Archive for the ‘Surgery’ 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.

On the Mend

July 19, 2014

duck_tapeHere it is Saturday evening, July 19, 2014. Bonnie, Rebecca and I sit in the living room of Bonnie and my Winona, MS home. We three went nearly two hours to Jackson, MS on this past Wednesday for pre-op preparation for Bonnie’s surgery on Thursday; we spent the night less than two miles from Baptist Health Systems in a hotel paid for with points from previous stays along our routes of travel for our appointments with congregations. Early Thursday morning, Bonnie underwent surgery once more; she’s getting pretty experienced at that sort of thing.

It was scheduled as outpatient surgery with an overnight stay in the offing nevertheless, depending upon the scope of surgery and how well Bonnie responded to surgery. We had plan “A” and plan “B.” Plan “A” was laparoscopic, whereas plan “B” was to reopen the previous surgery site if necessary. Despite the doctor having to proceed to plan “B,” Bonnie responded well and after surgery was almost given the bum’s rush out of the hospital – while she was still drowsy and barely able to stand; in all, within six hours we arrived, she had surgery and we were on our way back to Winona.

For the balance of Friday, Bonnie remained sleepy and what little talk she attempted had all the words in the wrong order – and sometimes just the wrong words. Otherwise, Bonnie rested in the reclining loveseat, with me beside her. I worked on and completed the July issue of Gospel Gazette Online; I like the office chair at the house – reclining loveseat – better than my chair at my office down the street.

Each day, Bonnie is improving more. She exchanged the chronic daily pain of a pinched intestine in the umbilical hernia for the temporary daily pain from the incisions – three of them. The doctor had to make two incisions in a failed attempt to do laparoscopic surgery before making a larger, third incision. We will venture out tomorrow to visit the Old Union Church of Christ for worship; we haven’t been there for so long, as we have been traveling elsewhere, that someone mused that perhaps the preacher had made us mad. Not so, of course.

We have been the beneficiaries of the kindness of brethren, through text messages, phone calls and visits accompanied with prepared meals in hand. Though neither Bonnie nor I expected or even thought of someone bringing us food, we are thankful and have dined on those kindnesses.

Rebecca returns home Tuesday in preparation for her mission trip to Guyana, South America later in the week. She has been a great help and encouragement to us, particularly in this difficult time for Bonnie and me. In her weakened and physically compromised condition, more of Bonnie’s domestic duties are now my opportunities; we have always shared each other’s responsibilities, but now I just get to share more. Soon, Bonnie will be able to resume some of those activities, but some activities at the house and at the warehouse/office she will need to relinquish permanently.

Bonnie and I will try to conclude plans for our fall trip to Asia – Myanmar and India, perhaps Singapore, too. One of the decisions we will need to make, depending on how well and how quickly Bonnie mends, is if she is going to accompany me this fall and share in the workload. I am already close to being unable to manage my own carryon bag and computer up and down airplane steps on the tarmac, and Bonnie will not be able to carry either her carryon bag or her computer. We are getting older, and we may be held together with Duck Tape, Super Glue and baling wire, but we press on. We covet your prayers.

New Signage

July 15, 2014

96 dpi 5x7 Car Decal Installed 3Last night, we got to Rebecca’s home from the Memphis airport around 11 p.m. The rain poured from the blackened night sky and flooded the roadways, making for slow going and extreme difficulty spying out the highway striping to not only identify the respective lanes but the road itself. The brunt of the storm had preceded our arrival, and it had battered and broken numerous trees in Rebecca’s neighborhood. Fortunately though, her home was not one of the thousands without electrical power due to the storm. Bonnie and I turned in for the night around 1 a.m.

We three loaded the van once more and headed out, ultimately bound for Winona, MS. First, however, we took breakfast at Cracker Barrel. We still showed up nearly half an hour early for our 9 a.m. appointment with SpeedPro Graphics. In less than an hour, we had three vinyl signs installed on the new van. We retired our former van after 10 years of service, but the more recent minivan lasted but seven years before we thought it best to retire it. Presently, it sits by our mailbox with a “For Sale” sign offering it to passersby.

96 dpi 5x7 Car Decal Installed 2Since we have a new vehicle with many years ahead in service (Lord willing) respecting our labors for Christ, I opted to have it advertise the webpages for World Evangelism and Gospel Gazette Online. Anyone following those Internet links will find a wealth of information, especially in the thousands of studious articles found within the pages of Gospel Gazette Online. The phrase “Mass Evangelism & Follow-Up” provides a brief definition for World Evangelism, and the reference to “Romans 16:16” may signal to members of the churches of Christ that we are members of the Lord’s church – almost a secretive code. At any rate, we cannot afford to put everything on the side of the car.

Back in Winona, we returned to the office. Tomorrow, we will head to Jackson, MS for Bonnie’s pre-operation preparation for surgery on Thursday. Bonnie is scheduled to be hospitalized overnight, but the extent of surgery needed, etc. will determine how quickly we return home; we expect to return to Winona on Friday.

Bonnie and I are both anxious for correction of her umbilical hernia that brings her daily pain presently. Her light to medium duty afterward will probably be lifelong, considering this upcoming surgery as well as the previous Whipple Surgery for pancreatic cancer. Otherwise, Bonnie is cancer free, and though slowed a bit and tired frequently, she and I press ahead. Thank you for your interest and prayers on especially her behalf.

My Christmas Baby!

December 27, 2013

2013 Christmas TreeChristmas Day was a quiet one of togetherness and a meal together, enjoyed by Rebecca, Bonnie and me at our residence in Winona, MS. It also happened to be Bonnie’s birthday. I have joked for years that I buy her a pair of shoes annually on her Christmas birthday—one shoe for her birthday and one shoe for Christmas. She has never found that too amusing. Actually, for the most part, we do not buy birthday and Christmas gifts for each other anymore. The best gifts we have from the other are friendship and love. (Bonnie did, though, buy me a used book not available any longer new.) That evening, we worshipped with brethren at the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS.

Thursday morning, we three headed for Jackson, MS for yet one more test through which it was necessary for Bonnie to go in her medical recovery. Predictable and overall good news, the result of a scope into Bonnie’s stomach showed her without cancer there, too; no ulcer; and confirmed the efficiency of her surgery for pancreatic cancer. Under a little cloud of anesthesia, Rebecca and I with a sleepy Bonnie made our way back to Winona. A new prescription and some new direction for selective eating may help combat digestive problems.

Friday morning, Bonnie and I proceeded to our annual physical exams, once postponed to make way for an appointment for Bonnie with her oncologist. Blood drawn for analysis, we got flu shots, tests for TB and prescriptions for Malaria prevention prior to our upcoming mission trip to Guyana, South America. Doctoring advice and other prescriptions renewed also, we returned to the office. Bonnie worked on layout of the next issue of The Voice of Truth International, while I worked on various other matters. Together, Bonnie and I brought our next newsletter near to completion. All the while, Rebecca dutifully typed articles for Gospel Gazette Online from morning until end of day. Each night when we go to the house, we dabble a little more in our mobile office, in my case, either working on the Book of Job class I am teaching Wednesday evenings at the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ in Jackson, MS, or finalizing pages for the next issue of The Voice of Truth International.

My Christmas Baby (Bonnie) and I along with our daughter Rebecca are together for the holidays. Our sons Raymond and Robert, who were unable to be with us, each sent their respective cards and made their phone calls. Bonnie and I with Rebecca, too, are putting in working holidays in Winona, MS.

Week in Review

June 25, 2013

Steadily, Bonnie and I as well as our coworkers in Winona, MS have worked last week on various publications. All of us have worked on several new tracts soon to be sent to the printing company in Hong Kong. All of us have worked on the next issue of The Voice of Truth International and Global Harvest magazines (the former is printed in South Carolina, and the latter is printed in Hong Kong, too). Bonnie and my daughter Rebecca have worked in addition on the July issue of Gospel Gazette Online; it is now ready to be officially published to the Internet. We feel nearly blinded from typing, formatting and proofing hundreds of pages of literature! It is a wearisome project to produce teaching material in whatever form it ultimately takes.

Old Union CoC

Of Course, we had to eat a little, too!

Besides the forgoing, one or another of the Winona team of which we are a part receive, package and mail out book and tract requests daily. Bonnie and I attended Wednesday evening Bible class at the West President St. Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS, but on Thursday night, we participated in special men’s and women’s classes hosted by the Old Union Church of Christ deep in the woods and traversed by dirt roads outside of Carrollton, MS. The ladies are using Bonnie’s book Living Principles.

96 dpi 3X5 Bonnie2This was Bonnie’s off week for chemotherapy. As she would say, the side effects are minimal, though they are often inconvenient and sometimes unpredictable. She is a trooper! Bonnie hasn’t lost any of her hair and may not with the particular regimen in her treatment, but she is supposed to be mindful of the sun, including donning the loathsome hat (she doesn’t like hats).

Saturday, Bonnie and I traveled to the home of Bob and Peggy Rogers outside of Piedmont, AL; they are always gracious hosts and friends to us. Their large family farm is in high gear right now, and all of the extended family members locally and hired help, too, work from predawn to dark. In one particular field, the combine harvesting the wheat was followed by a tractor and a rake, which was followed by another tractor lugging a baler to bale the straw, which was followed by other equipment to snatch the straw bales from the field. Back at the farm garage, the youngest Rogers were greasing and pressure washing equipment. Never really done, upon leaving the field there was the task of moving house-sized equipment along roads and streets to additional fields as well as unloading tractor-trailers of grain.

The whole family, though, paused along with the rest of the local family of God to worship on the Lord’s Day at the Highway 9 Church of Christ. I made my PowerPoint presentation about our 2012-2013 mission work during Bible class time and preached “Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship?” during worship. After lunch at the local Mexican restaurant, courtesy of one of the elders and his family, Bonnie and I headed for our evening appointment with the Austinville Church of Christ in Decatur, AL.

Austinville Church of Christ

Austinville Church of Christ, Decatur, AL

We arrived two hours early but happened on brethren at the building who opened it up for us. Bonnie and I set up some copies of Global Harvest, Rushmore Newsletters, tracts, pens, etc. for the members to take home with them. In sufficient time before commencement of worship, the brother and his son arrived to help me set up for my PowerPoint presentation. Afterwards, the deacon of missions treated Bonnie and me along with his family to supper at Subway.

Bonnie and I had good intentions of driving the remaining four hours back to Winona, MS, but we reserved the option of stopping for the night if we became too tired. Hence, we lodged for the night at the least expensive motel we could find – excluding the flophouses that have proved unsatisfactory too many times previously, and we bedded down for the night around 10:30 p.m. in Tupelo, MS.

In the morning, we dilly-dallied too long to eat the continental breakfast, and so not disappointed at all, we had brunch of pecan pancakes, bacon, hash browns and juice at Cracker Barrel; we shared a meal as often we do, and still it was more than we could eat.

Since we were in Tupelo, we shopped at Sam’s club for groceries, putting perishables in a freezer bag. We got a little more fuel and opted for the carwash also to knock off some of the road dirt and bugs from our Gospel chariot.

Later in the day, we arrived back in Winona, not too much worse for the wear. This was Bonnie’s second weekend out with me for appointments since her surgery and commencement of chemotherapy. Chiefly, tiredness is a culprit we have to monitor, because it can lead to additional minor complications and inconveniences. I used to content myself with arriving back in Winona by midnight or a little later if necessary, but it is getting to the point where midnight driving is not good enough for me, and perhaps in sympathy with Bonnie, my tiredness necessitates consideration of finding a place to bed down a little earlier – like we did Sunday night.

A Chapter in Bonnie’s Treatment

May 31, 2013
Bonnie holding baby Louis named in India

Bonnie holding a baby in India
that I officially named

Thursday, May 30, Rebecca accompanied Bonnie and me to Jackson, MS where Bonnie underwent dental work in preparation for later installation of a crown on one of her teeth. That evening, we three spent the night in a hotel a few blocks from the medical complex and on the same street.

Friday morning by 6:30 a.m. we were at the hospital for Bonnie’s surgery to implant a chemo port below the skin on her upper, left chest. By 11:30 a.m. that part of the venture for the day was completed, and she was taken by wheelchair to the Cancer Center in the same complex. Bonnie’s first round of chemotherapy was complete by about 3:00 p.m., and we left for something to eat on the way back to Winona.

We arrived back in Winona, MS at 5:00 p.m., whereupon we went to the Wal-Mart pharmacy to retrieve prescriptions that the oncology office had called in ahead. Shortly after returning to the house, Bonnie became ill with nausea and vomiting. She is resting, and we look forward to a peaceful night’s slumber tonight and scaled back activity on Saturday.

Bonnie, Rebecca and I together will evaluate Bonnie’s travel worthiness for this weekend’s upcoming appointment in Alabama. Rebecca is prepared to stay with her mother if she is not up to traveling with me.

In any case, we continue to be thankful to our God and to each child of God for their tender expressions of concern and prayers. Upon examining the mail in our mailbox after returning home (much like every day for weeks now), several get well cards lifted Bonnie’s morale and encouraged both of us.

The Printed Page and the Webpage

May 30, 2013

Tuesday, May 28, a tractor-trailer with six pallets of books pulled up in the World Evangelism Building parking lot. Four of those pallets were Issue 76 of The Voice of Truth International magazine. Each of the other two pallets had reprints of two of the over 300 titles of books, tracts and magazines we keep in print. Betty Choate, Paula Bates, Jerry Bates, Rebecca Rushmore and I carted all of those thousands of copies of books and magazines to their respective places inside the building. Bonnie Rushmore has an exemption from warehousing as she recovers from surgery.

Thursday, I published to the Internet the June 2013 edition of Gospel Gazette Online (Website: www.gospelgazette.com).  Both The Voice of Truth International and Gospel Gazette Online are read throughout the world, and both are examples of the printed word, howbeit representing two different mediums. The latter is easier and less exhausting to lift!