Archive for the ‘Singapore’ category

As the Calendar Page Turns

January 1, 2018

Upon our return from a mission trip in three Asian countries, preceded by a mission trip of two weeks in South America, Martha and I found ourselves wearily entering into the Thanksgiving holiday. We flew into Florida and promptly drove to Mississippi, where we were joined by my daughter Rebecca. Later after a few days at the office, Martha and I returned to Florida, where we enjoyed Christmas holidays with my three children as well as one of Martha’s sons, his wife and their three children.

December 31, we assembled for worship with two congregations not far from our Ocala, Florida home. In the morning, we once more visited the Wildwood Church of Christ, whereupon its two elders ably handled the Bible class and the preaching (1 Timothy 3:2) in the absence of their pulpit preacher. That evening, we met with the Bellview Church of Christ, my first occasion to gathering with these brethren. In both places, I left copies of The Voice of Truth International and the Rushmore Newsletter.

Upon Martha and me returning to Ocala, Rebecca apprised me of the final proofing corrections for Gospel Gazette Online, and I published it to the Internet. New Year’s Day, I notified the nearly 2,000 subscribers to the Internet journal of its availability. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, with the collaboration of coworkers in Winona, Mississippi, I was able to complete layout of Volume 95 of The Voice of Truth International. My mobile office works in Florida, too, besides working in Winona, Mississippi or abroad in South America or Asia. Internet and phone services are additional requirements from time to time, but my laptop computer do it to it wherever and whenever.

Another significant event, though resembling a typical, lackluster Saturday, today—January 1st—New Year’s Day—is the first wedding anniversary for Martha and me. How the year came and went we hardly know. I whisked Martha off to the jungles of South America within days of our wedding. In the states, we lived out of our suitcases often and once for a month as we traveled to my speaking appointments across the eastern USA. In September we spent two more weeks traversing Guyana, South America before embarking on a two-month trip to Myanmar, Singapore and India. We hardly knew what to do with ourselves with the sudden slowdown of the end of year American holidays and the turning of the calendar page to 2018.

Yesterday, I bought airfare for travel once more to Guyana. We are scheduled to be in that country from January 30 through March 6. Martha and I will participate in workshops and seminars in all 10 regions of the jungle nation. We will conduct programs for Christians and place our effort within reach of every church of our Lord. In addition, we will put on a seminar simultaneously for church leaders and workers, which will be more extensive than material for others. The workshops follow the theme, “Back to the Bible,” and the seminars will address in depth, “How We Got the Bible.

We are indebted to Christians and churches that encourage and financially participate with us in our ministry—stateside and overseas. May God bless us and every child of God as we circumspectly make our way through life on earth in eager anticipation of being invited into the house of our God forever.

Caged in Singapore

October 22, 2017

Saturday, October 21, we dined for breakfast at the V Hotel at Lavender, where we resided for our brief stay in Singapore. Walking about on the open-air level for the buffet, we happened upon a giant birdcage with chairs in it. I suppose that’s all it would have taken to cage us, since we voluntarily on a whim entered and seated ourselves. Back in our 14th floor room, we snapped a picture of Singapore from our vantage.

That afternoon, a dear Christian brother and sister, husband and wife, treated us to a nice lunch at a Chinese restaurant—followed by coffee (hot chocolate for me) and cake elsewhere. Later for supper, we walked across the street from out hotel to Burger King. Sunday for lunch, we were guests of another Christian duo at a different location at an Italian restaurant. Both couples and we relished some precious time together—discussions about the Lord’s church around the world and our respective families.

Sunday, October 22, 2017, Martha and I assembled for worship with the Lavender Church of Christ. We were impressed with the dedication and earnestness of the brethren. It was an honor to be with them as we together worshipped God. Few congregations in the brotherhood are more active in foreign evangelism than this church is. Once more, I preached “Imitating the Urgency of Jesus Christ.” During Bible class, a knowledgeable brother in Christ made a well informed and contemporarily applied presentation from Ecclesiastes 8.

Martha made new friends, and I renewed acquaintances with Christian brethren with whom I have spent time occasionally over the years. We look forward to our next return, during which perhaps we will be afforded a longer visit during which we can teach in a seminar over two or three days.

Singapore is our oasis. Monday, we continue our journey to India. There we will travel to various states until we return to the USA, Lord willing, on November 21. May God richly bless His children everywhere. I look forward to when we all will commence eternity in God’s home.

Three Weeks in Myanmar

October 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winding Down and Winding Up

September 26, 2017

Recently, Martha and I dined with some of her children (Jim, Denise and family) at Gator Joe’s on a Florida lake. What a beautiful sunset graced our suppertime delight! Of course, Martha had to get sand between her toes and wade in the water.

This past Sunday morning, September 24, Martha and I assembled with the Wildwood, Florida Church of Christ. This was my second visit to the congregation and my first opportunity to speak for this church. During Bible class, I presented my “World Evangelism Media & Missions” PowerPoint presentation. At the worship hour, I preached “Imitating the Urgency of Jesus Christ.” We felt right at home with Wildwood, and everyone paid rapt attention. It was a pleasure to worship God in spirit and in truth together.

For lunch, Martha and I treated ourselves to some deluxe Angus cheeseburgers and trimmings. Not only were they delicious, but we won’t have any such favorites for several weeks as we are abroad for eight weeks in three Asian countries. We drove a few miles thereafter to what turned out to be a dying, indoor mall. We idled at a franchise bookstore café and enjoyed the air conditioning while doing digital jigsaw puzzles on our electronic tablets.

When it was time, we made our way to the meetinghouse of the Village Church of Christ in Lady Lake, Florida. This was my second visit to this little church, and we worshipped with them.

Tuesday was a mobile office workday. I was able to publish the September edition of Gospel Gazette Online to the Internet and sundry other matters were addressed, too.

Thursday, Martha and I fly from Orlando, Florida to Los Angelos, California. From there we will fly for about 16 hours to Taipei, Taiwan, and then fly on to Yangon, Myanmar (also known as Burma). We will arrive on Saturday after nonstop traveling by jet airplane.

Three weeks later, we will fly to Singapore for about four days, before flying to India. For five weeks, we will travel to sundry places. Finally, November 21, we will return home from New Delhi to New York to Florida—all on the same day, though the same number of hours as traveling to Asia! I am looking forward to sharing some of the beautiful pictures of our travels from time to time during the eight weeks we will be gone. Please remember us in your prayers.

Utterly Worn Out!

October 22, 2016

Weary doesn’t begin to describe how utterly worn out I feel at this juncture in my trek to Yangon, Myanmar. Two hours yet to Singapore and we have already traveled 26 hours. After arriving in Singapore, it’ll still be about another six hours before we arrive in Yangon, Lord willing. Singapore is the way station where on at least one occasion in years past I said to Bonnie  that I didn’t want to go any farther, and a I didn’t want to go back either.

Brother Therman Hodge and I flew from Jackson, MS to Houston, TX to Moscow, Russia to Singapore. From there, we will be bound for Yangon. I’m looking forward to reuniting with dear brethren—some of whom usually meet us at the airport.

Later that day, Yangon local time, Therman and I arrived in Yangon. Brethren awaited us and took us to our hotel. Actually, that was the second time today we have been to Yangon; we flew over it on our way from Moscow to Singapore, and then we had to retrace our flight path for a Yangon landing.

The brethren and we agreed upon a work-filled itinerary that not only will have us teaching daily for two weeks at the Hmawbi Bible School, but we will teach daily at a jungle home, too. Then, on one weekend, we will travel 12 hours away into the hill country to present a two-day seminar. Within a couple of hours of arriving in Myanmar, we have more than doubled our plans for the two weeks we will be here.

Though I don’t have any pictures to accompany this short update, but especially when we go to the hill country where I have not been before, I suspect that I will come away with some interesting pictures. Where we are going, following travel by automobile, we have to complete the trip on foot – uphill! Communications will be limited over the next nearly five weeks, but I will apprise readers periodically of progress.

My biggest anticipated challenges for the balance of the day is not to fall asleep before dark so I can more nearly adjust to the swapping of night for day of the nearly 12-hour difference between home and half way around the world to Asia. I hope I don’t conk out at supper – maybe even dropping my head into my plate at my hostess’ home!

Singapore—Island/City/Country

September 27, 2015

Flower in SingaporeSingapore the island/city/country and its people impress me. This time upon visiting Singapore, I was afforded the opportunity to see some of it by car and on foot in daylight instead by the dark of night traveling between the airport and a hotel and back again. Simply put, I am mesmerized by the ultra-modern, pristine clean super-city that pushes boundaries in so many ways: available land surface and determined to fill in the sea to expand its island mass, super skyscrapers, cultural and convention centers, expansive multi-story shopping malls everywhere, ethic eateries galore, economic prowess even in the absence of natural resources, extent of its cultural diversity, universal quest for ultimate education and sheer determination. Singapore reminds me in my limited exposure to the computer game SimCity of that type of predisposed disposition to succeed and prosper.

In addition, my incomplete exposure to Christian brethren Singapore is no less invigorating. This visit was the second time I have been afforded the opportunity to speak for the Lavender Church of Christ. The first time about two years ago, I was accompanied by my wife Bonnie (who since has passed away) and brother Therman Hodge; presently, though, I am traveling alone.

Friday evening for a couple of hours or so, it was my good pleasure to speak to youth and some of their parents about external evidences: the age of the earth, carbon-14 dating, missing links and dinosaurs. I was surprised and pleased both by the willingness of young people to come together for a special event such as this as well by their election to have me speak on evidences. Around 25 were present.

Saturday, one brother gave me a car tour of Singapore, and we walked along the eastern seaside. We also talked for a while, me fielding religious questions and supplying some biblical answers.

Sunday morning, I was permitted to preach during worship, at which time I made my PowerPoint presentation, “The Church in Prophecy”; at the Lavender congregation, worship precedes Bible class, and there is an intermission between the two occasions for “tea,” though I saw plenty of eating going on of rice and various sweets. Interesting also, the worship period is scheduled for an hour and a half, and the preacher is expected to preach for 40 to 45 minutes. Ah, a preacher’s paradise! Bible class is an hour long, and at that time I presented my lesson, “From Creation Until Now.”

Following worship and class, several of the local members and I dined at the second floor food court in the multi-level mall next door. I could tell from the fare that I wasn’t in Dixie anymore! Later for supper, I ate at Burger King across a side street from the V Hotel where I have been lodging. With some difficulty because I didn’t know how to read my travel itinerary correctly, I checked in online from my hotel room for my flight tomorrow afternoon to Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). A front desk employee helped me print my boarding pass from my computer thumb drive.

I distributed tracts of numerous titles to both the youth on Friday and to the congregation on Sunday. Still, I have additional literature for some of the places to which I will be traveling over the next seven weeks in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India. Your prayers and moral encouragement are greatly appreciated. Through me some of you are my partners in the Gospel as I go to four Asian nations this fall with the Gospel.

The picture gracing this episode of my missionary travels is of a curious looking flower in the perimeter foliage lining the edge of the 4th floor outdoor restaurant where I have been eating my breakfast daily. Wish you were here to enjoy the experience of worshipping with fine brethren on this side of the planet (around 12 time zones away) as well as experiencing the sights and sounds so wonderful.

First Travel Segment

September 24, 2015

Singapore“I’m on my way!” I emailed to brethren in Singapore, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India. With that warning sent, I boarded the first of three jetliners in Memphis, TN on Wednesday, September 23, 2015. Shortly after that aircraft landed in Minneapolis, MN, I ambled on my second flight, a 12-hour, 20-minute jaunt to Tokyo. I’m convinced that no airplane seat regardless of how cushioned (at least in coach) is comfortable enough for a long haul like that! Three hours after landing in Japan, I began the third leg of my first travel segment to four Asian countries in the fall of 2015.

Finally about 25 hours after leaving Memphis, TN, my jetliner touched down on the island-city-nation of Singapore. In the course of travel that far away, I swapped day for night and night for day, jumping into the future nearly 12 hours. I arrived around the commencement of Friday. After missing my contact person at the airport and an hour interceding during which we could neither find nor communicate directly with each other, we made a short trip to the V Hotel. By 3 a.m., I was showered and in bed for a little nap—though my weary body had succumbed to some shuteye on that last flight of 6½ hours.

Though my hotel room may be among the smallest in which I have ever lodged and Spartan, it is my delightful and fully adequate abode and office for parts of four days. I enjoyed an open-air breakfast on the 4th floor, and then, went for a short walk outside. There is a McDonalds, a Long John Silvers, a bakery and local fare attached to the ground-floor edifice of my hotel; across the street is a Burger King and a 3-story mall. Momentarily I thought to myself, I could live in the V Hotel! However, the menus in overseas restaurant franchises vary significantly from stateside offerings.

My game plan for the day is to rest (compensate for jetlag somewhat), do some office work and beginning at 7:30 p.m. tonight to teach several lessons on evidences to Christian youth of the Lavender Church of Christ here in Singapore. The young people chose lessons on evidences from among the several topics I offered for their consideration. I’m already impressed with that.

Stay tuned. Whenever time is available and Internet connection is conveniently available, I will offer updates over the next two months. I humbly solicit your prayers on my behalf and for the furtherance of the Gospel of Christ. My goal is glorify God and edify as many souls as possible with whom I come in contact.

P.S. Indonesian forest fires have shrouded the whole country of Singapore in a smoky haze. The temperature at midnight was 82 degrees, and by nearly 11 a.m. it remains the same, accented with a pleasant sea breeze.

Boomerang

September 21, 2015

Just this past Wednesday (September 16), I traveled the three hours one way from Winona, MS to an appointment in Bear Creek, AL, before making my way back to Winona around midnight the same day. Before assembling with the Bear Creek church of Christ that night, I had a supper appointment with fellow preacher Robin Dunaway at a Mexican restaurant in Haleyville, AL; he bought my late wife Bonnie’s computer to replace his ailing machine. At Bear Creek, I made my PowerPoint presentation, “Overview & Update,” about World Evangelism.

On Sunday, I traveled four and a half hours back to Alabama to be with the Antioch church of Christ (outside of Killen, AL) for all three services. In the absence of the congregation’s minister, I once more presented “Overview & Update” for Bible class, and I preached “The Church in Prophecy” and “Redemption, Forgiveness, Justification & Sanctification” respectively for a.m. and p.m. worship periods. During the afternoon, it was my good fortune to be the guest for lunch and relaxation afterward of brother and sister Peck of the Antioch congregation.

Following evening worship, I journeyed two and a half hours to my daughter’s home in Collierville, TN. Wednesday morning, I will board the first of three jet airplanes in succession that will whisk me away to Singapore, arriving on Friday, September 25 just after midnight their time. Before leaving on Wednesday, there are some details that I must attend in last minute preparation for my fall mission trip. Lord willing, I will return to the States on November 17.

After teaching and preaching in Singapore for a few days, I will travel to Myanmar (Burma) where I will teach and preach for two weeks. From there, I will go to Sri Lanka via Malaysia aboard an infamous of over the last two years airline’s craft. Upon completing my teaching and preaching in Colombo, Sri Lanka during the span of a weekend, I will fly to New Delhi, India. There, Indian Christians and I will ride a train for 24 hours and a car for three more hours to arrive at my next preaching and teaching venue. Days later, we will retrace our steps to Delhi, whereupon I will teach for a few days in that city.

Leaving New Delhi, I will fly as close as I can to Kakinada, India on the Bay of Bengal, but the last little bit will require an hour’s ride in a car; the same is true respecting nearly any airport into which or out of which I fly often in the States or abroad.

A week and a half later, I will fly to Bangalore, India. There the plan is to ride about eight hours by car to Namakkal, India where I will teach and preach for about a week. Finally back in Bangalore, Lord willing, I will finish this year’s trip around the world by flying to Paris, France before flying onward to Memphis, TN.

Soon, then, I will be off on a two-month excursion to four Asian countries. Brethren, your prayers, moral support and financial participation are much appreciated.

Breaking News: Two of my flights in October were just cancelled by the airline. Perhaps Tuesday (one day before I leave the USA) I will know which flights will replace them and at what cost. Apparently, that snafu will take from me a day in Sri Lanka!

Prisoner on Earth

August 21, 2015

old songbooksIn a sense, sometimes I feel like a prisoner on earth when I think about the fact that my dear Bonnie has gone on from this world. The real “left behind” pertains to loved ones whose departed friends and family have left them behind. The good news, of course, is that there is a heavenly reunion toward which I and others like me look for with earnest. Yet, I’m sure that even such a longed for reunion will be sufficiently overshadowed by the bliss of eternal habitation with the Godhead Three, the angelic host and the redeemed of all ages. Still the time of her leave from me has been so recent that her (and my) headstone hasn’t been chiseled and set yet. There is no pain like it, and this pain excels all others because it wracks havoc both internally and externally. This, too, I know will pass – or at least deaden over time.

The “earth” that I experience isn’t really prison-like. I have everything that I need and more than I want. My health is fairly good. There is more food available than I desire. I have an abundance of clothes and other physical blessings. I live on a relatively peaceful part of the planet. How silly of me to imagine that I am a prisoner on earth!

In the early morning moments before full consciousness I was still making as it were new memories of Bonnie and me. I dreamed that we were together on some foreign field, some place to which we had not previously gone, but ever so familiar a scenario. For a moment, we were together once more making our way to acquire some literature for our overseas brethren. Then, I awoke and began a new day because I must. Duty calls.

It was my good pleasure this past Lord’s Day to be with the Batesville, MS Church of Christ for their evening worship. I felt right at home. I was privileged to make my PowerPoint presentation “Overview & Update” about my participation in World Evangelism and a little later to offer the Lord’s invitation. Some of the brethren of this congregation participate with me materially in my efforts to serve our Lord Jesus Christ.

I’m happy to say that the next issue of The Voice of Truth International (volume 86) is ready to send to the printing company, and I am well underway working on the next edition, too. Both of these issues need to be ready for the printing company before I leave for Asia for two months beginning on September 23. In addition, I have started working on the September edition of Gospel Gazette Online. Beyond that, I mailed the August issue of the Rushmore Newsletter today. Over the next few days, I will be out of the office – out of Winona, MS at least. Since I have a mobile office, any place I happen to be is my office. For a few days I intend to resort to my daughter’s home for some family time and some away time before the balance of my Sunday and Wednesdays are taken up with appointments with churches of Christ before departing the USA on September 23. I will continue working on The Voice of Truth International and Gospel Gazette Online.

Finally, my schedule abroad is firm. With Delta Skymiles and a little cash, I purchased flights to Singapore and later from Bangalore, India back to the United States. I have accepted an itinerary with a travel agent for the balance of the flights between and in four Asian countries and will purchase those tickets as soon as the fares are presented to me. Now I need to concentrate on getting the lessons lined up to teach in the various locations to which I will be going in Singapore, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India. Teaching is almost the easiest part of foreign travel.

Besides distributing literature stateside and abroad, World Evangelism of which I am a part receives useable leftover Bible class and VBS literature, used songbooks, excess Gospel Minutes and House to House, old communion sets, etc. for repackaging and distribution abroad. Recently, we received some old, paperback songbooks. We cannot use them for overseas brethren, but we hate to dispose of them. They date back to 1935, 1937 and 1942. The titles are, Everlasting Praises, Number Two; Best of All Songs; and Sunrise in Glory. I placed one copy of each in my home alongside of some other old books that I have on display. If anyone out there would like to have these songbooks, I will send them to you for the price of postage and packaging; just let me know (Email: rushmore@gospelgazette.com).

Thank you for your encouraging words and any prayers offered on my behalf. Have a blessed day.

August 2014 Rushmore Newsletter

August 27, 2014

Rushmore NewsletterBonnie and I with the help of Betty Choate spent most of the day (August 27) processing for mailing 989 copies of the August edition of the Rushmore Newsletter. However, we were not able to prepare the mailing in time to get it into the US Mail today. Therefore, we will take the three mailing trays to the local Post Office on Thursday morning. Enclosed in each newsletter is a 2-sided postcard and a return envelope. One side of the postcard depicts Bonnie and me in front of the Taj Mahal in India. The reverse side contains information about how someone can participate financially with us in our foreign mission efforts.

Several states away to the east this morning, our courier received our Myanmar visa application, which she will walk through the Embassy of Myanmar in Washington, DC over the next few days. Also today several states to the west, a travel agent began working on our air travel tickets. In talking with her, we were apprised that there is a problem with our return to Memphis, TN after our 9-week mission trip to Sri Lanka, Myanmar, India and Singapore. Since we are scheduled to begin our return to the States on November 24, we are running into problems getting the flights necessary inside the United States due to Thanksgiving holiday travel. I don’t understand it, but we are being advised that irrespective of in whatever city we land in this country initially upon our return we will be stuck for days before we can get connecting flights to Memphis. I thought the hard part of our worldwide trek would be crisscrossing throughout Asia – not in the US. Stay tuned!

Otherwise today, we packed and shipped some tracts and books. Later, we hand delivered some beta test Bible class curriculum when we attended Bible class at a Mississippi church of Christ. We also mailed dozens of “Thank You” letters to donors who are helping us financially make our fall Asian mission trip. We fielded phone calls and attended miscellaneous other duties, even into the night after returning home from Wednesday night Bible class.

Time is counting down – rapidly – before our September 24 departure to the other side of the planet. We are working feverishly on so many fronts, and we full-well know that we cannot possibly accomplish some of those tasks before traveling 12 time zones away. Yet, we long to renew friendships with foreign brethren, edify them with the Word of God and acquaint Buddhists, Hindus, Animists and denominational people the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Here or there, Bonnie and I remain devoted to each other in the service of our Lord Jesus Christ. We covet your continued interest and prayers.