Archive for the ‘World Evangelism Team Meeting’ category

Courtland Church of Christ

July 10, 2017

Thursday and Friday, July 6-7, the annual World Evangelism Team Meeting convened in our office/warehouse facility in Winona, Mississippi. Brethren from Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida assembled for two days of fellowship, good food and sharing updates as well as future plans in service of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I devoted Saturday largely to working on volume 93 of The Voice of Truth International. Martha and I also affixed some of her family photos to walls in two rooms. Every adjustment to our living quarters involves changing or moving something from the way things were before when each of us was happily married to our former partners, who sadly have passed. It was raining outside, and it was drizzling a little bit inside, too.

Sunday, it was our good pleasure to meet for Bible class and worship with the Courtland, Mississippi Church of Christ. I presented for class, “World Evangelism Media & Missions.” During worship periods, I preached, “Imitating the Urgency of Jesus Christ” and “Imitating the Focus of Jesus Christ.” This small congregation makes a big impact on our missionary endeavors with ample encouragement and generous financial participation with us. In addition, we were guests of their monthly fellowship meal. Last week, we also enjoyed a fellowship meal with brethren in Nile, Mississippi. Brethren can cook, and they are not afraid to do so!

This evening late into the night, I managed to catch up on some of my recordkeeping of monetary gifts, sermon and lesson register, and pending appointments to confirm. While I was attending to all of that, Martha and Rebecca were baking and icing cupcakes—white ones with vanilla topping and chocolate ones with, yes, chocolate frosting. I played Nehemiah the food taster and sampled them. Somebody had to do it! In addition, Martha made some more peanut butter as well as chocolate fudge. All of this was in preparation for a youth group coming to work with us in the World Evangelism Building on Monday and Tuesday.

Aside from that, I need to complete the packet of Martha’s application for a visa for India. I need to make numerous phone calls tomorrow throughout the day and evening to make speaking appointments for the next couple of months. There is never a shortage of things to do, and there is a long list of tasks awaiting their turn for much needed attention. Alas, we have job security as long as we live—that is, something worthwhile to do irrespective of whether it is monetarily feasible. You and I—all we who are Christians—serve our Master, Jesus!

World Evangelism Annual Team Meeting & Such

July 9, 2016

96 dpi 4x6 annual meeting 1Tuesday evening July 5th, Rebecca and I pulled into my driveway in Winona, MS around 4 p.m. She had spent her birthday in the car with me traveling back from two Sundays of my preaching appointments in Florida. Wednesday was a catch-up day on so many levels and in so many ways. Thursday began the 2-day World Evangelism Annual Team Meeting in Winona. Several brothers and sisters in Christ traveled hundreds of miles to share field reports and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow stateside and foreign missionaries. Among the diverse efforts discussed to disseminate the Gospel at home and abroad were jail and prison ministries, radio, TV, Internet, foreign Bible schools, and overseas campaigns.

96 dpi 4x6 annual meeting 2Among those present were Betty Choate, Paula and Jerry Bates, Rebecca and Louis Rushmore, Barbara Oliver, Gordon Hogan, Larry Murdock, Janet and Wayne Barrier, James Lee, Barbara and James Jones, Joey Barrier, Baron Vander Maas, Ellen and Collin McKee, Madolyn and Gene Gibson, Robin Dunaway, Sadie and Therman Hodge, Dennis Larson, JoAn and L.T. Gurganus, and Gay and Byron Nichols. We are loosely affiliated, besides all being faithful members of the Lord’s church; amenable to the respective elderships under which we serve Jesus Christ in our various capacities and labors for the Lord, we nevertheless cooperate as opportunities present themselves to further the spread of the Gospel worldwide. Directly and indirectly through foreign brethren alongside of whom we work for the Lord, this crew makes the Gospel of Christ available to approximately two-thirds of the world’s population and participates in thousands of conversions each year.

96 dpi 4x6 annual meeting 3Virtually every get-together for special occasions (and often without any special occasion) among Christians involves eating with one another. The Annual Meeting was certainly no exception to that norm. On Thursday evening, we carpooled 18 miles away to the Carmack Fish House – a longstanding, yearly tradition for us. Of course, lunches and breakfasts back at the World Evangelism Building were delightful as well.

96 dpi 4x6 annual meeting 4In addition to general meetings in which field reports were presented and we encouraged each other, there were two special meetings in which core members of the World Evangelism Team participated. One of those was regarding The Voice of Truth International quarterly magazine that we publish in English and several foreign languages. The Editor, Byron Nichols is now 79-years-old, and he has opted to slow down some. Consequently, he has chosen to transfer much of his responsibilities to others. The outcome was that brother Nichols will become Editor Emeritus, Louis Rushmore will become the Editor and Jerry Bates will be the Associate Editor. These adjustments in duties will become effective with the publication of The Voice of Truth International volume 90; issue 89 is at the printers now. Brother Byron Nichols has edited VOTI for 25 years, and he will remain active with it for the foreseeable future.

96 dpi 4x6 annual meeting 5The second special meeting concerned the Into God’s World curriculum effort that has been in the works for some time. Four quarters of Teen study books – a year’s worth of lessons – have been completed, and they are ready to print. The writer for the series is brother Kevin Cauley; Robin Dunaway is project manager and Louis Rushmore is responsible for layout and production. Initially, one copy each of the first quarter book will be sent out to hundreds of congregations to acquaint them with the study and elicit orders for use in 2017.

Saturday, I completed the July edition of Gospel Gazette Online for publication to the Internet, and Rebecca finished proofing it. For a change, the holdup this time was me! I was the last one to have his or her article ready.

Looking ahead to the new week, Sunday I will speak for the Bible class and morning worship of the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS; two weeks later, I will speak at the same times again. Monday, I must attend to details for printing The Voice of Truth International volume 89 in Hong Kong, printing of Into God’s World literature, etc. in Minnesota and price thousands of tracts and Bibles for another mission work that intends to saturate 100% a South Pacific island nation. Tuesday evening, I am to speak in a Gospel meeting for the Huntsville Church of Christ outside of French Camp, MS. I’m sure I will find enough worthy undertakings to fill the balance of my hours and days – so I won’t get bored!

2015 Team Meeting

July 11, 2015

Team MeetingThursday and Friday, July 9-10, 2015 was the occasion of the annual meeting of the World Evangelism team in Winona, Mississippi. Every year in July, Christian brethren who work directly together or who are indirectly associated in stateside and foreign missions congregate in the little, middle-Mississippi town. As usual, additional, interested guests were also present. Collectively this year, we numbered approximately 25 men and women.

Team MeetingPrimarily, we encourage each other, and of course, we eat! Breakfast and lunch meals are enjoyed in the World Evangelism Building where we assemble for our get together. Nobody goes hungry, and there are desserts galore. For supper on Thursday evening, past tradition has us drive around 20 miles away to the Carmack Fish House, and we did so again this year. The specialty of the buffet is catfish, but some of the best tasting chicken also graced the food bar.

Back at the office/warehouse, individuals and couples updated the group respecting what they have been doing over the past year and what they plan, Lord willing, to do over the next several months. Among the areas of Christian labors represented were activities revolving around a Christian Student Center at a local college, efforts in India, Myanmar, the Philippines, Indonesia, Guyana, African nations, Nepal, Viet Nam, Peru, Sri Lanka and China. Particularly interesting were the assessments made by various ones respecting the achievements and progress attributed to their personal involvement in their respective Christian works. In addition, staff of The Voice of Truth International, who live in Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee were enabled to ring around a table and discuss upcoming issues of the quarterly magazine.

(Friday night, my daughter Rebecca and I managed to publish to the Internet the July issue of Gospel Gazette Online. We have approximately 1,650 subscribers with a total of nearly 3,000 souls “following” our undertakings.)

The event triggered spontaneous tears on my part more than once, though. Just two months ago and very shortly before my Bonnie died, she left hospitalization prematurely for the express purpose of spending time with these brethren and others at the Annual May Maywood Missionary Retreat outside of Hamilton, AL. She was very feeble, but she pushed herself to reunite with likeminded workers for the Lord with whom we have interacted for many years. Now, so soon after that, assembled with the same people without her was extremely hard on me. One couple in attendance was marking their 52nd anniversary, and Bonnie and my anniversary is less than a week away also. Every day is difficult, but these two days were a blessing and very tough for me as well.

We press on. Each soul present those two days presses on. The only real retirement that any of us know and for which we long is retirement from life at the end of a lifetime of labor for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We dread the possibility that incapacity may rob us of that joy before we expire.

World Evangelism Annual Team Meeting

July 10, 2014

96 dpi 4 x 4 CAR DECALSSeveral World Evangelism Team Members converged on Winona, Mississippi for our annual occasion of fellowship and comparing notes on the various worldwide missions to which we devote ourselves. Some arrived as early as Saturday, July 5 for field reports and fellowship over food, of course, on Monday through Wednesday morning. Saturday was also our daughter Rebecca’s birthday; she has been visiting us between finishing teaching summer school and her impending mission trip to Guyana, South America.

Daily, Betty Choate, Jerry and Paula Bates, and Louis and Bonnie Rushmore interact in Winona. Numerous other Christians with whom we are loosely associated live in various places stateside and overseas. Each of us work under our respective elderships, and we voluntarily cooperate to provide mass evangelism and follow-up around the world. Several countries on six of the seven continents are among those in which team members labor for the Lord.

In a sense, unless one has been there and done that, he or she cannot fully identify with the lives we live as missionaries. Hence, we are a great uplift to each other; we provide some small recharge before resuming our respective and ongoing efforts for the cause of Christ. Yet, we could not do what we do without the moral support and financial participation of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Thank you!

One final observation: Looking around at ourselves, we are graying (and some of us are balding), which means that more younger brethren need to begin working with us, to whom we can pass the baton of missions sometime in the future. Our daughter, who has reached a significant milestone birthday, was about 20 years younger than the youngest of the rest of us! We covet the well wishes and prayers throughout the churches of Christ.

Team Meeting on the Road

November 25, 2013

World Evangelism Team Meeting on the RoadAmidst the wet, rainy, cold weather, Bonnie and I swung by Betty Choate’s house at 8:15 a.m. to retrieve her for our trek to Tupelo, MS for an extended World Evangelism Team Meeting. Two hours later, we arrived at the East Main Church of Christ’s meetinghouse. Waiting for us were Jerry and Paula Bates who had stayed in Tupelo overnight as they were returning from Sunday appointments in Tennessee. A little later, Robin Dunaway from Jasper, AL and Wayne Barrier from Florence, AL arrived, too.

We discussed various team related projects from 10:30 a.m. until nearly 4:00 p.m. Among items over which we compared notes and agreed how to proceed cooperatively were future worldwide publishing and distribution details for two of our magazines (The Voice of Truth International and Global Harvest), honing the speakers’ schedule for the 2014 India Missions Conference (cohosted by the World Evangelism Team and Heritage Christian University), foreign translation, publishing and distribution of books and tracts around the world, and moving ahead with the next step in the development of a Bible school curriculum for all ages (Into God’s World). Of course, we interjected lunch into the mix about 1:30 p.m. (a Subway sandwich platter, chips, Bonnie’s homemade cookies and soft drinks; I came for the chips!—in part.)

Before parting company, we transferred four cases of books from our car to Wayne’s car; we were the delivery people today from the World Evangelism Building warehouse to restock the Barriers for their appointments. Sadly, Robin Dunaway’s car wouldn’t start, and we could not bring it to life with the jumpstart we attempted; we all left him at his bidding to await help from AAA (not AA). Then, we headed for Sam’s Club (for an hour!) before pointing the old jalopy toward Winona. Betty, of course, found someone inside the store that she knew—and a conversation developed. We are thankful for cell phones, which enabled Bonnie and me to ascertain that she was yet in the store and not out in the rain somewhere waiting for us to emerge from the exit.

We dropped Betty off at her home, stopped by the office to put leftovers in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch and got home ourselves around 7:00 p.m. Our journey home seemed longer owing to the dark, rainy night and wet roads. That’s how we spent Monday, November 25, 2013. Oh, we also received a book order by phone while traveling in the car this morning, and I received email correspondence from India about the upcoming India Missions Conference in the afternoon. Our office is truly mobile!

By Day & By Night

August 7, 2013

Voice of Truth, Vol. 77Our “Monday” was on Tuesday this week, or so it seemed, because we really spent Monday all day in the car making our way back to Winona from our weekend appointments in McMinnville, TN. By day Tuesday and Wednesday Bonnie worked on volume 78 of The Voice of Truth International; it takes a quarter of the year to prepare each new quarterly of 116 pages including the cover. I, on the other hand, primarily devoted my days between preparation of my visa application to Myanmar for my fall trip there and trying to put volume 77 of The Voice of Truth International to bed – again! It occurs to me that putting a publication “to bed” is somewhat like trying to put a small child in bed for the night, sometimes again, again and again. When the “proofs” arrived back in the office from the printing company, we discovered serious flaws; the conversion of our work to PDF files was faulty, and we had been unaware of that when we sent them to the printing company in South Carolina. We found irregular spacing within and between words as well as skewed justification.

The PDF files needed to be remade. However, upon remaking them, other errors appeared in text boxes on which special effects had been employed. Some of the errors were the invisible, unidentifiable computer program glitches, which baffle me and bring about not a little frustration. Then, the fonts failed to embed in the replacement document. I think that volume 77 is finally in bed. New proofs are coming, and we hope that they confirm that we are ready for production. Being humans here at World Evangelism, try as we do, we know that something(s) needing correction will have escaped our notice, but we do try to publish a handsome and useful Gospel journal – read all over the planet in English besides numerous foreign languages.

Tuesday evening, Bonnie and I were accompanied by our coworker Paula Bates to the Gospel meeting at Elliott, MS Church of Christ. Brother Joe Ruiz was the speaker, and we ate lunch with him and his wife Bonnie earlier in the day. Wednesday night, we three again attended an area Gospel meeting, this time at the Coffeeville, MS Church of Christ; Therman Hodge, good friend, preached. We misjudged the start time of the meeting and arrived near the end of a fellowship meal. Yes, we nibbled some. After services, the congregation hosted a homemade ice cream social, and yes, we imbibed – certainly more than this old, short and diabetic fat man ought to have. In addition to the ice cream, especially the yummy Butterfinger flavor, there was an awesome hot fudge and marshmallow crockpot cake that was very sumptuous (times 2 for me).

By day and by night, with bookends of activity on either side of those days, Bonnie and I keep ourselves busy. We try to make a difference for the Lord, and with the encouragement of brethren the world over, perhaps we can be found fruitful when our Lord returns or when our time here on earth comes to an end. May we and all other Christians make a happy pilgrimage from this temporary world to our eternal home.

Annual World Evangelism Team Meeting & More

July 12, 2013
Group Picture Less about 3 photographers

Group Picture Less about 3 Photographers

Wednesday, July 10, attendees of the Annual World Evangelism Team Meeting began arriving in Winona, MS. Altogether, just under 30 adults and children attended this year’s gathering on Thursday and Friday. Those attending included the core group of team members who voluntarily cooperate to provide a well-rounded and worldwide program of evangelism, but others who came are a part of a larger circle of fellow missionaries with whom we also cooperate. Yet others were merely interested in evangelism – stateside or abroad and came to be with us.

Happily, Thursday evening after returning from catfish supper at Carmack, MS Fish House, many hands of numerous visitors to the team meeting quickly tabbed (two per mail piece) and labeled 649 July edition of the Rushmore Newsletter. Friday morning, I shipped it off via the local Post Office. If we had not been the beneficiaries of such gracious assistance, the newsletter would have had to wait until we returned from our upcoming trip on July 19.

Of course, we did a lot of eating together! We chiefly encouraged each other and talked about how we can possibly be more effective in our evangelistic efforts. Among the topics entertained were literature (The Voice of Truth International and Global Harvest magazines, books, and tracts), foreign Bible schools, school of missions, graded class material under development, training our replacements as missionaries, etc.

Thursday night and especially Friday morning, brethren began departing for home, depending on the distances they had to travel or special needs to which they had to respond. Bonnie and I left around noon for her next chemotherapy about two hours away in Jackson, MS.

Unfortunately, Bonnie’s white blood count was low enough that she could not receive chemo on Friday, since we were leaving town for the week. If we were going to be around for a few days before leaving, she could have received a shot on Monday to help boost her white blood cell count. However, we are leaving Saturday morning on a jet airplane for Colorado to observe our 40th wedding anniversary. We will ride the Silverton train from Durango to Silverton and back. We will also drive the San Juan Skyway and take two days to do it. If Bonnie is strong enough and not too tired, we will also take a day to visit Mesa Verde before returning to Mississippi.

With the drop of Bonnie’s white cell blood count, she must be careful of not exposing herself to sickness or germs in general unnecessarily. We are taking a prescription antibiotic with us on the trip. We will have to wait and see in the future whether she must (at least some of the time) refrain from public interaction. When Bonnie has her next scheduled appointment, she will also meet again with her oncologist for an assessment and medical advice. It is important to Bonnie and me that we make this planned trip, and the medical personnel advise us as well to make this trip – for they think that not only does this milestone need to be celebrated but that the aside of this pleasure trip may actually be a positive note in Bonnie’s ongoing treatment. Thank you for your interest in us, and your encouragement and support of Bonnie and me as we endeavor to give ourselves over to the service of our Lord and Great God.