Archive for the ‘Rushmore Newsletter’ category

Leoma Church of Christ

September 25, 2018

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Visitors from the Leoma, Tennessee Church of Christ came our way recently and spent two days helping us at the World Evangelism Building in Winona, Mississippi. Adults and children worked alongside of us Tuesday and Wednesday, September 18-19. Some bundled tracts in anticipation for calls from them for church tract racks and outreach. Others helped pack books into boxes for distribution without charge to stateside preacher students. Several helped process the newsletter mailing for sister Betty Choate. (Martha and I mailed our newsletters the week before, and Jerry and Paula Bates will mail their newsletter this week.)

Per usual, otherwise, the five of us in Winona fulfill daily orders for books and tracts in the USA, plan our overseas mission trips, visit congregations in the USA to apprise them of their investment in our labors, work on The Voice of Truth International and Gospel Gazette Online and a zillion other things behind the scenes to foreign missions.

Today, we met with a new team member, Cloyd “Ben” Frock. He has newly moved to a congregational work in Arkansas, but he will be participating with World Evangelism from afar as he has time. His expertise and experience promise to bring a whole new and much needed interface with users of our extensive base of Christian literature via the Internet. In the months ahead, the face of the online presence we already have will be upgraded and modernized. In addition, we will make available as much as we can the hundreds of books, tracts and magazines we have to work seamlessly on all contemporary media devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, etc.).

Volume 97 of The Voice of Truth International is on its way to Winona and ought to arrive sometime this week. Volume 98 is being printed, and we are beginning to work on volume 99. The October edition of Gospel Gazette Online has been completed, and once the proofing and corrections are made, we will publish it to the Internet. Brethren, we are never idle—always covered up in what we do, and we thank you for making it possible to serve our Lord Jesus Christ in this capacity.

Banshee Hotel

June 28, 2018

Arriving back in Winona, Mississippi from weeks in Florida, we commenced June by processing and mailing our newsletter. June 10, Martha and I worshipped with the Oil Trough Church of Christ in Arkansas; it was my privilege to speak twice on Sunday morning. We also recovered boxes of used songbooks, which we will ship to Guyana, South America for our brethren throughout that nation.

The following Lord’s Day, we assembled with the Quitman Church of Christ in Mississippi. Once again, I spoke for Bible class and preached during worship. The next day, Martha and I, along with my daughter Rebecca, headed for West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Of course, we traveled through Tennessee and Kentucky on the way.

Martha’s sister-in-law, through her late husband Bob, slipped into a coma before we could get to her home in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Only a few days before, Martha was able to talk with her sister-in-law Shari on the telephone. We visited the family for parts of two days, after which sister Shari passed away.

Wednesday, June 20, we met with the Harmar Hill Church of Christ in Marietta, Ohio, whereupon I was delighted to teach Wednesday evening Bible class. Martha’s sister and brother-in-law labor with that congregation, and we lodged with them.

Thursday, we were also afforded an opportunity visit one of Martha’s brothers in New Cumberland, West Virginia. Currently, he is battling cancer that has invaded his body. The same day, we visited the grave of Martha’s late husband, Bob Noland, in Calcutta, Ohio. We set flowers and changed the batteries in the ‘eternal flame’ lamp. We also met up with another sister in Christ and longtime friend of us both, Vera Groves.

Friday, Martha, Rebecca and I drove north to visit my father in Hadley, Pennsylvania. We also visited two of my brothers and their wives respectively in Greenville and Jamestown, Pennsylvania.

Saturday, June 23, we three spent the day with my son Raymond and his wife in Ohio. We rendezvoused with them in Berlin, Ohio—a major destination in the largest Amish settlement in the USA. We went together to a few sites in the area before dining at the Dutch Valley Restaurant in Sugar Creek, Ohio. Each trip to the region, I am elated if we can visit Amish country, especially if I can eat at Dutch Valley—an eatery that is a destination itself. Repeatedly and astonishingly, we kept bumping into brother Garry and sister Melissa Polk at the hotel in which we spent a night and at various tourist stops. He serves as an elder of one of the congregations in Arkansas which participates with us in our mission work, and I have roomed with them several times when I visited the church there.

It was at Dutch Valley that we met up with Martha’s son Bryan and his wife. The seven of us investigated more of the area before Raymond and Bryan returned to their homes.

The Lord’s Day on June 24, we gathered for Bible class and worship with the Church of Christ in Hanoverton, Ohio. Martha and Bob Noland labored with this country church for several years, and through my friendship with the Nolands, I have been speaking there from time to time since 2008. This little congregation participates with us in our mission work, and they in the past as well as on this occasion gave us used songbooks for distribution to English-speaking brethren abroad. The Hanoverton congregation had a fellowship meal especially for us. I spoke three times; the second worship began at 4:00 p.m. in this farming community. Sunday night, we rendezvoused with another of Martha’s sons at a fast-food joint in Mansfield, Ohio. We also used the stop for our supper break.

Monday, we started for home. Our return route to Mississippi took us through Cincinnati, Ohio. Immediately across the Ohio River lies Newport, Kentucky. There we paused for a few hours to go through that city’s Aquarium. Then, we continued homeward.

Tuesday afternoon, we stopped in Collierville, Tennessee to visit with the Gootam family. Ronnie Gootam recently completed theological training at a nearby school of preaching, and not long ago, Ronnie and his wife marked the birth of their first child. Though mother and father are citizens of India, through birth in the USA, their baby is an America citizen—making for some interesting circumstances in preparation for and upon the family’s return India. Visiting with them are Ronnie’s parents, Joshua and Kabita Gootam from Kakinada, India. All of the Gootams, including Ronnie’s brothers Ricky and Robin back in India, are outstanding and hardworking fellow-laborers in the kingdom of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday evening, we three weary travelers arrived back at my parsonage in Winona, Mississippi. We had made a whirlwind trip to West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and back to our Mississippi home.

Wednesday, brother Therman and sister Sadie Hodge dropped by for a brief visit on the way back to their home in Meridian, Mississippi. Also on Wednesday, coworkers and I finalized Volume 97 of The Voice of Truth International magazine and made the files available for the printing company in India. Volume 95 is the most recent edition to be circulated, and Volume 96 is in transit from India to Winona.

Thursday, Rebecca and I devoted the day to lawncare, while Martha busied herself indoors with preparing a very nice supper and other household duties. We’re bushed—tuckered out!

Throughout our travel, we lodged mostly in hotels—some satisfactory and at least one that we want to cross off doubly from our mental list of lodging places. We don’t ever want to stay there again! We slept in Mineral Wells, West Virginia; Calcutta, Ohio; Alliance, Ohio; Dover, Ohio; Grove City, Ohio; and twice in Cave City, Kentucky. Not its real name, we dubbed the lodging in Cave City as the Banshee Hotel because the elevator there screeches each time and on every floor when its door opens or closes. Not a bad stay, the Banshee Hotel provides a little extra via that amusing oddity. Incidentally, a former hotel once stood on the footprint of the current inn before it burnt in the night!

Providence, Maybe

April 4, 2017

Since Martha Lynn and I arrived in Ocala, Florida the evening of Sunday, March 19, the days have come and gone with a flurry. We have camped out in Martha’s Florida home and upended somewhat the lives of her son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren as well as ourselves as we all dwell together in the 3-bedroom ranch-style house. In addition, we have experienced a plumber’s dream come true as both bathrooms, the kitchen sink and the septic tank have all cried foul at the same time! If the residence were a boat, we might sink with the kitchen and bathroom leaks, and I don’t believe that there’s supposed to be a brown spring gurgling up in the yard either.

We have assembled with brethren of the Central Church of Christ and the Woodland Place Church of Christ in Ocala; the Wildwood, FL Church of Christ; and The Villages Church of Christ in Lady Lake, FL, too. The Woodland Place congregation and I pondered if God’s providence was unfolding as its preacher was unexpectedly unable to be present the day Martha and I happened to show up for Sunday a.m. class and worship; I taught class and preached. The church and I stopped short of supposing that God’s providence might also have been behind the two flat tires the preacher suffered hours away from Ocala.

Finally tonight, Rebecca and I were able to complete corrections for the March edition of Gospel Gazette Online. Thus, I published it to the Internet and sent around 1,800 notifications to subscribers around the world.

On a disappointing note, FedEx did it again—again didn’t do what it claims to have done! Once more this particular freight company claimed to have delivered packages to me, which in fact it did not. The packages apparently were delivered somewhere—where I know not—but they were not delivered to me at our Florida address. Remarkably, the useless phone menu answering system at FedEx and two different FedEx employees all tried to convince me that I had actually received the three boxes of printed material (i.e., Rushmore newsletters, etc.) and that they were on the front porch—on which I was standing while talking to FedEx employees! Then, he asked me, “Have you checked with your neighbors?”—throughout the subdivision of the extensive bedroom metropolis of Ocala! Within two days, FedEx hopes to get back to me about the packages. I hope that my poor little packages are safe and dry—as we experience relentless rain and thunderstorms!

Martha and I postponed our long anticipated couple of days to ourselves away—whatever that means—until next week because of doctors’ appointments this week. However, amid a frustrating moment or two yesterday, at Martha’s insistence, we drove to the shore of Lake Weir. We walked on the beach, and yes, Martha strode barefoot through the sand and waded all the way up to her ankles in the little waves of water. Cautiously, we scouted out the menu and prices for a possible supper meal at Gator Joe’s there at the beach.

We dined on the deck above the sandy shore at water’s edge. The wind from the lake blew our menus away twice and knocked over Martha’s glass once; other debris occasionally flew from table to table and from patron to patron. I never before over the years in my dining experiences had to hold down my wax paper in my plastic serving basket to devour my victuals! It was great, though! It was just what we and especially I needed. You guessed it, upon my first experience to eat alligator, I found that it tasted just like chicken—peppered chicken. Not sure about ordering that as my entrée, I sampled Martha’s supper and ordered a very tasty fish dinner for myself. We’ll be back.

Back at the makeshift office, sometimes the dining room table and sometimes atop our bed with computers on our laps, we work at a myriad of matters (e.g., Gospel Gazette Online, The Voice of Truth International, etc.). Martha was quite proud of herself, as was I of her, too, as she completed another good article for use in one of the publications we publish or for which we write. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Martha’s like a sponge, a fast learner on everything new with which I acquaint her from mission work to publishing. She’s truly my helper in every aspect of my life.

Since I Returned

December 8, 2016
Martha Noland & Bonnie Rushmore

Martha Noland & Bonnie Rushmore

Monday, November 21, I returned to the USA. While only one calendar day from New Delhi, India to Memphis, TN, nevertheless, travel time between three flights and layovers totaled around 30 hours; altogether, I was up for about 48 hours.

Besides the dreaded travel and probable jetlag, I had developed bronchitis; I introduced my international version to the domestic edition plaguing family, friends and brethren upon my arrival in the United States. Being sick compounded the discomfort of long hours and lengthy flights. As it turned out, I was in the beginning stages of illness as I returned to the USA, and I was sufficiently sick for two weeks as to impede catching up on work back at the office. I even missed one all-day preaching appointment as well as worship, too, as I stayed inside for a few days.

My daughter Rebecca, off from teaching school, not only retrieved me from the Memphis airport, but she returned me to my Winona home. There, we enjoyed one another’s company over an otherwise less than noteworthy Thanksgiving holiday. She and I were able to prepare the next edition of the Rushmore Newsletter, and I sent it electronically to a printing company for production.

Toward the end of my illness, I received a visitor; Rebecca and I picked up sister Martha Noland at the Memphis airport and brought her to Winona. She was Bonnie’s best girlfriend, and of course, a Christian friend of mine as well. She just had to “get out of Dodge,” as the proverbial expression goes. December is an especially bad month for her as the one-year anniversary of the passing of her husband Bob occurs on the 16th, and their anniversary is the 29th. The national holiday of Christmas falls on the 25th, too, which was my wife Bonnie’s birthday also. Some other Christian widow ladies and I have been helping each other limp through our emotional minefields, and Martha needed some extra crutches in December. We have developed a special long-distance friendship as sounding boards and sources of encouragement during difficult times of reoccurring grief over the loss of our spouses.

By day, Martha helps out at the office, and by night she resides in the warehouse/office apartment down the road from my residence. This past weekend, she traveled with me to my speaking appointment in Ooltewah, TN, and as it turned out, while I slept in Chattanooga, TN, she slept nightly in Ringgold, GA. We each lodged with a different elder and his wife of the local Church of Christ.

Martha and I visited Bonnie’s gravesite twice at the meetinghouse of the Old Union Church of Christ in rural, tree covered and Kudzu slung Carroll County, MS. On one of those occasions, we changed out the flowers on Bonnie’s grave with fresh, new plastic flowers to reflect the winter season. We both shed tears respecting our sorrow over losing our best friend on earth.

To my dismay, my wrecked automobile was not yet repaired upon my return, though the body shop had it for nearly two months. After getting my car back, I still had to return it – two counties beyond the county in which I live – to have some adjustments made; there remains two unrectified issues with the Town and Country van. Since my medical bills related to my accident – the hit and run – ran around $10,000 dollars, besides an equal amount to fix my car, I amended my auto insurance coverage upward.

Try as I might, I am far from catching up on work back at the office. I did manage, however, to ready the December issue of Gospel Gazette Online for publication. As soon as my daughter completes the proofing – later this week, I will publish and advertise it to subscribers and readers of my blog and Facebook postings. Tomorrow, a tractor-trailer is scheduled to deliver several pallets of literature to the World Evangelism Building in Winona, MS. Incoming are copies of volume 90 of The Voice of Truth International, the next issue of Global Harvest and tracts; these items were printed in India this time. Brethren from three area congregations have been enlisted to help unload and place in the warehouse these tens of thousands of literature. We are thankful for all of the help and the encouragement. Our prayer is that everything that we do will lead to glorifying God and edifying our fellow man.

Work Day, Load Day, Boy Song Leaders

March 31, 2016

loaded vanWednesday, March 30 was a multifaceted day. First thing, brother Jerry Bates and I loaded my van from the back bumper to the front seats with literature and Bibles; the seats fold completely under the floor, and I readied them for this purpose before I left the house. Included in the load were about 2,000 copies of volume 86 of The Voice of Truth International, the one with memorial information for Bonnie Rushmore on the back cover. These will be distributed to every congregation in Guyana, South America and used for outreach among non-Christians. Also, thousands of tracts and 40 Bibles are in the mix, and these are being sent on behalf of a congregation in Florida to a missionary they support in Mabaruma. Thousands of additional tracts, hundreds of books (mostly for preachers and church leaders), songbooks, lectureship books, miscellaneous Christian books, communion cups and suchlike are aboard as well. My little freighter will haul all of it to a shipping company in Nashville, TN for shipment to Guyana.

Rushmore Newsletter March 30Around 10 a.m., several Christians from the Huntsville Church of Christ outside of French Camp, MS arrived at the World Evangelism Building to help prepare the Rushmore Newsletter for mailing. Counting sister Paul and brother Jerry Bates and myself, there were a total of eight of us. Ages ranged from a precocious 10-year-old to “none of your business.” Together, we made short work of the job, enabling me to get it to the Post Office the same day. We rewarded ourselves with takeout pizza that I fetched from the local Pizza Hut.

In addition, I rewarded myself with a little nap back at the house, though I didn’t actually go to sleep. I was unable to sleep very well the night before, and besides, I wanted to clean up after the day’s activities, especially loading and reloading my van. The tire sidewalls were touching the pavement and the tires were rubbing the car body sometimes. I unloaded some things – not my shipment – and Jerry and I redistributed the weight more evenly. I still drug the bottom of the car in a parking lot later in the day.

West President Boys SongleadingWednesday evening, I assembled with the saints at the West President Church of Christ. The evening was dedicated to young boys practicing being in front of the congregation and “leading” some songs. I snapped a picture of a cutie with my camera phone. A Christian youth also presented the devotional and extended the Lord’s invitation. It’s good being with God’s people, irrespective of the occasion for the coming together. Of course, it is good to groom young people for future service and devotion to the Lord’s church.

Thursday, I start out for a several-day road trip, making a huge circle, to Tupelo, MS; Nashville, TN and Huntsville, AL. Have computer, will travel and set up my office anywhere I please. The workday and the place varies, but I live to serve irrespective of the task at hand or where it may be. Thank you for making that possible.

 

Bored, I Am Not!

March 27, 2016

March.pubI’m not a numbers man; numbers are not my friends. I much prefer alphabet characters – literary things. However, I’m about to drown in that, too. A few days ago, I published to the Internet the March edition of Gospel Gazette Online, and I am working on the April issue now. A day or so ago, the March Rushmore Newsletter arrived from a printing company, and on Tuesday the postcard inserts are scheduled to arrive from another printing company. I plan to prepare the newsletter for mailing and send it out later this week to about 1,100 readers; tonight, I published to the Internet the March issue of the Rushmore Newsletter and apprised over 600 digital recipients of its availability. In addition, I have been working on other literary projects, and it will soon be time to layout another issue of The Voice of Truth International. Volume 87 is on its way from Hong Kong, while Volume 88 is being printed now.

Later this week also, I plan to take thousands of copies of The Voice of Truth International to Nashville to a shipping company. Thousands of tracts and hundreds of books, too, will need to be hauled to Nashville. Three or four shipping barrels will be laden with Bibles and Gospel literature for Guyana, South America. Furthermore, along the way, I will be driving to stateside appointments for speaking on Sundays; first, I will be going to Huntsville, Alabama. Presently, I am populating my calendar with appointments over the next few months.

Jerry Bates has been overseas for weeks, and Paula lately went to visit grandchildren in Arkansas; Betty Choate is still globetrotting around Asian countries, and I have been in and out of the office here in Winona. One thing I refuse to do is to get or be bored!

Homeward Bound

November 15, 2015
Church of Christ (Bangalore, India)

Church of Christ (Bangalore, India)

September 23rd, I left my homeland for Asia, stopping first for parts of three days in Singapore. Upon leaving there, to Myanmar (Burma) I went, whereupon I stayed for three weeks. From there, I traveled to Sri Lanka and was there parts of three days. Lastly, I flew to India, whereupon I traveled by car, train and plane to various locations. Now on November 15th, I am on the verge of returning to the USA; I am homeward bound. Strangely, it took parts of three days to arrive in Asia, but it will only take one calendar day to return to the States – with no less hours involved than when I came to this side of the planet.

My homeward route of travel will have me circumnavigate the world – travel all the way around the earth. In addition, upon leaving Bangalore, India the plane on which I’m to be a passenger is scheduled to fly to Paris, France – the site of a recent terrorist attack and the subsequent closure of France’s borders. If everything works according to my itinerary, I will fly from Paris to Atlanta, GA, before continuing onward to Memphis, TN. That one long, long day is supposed to be November 17th. I’m ready to return home, though shortly, I must prepare for my next overseas foray, this time to South America for five or six weeks.

Brother P.R. Swamy

Brother P.R. Swamy

Today (the Lord’s Day, November 15, 2015), I met with the Lord’s church in Bangalore for Bible class, followed by worship just as Christians observed in accordance with divine instruction nearly 2,000 years ago. I was afforded the opportunity to preach (“Worshipping Almighty God with Reverence and Godly Fear”). Afterward, brother P.R. Swamy and I dined at his favorite Chinese restaurant (and one of the few eateries in India that does not necessitate setting my taste buds and stomach on fire with Indian spices). Don’t tell anyone, but we each (both of us diabetics) treated ourselves to one scoop of Baskin Robbins ice cream before returning to his home.

For the balance of the day, I expect to open my mobile office – working on the December edition of Gospel Gazette Online, working on my December newsletter and making a PowerPoint presentation to highlight my work and the recent 8-week endeavor in four Asian nations. My first appointment upon my return is the very first Lord’s Day after I get back to the United States. Of course, I will have to at least think about packing for the flight home. Hopefully, a package of Chin language Bibles will arrive Monday so I can take them back with me, as a precursor to taking them with me next year to Myanmar for distribution; my second checked bag will, then, be a box of Bibles.

Thank you friends, brethren and churches who not only have sent me abroad, but who also have made it possible for me to return home, too. In another sense, I am homeward bound, not to the USA, but the residence of our Heavenly Father. Let none of us become so attached to God’s green earth that we could better be characterized as homesteaders instead of as pilgrims on the march, looking for a city whose builder and maker is God. Let’s go to our Father’s home together!