Archive for the ‘Literature’ category

Sleeping State to State!

March 17, 2017

Kentucky Barn with Character

Wednesday, March 15, Rebecca, Martha and I drove to Benton, Kentucky. I prefer to show up early at speaking appointments, and I am usually the first one to arrive. I want to be early enough to set up displays and materials as well as to make preparation for a PowerPoint presentation. I thought that we were arriving an hour or so before Bible class time at the Walnut Grove Church of Christ, but I discovered shortly that assembly time was 6:30 p.m. rather than 7:00 p.m. Nevertheless, everything worked out just fine.

Children in this congregation periodically send me cards of encouragement. In addition, brother and sister Hunt extended to us the hospitality of their home, capped off with a wonderful breakfast, too.

Thursday, we drove to Nashville and deposited 1,900 pounds of literature and some new clothes with an agent for Caribbean Shipping Service. These items will be sent by container ship to Guyana, South America. Once there, brother Nigel Milo and his congregation will distribute especially the books to every congregation of the Lord’s church in the nation.

After returning Rebecca to her home in Collierville, Martha and I proceeded back to Winona, MS and arrived around 8 p.m. It had been a long day.

Friday, we reloaded the van and headed toward Valdosta, Georgia. We made it as far as Montgomery, Alabama before securing lodging for the night.

For the past several evenings with the travel we have been doing, we have slumbered in a different state nightly: Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama. The next two nights, Lord permitting, we will lodge in Georgia and Florida! We are not traveling for the sake of traveling, but to be about the Lord’s business (i.e., speaking appointments, delivering literature for foreign shipment, etc.). Along the way, we set up office wherever we are and tend to that sort of thing also (i.e., Gospel Gazette Online, The Voice of Truth International, printing, etc.). This very night, though, Martha is searching out somewhere that we might find some respite from our overseas and stateside travels thus far this year—and we might even call it an abbreviated honeymoon!

Winter Wonderland—Temporarily!

March 14, 2017

Sunday, March 12, 2017, Rebecca, Martha and I awoke to a temporary winter wonderland in Batesville, Arkansas. After breakfast in the hotel lobby, we proceeded to the meetinghouse of the Southside Church of Christ. There, I made my PowerPoint presentation, “2017 World Evangelism Media & Missions.” The night before, I updated it to include our New Year’s Day wedding and our recent 6-week foray into the tropical flora of Guyana, South America. During worship, I preached one of my recently seminar sermons, “Emulation of Jesus Christ: His Urgency.”

As always, we were well received by the good brethren at Southside. Afterward, several members and we three dined across the highway at a quaint, country eatery; I’d eaten there before, and at that time I photographed some of its décor, including a fully set table and chairs hanging upside down from the ceiling.

Later in the day, Rebecca, Martha and I assembled with the brethren at the Oil Trough Church of Christ. This small church and we three enjoyed one another’s company as once more, during worship this time, as presented “2017 World Evangelism Media & Missions.”

Leaving our appointments in Arkansas, we journeyed to my Winona, MS home, arriving at 11 p.m. Immediately, it became apparent that we were going to have to enact “Plan B.” Some repair work to the interior of the home was not complete, but instead in full swing. It was not feasible for us to lodge in the midst of ongoing construction, and so, we resorted to the apartment at the office and warehouse for World Evangelism just down the road.

Monday was filled full with trying to catchup on a number of things (i.e., going through six weeks of mail, paying bills and working on volume 92 of The Voice of Truth International). Tuesday, we packaged and shipped book orders as well as loaded about 2,000 pounds of Christian literature into a trailer. We will haul it to Nashville on Thursday, the day after our Wednesday evening appointment in Benton, KY with the Walnut Grove Church of Christ.

We traveled Tuesday to Rebecca’s home, but I stopped in Batesville, MS to get a haircut. Had I not gotten “my ears lowered,” I would have needed a dog license for as much unkempt I had become. Thursday we will travel finally back to Winona, depositing Rebecca at her home in a suburb of Memphis, TN—Collierville. Friday, Lord willing, we reload the car and leave for Valdosta, GA for next Sunday’s appointment. If not the night before, Monday, we will drive to Ocala, FL, where we will remain for about four weeks—using it as a base of operations for visiting churches of Christ.

Tired we are. Rest we need. We hope that we are glorifying God ad edifying our fellow man.

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!

Lima Sands

February 26, 2017

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-4Friday February 24, throughout the day, I worked relentlessly on The Voice of Truth International, volume 92. Though I much prefer working with the alphabet over working with numbers, immersed in proofing and layout all day non-stop, nevertheless, leads to extreme dreariness. It was a relief of sorts that evening when Nigel Milo, Martha and I boarded the Toyota and headed toward our next World Evangelism Nationwide Guyana Workshop. At Georgetown, we took a left to cross the Demerara Harbour Bridge. Guyanese know what rivers are, and the Demerara is a good specimen of a real “river”—one and a quarter miles wide. The bridge spanning the Demerara River is a floating (i.e., anchored on barges) toll bridge with a peaked portion to permit small watercraft to cross beneath it and an additional retractable section to grant passage to larger river traffic (e.g., freighters).

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-11On the other side and not far from crossing the river, we proceeded to lodge at a “resort hotel” in preparation for continuation in the early morning (just a few hours later) onward toward Lima Sands, Guyana on the other side of mammoth Essequibo River—20 miles wide at its mouth!

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-9Friday night was a restless one for Martha and me as we made use of the modest accommodations (hot water not included). Noisy roomers adjacent our quarters and light leaks over the wall between the two rooms, from the hallway and above the curtains only contributed to our anxiousness as we awaited our 3:30 a.m. alarm to rouse us in anticipation of our 4 a.m. departure.

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-7Saturday, Brother Nigel drove the remaining 30 minutes or so to Parika, a river port on the eastern bank of the Essequibo River. By 5:10 a.m., we were aboard a car ferry as pedestrians and on our way for the approximately one hour transit across the big river, weaving through a sprinkling of islands. After disembarking and selecting a taxi, we headed over an hour away to Lima Sands, reachable for the last many minutes with extreme care over a muddy, rutty, gouged and grooved sand road.

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-6Doubtless, daily rains hampered travel for all attendees. Eventually, the little church building literally overflowed with Christian brothers and sisters. People were seated on the porch and in the yard, too! Attendance by several congregations swelled the attendance to over 100.

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-16Nigel, Martha and I presented lessons; Martha spoke to the ladies for the last hour. The program was punctuated with a lunch and snacks also. Brethren appreciated the program and look forward to repeating it next year, Lord willing, at a sister church in the area.

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-14Making a few stops along the way, we retraced our path back to Linden. We arrived, completely exhausted, about 8:30 p.m.

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-15Sunday back in Linden, we worshipped once more with the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ. Again, I taught the morning Bible class in the auditorium, and then, I preached during the evening worship assembly.

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-13Saturday we completed 14 of the 16 scheduled programs at the various venues. Two more sites this week will complete the nationwide workshop for 2017. However, there remain some locations on which we are waiting to hear back about even more seminars before Martha and I return to the USA on March 9.

96-dpi-4x6-lima-sands-12There is no better “tired” than being tired for the Lord and in His service. Personally, I’m planning on resting when I’m dead!

Rose Hall

February 21, 2017

96-dpi-4x6-rose-hall-3 96-dpi-4x6-rose-hall-4Monday, February 20 was another day that the Lord has made, and Martha Lynn and I tried to use it wisely and effectively. Finally, I was able to complete and publish the January 2017 edition of Gospel Gazette Online to the Internet. (Tuesday, I made corrections to it that my daughter Rebecca came across as she proofed it.) Martha and I set up our mobile office on the Milo dining room table and did not accompany brother Nigel and sister Jasmine along with other church members as they went out into the community with the Word of God—as they do Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week. We stayed behind to try to catch up on some of our office duties, which were hindered somewhat by our forays to all 10 regions (states) of Guyana over the past four weeks. (Two weeks remain for our efforts this year in Guyana.)

96-dpi-4x6-rose-hall-5 96-dpi-4x6-rose-hall-2After lunch, brother Nigel, Martha and I set out on a 4-hour road trip to the community of Rose Hall, Guyana, South America. Brethren from several congregations of the Lord’s church assembled in the meetinghouse of the Williamsburg Church of Christ. The building sits on the main road, unlike most of the sites where Christians assemble in the venues to which we have gone lately; sometimes in some places, especially in the interior of the country, there is no road at all!

96-dpi-4x6-rose-hall-1Nigel and I spoke one lesson each to the combined group of attendees before splitting into classes for men and women, whereupon I taught the men and Martha taught the women. This was one of those occasions in which far more sisters in Christ had come versus the number of men present. The same was true formerly from time to time when Bonnie and I traveled to various places in several countries. I’m pleased that God is served and glorified while brethren are edified, even if my wife headlines and I happen to be the opening act, to borrow terminology from the so-called entertainment industry. To God be the glory!

96-dpi-4x6-martha-marthaBy the way, Martha happened on another, younger version of Martha. I snapped a picture of the two of them together. Especially Martha makes friends everywhere she goes; she is more outgoing than I am or Bonnie was. That’s a good thing. Truly, brethren we have not met are only Christian friends to whom we have not been introduced yet.

To and from Rose Hall, and other excursions elsewhere on other days, we traveled through some curiously named villages. We drove through the Land of Canaan, the Garden of Eden, Now or Never, Rebecca’s Lust and so forth. Recently, we met a brother from the village of Free and Easy. I wonder how those hamlets derived their names!96-dpi-4x6-garden-of-eden-1 96-dpi-4x6-rebeccas-lust-1

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!

Somerville, Tennessee

January 23, 2017

96-dpi-4x6-martha-louis-somerville-tnToday (Monday, January 23), Martha and I attended the first annual mission workshop hosted by the Somerville, TN Church of Christ. We set up a display to represent publications (books, magazines and tracts) of World Evangelism as well as our foreign mission labors. It was also my privilege to be one of the speakers, during which I made my PowerPoint presentation “2016 World Evangelism Media & Missions.”

Beginning at 10 a.m., the program continued through 4 p.m. Dozens of missionaries and interested brethren assembled to encourage each other and update one another about our mission activities. It was an uplifting and encouraging day. Even lunch was a “working lunch” as three speakers spoke while the rest of us munched sandwiches and chips and slurped soup, before crowning mealtime with delicious desserts. Numerous speakers in the auditorium were followed by an open forum and a panel discussion.

Early tomorrow, Lord willing, Martha and I will fly from Memphis, TN to Miami, FL to Georgetown, Guyana, South America. We intend to speak in the annual nationwide Guyana seminars; to date, 14 venues throughout the 10 regions have been confirmed. We will be there through March 9 before returning to the USA.

May God be glorified in all that we and others like us attempt in service of our Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly, we hope to contribute to the edification of all who we encounter. We covet the prayers of the saints.