Archive for the ‘Lessons by Bonnie’ category

2014 Summary

January 6, 2015

Rebecca, Bonnie & Louis RushmorePeriodically, we published a blog, which was visited 6,300 times over the course of 2014. In the blog, we chronicled stateside visits to churches of Christ where either Bonnie or I or both of us presented biblical lessons or apprised brethren about our mission work. Whereas Bonnie spoke to ladies’ classes, I spoke to elders, preachers’ meetings, Bible classes and worship assemblies. Bonnie and I were able to travel together on a 4-week mission trip to Guyana, South America, and we posted information and pictures regularly about the progress of that effort. It was unsurpassed in personal gratification and we think in usefulness for the cause of Christ among the various endeavors in which we invest ourselves. A special program for the India Missions Conference, of which we were cohosts, had its representation on our blog, too. Readers could vicariously travel with Bonnie, our daughter Rebecca and me as we visited my uncle Mount (Rushmore) in South Dakota in 2014; I’m just a chip off the old block. Work groups that visited the World Evangelism Building in Winona, Mississippi were duly noted in the blog as well. In addition, we kept visitors to the blog up to date regarding Bonnie’s medical battle against the resurgence of pancreatic cancer. Blog readers found us through following our blog or followed links from either our Internet magazine Gospel Gazette Online or from our Facebook pages. Our blog readers reside in 80 countries spanning the globe with the largest percentage of readers living in the USA, India and Guyana.

Bonnie and I participated with other core World Evangelism team members in publishing four issues of The Voice of Truth International, which is distributed in dozens of countries in numerous languages; 40,000 or more of the 116-page magazine are published quarterly. Furthermore, dozens of new tracts and several new books were published and made available stateside and abroad. Thousands of pounds of Christian literature and books were shipped overseas at no charge to the recipients. In December, Gospel Gazette Online completed 16 years of uninterrupted publication on the Internet. Thousands of articles remain archived and digitally available to anyone worldwide who has Internet connection. Work is underway for the continuation of Gospel Gazette Online in the new year.

In 2014, the Rushmore Evangelism Fund assumed the responsibility of seeing to the funding and payment for a Hindi language TV program broadcast from New Delhi, India. We have made provisions to provide financially for its continuance for a dozen years or more. This could only be made possible by the generous donations of Christian brethren here in the States.

Typically, Bonnie and I travel up to 3,000 miles monthly stateside by car as we teach or update brethren about our mission work. In addition, we usually spend three months overseas annually working in the countries of India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Singapore and Guyana. Both stateside and travel abroad were impacted in 2014 by Bonnie’s medical condition as she continues to experience difficulties from prior surgeries and now that her cancer returned. Two days before we were to board airliners for a 9-week mission trip to four Asian countries, we got the bad news that Bonnie needed immediate medical treatment for a suspected rebounding of pancreatic cancer, which proved to be the case. Bonnie continues to undergo a battery of treatments, and every day is a challenge for both of us, with Bonnie, of course, bearing the brunt of it all.

Summarized, 2014 was a good year in which we feel that we made a difference for the cause of Christ. Daily, adapting as necessary, we continue to make a difference in the service of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Voice of Truth International and Gospel Gazette Online continue unabated, of course, in partnership chiefly with sister Betty Choate, Jerry and Paula Bates, and Byron and Gay Nichols. Typically, we still go to the office/warehouse weekdays to help with shipping and a myriad of other behind the scenes that make the ministry in which we are involved successful.

We are thankful to the sea of Christians who make it possible for us to do what we do for the cause of Christ in the USA and across the world. Thank you for your prayers.

New Beginnings

December 20, 2014
Bonnie with boy in his home (Mandalay, Burma 2012)

Bonnie (Mandalay, Burma 2012)

Saturday, December 13, Bonnie and I were to leave from Collierville, TN for Cleveland, TN. First, though, I had the car serviced at the Chrysler dealership in Collierville, which turned out to be an unexpectedly lengthy endeavor taking 3½ hours; it may be high time to resort to quick oil changes along our routes of travel – the kind where one does not even have to get out of the car.

Leaving much later than I had hoped and having a 6-hour journey, we arrived at the home of sister Barbara and brother Robert Wright around 7 p.m. They waited supper for us, and they treated us to a fine meal at Outback. As always, they treated us royally as they hosted us in their home.

The next morning, we worshipped with the Central Church of Christ in Cleveland, TN. Bonnie as feeling well enough and taught a ladies’ class, while I made our mission trip PowerPoint presentation to the auditorium class. I presented a biblical lesson during worship. Afterward, an elder and a deacon, with their wives, and the Wrights treated us to lunch at O’Charley’s. After visiting some more with the Wrights in their home, Bonnie and I departed for our evening appointment with the Ooltewah, TN Church of Christ.

We were guests overnight with sister Cathy and brother Winston Stringfield; he is one of the elders. This family always invites us into their home and makes us part of the family. Again, I made my PowerPoint presentation about our 2014 foreign mission work. Monday, we meandered through Tennessee, a piece of Georgia and across Alabama back to Winona, MS; we arrived after dark.

Wednesday evening, we attended Bible class with the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS. Bonnie was exhausted and in pain. She fared better on our weekend jaunt than she was faring since our return. Of course, each day, we spent part of our time at the office/warehouse, post office, banks, etc. Bonnie is putting in a third to half days before she resorts to the house for rest. Each evening her health weakens.

Friday, Bonnie resumed chemotherapy in Jackson, MS. Her blood counts have returned to near normal. The oncologist made some more adjustments to Bonnie’s medicines in hopes that some of the pain can be alleviated without side effects. In about four weeks, Bonnie will have another CT scan to reevaluate the cancerous tumor on her pancreas.

Resuming some of our stateside appointments during a slow time of the year is one of the new beginnings, and we will be able to evaluate how well Bonnie is going to be able to travel in the states by car. The second new beginning was the resumption of chemotherapy. Time will tell how long these treatments will continue, as presently no decision has been made.

Bonnie has been working on the next issue of The Voice of Truth International, and I have been working on my new book about fundamentals of the faith. Our daily efforts have been ongoing with whatever modifications have been necessary and are not part of new beginnings. A happy note, the insurance company with which we insured our mission trip tickets refunded the purchase price, which permitted us to recover the entire ticket costs and return the funds to the foreign travel account. Between the cancellation of the tickets and the insurance refund, we recovered nearly $10,000; only the visa expenses and, of course, the cost of the insurance was lost.

Thank you for your continued interest in us and our efforts for the cause of Christ. May God richly bless you and us, too.

One Step at a Time

December 12, 2014
Bonnie & Louis on a Jungle Path (Myanmar, 2012)

Bonnie & Louis on a Jungle Path (Myanmar, 2012)

“One Step at a Time” is an old timey hymn that so adequately describes the march on which we humans find ourselves as we come nearer to eternity with every passing moment. The first stanza reads, “One step at a time, dear Savior: I cannot take any more; The flesh is so weak and hopeless: I know not what is before.” These words describe our halting steps of late as Bonnie and I tackle her treatment to battle pancreatic cancer – again! The third stanza speaks, “One step at a time, dear Savior: O guard my faltering feet! Keep hold of my hand, dear Savior, Till I my journey complete.” Reminiscent of Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (NKJV), Bonnie and I trudge forward. The fourth stanza concludes, “One step at a time, dear Savior: Thou knowest all of my fear; One word from Thy heart, dear Savior, And Heaven’s mansions appear.”

On Thursday, December 11, Bonnie concluded 28 weekday, daily radiation treatments; the effects of the radiation may continue working as well as producing side effects for up to another six weeks. For parts of seven weeks, Bonnie and I were residents of Hope House of Hospitality in Jackson, Mississippi so that we did not have to experience the wearisome and costly trek 90 miles each way, back forth daily between Winona, MS and Jackson, MS for Bonnie’s radiation and chemo treatments. The days were characterized by pain, fatigue and nausea, punctuated with time spent on office type duties accomplished with the aid of our two laptop computers.

Chemotherapy commences once more on Friday of next week, December 19. The punishment inflicted on Bonnie’s body by simultaneous treatments of radiation and chemo resulted in fallen blood counts, which led to the temporary suspension of both types of treatment. After that, she continued to receive radiation, but chemo was suspended until after the completion of radiation. We are hoping that without radiation therapy and only receiving chemotherapy, Bonnie will begin to feel better. Some of the ongoing problems are related to her original cancer surgery, and doctors and she are still attempting to find a happy resolution through the balance of medicines, etc.

This week, we managed to accomplish several feats. Shortly after our arrival back in Winona on Thursday, our printed Rushmore Newsletter for November arrived at our doorstep. Thursday afternoon and evening plus Friday morning, we were able to process it for mailing and take it to the Post Office; we mailed 950 pieces. I was able to finalize preparation of several tracts for printing – to be printed in India for use primarily in the USA. Bonnie and our daughter Rebecca wrote the final two articles lacking for the publication of the December edition of Gospel Gazette Online, and I published it to the Internet this evening; in addition, I prepared and sent emails to over 1,600 subscribers to Gospel Gazette Online, who live across the planet. I also published to the Internet the November Rushmore Newsletter and sent emails to over 600 subscribers to it.

Bonnie and I also restocked our suitcases for a weekend trip, which means we first had to launder the clothes that we had been wearing during our final week at Hope House in Jackson, MS. We, likewise, stocked our car with literature and loaded the equipment with which we travel to acquaint congregations stateside with our mission work and teach or preach biblical lessons, too. We drove to Collierville, TN to have supper with our daughter and spend the night. Tomorrow, we will get the oil changed in the Town and Country before heading to Cleveland, TN.

Sunday morning, I will make a PowerPoint presentation about our mission trip in February to Guyana, South America to the auditorium class of the Central Church of Christ in Cleveland, TN. During morning worship, I will preach a biblical lesson. If Bonnie feels healthy enough, she will teach a ladies’ class that morning, too. Later, we will travel to the Ooltewah, TN Church of Christ whereupon I will make my PowerPoint presentation about our mission work once more. This will be our first and longest car trip to visit stateside congregations since Bonnie relapsed with pancreatic cancer. The holidays always interfere with making appointments this time of the year, but after this journey, we will reassess Bonnie’s ability to accompany me on these outings as we schedule more appointments in the near future.

Bonnie feels the best and does well especially when she sleeps. The many hours of driving tomorrow and the days to follow on this jaunt will afford her plenty of rest time as we travel. As long as I don’t join her in a little shut eye along the highways and byways, and as long as we stay out of everyone else’s way and they stay out of our way, Lord willing, it will all be okay. Thank you for your continued interest in us and your prayers as well, particularly regarding my dear wife Bonnie.

First Weekend in August

August 4, 2014

To my surprise, I was able to publish to the Internet on Friday evening, August 1 the August Edition of Gospel Gazette Online. It is not uncommon for the publication to be late, available well into a new month, and it has been several months behind sometimes in the past. Then, we notified the nearly 1,500 subscribers that it was ready. Immediately, hundreds begin poring over the pages, followed by the arrival of new subscription requests as well as subscription cancellations. This is a labor of love to which Bonnie and I have devoted ourselves for 16 years so far.

Saturday, one phone call that I received commended Gospel Gazette Online and requested a digital copy of my book The Spirit Summarized. It has long been out of print, but it is available in PDF format. I walked him through the procedure of going to the website (www.gospelgazette.com) and following the link for the Digital Library. There, one can find 80 issues of The Voice of Truth International and about three dozen books (i.e., study books, commentaries and sermon outline books) at no charge to the user. Simply call up any title in which one is interested, and then save it to one’s hard drive or other storage device. That’s all there is to it!

Once more this Sunday, and I traveled to assemble with the Indianola, Mississippi Church of Christ. For Bible class, I taught about the topic of “Pain & Suffering.” For both worship periods, I preached about “The Ministry of Angels.” During the evening, we took a look at the biblical references to “the angel of the Lord.”

Monday, Bonnie and I both dined with preachers and their wives in Clinton, Mississippi. Afterward, we all retreated to the meetinghouse, and I spoke to the brothers while Bonnie addressed the sisters who were present. I have more personal delight teaching and preaching (and writing and foreign missions) than anything else I could imagine – certainly more enjoyment than I could derive from such things as amusement parks and traditional recreational activities.

Tuesday, we will be back at the office. Bonnie and I are the only ones of the Winona World Evangelism Team in Winona for the month of August. The Bates are oversea, traveling to countries on two continents. Betty Choate is in California. A tractor-trailer with seven pallets of books is coming in the middle of August, but Bonnie cannot help me, and the rest have scattered. We will be calling upon interested brethren to help – or it will just take me a little while. Wednesday, we will be in Jackson, MS again for a follow up appointment with Bonnie’s surgeon. We keep keeping on with an eye on the heavenly horizon while busying ourselves as best we know how in the service of our Lord.

The Seminar Finale

March 1, 2014

 

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Bonnie & Little Ones

Bonnie & Little Ones

Friday, February 28 was our last seminar in Guyana for 2014, and it was hosted by the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ in Linden. We put on two programs, one during the day and one that evening so that we could accommodate Amelia’s Ward members who worked different shifts or came from area congregations. Joe Latchmenarine, Bonnie and I taught numerous times between the two sessions.

We finished packing for home and showered starting at 11:30 p.m.! All of that addressed, we had about 30 minutes to rest before leaving at 1:30 a.m. Guyanese time (i.e., two hours different from CST) for the airport. We ended up arriving 45 minutes before the airport opened, even though check-in for the international flight was supposed to be three hours prior to departure.

In a couple of days we will post a summary of our trip. Our next task is to travel three airplanes over the course of a very long day to land within two hours of our Winona home.

Canesville, Guyana Church of Christ

February 27, 2014

 

Canesville Church of Christ

Canesville Church of Christ

On Thursday, February 27, brethren Joe Latchmenarine and Nigel Milo as well as Bonnie and I ate breakfast together in the dining room of our New Amsterdam hotel. Shortly thereafter, Joe took a minibus to Georgetown. A little bit later, Nigel and Bonnie and I took a little stroll around the heart of the downtown. We can’t go anywhere in Guyana except that one or more persons recognize brother Milo; two people today greeted him by name as we ambled along. While browsing (i.e., window shopping), Bonnie bought a couple of plastic hairclips to replace one that broke since we came to Guyana the first of February. Earlier in the morning, Nigel replaced the front license plate—again! We broke two front plates in our four weeks of gallivanting across the nation.

Not long after returning to the Little Rock Hotel & Suites, we were joined by brother Michael Hooper. He brought some fish per the request of Nigel’s wife Jasmine. The four of us had lunch together at the hotel.

Then, we parted from one another. Bonnie and I with brother Nigel at the helm drove persistently for about two and a half hours to our next seminar location. We worshipped with the Canesville Church of Christ on the outskirts of Georgetown. The building has no electricity and is in a rough part of town—rough because there are no paved roads and no road maintenance, but also rough because of rowdiness after dark. We, the preacher and attendees needed to be out of the area before sunlight faded.

Men's Study Session

Men’s Study Session

There were a total of six persons there besides the six of us. Brother Joe met us there, and sister Jasmine and Zab came in from Linden, too. We commenced with a combined session of men and women with me speaking. Bonnie taught ladies for two sessions while Nigel and I taught the men for two sessions. Joe taught a combined session in conclusion. The preacher, Zab, Nigel, Joe and I sat outside the building on a stoop or on the ground for our sessions.

According to design, we six went to a fast food chicken place to have supper together as guests of Bonnie and me. Bonnie, Jasmine and I also availed ourselves of dessert—ice cream cone or Snickers ice cream bars. Having done all of the damage we could do there, we returned to Linden to rest and ready ourselves for the final seminar program tomorrow at the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ. We will conduct the seminar from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and again from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. so that we can accommodate brethren who may be working at their job at one time or the other.

One more day of seminars will conclude 15 seminar locations in 28 days. We will leave for the airport at about 1:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. The time went swiftly, and we have mixed feelings about going “home.” We trust that our efforts have met with God’s approval and proved useful for the edification of Christian brethren throughout Guyana.

Kildonan Church of Christ (Guyana, South America)

February 26, 2014

For two evenings (February 25-26), our team conducted a seminar at the Kildonan Church of Christ on the east side of the Berbice River. We lodged Monday through Wednesday in a New Amsterdam hotel.

Tuesday morning, we taped television programs in New Amsterdam for the program hosted by Michael Hooper, Evangelist. Brother Nigel also spoke on live radio that day. Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, Nigel, Joe, Bonnie and I spoke numerous times to a goodly crowd of brethren from various congregations in the vicinity. As in every place to which we took the seminar through the country over the past four weeks, our lessons were well received and brothers and sisters in Christ were edified. They already long for our return next year; this was my fourth year in Guyana and the third year of our annual, nationwide, mobile seminars for the edification of the Lord’s church throughout the country.

Pictures include snapshots of television taping, produce being loaded onto trucks from boats and fields, presenting copies of Strong’s Concordance to Gospel preachers, make-do spur-of-the-moment scaffolding for repairing light fixtures, and road’s end at the border of Guyana and Suriname at the authorized ferry for crossing the Corentyne River. This trip, we have been to the Guyanese borders of Suriname and Brazil, as well as coming very close to the Venezuelan border.

Two more seminars remain before we conclude our month’s long labor here and return to the USA. We are satisfied that we have been useful tools in the hands of God. Our earnest desire is that God may be glorified and that brethren throughout Guyana may be edified.

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