Bonnie’s recovery and good, available medical treatment. We are thankful for all of God’s blessings, both physical and spiritual. Thank you for the well wishes toward Bonnie for her speedy recovery.