Archive for November 2013

Team Meeting on the Road

November 25, 2013

World Evangelism Team Meeting on the RoadAmidst the wet, rainy, cold weather, Bonnie and I swung by Betty Choate’s house at 8:15 a.m. to retrieve her for our trek to Tupelo, MS for an extended World Evangelism Team Meeting. Two hours later, we arrived at the East Main Church of Christ’s meetinghouse. Waiting for us were Jerry and Paula Bates who had stayed in Tupelo overnight as they were returning from Sunday appointments in Tennessee. A little later, Robin Dunaway from Jasper, AL and Wayne Barrier from Florence, AL arrived, too.

We discussed various team related projects from 10:30 a.m. until nearly 4:00 p.m. Among items over which we compared notes and agreed how to proceed cooperatively were future worldwide publishing and distribution details for two of our magazines (The Voice of Truth International and Global Harvest), honing the speakers’ schedule for the 2014 India Missions Conference (cohosted by the World Evangelism Team and Heritage Christian University), foreign translation, publishing and distribution of books and tracts around the world, and moving ahead with the next step in the development of a Bible school curriculum for all ages (Into God’s World). Of course, we interjected lunch into the mix about 1:30 p.m. (a Subway sandwich platter, chips, Bonnie’s homemade cookies and soft drinks; I came for the chips!—in part.)

Before parting company, we transferred four cases of books from our car to Wayne’s car; we were the delivery people today from the World Evangelism Building warehouse to restock the Barriers for their appointments. Sadly, Robin Dunaway’s car wouldn’t start, and we could not bring it to life with the jumpstart we attempted; we all left him at his bidding to await help from AAA (not AA). Then, we headed for Sam’s Club (for an hour!) before pointing the old jalopy toward Winona. Betty, of course, found someone inside the store that she knew—and a conversation developed. We are thankful for cell phones, which enabled Bonnie and me to ascertain that she was yet in the store and not out in the rain somewhere waiting for us to emerge from the exit.

We dropped Betty off at her home, stopped by the office to put leftovers in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch and got home ourselves around 7:00 p.m. Our journey home seemed longer owing to the dark, rainy night and wet roads. That’s how we spent Monday, November 25, 2013. Oh, we also received a book order by phone while traveling in the car this morning, and I received email correspondence from India about the upcoming India Missions Conference in the afternoon. Our office is truly mobile!

Guyana, South America Bound

November 22, 2013

 

Why did the sloth cross the road?

Why did the sloth cross the road?

Friday, November 22 and this coming Tuesday combined, Bonnie and I are sending out 891 letters to Christians and churches of Christ. With those letters, we acquaint our brethren with Bonnie and my upcoming mission trip to Guyana, South America for the entire month of February 2014; we leave Memphis, TN on February 1 and return March 1.

In the interim, we will teach primarily Christians throughout the nation of Guyana. We will work with brethren up and down the Atlantic coast as well as from coastal areas to far into the interior along the borders of Venezuela and Brazil—and parts in between. Last year, nearly 1,200 brethren and non-Christians participated and 72 congregations were represented. To take us throughout the country in three weeks, I traveled 50 hours in airplanes of all sizes, about 30 hours by land vehicles and 5 hours by boats. Two Guyanese brethren and I conducted 9 seminars, placing our effort within reach of every Christian in Guyana, and two Gospel meetings. We taped television programs, taught in a high school boarding house and delivered Christian books to every preacher in the nation.

Bonnie was unable to travel abroad with me in 2013 because of her serious illness. However, we are traveling together overseas again in 2014. Bonnie will teach ladies everywhere we go. Our effort is intended to edify Christians (e.g., preachers, leaders and interested brethren) and help them better shoulder their share of the responsibility to evangelize their own country. What we do complements the numerous annual efforts especially by American Christians to help evangelize Guyana. We also promote harmony among the ethnicities within the Lord’s church in Guyana, as we work with brethren and non-Christians of East Indian descent, African descent and the Amerindians. Our team each year and from year to year demonstrates that goal of harmony and cooperation by incorporating on our team qualified brethren representing each ethnicity.

Our roundtrip airfare between the USA and Guyana came to over $2,600. To cover that and for the overall program, Bonnie and I need to raise about $12,000 in the next several weeks. We will need to provide for our in-country travel expenses and those who travel with us in Guyana, our lodging and meals as well as our coworkers’ lodging and meals, food for the attendees coming to our seminars, and offset some of the travel expenses of brethren coming to the seminars. If this is something in which you are interested, please (1) pray for the success of the planned nationwide seminars, (2) participate with us financially, and (3) apprise your congregation and fellow Christians so that they, too, will be enabled and empowered to ‘send the light’ afar with us. Our sponsoring congregation and the receiver of our funds is the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ, 4075 Siwell Rd., Jackson, MS 39212.

Five Pallets of “The Voice of Truth International Magazine”

November 19, 2013

Surprise! The tractor-trailer scheduled for Wednesday came Monday, November 18. Surprise! The lift gate for which we were billed was not on the truck that actually showed up. Surprise! Since the shipment arrived on Monday, Jerry and Paula Bates were still out of town from their Sunday appointments; only Betty Choate, Bonnie and I were in Winona to unload five pallets of The Voice of Truth International magazine. (Betty mused that Jerry and Paula were parked on the overpass, watching and waiting for the truck to drive away.)

Not having a loading dock at the World Evangelism Building and with no lift gate on the tractor-trailer, we had to take boxes from the back of the trailer, put them on hand trucks and wheel them into the warehouse. For almost exactly one year Bonnie has had an exemption from warehouse duty and any other strenuous activity (e.g., mowing grass), but she was cleared medically the previous Friday to do whatever she felt up to doing. Monday, Bonnie got quite a workout. I lifted down the hundreds of boxes to the ground, and Bonnie wheeled them to their destinations in the warehouse. Betty stacked them on pallets in the warehouse.

Whenever we are not involved in routine, daily matters (e.g., fulfilling stateside orders for literature and taking them to the Post Office, preparing mailings, working on future issues of The Voice of Truth International and Gospel Gazette Online, etc.), we divert our attention to such things as unloading or loading tractor-trailers with Christian literature. Volume 78 of The Voice of Truth International just received, Bonnie and Betty are already working on Volume 79.

Good News—PET Scan Negative!

November 16, 2013

Bonnie had a PET scan yesterday (Friday, November 15) at Baptist Hospital in Jackson, MS. We drove down to the appointment that morning from Winona, MS for her 9:30 a.m. registration. She walked out of radiology at 12:05 p.m.—already five minutes late for her appointment with her oncologist. I insisted, however, that she eat some lunch first, since she had not eaten in preparation for the PET scan after supper the previous evening. We split a foot long turkey and ham sub at Subway in the hospital, and we still made it to her doctor’s office before 12:30.

(The PET scan involves registration, waiting, insurance paperwork, waiting, removing clothes with any metal in them, an IV, a radioactive sugar injection, lying still in the dark for 50 minutes and being strapped down to a table for 35 minutes as the table slowly moves through a tunnel while the scanner scans the upper body.)

We waited for hours, as did many other patients for either chemo treatment or to see a doctor. Finally, it was our turn. The oncologist reported that the PET scan was completely negative—as the last one had been, too. The “chemicals” analysis was not back yet (e.g., cancer markers, etc.), but nothing remarkable was expected. We left the doctor at about 3 p.m.

Bonnie is permitted to do whatever she feels good enough to do. (That sounds like quite a license and authorization for “doing” or “not doing” pretty much anything, but I’m good with that.) She still tires easily and will have to rebuild her strength, which in part will occur naturally the more distance there is between the present and the completion of chemotherapy. In addition, Bonnie resumed moderate exercising on Saturday.

We are planning our joint mission trip to Guyana, South America for February. Last year, I participated in nine seminars in three weeks throughout the entire nation—from the Atlantic coast to the borders with Venezuela and Brazil, as well as two Gospel meetings, one day of television program taping and teaching in a high school boarding house. In 2014, Bonnie will accompany me to these various locations to teach women while I teach the men. We are looking forward to resuming our overseas mission trips together.

Bonnie and I are thankful for all of the moral support, prayers and financial assistance that have helped us get through this past year. We intend to continue applying ourselves fully in the service of Christ throughout the balance of our lives—with your cooperation and with your fellowship.

Next week, we will send out letters to Christians and churches of Christ empowering them to participate with us financially in our 2014 Guyana Mission Trip; ideally, we would like to secure $12,000 for this program. I am in the process of scheduling stateside appointments for November, December, January and March; you can help by letting me know when is the optimum time for Bonnie and me to visit your congregation (Email: rushmore@gospelgazette.com).

Sponsor: Siwell Rd. Church of Christ, Rushmore Evangelism Fund, 4075 Siwell Rd., Jackson, MS 39212. Visit us at Gospel Gazette Online (Website: www.gospelgazette.com) and World Evangelism/The Voice of Truth International (Website: www.worldevangelism.org).

Weekend in Florida

November 12, 2013

Saturday morning, November 9 Bonnie and I left Winona, MS and headed for DeFuniak Springs, FL to worship with the Liberty Church of Christ. About eight hours later, we arrived at the Best Western hotel in that city. We had crossed through parts of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, and we were both exhausted. We shared a chopped steak and baked potato in the hotel restaurant, and then, retired to our room to rest in preparation for the Lord’s Day. Immediately after finishing review of our respective lessons for the next day, Bonnie became seriously sick, but by morning she was well again and rested.

Sunday morning, Bonnie taught the ladies during Bible class, and I taught the men. She taught her chapter from her book Living Principles about “Mrs. Peter”; near the conclusion of the class, Bonnie also answered sundry religious questions. I taught my lesson “Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship?” During worship, I preached my sermon “The Purpose of Preaching.”

Brother Harold and sisters Rita and Ashley Bigham treated us to a buffet lunch. We spent awhile after we had surrendered our eating utensils enjoying one another’s company and talking. Afterward, Bonnie and I resorted to the hotel for some afternoon rest before evening worship. At 5 p.m., I presented two years’ worth of PowerPoint lesson to catch up the congregation on our foreign mission work to Asia and South America.

The small congregation is one of our supporters, and nearly every member personally encouraged us on this visit. The Liberty Church of Christ holds up our hands in foreign mission work. We are dear to each other in the service of the Lord and for His cause.

Monday, we spent the day making our way back to Winona, MS—through parts of Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. I think Bonnie held up better on the return jaunt than I did. We opted for an alternate route back that avoided metropolitan areas and that was very scenic. An hour from home, we stopped to buy groceries in Starkville, MS. Finally, we pulled into our driveway at 7 p.m.

(One of the reasons we opted for the route we pursued going back home was to try to find one of Bonnie’s missing earrings. Upon my return home from Myanmar a few weeks ago, I gave Bonnie a pair of pearl-shaped jade earrings for pierced ears. Sunday night, she discovered that one of them was missing from her ear. That night and the next morning, we searched the motel room. In the morning, we searched the car. Before leaving DeFuniak Springs, we checked with the hotel staff, personnel at the restaurant where we had had lunch on Sunday and at Arby’s where we had eaten supper. Lastly upon leaving town, we stopped back by the grassy parking lot of the Liberty Church of Christ to look there. Neither one of us expected to find a little earring lost in a big world, but Bonnie did find it outside the meetinghouse.)

Tuesday found us refreshed from the previous night’s rest. I did my exercises, and Bonnie resumed exercising some on the exercise bicycle. We had breakfast, after which we readied ourselves for the day and went to the office. There is much work to be done on every side and in every place to keep us busy for Jesus Christ. We are thankful that friends and brethren are willing to keep on Sending the Light of the Gospel, whereby Bonnie and I are permitted to keep on Taking the Light of the Gospel abroad.

The Day Is Done!

November 9, 2013

Saturday, November 9, 2013 has been a full day. Bonnie and I drove eight hours from Winona, MS to DeFuniak Springs, FL. Tomorrow for Bible class and both worship assemblies of the Liberty Church of Christ, I will teach and preach—including making my PowerPoint presentation about foreign missions trips for 2012 & 2013. Bonnie will teach ladies in the morning, too.

The final article for the November edition of Gospel Gazette Online (Website: www.gospelgazette.com) from one of our writers arrived tonight as we are in the motel room. I was able to insert it into the journal and publish it to the Internet. In addition, notification was sent to about 1,500 subscribers that GGO for this month is now ready.

We have both gone over our respective lessons for tomorrow. Now all that remains is for us to get some rest so we can be refreshed when we worship God with fellow saints on the Lord’s Day. We have prayed already thanking God for our safe travels today, as well as for the lessons we will present tomorrow. As we turn in for the night, our prayers will include the same in addition to all those brethren throughout the world for whom we pray daily. We solicit the prayers of Christians on our behalf, too.

Latest Newsletter

November 7, 2013

November NewsletterOn Thursday, November 7 Bonnie and I took our November 2013 Rushmore Newsletter to the Post Office—all 684 of them. Hundreds more Christians were notified a couple days earlier of its availability on the Internet at:

 http://www.gospelgazette.com/Newsletter/2013/2013NovemberNewsletter.pdf

Inside, readers will find articles by Bonnie and me. I wrote about my recent, 3-week mission trip to Myanmar, formerly called Burma. Bonnie updated our stateside travels since our last newsletter, and she summarized her health saga as she recovered over the past year from pancreatic cancer. I wrote an article acquainting everyone with the theme of our foreign missions as well as our love for printing and distributing Gospel literature worldwide; several books are waiting funds to permit their publication.

One featured article announces the impending mission trip to Guyana, South America on which Bonnie and I will go for four weeks in February. This effort will find us crisscrossing the nation to work with nearly every congregation of the Lord’s church in the country—as we did last year, too. It is essential to begin raising money from the churches of Christ and Christian families to permit us to buy our plane tickets soon and send advance money for the extensive program to Guyana ahead of our arrival there. Through the generosity of brethren in the USA, we will finance the travel of two Guyanese brethren with us in our travels for the nationwide mobile seminars, feed attendees and offset some of their travel expenses. Ideally, we need to raise $12,000 over the next few, short weeks.

As always, we provide an open disclosure of gifts and expenses relative to our labors for the Lord stateside and abroad. We solicit the prayers of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Bonnie and I will continue to take the light of the Gospel to the world as long as brethren continue to send the light of the Gospel through our hands. Interested Christians are invited to visit us at Website: www.gospelgazette.com, contact me at Email: rushmore@gospelgazette.com or send a monetary gift to our sponsoring congregation at Rushmore Evangelism Fund, Siwell Rd. Church of Christ, 4075 Siwell Rd., Jackson, MS 39212.