Archive for the ‘Ladies’ Inspiration Day’ category

Women’s Inspiration Day

February 23, 2020

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ

Congratulations to the ladies of the Amelia’s Ward congregation for a very special ladies’ inspiration day. Glory be to God for all the hard work that was done leading up to this day. There were around 340 ladies and young ladies at this event. Some of the ladies came a day early and stayed a day longer because they were from the Essequibo coast. They had to catch a boat to get back across the 20-mile-wide river.

The ladies of at Amelia’s Ward go all out for their women’s inspiration day. This year, the colors were blue and silver. All decorations were blue and silver. Most of the ladies and young ladies wore blue or white dresses with blue on them. Most of their shoes were sparkly silver or gold. They were all well-coordinated and looked very beautiful. Great job ladies.

There was congregational singing, solos, poems, skits, Bible games and three speakers. They all did a great job. My favorite talk was about “Let It Go.” They talked about letting things go from our past and moving forward. The young ladies did a skit of letting anger, lies, worry, betrayal, denial and doubt go. It was very to the point. Of course, these things are easier said to do than it is for us to do them. We need God’s help!

We had a snack, a nice lunch and then a small Jell-O salad for a second snack. These ladies and men did a lot of preparation for this great day of fellowship and worship to our God in Heaven.

The Amelia’s Ward ladies have a women’s inspiration day every other year. They have a lot of expense, and they pay for most of it out of their own pockets. They do this with loving and cheerful hearts. I also found out today that we have sisters in the USA that were a part of this body of the Lord’s church who send them items to use for gifts. What wonderful ladies! ~ Martha Rushmore

Digital & Print Publishing

September 5, 2015

Tribute to Bonnie RushmoreYesterday (Friday, September 9), I finished and published to the Internet the September issue of Gospel Gazette Online. Also yesterday, I completed the first 2016 edition of the quarterly print journal The Voice of Truth International (volume 87). As soon as sister Betty Choate completes the cover, I will send it and the other files pertaining to it to the printing company. Last week, I sent the completed files for volume 86 to a printing company in Hong Kong. We can print color on the inside of the magazine as cheaply as printing black and white stateside by having the journal printed abroad and shipped back to us. Crazy, I know, but it’s true! The back cover of volume 86 is a tribute to my dear, departed wife and friend, laborer for our Lord, Bonnie Rushmore.

In addition, I made available on the Internet The Voice of Truth International, vol. 86 for free reading or download – months before it will be ready in its printed version. Simply go to my website for Gospel Gazette Online at Once there, select the digital library link in the masthead. You will find all of the past issues of The Voice of Truth International in PDF format, as well as about three dozen PDF books – all without charge.

Today, Rebecca, who is visiting me over the Labor Day Weekend, and I cleaned the pine tree debris off the roof, out of the gutters and from the ground where it fell. That was a long, tiresome job. Errr! Pine trees! Before that, I sprayed black rubber from a can at the outdoor base of my woodshop in the ongoing attempt to dissuade water from going under my shed walls and destroying them. That job has been on my “to do” list for maybe a year! That’s how long I’ve had the can of rubber at the ready, only lacking a ready body to apply it – me.

Now that we are all cleaned up and satisfied with ourselves, we are settling down for the balance of the day under the blessings of AC. Rebecca has brought school work with her, as well as her still incomplete PowerPoint for one of her upcoming ladies’ days at which she will be speaking. Before she returns home on Monday, we need to repot some of her plants for which I have been caring this summer and make some preparation for moving my houseplants inside before my departure for overseas in a couple of weeks from now. She may help me load the van with literature bound for Guyana, South America before I turn her loose sometime Monday. I need to haul a load next week to Nashville to place with a shipper for a Saturday, September 12 shipment. It will take about a month to arrive, after which brother Nigel Milo’s congregational sisters will prepare it for distribution to every Church of Christ in their country.

I continue to receive straggling condolences from members of the church from around the world and non-members, too, as they become aware of Bonnie’s passing. So far, around $12,000 in memorial funds have been given for the purchase of Bibles and literature to be distributed in foreign fields where she labored for the Lord. Other donations have been made to various hospitals, mission works and a university in her honor. I never imagined that we, mostly Bonnie I’m sure, have impacted or even have been noticed by so many people around the globe.

My sadness is put aside as long as I fully immerse myself in work for the Lord mostly. Those idle moments (e.g., waking in the early morn alone without her at my side, long lonely road trips to stateside appointments, songs on the radio about love, hymns about heaven or death, etc.) that trigger my despair and wet eyes. I realize that though the pain may never leave, with the passing of time, the unbearable pain will become more bearable. In the meantime, I intend to be the best servant of Jesus Christ that I possibly can be, though I am anxious for the return of the Lord or my passage beyond the threshold between the here and the hereafter.

Onward Christian Soldiers

February 21, 2015

Bonnie's Chemo TreatmentSince our last blog entry, I have worked diligently on the March issue of Gospel Gazette Online. I am waiting for submissions from two staff writers to finish it up and publish that edition of GGO to the Internet. The local World Evangelism Team members in Winona, MS as well as Gay and Byron Nichols in Springfield, MO and Janet and Wayne Barrier in Florence, AL have been working on various facets of volumes 84 and 85 of The Voice of Truth International. Volume 83 hasn’t arrived from the printing company yet, so you can see that there is some significant behind the scenes lead time involved in the production of this quarterly magazine.

Hasn’t this winter weather been interesting! No snow here, just rain, cold and some ice, but my order for printed envelopes got stranded for days because of snow in the north – half of the order stuck in Ohio and the other half stuck in Kentucky; part of the order arrived Friday and the balance is scheduled for delivery on Monday.

All of the 190 Bibles we ordered for distribution in Guyana, South America have arrived. Volunteers from the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS will be inserting into each Bible a “Basic Bible Reference Bookmark” and one of my tracts, “The One True Church of the Bible.” Young people from the congregation will accomplish this a few days from now on a Sunday afternoon.

We are thankful for brethren helping we team members in Winona from time to time.  Today, mostly youths from the Strickland Church of Christ in Glen, MS came to Winona and worked in the World Evangelism Building.  They packed books into boxes for overseas distribution, loaded a trailer with literature that is also bound for abroad and counted out tracts into bundles of 25 to fulfill requests from stateside churches. Our coworkers, Jerry and Paula Bates are sponsored by the Strickland congregation.

Thursday, Bonnie and I headed for Jackson, MS for Bonnie to undergo another (the third) paracentesis, which drains fluid from the abdomen. This time, 4.1 liters (about 8 pounds worth) was drawn off; within the last six weeks, nearly 12 liters has been removed. The buildup of fluid results in pain and nausea, and so Bonnie feels better afterward. Friday, Bonnie underwent another round of chemotherapy, a combination of two cancer drugs, a steroid and anti-nausea medicine. Bonnie became ill during treatment, but additional medicine helped.

We must return to the cancer center on Monday because Bonnie’s blood counts are very low. At that time, she will receive an injection that will aid in restoring her blood counts. The picture accompanying this blog entry is of Bonnie on Friday while she received her chemo treatment.

On a side note, our daughter Rebecca was the speaker for a ladies’ inspiration day today in Tennessee. I was mistaken when I critiqued her preaching at 3-years-old, telling her that girls don’t preach. Biblically speaking, there is an arena for public teaching of the Word of God by Christian ladies, and both Bonnie and Rebecca seize those opportunities stateside and overseas, too.

Another postscript, last evening we were alerted to a popping noise and the smell of an electrical fire emanating from our kitchen. After a few failed attempts to identify the source, finally we were able to isolate the cause, suspecting that the refrigerator was the culprit. A local handyman confirmed it this morning when he plugged the refrigerator back in and it caught on fire. No damage other than certifying that we need to replace the refrigerator, which will happen Monday while we are away in Jackson for medical treatment (see above). We have resorted to an old ice chest for the interim – not so convenient but doable, of course. We are just glad we were home to intervene in the episode for fear had we not been here, the house may have burned to the ground.

Bonnie and I remain devoted to each other and dedicated to serving our Lord Jesus Christ to the fullest extent we possibly can. Thank you for enabling us to do just that. Please continue to remember us in prayers.

My Daughter Preaches!

September 20, 2014

Rebecca RushmoreWhen our daughter Rebecca was about 3-years-old, she wanted to be a preacher. One day I found her standing on a miniature wooden chair, curlers in her hair under one of my hats, right hand outstretched, just preaching her little heart out. That’s when I told her that girls don’t preach, and she promptly and profusely cried.

Well, I was wrong. Girls can preach – to other girls or ladies. Decades later, Rebecca musters some of her schoolteacher skills and training, combines that with her Bible study and dedication to the Lord, and has taught ladies on three continents. My daughter preaches!

Today (Saturday, September 20, 2014), Rebecca was the featured speaker at a Ladies’ Inspiration Day hosted by the Huntsville Church of Christ outside of French Camp, Mississippi. She made three presentations, and according to my wife Bonnie and our coworker Paula Bates, Rebecca excelled. Apparently, all of the 64 ladies in attendance from 10 congregations were pleasantly edified. The program commenced with breakfast and concluded with lunch to feed physical bodies. In between, the sisters in Christ enjoyed a spiritual feast. Yes, my daughter preaches (cf. Acts 21:8-9).

Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ Ladies’ Day

February 8, 2014

by Bonnie Rushmore

Ladies' Inspiration Day

The ladies of the Amelia’s Ward congregation are to be applauded. For several months they have been preparing for this day – a Ladies’ Inspiration Day – a day of fellowship and study of God’s Word with sisters from other locations. Their hard work came to fruition with over three hundred ladies in attendance from thirteen congregations. The building was packed, extra seating was brought out of the classrooms and some were sitting in the doorways.

Ladies' Inspiration DayThe building was beautifully decorated to the theme “Colors of the Rainbow – Depicting the Christian Lifestyle.” Each guest was exuberantly greeted with a warm welcome. The day was filled with songs, prayers, poems and four ladies were selected to have their feet washed as an act of showing love for our sisters. One lady gave a brief lesson on the “Rainbow and its use in the Bible” (Genesis 9:12-17; Revelation 4:3). I was privileged to present a lesson on the “Parable of the Talents” with an emphasis on working together to use our talents to glorify God. Another lady presented information on “Breast Cancer.”

Ladies' Inspiration DayA mid-morning snack and lunch were provided to all attendees. The attendance was so great that by the time the visitors and their male drivers were fed, the ladies who worked so hard preparing and serving were left with nothing to eat. They planned on feeding 250 and fed about 325. It was a good day of fellowship and learning.

Ladies' Inspiration DayAs the guests left, the local ladies began cleaning and straightening the building in preparation for Lord’s Day worship tomorrow. Already, they are talking about next year’s program.

Our Separate Ways

November 3, 2013

Bonnie's Ladies RetreatThis past weekend, Bonnie and I parted company and attended different functions before converging at Rebecca’s home in Collierville, TN. Friday, I stayed in Winona and attended to the ongoing preparation and mailing of the current issue of Global Harvest. Rebecca took a day off from teaching and took Bonnie to her final chemotherapy treatment in Jackson, MS. Afterward, Rebecca drove Bonnie and herself to a ladies’ retreat in northern Alabama. Bonnie taught Friday evening and Saturday morning. This was quite an adventure for Bonnie since she had become anemic, the length of the trip that day and because of the chemo session. Cancer has slowed us down, but to date it has not stalled us; we have hardly paused.

 After the ladies’ retreat concluded, Rebecca and Bonnie returned to Rebecca’s Collierville residence. I drove from Winona to Collierville.

 Bonnie's Ladies RetreatSunday, we worshipped with the Collierville Church of Christ. I made a PowerPoint presentation about my recent three-week mission trip to Myanmar for the auditorium Bible class. For worship, I preached, “Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship?”

Bonnie's Ladies Retreat We three were invited by Jay Jones of the church there to lunch at a local Mexican restaurant. Thereafter, we returned to the meetinghouse for its 1:30 p.m. second worship period. We heard a young man preach who was interviewing for the pulpit work with the Collierville Church of Christ.

 When we returned to Rebecca’s house, Bonnie took a nap for nearly two hours due to her extreme tiredness and ill feeling. Finally, we made our way back to Winona—the home base—warehouse/office of World Evangelism. Though we had planned on attending a preachers’ luncheon and meeting in the Jackson, MS/Clinton, MS area on Monday, we opted to remain in Winona. This was prudent owing to two things: Bonnie had been feeling poorly on Sunday, and we needed to help with the ongoing preparation and mailing of the current edition of Global Harvest magazine.

 This past weekend, we separated to be more effective in the Lord’s work. We came back together and represented our work to the Collierville congregation. We may not be living up to our name as much as previously—“Rushmore,” but we still put forth a fair effort of activity for the cause of Christ.

Airport Turnaround

October 2, 2013

Marthat & BonnieThe day is about to elapse and bedtime cannot be far from now this Wednesday, October 2, 2013. Bonnie and I are at Rebecca’s home in Collierville, TN. Tomorrow around noon, sister Martha Noland will arrive at the Memphis International Airport, and at 5:30 p.m. I will depart from the same airport for three weeks in Myanmar (Burma). Martha came once more to be with Bonnie during her recovery from pancreatic cancer; she awaited Bonnie’s return home in Winona, MS from her 11 days in the hospital. Now, Martha will help Bonnie out as I am away on my mission trip (e.g., drive her to chemotherapy in Jackson, MS and otherwise keep her company, etc.).

Martha is a dear friend, who insists on being there for us and Bonnie in particular, even though we might discourage her from making such an effort on our behalf. I know that Bonnie will be in good hands in my absence. Among other things, they are going to the Family Harvest Weekend, hosted by the Collierville, TN Church of Christ at the Maywood Christian Camp outside of Hamilton, AL. I will be arriving in Yangon about the time those two make their way to camp.

We thank brethren near and far, domestic and international, for your continued encouragement. Though unable to travel together abroad presently, we plan to travel together in February to Guyana, South America for three or four weeks in April 2014.

Despite her illness, Bonnie is a remarkable Christian woman. Besides maintaining a near full schedule at the office, bolstered by days punctuated with restful moments when required, she travels extensively with me stateside. Bonnie’s last chemo treatment is November 1, the same day on the evening of which she begins a two-day ladies’ retreat near Huntsville, AL. A popular phrase might well be reworded to say, “You can’t keep a good woman down!”

Skinner’s Garden, India

October 28, 2012

Skinner's GardenFriday, October 26, 2012, we boarded a jet at the Bangalore airport, en route to Hyderabad. Hours later, we boarded a turboprop airplane bound for Rajamundry. Half an hour late departing and arriving half an hour late, nevertheless, brother Samuel Raja and other brethren greeted us immediately upon our entry into the Rajamundry terminal. From there, an hour’s journey by land, we arrived at Skinner’s Garden, children’s home, widow’s home, church building, Bible school, vocational school, Gospel literature print shop and farm.

MarripudiThat evening we left Skinner’s Garden at 8 p.m. for a Gospel meeting eight kilometers away at the village of Marripudi; we returned to Skinner’s Garden at 10 p.m. Therman Hodge preached and I exhorted (gave the invitation). Ninety-two people showed up with only about four hours’ notice. The little congregation there has its own baptistery, though no one responded this year.

Louis & Bonnie RushmoreSaturday, October 27, 2012, Bonnie did laundry in a bucket and hung it to dry outside; the water tank on the roof overflowed and drenched one side of several pieces of otherwise nearly dry laundry on the line. Bonnie also taught a ladies’ class at Skinner’s Garden with 32 women and girls in attendance. That evening, I spoke at Peddada for a street meeting; 92 combined Christians and denominationals attended. Of those attending, 29 came with us on the Skinner’s Garden bus; the bus was supposed to hold 15 people! Two expressed interest in baptism and local brethren are following up with them. The preacher for this congregation died, and his son is training to be a preacher to resume the work of his father in that village.

Therman HodgeSunday, October 28, 2012, we worshipped in the morning at Bikkavolu about 10 kilometers from Skinner’s Garden. Therman preached and I gave a message for the Lord’s Supper. The attendance was down by 30-40 due to people being away for a holiday, but the building was full – possibly around 150 attending. Upon returning to Skinner’s Garden, we were able to participate in the concluding of worship services at Skinner’s Garden; Therman led the closing prayer.


A little after 7 p.m., we left for a meeting at Medapadu. The congregation assembled in a building still under construction. The bottom level where we assembled was to be the residence for the preacher, and the top level would be the assembly hall when completed. Women sat in the main room, and men sat in an adjoining room off to the side. Electrical wires (220 volt) were strung haphazardly overhead. The power went out briefly, but with my mini laptop, it posed no problem for me to see my notes as I preached.

Medapadu baptismOne woman wanted to be baptized, but she wanted to be baptized with her husband who was not present. When another man wanted to be baptized, the assembly adjourned to the communal bathing and washing ramp to the local river – a couple of blocks away through the maze of houses in the dark of night. Upon arrival there, the woman who expressed interest in baptism met us there with her husband and 17-year-old daughter – all of whom were baptized. A total of four were baptized in the ebony cloak of darkness with only a flashlight and the headlights of a car to illuminate the baptismal pool.

Skinner's GardenThat concluded our stay at Skinner’s Garden this year. We were able to encourage brethren and acquaint non-Christians with the Gospel of Christ. Some of those with whom Christians have been working obeyed the Gospel while we were present. Annoyances but really insignificant were the bug bites, irregular electricity, scarcity of water and the pink, ceramic pedestal sink that dumped the basin water at our feet to run along the base of the wall to a hole to the outside of the building. School at Skinner’s Garden for most children was not in session due to a widespread outbreak of chicken pox among the kids; some were hospitalized.

Bed & Breakfast Bounce — Mississippi to Tennessee to Arkansas and Back

February 20, 2012

Saturday, February 18, Bonnie and I awoke in Collierville, TN at our daughter’s home. We arrived the night before, poising ourselves for Bonnie to attend the ladies’ inspiration day with the Collierville Church of Christ Saturday, before aiming our car toward Sunday appointments in Arkansas. Rebecca also extended hospitality to Bob and Martha Noland at her bed and breakfast; the Nolands spent a few days with Bonnie and me in Winona, MS following the Freed Hardeman University Lectureship.

Early Saturday evening, we arrived at the home of Garry and Melissa Polk near Center Ridge, AR. They are farmers and the parents of four grown children. Formerly dairy farmers, they are now beef farmers. Garry is a hopeless romantic; he gave Melissa a new hay rake for Mother’s Day and a new John Deere tractor with an enclosed cab for Christmas. Melissa was thrilled with both.

We are always well received by the congregation, and we enjoy our time with them. For Bible class, I presented by PowerPoint Into All the World in 2011. For worship, I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. Following lunching with the Polks on a delicious pork roast and trimmings; Melissa was a little concerned that the preacher may have led to overcooking the roast, but it was fine.

Sunday afternoon, we argued with the GPS as it directed us southeast to our northeast evening destination. Lo and behold, going over the mountains instead of around them immediately cut 30 minutes from our travel time. Since when does the selection “fastest route” permit the device to opt out of hilly, curvy roads? Sometimes, GPS doesn’t have a clue! One time in Alabama, we literally ended up traveling through a cow pasture with cattle up close and personal because there were road signs on either side of the path.

Sharon Murphy had homemade cookies awaiting us upon our arrival at her and Gevan’s home outside of Imboden, AR. That evening I updated the congregation there with Into All the World in 2011. Afterward, we returned to our own bed and breakfast, Rebecca’s home in Collierville, TN. Monday, we went back to our base of operations in Winona, MS. In the weeks ahead, we will be in Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama.

Majoring in Preaching, Minoring in Plumbing

November 15, 2011

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Bonnie noted in her travel diary for Tuesday, November 15:

Once again Louis was asked to speak on a particular topic. It seems that a new false doctrine is affecting the Lord’s church, and P.R. wanted Louis to refute it. He had a copy of the book that promotes this false doctrine. So, Monday evening Louis skimmed the book, and during part of Tuesday morning’s seminar session he discussed some of the false doctrines taught. Then, he taught No Hermeneutical Gymnastics, Please! and The Church Divine, which reinforced the truth and further refuted the false doctrine. Classes were from 10 – 5 with an hour and a half break for lunch. Much to my surprise, we returned to the Douglas home for lunch. Shelia fixed our evening meal as well.

Every false doctrine among some of the members of the churches of Christ makes its way to India and other foreign venues as well (e.g., antism, liberalism, etc.). Even when false teachers cannot gain a following in America among many Christians, printing a book and sending it abroad infects numerous Christians with such heresy. I cautioned the Indian church leaders before whom I spoke for the three-day seminar not to believe what they hear just because a white-skinned, English speaking, American Christian says it (1 John 4:1)! I reminded the brethren of impending personal, individual accountability before the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). About 60 Christians left the Lord’s church and formed a separate congregation to practice the heresy of Jay Wilson and his erroneous doctrine declared in his book Cleansing the Inside of the Cup.

Also excerpted from Bonnie’s notes:

On the way to the Douglas home, we stopped at a hardware store to purchase a new showerhead for our bathroom. The one there is clogged and almost useless. Upon arrival Louis replaced the showerhead and the screens in the faucets in our bathroom. It was a minor investment for us to make compared what the cost of a hotel for the several days in Bangalore would have been. Shelia was astounded that Louis was capable of such endeavors. It would take at least two weeks for a plumber to come, and Douglas does not know how to do such things.

We discussed until a late hour with Douglas proposed plans P.R. Swamy and he are considering about replacing the Bangalore Bible Institute with an international quality college in which the Bible is taught. The first step is relocating from the site on Davis Road to someplace peripheral to the city center; it is anticipated that the sale of the current property should net sufficient funds to repurchase property elsewhere either with suitable facilities or to build on a lot adequate campus buildings. The church meeting place would accompany the move. The courts must officially decide whether the present real estate may be sold and whether a purchase may be made elsewhere. Then, the legalities and a host of other considerations respecting some type of institution of higher learning must be explored carefully.

Wednesday, seminar classes resumed, during which I continued presentations from my book The Church Divine, which emphasizes that the New Testament church is divine while discussing a number of topics. In conversation between sessions, the preacher of the breakaway group and the three other brothers accompanying him wanted to know why a respected India brother translated and printed the book noted already for its false doctrine if, in fact, the book teaches false doctrine. I assured them that I share that question and will be making my own inquiry of that Indian brother. This topic would not rest, and I agreed to review the book in more detail and forward that information to brother Swamy for translation and distribution.

Bonnie was teaching a ladies’ class the last session of the day, and P.R. tried to collect me and leave, until I reminded him that Bonnie was teaching a class and not with us yet. It took us three trips on successive days to the little hole-in-the-wall mom-and-pop store to get all of the correct pieces to finally replace two facet screens and the showerhead (once to get the showerhead and two facet nipples with screens, secondly to return one of the facet nipples and screen and order a bigger one and thirdly to retrieve the larger facet piece).

Thursday, the seminar concluded at 1 p.m. Before the seminar began on Thursday, two women and a man were taken to Davis Road Church of Christ for Christian baptism. Brother Swamy took us to a Chinese restaurant to which we had been in previous years often before while in Bangalore for lunch. Beside that establishment, we always find our dessert at a Baskin Robbins; Bonnie and P.R. each had one scoop, but I had two scoops of the sweetest, best tasting butterscotch ice cream I can remember. Afterward, Bonnie and I were deposited back at the home of Douglas and Sheila.

Around 5 p.m., P.R. called to say that he was on the way and be ready; trying to be ready for whatever the venue might be, I took my bag with the minicomputer and whatever else we thought we might need, not knowing to where for what purpose we were on the move. We knew there was a possibility that we be having a home study as we had last year. Instead, brother Swamy took us to Sheila’s workplace whereupon he exited the auto rickshaw and she boarded it. This new trio headed to a shopping district, and Sheila asked us what it was we wanted to buy. We were surprised because we had not expressed to anyone a desire to buy anything and nothing occurred to us to purchase. Therefore, we window shopped, and yes, we did buy some items – some clothes for Bonnie, some scarves and some trinkets for our grandchildren. Finished with our little shopping spree, we found an auto rickshaw to take us to Davis Road.

Shortly thereafter, we boarded a rented car to take Sheila (Douglas had to be out of town with the children’s home for which he is the director), Saroja and P.R. out to eat at a restaurant of their choice – another Chinese eatery! Twice in one day I had Chinese chicken and noodle soup. This time, though, I had some tasty roasted chicken slices.

Friday was moving day for us again. We packed our suitcases, weighing them to ensure that we did not exceed the combined allowable weight of 44 pounds per bag, and that our carryon bags weighed no more than 15 pounds (difficult when the empty bag weights seven pounds). After breakfast, we resorted to our rooms where we proceeded to catch up on computer work.

Around 11 a.m., Saroja and P.R. arrived bearing gifts of a necklace, earrings and hair clips for Bonnie. We returned the gesture by bestowing upon them a jade bracelet for Saroja and a little jade elephant for P.R.

Brother Swamy and I also settled accounts. I failed to put a cap of expenses ahead of time on our participation with brother Swamy this year, assuming it would cost about what it did last year, $1,000. I was shocked at first when on the last day of our visit to Bangalore that P.R. said, “You owe me $2,000.” He readily produced figures to validate the itemized expenditures, and brethren always have a good explanation for the funds expended. Prior to our arrival, the program we had discussed was to travel to Namakkal and Velur as we had the previous year, but to my surprise (why am I continually surprised?), the program was completely different than what we had discussed. Travel for preachers attending the seminar from afar, their lodging, food, hall rental, video and still photographers, video production and mailing, our transportation and food comprised the figure that P.R. uttered – all of it valid and needful expenses. We gave him additional funds, too, for printing tracts.

Next, we headed for the airport in time to permit us a two-hour window ahead of our scheduled departure. Note Bonnie’s observation from her notes.

Sri Lankan Air disputed our international luggage weight and informed us we were 5.5 kilograms overweight. Louis reminded them that we were international travelers and what were we supposed to do with extra bags upon arrival to Asia if they were not honored as we travel among the various cities in India. They finally informed us they would make an exception this time, but in the future upon landing in India, we would have to pay extra baggage weight for all flights. Upon reflection, I would think that since Sri Lanka and India are two different countries that this flight would qualify as international travel! Besides, other airlines when shown that our tickets were purchased as part of an international travel plan, do not hassle us about extra weight. I suppose in the future we need to limit ourselves to one checked bag and one carryon (weighing less than 15 pounds) to avoid this hassle. However, I simply do not see how we can manage this as I need one set of clothes for Myanmar and a different set of clothes for India, besides our teaching materials that I usually leave at our last destination. We typically bring books and tracts to leave with various individuals as well as some crackers and cereal bars for our consumption while traveling. This allows us to pack at least one suitcase inside another for our return trip home.

Finally, we made our way through the various processes required to leave India (e.g., immigration and security) to our departure gate. We had just finished availing ourselves of the nearby restrooms and were about to look for a cold drink to buy when our plane began boarding – an hour earlier than scheduled! To our surprise, we arrived in Sri Lanka at about the time our plane had been scheduled to depart from Bangalore. Perhaps, I thought, Sri Lanka was trying to compensate for Indian Standard Time! No, I was informed by our hostess Lilani Thomas in Sri Lanka that rather than an hour late like Indian Standard Time, Sri Lankan Standard Time is customarily only a half hour late.

We rented a small van taxi without air conditioning, which in hindsight was not my brightest move, and spent more than double the time in flight trying to navigate the many miles through congested roads to our destination. Our driver didn’t speak English, and we could not get our phones to call Lilani. Two of the three numbers I had failed to contact her as well through the use of the driver’s phone, but fortunately a third number reached her, and she was able to give him directions to near where we were going.

Our communication with the outside world is somewhat hampered. Our phone company sent us a text to advise us that our international data plan for our phone we have with it is not covered at our “present location.” We suspect that making phone calls to the US, for instance, at a hefty price is not affected, and we were able to advise our daughter through a text message that we have arrived safely at this next leg of our journey.

Sometimes friends and brethren tell us of how tired they get from just reading about our journeys. We get plenty tired from experiencing them as well, plus chronicling them tires us a second time, too. Everywhere I go in several nations, beloved brethren approach me and tell me I look like I’m tired, and I guess that I am, but I expect to rest a little along life’s pathway and then to rest eternally in heaven above.