Tuesday evening July 5th, Rebecca and I pulled into my driveway in Winona, MS around 4 p.m. She had spent her birthday in the car with me traveling back from two Sundays of my preaching appointments in Florida. Wednesday was a catch-up day on so many levels and in so many ways. Thursday began the 2-day World Evangelism Annual Team Meeting in Winona. Several brothers and sisters in Christ traveled hundreds of miles to share field reports and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow stateside and foreign missionaries. Among the diverse efforts discussed to disseminate the Gospel at home and abroad were jail and prison ministries, radio, TV, Internet, foreign Bible schools, and overseas campaigns.
Among those present were Betty Choate, Paula and Jerry Bates, Rebecca and Louis Rushmore, Barbara Oliver, Gordon Hogan, Larry Murdock, Janet and Wayne Barrier, James Lee, Barbara and James Jones, Joey Barrier, Baron Vander Maas, Ellen and Collin McKee, Madolyn and Gene Gibson, Robin Dunaway, Sadie and Therman Hodge, Dennis Larson, JoAn and L.T. Gurganus, and Gay and Byron Nichols. We are loosely affiliated, besides all being faithful members of the Lord’s church; amenable to the respective elderships under which we serve Jesus Christ in our various capacities and labors for the Lord, we nevertheless cooperate as opportunities present themselves to further the spread of the Gospel worldwide. Directly and indirectly through foreign brethren alongside of whom we work for the Lord, this crew makes the Gospel of Christ available to approximately two-thirds of the world’s population and participates in thousands of conversions each year.
Virtually every get-together for special occasions (and often without any special occasion) among Christians involves eating with one another. The Annual Meeting was certainly no exception to that norm. On Thursday evening, we carpooled 18 miles away to the Carmack Fish House – a longstanding, yearly tradition for us. Of course, lunches and breakfasts back at the World Evangelism Building were delightful as well.
In addition to general meetings in which field reports were presented and we encouraged each other, there were two special meetings in which core members of the World Evangelism Team participated. One of those was regarding The Voice of Truth International quarterly magazine that we publish in English and several foreign languages. The Editor, Byron Nichols is now 79-years-old, and he has opted to slow down some. Consequently, he has chosen to transfer much of his responsibilities to others. The outcome was that brother Nichols will become Editor Emeritus, Louis Rushmore will become the Editor and Jerry Bates will be the Associate Editor. These adjustments in duties will become effective with the publication of The Voice of Truth International volume 90; issue 89 is at the printers now. Brother Byron Nichols has edited VOTI for 25 years, and he will remain active with it for the foreseeable future.
The second special meeting concerned the Into God’s World curriculum effort that has been in the works for some time. Four quarters of Teen study books – a year’s worth of lessons – have been completed, and they are ready to print. The writer for the series is brother Kevin Cauley; Robin Dunaway is project manager and Louis Rushmore is responsible for layout and production. Initially, one copy each of the first quarter book will be sent out to hundreds of congregations to acquaint them with the study and elicit orders for use in 2017.
Saturday, I completed the July edition of Gospel Gazette Online for publication to the Internet, and Rebecca finished proofing it. For a change, the holdup this time was me! I was the last one to have his or her article ready.
Looking ahead to the new week, Sunday I will speak for the Bible class and morning worship of the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS; two weeks later, I will speak at the same times again. Monday, I must attend to details for printing The Voice of Truth International volume 89 in Hong Kong, printing of Into God’s World literature, etc. in Minnesota and price thousands of tracts and Bibles for another mission work that intends to saturate 100% a South Pacific island nation. Tuesday evening, I am to speak in a Gospel meeting for the Huntsville Church of Christ outside of French Camp, MS. I’m sure I will find enough worthy undertakings to fill the balance of my hours and days – so I won’t get bored!