Archive for the ‘Ladies’ Class’ category

Three Weeks in Myanmar

October 21, 2017

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The first week, Martha and I lodged in the Hotel Bo Bo Min by evening and taught by day some 30 minutes away on the east side of Yangon. Nine Chinese Gospel preachers from the northeastern area of Myitkyina convened for the special series of classes. Some of the ministers have dual Myanmar and Chinese citizenship, and they all speak the tribal language of Lisu.

Martha taught ladies, and I taught the men. My lessons over the week included crash courses on “How We Got the Bible” and “Bible Geography & Sacred History.” In addition, tracts and books in the Lisu language were provided for these attendees.

Weeks two and three, Martha and I lodged by night on the other side of Yangon in the Hotel Corolla, and during the days, we taught Christians and non-Christians who had come from throughout the nation especially for these lessons. I taught the same courses as I did during the previous week, plus English and a variety of short biblical lessons.

Over the three weeks, we worshipped on the Lord’s Day and I spoke for three different congregations in the Yangon area. We were also lunch guests one day in the home of a revered Christian brother and his family in the outskirts of Hmawbi. Not the least of our joys were the playful moments enjoyed with a certain pintsized boy and an equally precious little girl. Both are preschool, but already they have mastered more than I did in first grade—a few decades ago.

An Indian brother who directs a Bible training school in India visited while we were in Myanmar. I have known him for years, and he was the teacher of several of the Burmese evangelists with whom I labor for our Lord. Not a part of what we do, of course, we observed samples of Buddhism everywhere, including young, female monks in training—wearing pink.

Ready to move on in our two months abroad, still, we were reluctant to part from the dear Christian brethren whom we count as among our most cherished friends on earth. I have grown to love them over the past decade, and Martha and they became fast friends. Friday evening, October 20, Martha and I winged our way across a time zone or two to Singapore to be with more Christian friends and brethren. We struggled to reload our suitcases, and we don’t dare buy another thing or accept any gifts; otherwise, we may have to check into getting luggage racks installed atop an airliner or two!

We appreciate and continue to covet prayers on our behalf as we travel overseas. Martha and I, Lord willing, will return to the USA on November 21.

Robert’s Bush

March 4, 2017

96-dpi-4x6-roberts-bush-3Friday, March 3 was spent in earnest labors on the next Rushmore Newsletter, the February edition of Gospel Gazette Online (yes, I’m late) and a forthcoming issue of The Voice of Truth International. I finalized the efforts of Rebecca (back in the States), Martha and me on the Rushmore Newsletter, and I sent it digitally to a printing company in Michigan. Subsequently, I sent our newsletter information over the Internet to over 700 persons, some of whom responded almost immediately with congratulations on our marriage, which took place on New Year’s Day this year.

96-dpi-4x6-roberts-bush-1I also prepared and sent the next color postcard to be printed by the same firm. One side of the card shows Martha and me in a flat-bottomed boat, wearing ponchos in a pouring rain, with the tide out and experiencing difficulty getting to shore; the back of the postcard contains information about our mission work.

96-dpi-4x6-roberts-bush-2Saturday, March 4 marked the final 2017 Annual World Evangelism Guyana Nationwide Workshop for this year. It was hosted by the Robert’s Bush Church of Christ. It assembles about an hour from our base in Linden. That was Martha and my 16th seminar this year and over the past six weeks.

96-dpi-4x6-roberts-bush-4Several congregations were represented. Nigel Milo, Martha and I, as at other locations, taught all those present. Brother Milo and I took turns teaching the combined classes as well as classes for the men. Martha taught the ladies classes.

Though this year’s workshops throughout Guyana have just ended, we are already anticipating next year when we will do it all again, Lord willing. Martha has turned out to be a natural, consistently placing the teaching of the Word of God above what is unfamiliar and challenging to her in the surroundings and backdrop of an overseas destination. I think that brethren we encountered have benefitted from the effort of all three of us. However, we are edified and uplifted as much or more than anyone we have visited in Guyana. In any case, to God be the glory!

Kaituma Mouth

February 17, 2017

Still in Region 1, Wednesday, February 15, Nigel Milo, Kishore Etwaroo, Martha Lynn and I parted from Port Kaituma aboard a small wooden speedboat on the Kaituma River. Just getting to dockside despite being in a Toyota car is a journey all itself, with all of the bouncing, dipping, side-to-side jerking about traversing what passes for roadways. One would think it impossible to drive in one side and out the other side of moon-crater sized, muddy water and sludge filled pits. That was a modest description of the “good roads”; only military-grade trucks with tires half a story high and suspension slung as high as men dare tackle the “other village streets.”

A few miles out of town, the boat operator had us transfer to another, faster wooden watercraft, which he had ready at his riverbank home and business. As we got under way, the speed was such that the wind made it impossible for many minutes to even open our eyes—until we were able to satisfactorily adjust ourselves to the blast of air that even wrapped around our eyeglasses and pummeled our eyes.

96-dpi-4x6-kaituma-mouth-2
Nearly two hours later and some 80 or so miles upriver, we were approaching our venue for the afternoon when the bottom fell out of the sky. Fortunately, we had encased our backpacks in big, black garbage bags at the outset to protect them and their contents from potential downpours. We, however, were drenched, even though we attempted to shield ourselves with our ponchos as the boat sped across the waterway.

Yet raining, we approached our midafternoon destination of Kaituma Mouth, a riverside settlement of 465 sprinkled in the rainforest there. Since the tide was out, which dramatically affects even rivers connected to the ocean, several feet of mud, also several feet deep, hindered us from reaching shore conveniently. Brother Kishore “went for a walk,” thigh high in mud to fetch a flat-bottomed skiff to transfer us from the river to the “wharf” via another open boat through which we walked. We walked across the boats to bridge the gap between the river and the shoreline.

96-dpi-4x6-kaituma-mouth-3
After a primitive break at the edge of the village, we were delighted to find an assembly of approximately 50 souls in the meetinghouse of the Kaituma Mouth Church of Christ. About 11% of the village population came together—a figure much better than usually one finds of church members in ratio to a local populace.

96-dpi-4x6-kaituma-mouth-4Nigel and I each taught a couple of lessons, and Martha taught two lessons. Brethren were thankful for our presence and requested that we return again next year and spend more hours with them, during which we could present even more teaching from God’s Word.

The fifth boat in which we were for the day carried us the remaining 14 miles to Mabaruma. Altogether, we traveled 90 miles or so between Port Kaituma and Mabaruma. We went up one big river and turned left at the next big river. Lacking a suitable infrastructure of highways in Guyana, travelers must resort to small aircraft and watercraft on the numerous waterways.

96-dpi-4x6-kaituma-mouth-1
Upon our arrival in Mabaruma, we bedded down in the Broome Hotel, where we would spend two nights. The following day, we would begin our next seminar with the Mabaruma Church of Christ. Martha and I both experienced firsts for us on this segment of our trek through the interior of Guyana. She achieved more firsts than did I, and Martha has shown herself to be more than capable and willing to go where we need to go and do what we have to do to serve our Lord in this segment of the vineyard. That “city girl” has gone “country”—or one might even say she’s my “jungle girl.”

Bath Settlement Church of Christ

February 11, 2017


96-dpi-4x6-bath-settlement-6Saturday, February 11, 2017
, the Bath Settlement Church of Christ hosted our next seminar in the late afternoon and the early evening. All five of the churches of Christ in that region participated and were represented at this workshop.

96-dpi-4x6-bath-settlement-2Martha Lynn Rushmore taught ladies’ classes for two hours while brother Nigel Milo and I taught men’s classes for an hour each. In addition, Nigel and I each spoke for an hour to the combined assembly of brothers and sisters. We all enjoyed singing hymns together, we prayed together and we were pleased with general fellowship and refreshments. The three of us presenters and the auditors, too, were all edified and encouraged.

96-dpi-4x6-bath-settlement-11Afterward, brother Milo chauffeured us back the three hours or so to Linden, his home and our base of operations for our annual seminars across all 10 regions of Guyana, South America. What a way—and I can imagine no better way—for Martha and me to spend our honeymoon!

Camping in Guyana

February 10, 2017

January 24—We arrived at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport near Georgetown, Guyana, South America about 10:30 p.m. Brother Nigel Milo met us and drove us to his home in Linden, which I call Milo’s Bed and Breakfast.

We were met at the door by sister Jasmine Milo, sporting her beautiful smile while welcoming Louis and me. She also had a late supper of eggs and toast. We enjoyed a couple of hours with lots of laughs as we were getting to know one another. They also have a ten-year-old son Zab; he is the sweetest young man. We are now claiming him, too, as one of our grandsons.

January 25—Now to the camping trips we have been taking. First, we flew to the Village of Paramakatoi, all seven of us—including the pilot. The small plane had holes for air in the windows, but they also let in water from the rain clouds through which we flew. What a new experience for me! Many of the villagers, cows, donkeys, horses and dogs (the scrawniest I have ever seen) came out to greet us. The people in this area are Amerindian.

The first place we saw was the local one-room “Wal-Mart,” post office and airport. One entrepreneur named Sam runs this business. He was very kind to us. We told him we had just gotten married, and he gave us a wedding gift of two pineapple fruit juices.

The Amerindians have very few amenities. We have more in the States when we go camping. At least when we go camping in the US, we have flushing toilets! Instead, we had outhouses. There certainly were no dishwashers either. We took our showers, pouring water on us from a bowl dipped from a bucket; then, we lathered up with soap and rinsed off in cold water—unless we heated it on the stove. Yes, we stayed in a nice corner room with windows on both sides; this was the AC. We also had a mesh mosquito net to use at night to keep from being bait for the insects, especially the mosquitos. They seem to love Louis and me. We must be very sweet! Louis is so glad to share me for their breakfast, lunch, supper and snacks. Isn’t he so nice?

The village guesthouse had toilets, but they did not work because the piping needed to be fixed. So, to the outhouse we went. This was not bad except at night. I did not like going out at night because I was somewhat worried about the slithering reptiles.

96-dpi-4x6-paramakatoi-2On our way to the church building, we had to walk in pouring down rain. We were soaked, even though wearing our rain ponchos—my yellow, Pittsburgh Steelers rain gear prompting Louis to say that I looked like a duck. We spent Wednesday night singing and listening to Louis and brother Nigel Milo who each gave one talk on Jesus Our Example.” The brethren were very welcoming to us. The singing was really beautiful, and we sang old songs with which I grew up. This brought back a lot of childhood memories.

96-dpi-4x6-paramakatoi-12January 26-27—On Thursday and Friday mornings, all three of us taught lessons. I had the ladies, and I really enjoyed them. I had some children, and I did a short Bible story for them to make them seem special and part of the class. I could not leave them out. With the children, I did the “Days of Creation,” and for the ladies, we did the Book of Ruth. The ladies sang the chorus of two songs for me in their native, tribal language. I pray our efforts at Paramakatoi were prosperous for the Lord.

After Friday’s session, we flew from Paramakatoi to Mahdia airport, and then we got on board another plane to fly back to Ogle. From Ogle, brother Nigel was our chauffeur back to Linden—to the Milo B & B. Louis says, “We fly low with Milo.”

January 29—On Sunday, we worshipped with the brethren of the Amelia Ward Church of Christ, where brother Milo is the preacher. Louis taught Bible class, and the preacher from the Coomacka congregation did the lesson. The brethren from this congregation came for worship. Louis spoke Sunday evening.

January 30—On Monday morning, Nigel, Louis and I, along with some of the ladies from church, went out to do some door knocking and Bible studies that were set up. We split up in threes. We worked until about 12:00.

That same evening, I had the pleasure of teaching the ladies’ class for the Amelia’s Ward congregation. We had a very good class, and I had a lot of participation. We also studied the Book of Ruth, and then I asked them some Bible trivia questions. I felt so rewarded.

I cannot believe that while teaching I did not realize how hot it was in the building. I was told by one of my coworkers that I would not realize how hot it was while teaching. She was right. I cannot believe how fast the nervous jitters went away as I started teaching. This has been a great lesson for me.

My prayer and my goal is always to glorify God. My second goal is to edify those around me.

Monkey Mountain Church of Christ

February 9, 2017

96-dpi-4x6-monkey-mountain-4Since my last blog entry, Martha Lynn and I have completed two more venues in our 6-week foray across all 10 regions of Guyana in our annual nationwide seminars. Of course, the director of the program and national of Guyana, the esteemed brother Nigel, was our co-speaker and brothers’ keeper—no one could take better care of us. On Saturday, February 4, the three of us headed out from Linden to the village of #77 Housing Scheme on the country’s southern coast abutting the Atlantic Ocean—about a 4-hour trip by car—literally, flying low with Milo!

96-dpi-4x6-77-housing-scheme-2Several congregations of the Lord’s church converged in the bright pink meeting house for an afternoon and evening program. Nigel and I spoke, but the occasion did not afford Martha an opportunity to speak to the ladies who were present. This site enlisted participation by some brethren and congregations who had not previously participated in the seminars in former years; brothers and sisters in Christ who join us annually for these workshops attended, too.

96-dpi-4x6-77-housing-scheme-1
Afterward, we three drove back to Georgetown and deposited ourselves in a hotel for the night, owing to a morning departure from Ogle by small plane to the country’s interior destination of Monkey Mountain. Had we returned to Linden, we could have quite possibly met ourselves coming and going at the same time, and there would have been no time for rest over the night. We slept about 15 minutes from the quaint, little airport.

96-dpi-4x6-monkey-mountain-1Sunday, February 5, Nigel, Martha and I along with a few other passengers set out for the bush aboard a small single-engine aircraft. Not everyone on board was headed to the same place. Therefore, the flight landed first at Mahdia, second at Paramakatoi and finally at Monkey Mountain. That being the case, next year, we may try to hop a flight between Paramakatoi and Monkey Mountain, which is not a scheduled route. That would save time if not be a better use of funds also, since ordinarily passengers would need to use Ogle on the coast as the pivotal point for flights to both endpoints. (I don’t think we will save money—only time—because the posted rates on a placard show fees comparable to flying back to Ogle anyway.)

96-dpi-4x5-monkey-mountain-1The cloudy sky hung low on Sunday. I was fully aware from previous flights in past years over the mountainous jungle terrain that foreboding summits below punctuated the unseen landscape under our permanently fixed landing gear. Guyanese pilots fly no higher than necessary to clear the highest peak over which the intended route takes them. While sometimes the dense forest canopy lies thousands of feet below as we glide across the horizon, at other times the earth rushes to greet our craft as we sashay over a mountain top. At other times, we fly adjacent to a mount that was not necessary for our puddle-jumper to hop. In the dense fog, I was hopeful that we would see the ground before the ground found us.

96-dpi-4x6-monkey-mountain-5

Descending to a few hundred feet, low enough to clear the white fluffy obstruction afforded by fog and rainy weather, we banked left and lined up for touchdown on the dirt landing strip of the Amerindian village of Monkey Mountain. Aside from the cows, donkeys, chickens, sheep and people adjacent to or often on the runway, we were greeted first by the wreckage of a twin-engine plane that had crash landed some months before just off the airstrip, coming to rest in the high Savannah weeds.

96-dpi-4x6-monkey-mountain-696-dpi-5x6-monkey-mountain-2We were greeted by brothers and sisters in Christ who had interrupted their Sunday morning Bible class to meet us at the plane. First, we registered at the police outpost, manned by two coastlanders, who were as much out of place and conspicuous as were we three travelers. Then, we scurried over to the weathered and worn, blue wood-framed meetinghouse of the Monkey Mountain Church of Christ for a.m. worship. Brother Paul Daniels, a native of the next village over of Paramakatoi, is the local preacher, and he ably preached the Word of God. All ages were represented in the small gathering of the faithful, who greeted us and remembered me from a previous visit, as well as from The Voice of Truth International of which I am now the Editor. I see to it that about two tons of Gospel literature are shipped to Guyana annually, and brother Nigel Milo and the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ in Linden with which he labors for our Lord distributes it—including The Voice of Truth International—to congregations throughout the country.

96-dpi-4x6-monkey-mountain-10The village guesthouse was not ready for us upon our arrival; the caretaker may have been somewhere on the mountainside tending to the subsistence crops on which villagers largely depend for their sustenance. Therefore, Nigel, Martha and I camped out for the afternoon in the church house; Martha stretched out on the rough, narrow plank of a primitive “pew” with her feet sticking out of a window port—no screen or glass therein, but only wooden shutters for protection and for security when no one is around. (She has forbidden me from posting that pic!)

96-dpi-4x5-monkey-mountain-2Monday and Tuesday, we three spoke mornings, afternoons and evenings. Over the course of the two calendar days, Martha taught four ladies’ classes while Nigel and I each taught about lessons apiece either to the men or to the combined group. Once more at this venue, we together presented about 18 lessons before readying ourselves for our journey onward and elsewhere.

96-dpi-4x6-monkey-mountain-396-dpi-4x6-monkey-mountain-796-dpi-4x6-monkey-mountain-9Our lodging accommodations were improved over my last visit to Monkey Mountain. This year, an outside brick shelter had been constructed, which contained a shower stall as well as a toilet in its own stall; water was available from a storage tank. Sleeping quarters were similar to a tractor shed in the USA—concrete slab, exterior walls open to the inside at the eaves and partitioned rooms inside with half-height walls (over which someone more agile than I am could foreseeably climb). Whereas previously there were no doors on the rooms, homemade wooden doors now complemented single-bed sheets slung over a wire atop the doorways. Our room would not securely bolt. Inside, a simple bed with a clingy mosquito net was the only furniture. (Over the years, it seems that everything crawling, slithering and flying wants to bite me. This year, however, I have a secret weapon—Martha! They like to bite her even more than me. This year, I brought along bait with me!) Wood window shutters when opened provided our only light during the day; at night, a solar-panel-fueled battery powered two strategically placed florescent bulbs hanging from the highest rafter and lighting each cubicle below.

96-dpi-4x6-monkey-mountain-12Martha and I simply loved being at Monkey Mountain as well as communing and fellowshipping with precious Christian brothers and sisters, who are now dearer friends to us than the mere acquaintances they had been to me upon the conclusion of my last visit years ago. I am married to an Indian princess, or so it would seem, after I purchased a feathery headdress for her. One of the incidental perks for such short persons as Martha and me is that, comparatively speaking, we are tall among many of the Amerindians. Like Bonnie and me previously, Martha and I love little children and babies—to borrow, spoil and give back when they cry or need fed or changed.

96-dpi-4x6-monkey-mountain-896-dpi-5x6-monkey-mountain-1Martha and I both were reared in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern part of the United States, and though she has an affinity for sandy, coastal beaches, too, we both love mountains. Paramakatoi and Monkey Mountain rise to a maximum of 3,000 feet.
When it came time to leave Monkey Mountain on Wednesday, we waited endlessly it seemed at the police compound adjacent to the runway for the flight scheduled to arrive “TBA.” The announcement of the plane’s arrival was the sound of its engine as it approached in the sky. When it landed, it was greeted by people pouring from their homes and schoolchildren vacating their classrooms on the far side of the “airport” to watch and wave. Waiting and waiting for about five more hours was our lot as we were ushered from our plane in another mountain town of Mahdia while our aircraft was de-seated and the void replaced with barrels of fuel to be ferried to mountain villages and mining camps; other planes carted all manner of merchandise and goods. Before dark, the fleet of varying sized planes returned to Mahdia to transport the final cargo—passengers—to Ogle on the Atlantic coast outside of Georgetown.

96-dpi-4x6-monkey-mountain-11Finally, dirty and tired, a couple of hours or so later, we arrived back in Linden, our base of operations and the home of the Milo family. Thursday and Friday are down days, during which we will do some much needed laundry and fire up our computers and attack some “office work”—Gospel Gazette Online, The Voice of Truth International, etc. Saturday, we’ll be off again! We are having the time of our lives, and Martha and I are delighted to contribute to the edification of fellow Christians and non-Christians, too. Most of all, we purpose to glorify God!

Moco Moco Village

February 3, 2017

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Martha Lynn and I were in Lethem and Moco Moco Village in Guyana, South America from January 31 through today, February 3. Before boarding our Cessna Caravan for the return trip to the coastland, Martha and I crossed into Brazil long enough to have our picture snapped beside signs marking the international border between the two nations.

We lodged for several days in the Takutu Hotel in Lethem, which is undergoing major renovation and expansion. Tuesday evening after our arrival in Lethem as well as morning, afternoon and evening for the next two days, Martha and I communed with the Moco Moco Village Church of Christ, which hosted our seminar in that area this year. Several visitors from that Amerindian village and brethren from other congregations of the Lord’s church attended, too. This time out, Martha taught ladies classes on two occasions, as well teaching children within the larger classes also. It was my pleasure to speak nine times, and brother Nigel Milo presented about the same number of lessons as I did. Our theme this year is “Emulation of Jesus Christ.” Before leaving on Friday, we also visited the Lethem-St Ignatius Church of Christ.

We have now completed two of our 16 confirmed locations for 2017 for our seminars throughout all 10 regions of Guyana; additional venues are pending. Tonight, we are washing clothes, but tomorrow we will travel to #77 Housing Scheme along the coast and south of Georgetown—about a four-hour automobile ride from Linden, which is our base of operations. Tomorrow evening, Lord willing, we will lodge in a Georgetown hotel to position us for a morning departure on Sunday by small plane to be with the Monkey Mountain Church of Christ for several days for our seminar.

Other than being tired—I hate to admit that our ages may be slowing us down just a little—our only other complaint is a probable urinary tract infection, which we are treating with antibiotics brought from the USA for such or a similar scenario. We will increase our water intake, too, and drink down some cranberry juice.

Well, it seems that Martha Lynn and I are honeymooning in tropical Guyana, having wed on New Year’s Day. We have not only adjusted well to each other, since we have been friends already for decades, but we have thoroughly enjoyed everywhere we have gone. We are particularly elated with the warm reception that we have received from brethren in each congregation that we have visited. Yes, we are spoiling a few children along the way before returning them to their parents. We are still having a blast!