Archive for the ‘Travel’ category

Dashing through Georgia

March 20, 2017

No, not dashing through the snow in wintery weather, but on to the Dasher Church of Christ we went. From our overnight layover in Montgomery, Alabama on Friday, Martha and I proceeded on Saturday, March 18 by car to lodging reserved for us in Valdosta, Georgia. That night, as we did the evening before, we dined in our hotel room on cheese sandwiches, which were quite satisfactory and convenient for rest from the day’s travel. Before that though, we moseyed down to the meetinghouse of the Dasher congregation to set up our display and ready the PowerPoint about missions for the next day.

Sunday, we were well received by the Lord’s church. During Bible class, I apprised brethren of the ministry in which Martha and I are involved (i.e., The Voice of Truth International, Gospel Gazette Online, other writings, stateside speaking appointments, overseas missions, etc.). In the worship period, I preached about the “urgency” with which Jesus Christ left heaven and came to earth to make human redemption possible.

Later in the day, we made the short, but protracted trip because of heavy and stopped interstate traffic, to Martha’s Florida home in Ocala. We arrived in time to worship with the Central Church of Christ. The next day, Martha and I started the adventure of amending her last name to “Rushmore” on Social Security and banking records. We failed to achieve a name change on her driver’s license because everything, it seems, is tied to Social Security data. We sought information, too, on consolidating our phone plans. Eventually, we will need to start the process of updating Martha’s passport also; she traveled with me to South America and back under the name of Martha Noland since we could not effect a change in time between our wedding on January 1 and our mission trip that began on January 24.

Lord willing, we will remain in Florida for about four weeks before returning to Mississippi. Upon going back to Winona, we will meet appointments in Alabama (i.e., India Mission Workshop and World Evangelism May Missionary Workshop). In June, we will travel to appointments in Ohio and West Virginia, as well as visit family in those two states and in Pennsylvania. The annual World Evangelism team meeting will converge on Winona in July. In September, we plan to go to the mission fields once more, perhaps on two continents before returning in late November to the USA. Between known dates, we will establish appointments with congregations across the eastern United States. Besides that, we have responsibilities regarding the publication of The Voice of Truth International, Gospel Gazette Online, etc.

Sometime in the next few weeks, we hope to take some time for ourselves here in Florida. Maybe we’ll call such moments along the way—our honeymoon.

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.

Playdate in Georgetown

March 8, 2017


Sunday, March 5
, Martha Lynn and I worshipped once more with the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ in Linden, Guyana, South America. Again, it was my good pleasure to teach the morning Bible class for the congregation. Outside of assembling with the saints, I diligently worked on the next issue of Gospel Gazette Online. Likewise on Monday, I applied myself throughout the day to preparation of the February edition of GGO, as well as working some on a future quarter of The Voice of Truth International magazine.


Tuesday
, Martha and I had a playdatedouble-date plus one—a day off together—with brother and sister Milo and their 10-year-old son, Zab. Around lunchtime, we five headed into Georgetown, about an hour and a half away. However, before we could eat lunch, we stopped at a tire shop to have a tire changed for the church bus; each action and every direction traveled must be exercised by soldiers of the cross so as to extract as much benefit from the minutes (Ephesians 5:16)—even when on holiday.

Next stop, we were off to the new Chinese restaurant atop the new America-like grocery store—which has become a favorite of ours nearly every time we passed through Georgetown these past six weeks. After all, it was only a 1,000 feet off of our necessary route of travel between Linden and Georgetown.

The five of us climbed the stairway to the second story eatery and were taken aback by the elegance of the panorama that unfolded before us. Everything was pristine, ornate and immaculate. Real tablecloths and cloth napkins adorned each table, and the staff was costumed in fine and culturally appropriate attire for a Chinese backdrop. This was neither a café nor a diner, but it was destination fit for royalty—and a little pricier than some neighborhood haunt. The food was delicious, and the fellowship that we enjoyed was to be cherished forever. On the way back down to ground level, Martha, Zab and I discovered and used the glass-walled elevator that clings to the outside of the building as it escorts its passengers between floors.

Next, we went shopping in the grocery for the last time prior to our return to the USA. I’ve hooked Martha on Cadbury chocolate bars—to go with our Coke Zero, cereal bars and Pringles potato chips. As always, Martha managed to find several discarded coins on the ground, which she will take home for souvenirs for herself, for grandchildren and for young ones along our stateside travels. Patrons of the store throw the coins away because they have no significant value, but the store gives them out in change anyway just to be honest and fair.

Parting from there, we headed to “the Giftland Mall.” We most looked around, and none of us made any noteworthy purchases; Martha and I bought a cheap plastic bowl to safeguard the Amerindian headdress we bought while in Monkey Mountain. The highlight of that stopover was Dairy Queen for four of the five of us; brother Nigel doesn’t like sweets.

By now, most of the day was spent. Nevertheless, we scurried over to a series of two home wares businesses, looking for an area rug and floor mats for the Milo kitchen. Just in time before the metal gate descended to secure the department store for the night, we made our purchase and stuffed it into the small Toyota family car in which we were riding.

Granting Martha’s expressed wishes, a little before dusk, we made our way to the narrow ribbon of beach on the far side of the seawall so my dear wife could feel the sand between her toes and wade in the surf, which was a distance from the shore owing to the low tide. Making good use of her tetanus shot before leaving the United States, Martha promptly stepped on a board with a nail in it! That little incident hardly slowed her down, and she was not seriously injured.

Just when I thought the day couldn’t get any better, we stopped at Pizza Hut before leaving Georgetown for Linden. As far as eating goes, it doesn’t get much better: tasty Chinese food, Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait and Peperoni Lover’s Pizza—besides the breakfast sister Jasmine fixed for us hours earlier. I informed brother Nigel and sister Jasmine that with treatment like that, I might decide to stay and not go home!

The journey back to Linden seemed much longer than it had earlier or at any other time we had passed that way many times over six weeks. The ride was much more taxing, not only because we were packed into the small, 5-passenger auto, but because of the wheel and tire in the trunk, along with the carpet, four mats, groceries, and satiated, contented, slightly heavier car occupants doubtless taxed the suspension as it battled bad spots in the roadway. In addition, we were all tired, and Zab fell asleep, leaning on the shoulder of his recently acquired additional grandma—Martha.

It was a good day! We double-dated, more or less, plus one very fine young man. Days don’t get much better than spending quality time with beloved Christian friends such as the Milos. Of course, I enjoyed being with Martha, too!

Wednesday, I reworked the newsletter and postcard files, and then, I resubmitted them electronically in a different way to a printing company in Michigan; I hope the files are satisfactory this time. Having received the last article for the February Gospel Gazette Online, I was able to publish it to the Internet and apprise subscribers that it is ready for viewing. I continued to work on the March 2017 issue of GGO. At 5 p.m., we participated with local hospital visitation, before attending the Wednesday evening Bible class of the Amelia’s Ward congregation. Tomorrow morning, Lord willing, Martha Lynn and I will start our journey back to the USA, aboard Surinam Airways from Georgetown to Miami. From there, American Airlines should deposit us in Memphis a little before midnight, whereupon our daughter Rebecca will retrieve us. Two hours difference in time zones between our starting and ending points, plus changing the clocks for Daylight Savings Time, will likely keep us a little confused for a few days.

By the blessings of Almighty God, we do what we do, intending it all for His glory. We serve a risen Savior and endeavor to follow the Spirit’s Guide Book—the Bible—as our roadmap from where we are to where we want to spend eternity. Please make that pilgrimage with us to a city whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:10).

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!

 Ruimveldt Church of Christ

March 2, 2017

96-dpi-4x6-ruimveldt-coc-martha-1Wednesday, March 1 was seminar #15, hosted by the Ruimveldt Church of Christ in Georgetown, Guyana, South America. About 20 from Linden, including Martha and me, attended that workshop, besides members from every other congregation in the area assembled with the brethren of the Ruimveldt congregation from 5 p.m. to after 7 p.m. Brother Nigel Milo and I presented lessons to all in attendance, and then, upon dividing, Martha taught the women while I taught the men. Despite losing electrical power temporarily—really not knowing for how long we would be without it—we prepared to press on. However, the electric was restored.

96-dpi-4x6-the-one-true-church-of-the-bible-guyanaWe were well received expressions of appreciation, not only for the night’s program, but also for the books and tracts that I have been shipping to Guyana and that have been distributed to the churches of Christ throughout Guyana. One brother had my tract, “The One True Church,” taped to the outside of his Bible, and another Christian had a tract by J.C. Choate taped to his Bible.

96-dpi-4x6-sunshiners-1Thursday, Martha and I joined the Sunshiners group, to which we had been invited to tag along, and 15 of us traveled to a park some distance out of Linden. The Sunshiners are “mature” Christians who get together once monthly for devotionals, a meal, snacks and games. Martha and I each had our turn to present a lesson. Of course, Martha spoke to the Christian ladies in the absence of Nigel and me—the rest were women.

One more seminar remains, and Lord willing, we will present that on Saturday from morning through afternoon. When at our base in Linden, the home of Nigel and Jasmine Milo, I also attend to The Voice of Truth International and Gospel Gazette Online magazines. Every once in a while, though, I need to take a few moments off—as we did today—whether I really want to or not. It was good to be invited and to interact with fellow Christians.

Wednesday & Thursday Seminars

February 23, 2017

96-dpi-4x6-enmore-5Wednesday, February 22 Martha Lynn and I didn’t leave the Nigel and Jasmine Milo domicile until 5 p.m. Dutifully throughout the day, I worked at proofing and finishing the layout for Volume 92 of The Voice of Truth International. Volume 90 was distributed not long ago, and Volume 91 is at the printers presently; recently, we switched print production from Hong Kong, China to India.

96-dpi-4x6-enmore-4At the last moment and even a little beyond the appointed time, Martha and I sauntered from the Milo residence to the lot away to the meetinghouse for the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ. The Annual World Evangelism Nationwide Guyana Workshop began about half an hour after the scheduled hour—right on time! Brother Nigel and I each spoke to the assembly in the auditorium, and then he and I took turns speaking to the men, while Martha addressed the ladies. The ladies in attendance, per usual, outnumbered the men. As often is the case, seminar attendees were treated to a meal by the hosting congregation.

96-dpi-4x6-enmore-3Thursday, we three moved the seminar to the Georgetown, Guyana, South America venue of the Enmore Church of Christ and Hope Children’s Home. Rain, rain, rain! Upon arrival in the capital city, we drove through seriously flooded streets. When we arrived at the facilities of the Enmore congregation and children’s home, we met a cleanup crew of adults and children as they rid the building of flood waters. An hour or so behind time to begin, but understandably so, once more, we three spoke in the traveling seminars.

96-dpi-4x6-enmore-6Afterward and taking advantage of a reprieve from the showers, we crossed over the seawall protecting Georgetown from the Atlantic Ocean. We walked a sandy beach strewn with water washed glass, shells and Hindu diyas (floating votives). Martha headed straight to the water, holding her skirt hem and wading ankle deep in the beige water.

96-dpi-4x6-enmore-7By the time we made a couple of stops and traveled back to Linden, I was worn out and the day was spent. Tomorrow, we will resume office duties, and I will work on The Voice of Truth International and Gospel Gazette Online. Our next workshop venue will be across the Essequibo River—requiring a very early morning departure if we wait until Saturday and expend the entire day before returning to Linden. Martha and I are still “honeymooning” in Guyana, so to speak—having the time of our lives in service of our Lord. May God be glorified and our fellows be edified!