Archive for the ‘Travel’ category

Christian Friends in Myanmar

October 22, 2018

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About 30 hours from here to there, and of course, about 30 hours back. Two weeks there—in Myanmar. Martha and I left the USA on Thursday, October 4 for Asia and returned to North America on Saturday, October 20.

Sunday, Martha and I worshipped with the Collierville, Tennessee Church of Christ, great encouragers and one of our supporters. Today, Monday, we drove the two hours from our daughter Rebecca’s home in Collierville—outside of Memphis—to our parsonage in Winona, Mississippi. Rebecca and we refer to her home as our own private B&B; she takes good care of us.

Abroad, I taught the “Book of Job,” “New Testament Worship” and “The Cost of Discipleship” for about 60 hours total. One of the four instances of worshipping with precious brethren from two congregations in Yangon, it was my pleasure to speak about “Bible Authority.” Martha taught ladies for about 20 hours, too.

While in Myanmar, Martha and I viewed some sites together, but we especially enjoyed our Christian brothers and sisters. We also love playing with the children. The hardest part for us, though, is the very long journey—howbeit by three jet airplanes each way—across nearly 12 time zones—changing day for night and back again. Weary is hardly an adequate description of how we feel presently, but we will recover and adjust.

Martha and I are thankful to our Lord Jesus Christ and Christian brethren who make it possible for us to serve our God. We are likewise thankful to brethren around the world who graciously receive us and from whom we are edified.

Where Are We?

October 13, 2018

Where in the world are we? Can you tell from these two photos? For one week so far, we have been abroad. Martha and I traveled just under 30 hours via three jet airplanes to a country 10 and a half time zones from Mississippi. For one additional week, we will remain here. Other than family members, let us know where you think we are.

4 X 4

October 1, 2018

Four states by four states, Saturday and Monday. Martha and I left Winona, Mississippi on Saturday, proceeding also through Alabama and Georgia to Tennessee for Sunday speaking appointments. Monday morning, we reversed trajectory and traveled from Cleveland, Tennessee back to Winona.

On short notice, I assembled Sunday morning with the brethren of the Ooltewah, Tennessee Church of Christ and was permitted to talk briefly about out mission work. It just so happened that the congregation was having a fellowship meal after morning worship, and we stayed for that, too. Sunday evening, we worshipped with the Central Church of Christ in Cleveland, Tennessee. It was my pleasure to address the congregation regarding our ongoing mission efforts. Both congregations received us well and were of great encouragement to us.

Curiously, two of the evenings we lodged in a Cleveland hotel, the Oscar Myer Hot Dog Mobile was parked in the parking lot. That was the only marvel we viewed, though we considered Rock City, Ruby Falls and the Incline Railway in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We really didn’t have time to pause our return to Winona, since we are leaving Winona on Wednesday in preparation for leaving the USA on Thursday. Martha and I are headed for Myanmar (Burma) for a couple of weeks, plus the 30 hours travel time each way to and from the country. One of these days, we intend to linger somewhere long enough on our treks to “see the sights.”

August Rushmore Newsletter

September 9, 2018

For the last two days, Martha and I have been processing the August 2018 Rushmore Newsletter—getting it ready to mail on Monday. This afternoon and in addition to that, the August newsletter has been added to the Gospel Gazette Online site. Subsequently, I have sent out email notifications to additional persons regarding the availability of the newsletter on the Internet.

This issue of the Rushmore Newsletter includes an update regarding the acquisition of an ATV (a rural Gospel chariot for a remote part of the globe) for Amerindian brethren in Guyana, South America. Not long from now, Martha and I will return to Myanmar (Burma) in Asia, where we will be teaching for two weeks in a school nestled in a jungle setting. We love being with fellow Christians and non-Christians, too, around the world who eagerly embrace every opportunity to learn more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are indebted to the churches of Christ and the Christian families who make it possible for us to serve at home and abroad.

Some More of the Nicest People

August 27, 2018

As Martha and I were traveling on Saturday, August 25, I mused that we were about to visit some of the nicest and the most pleasant people I know. We were on our way from Collierville, Tennessee, where we had spent the night with our daughter, to be with the Center Ridge, Arkansas Church of Christ on the Lord’s Day. In particular, we were to lodge with and be the guests of brother Garry and sister Melissa Polk. This lovely couple is as down to earth and unpretentious as any American, country, farm family could possibly be.

Awaiting our arrival was a superb homecooked meal of fork-tender roast beef, carrots and potatoes. It was complemented and complimented with corn, okra, fresh tomatoes and rolls. Beyond that, there were brownies, banana bread and raw apple cake to tempt us, to which temptation we succumbed! The hours spent together talking and enjoying each other’s company was icing on the cake, so to speak. Breakfast was over the top with scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy and farm-fresh sausage patties. After worship, we all had lunch at a very, very busy and one of the largest Mexican restaurants of which I am aware. We’ve eaten there before on previous trips, and we have never been disappointed.

While it might seem that our trek to Center Ridge was all about eating and reminiscing with Christian friends, the real reason for our journey there was to be with the Lord’s people as they assembled in that village on Lord’s Day morning. During Bible class, I spoke about our stateside and foreign excursions for Jesus Christ, which we did in 2017 and so far in 2018. At the worship hour, I preach about Bible Authority. This children-lively congregation has been one of my primary encouragers over the years and has really impacted souls for our Lord, not only locally, but through me in far away lands. For them and appreciating their kindnesses and friendship, I am truly thankful. God be praised! Truly, I interact with some of the nicest people stateside and abroad among my Christian brethren!

Noccalula Falls

July 26, 2018

Saturday, July 21, Martha and I drove from Winona, Mississippi to Piedmont, Alabama. We left at 11:25 a.m. and arrived at the home of brother Bob and sister Peggy Rogers at 5 p.m. They treated us to supper at a local Italian restaurant across the Georgia line and in another time zone. The tasty food was only surpassed by the company of dear brethren.

On the Lord’s Day morning, Martha and I assembled with the Highway Nine Church of Christ, whereupon I spoke for Bible class, a.m. worship and worship once more at 12:30 p.m. Between the worship periods, we were treated to an amply delicious cuisine, complemented by cherished brothers and sisters in Christ. Incidentally, one of our waitresses in the family run eatery was only 9-years-old. She did a very good job and was so cute. Her brother, mom and dad comprise the balance of the team.

Sunday afternoon, we caught up with our hostess, sister Peggy, at the local nursing and rehabilitation center where brethren from the Piedmont Church of Christ were conducting a devotional. A little over three hours later, we assembled with that congregation, and I was again afforded the privilege of speaking to this church, too. Following worship, youth loaded about a dozen boxes of used songbooks into the van; they will eventually make their way overseas to English-speaking Christians.

Passing through Gadsden, Alabama, we stopped briefly at Noccalula Falls; we enjoyed the natural beauty of the site nestled in the cityscape, and we noted the lore surrounding the spot. Then, through the dark of night, we aimed the car back toward Winona, and we pulled into the driveway at 1:00 a.m. In less than an hour, we had the van unloaded and readied ourselves for bed—thoroughly exhausted.

Monday and Tuesday, young people—10-months-old through middle teens—congregated at the World Evangelism Building. They came from the Double Springs Church of Christ in Alabama. For those two days, boys and girls prepared several mailings (i.e., the Bates’ newsletters, The Voice of Truth International), unloaded a truck and warehoused Volume 96 of The Voice of Truth International, packed boxes of books to be sent to student preachers (free of charge), shredded papers and cleaned. They also loaded literature into Jerry’s utility trailer; Wednesday he and Paula left for Texas where they will offload the literature for eventual shipment to African nations.

Wednesday, Martha and I personally delivered two cases of The Voice of Truth International #96 to the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, Mississippi. We were passing through before services on our way to the Indianola Church of Christ in Indianola, Mississippi. Before we got to Indianola, we paused for awhile in Moorhead, Mississippi at the home of brother Gene and sister Madolyn Gibson. Gene has been and is valiantly fighting illness as they have tirelessly for many years operated a Christian Student Center across from Mississippi Delta Community College.

Brother Gene Hill taught the adult class at the Indianola Church of Christ. It was good to assemble with these familiar brethren. We were cordially greeted, and we left some The Voice of Truth International and Global Harvest magazines as well as a few of the Rushmore Newsletter. We arrived back home at 10 p.m.

Between incidents mentioned above, we devoted ourselves to sundry office duties. Martha has been contacting schools of preaching and Bible colleges associated with the churches of Christ to prepare for sending books to men in training to be preachers. I have been working on the August edition of Gospel Gazette Online and volume 98 of The Voice of Truth International. Today, we also prepared “Thank You” cards for our most recent donors over the past week. There is always much to do—often behind the scenes to further the cause of Christ. We are pleased to be of some service to our Lord, and thankful that congregations and Christian families make it possible for us to so do.

Union, Mississippi

July 3, 2018

Martha and I began the month of July by a visit on the first to the Church of Christ in Union, Mississippi. That entailed an early-morning departure from Winona, Mississippi to arrive in plenty of time before Bible class at 9:30 a.m. During class time, I talked about 2017-2018 mission trips to South America and Asia. It was a privilege to assemble for worship with God’s people—as it always is no matter where we go on Earth. Further, it was an honor to preach as we worshipped God in spirit and in truth. Afterward, a few of us dined in the local hospital cafeteria, as we have from time to time before. These good brethren ever encourage us, and they participate with us in our labors for Jesus Christ our Lord.