Posted tagged ‘2013 Guyana Mission Trip’

A Week Gone By

February 2, 2014

Sunday, January 26, Bonnie and I worshipped in the a.m. with the Old Union Church of Christ in Carroll County, Mississippi. That evening, we worshipped with the brethren of the West President Church of Christ in Leflore County, Mississippi.

Wednesday, our trip to Jackson, MS, where I was to teach the auditorium class for the Siwell Road Church of Christ, was cancelled due to inclement, winter weather. Therefore, we changed course and attended Bible class with the Elliott Church of Christ in Grenada County, Mississippi.

Thursday, among other things, we shipped 54 cases of The Voice of Truth International. All week, Bonnie and I were busy finishing our lessons for our February mission trip to Guyana, South America. In addition, we attended other duties that typically punctuate our days at the World Evangelism Building (warehouse/office complex).

Friday, we drove to Collierville, TN to the home of our daughter Rebecca.

Saturday was a travel day! We reluctantly arose at 3 a.m. to go to the Memphis International Airport. From there, we flew to Charlotte, NC, before flying onward to Miami, Fl. Our third plane ride for the day took us to Georgetown, Guyana, with a stopover in Port of Spain in the Atlantic Ocean. Finally, we bedded down in Linden, Guyana around 1 a.m. Guyanese time.

Sunday, Bonnie and I worshipped with the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ in Linden. No one takes a count, but the building was packed—with maybe 400 present. The week prior, even more attended, requiring extra seating to be brought from classrooms—and some still had to stand. A larger building is under construction on the adjacent lot—being built by church member labor.

It was my pleasure to speak for both the class and the worship. In the Bible class, I showed the congregation the PowerPoint that I showed in the States about our 2013 Nationwide Seminars in Guyana. For worship, I preached “Which Covenant.”

Monday, we will begin the seminar program throughout Guyana by traveling by small plane to Lethem on the Brazilian border. Tuesday and Wednesday by day we will have the seminar for members of the church, and by night, we will have a Gospel meeting. Last year, 170 showed up for the evening program. This year, Bonnie will teach ladies, while Latchmenarine “Joe” Latchmenarine (yes, his first name and his last name are the same—no, not one name, but the same name twice!) and I teach the men and combined sessions. More details and pictures to follow, God willing.

The 4th of July Weekend

July 8, 2013

Bonnie and I are still struggling with Volume 77 of The Voice of Truth International, trying to get it ready for the printing company in South Carolina. In addition, we continued to revise two of my new tracts, trying to make them fit in the available space; my new tracts about to be sent to the printer in Hong Kong include “To Drink or Not to Drink,” “Did Dinosaurs Really Exist?”, “Foreknowledge of God Explained” and “The New Testament Church Is Divine in Organization.” I continue to sometimes work on the August issue of Gospel Gazette Online.

Wednesday, July 3, Bonnie and I decided to go up to Collierville, TN to be with our daughter Rebecca. Though we could not be with our daughter on Friday for her birthday, due to Bonnie’s chemotherapy that day, we wanted to bring her a present and wish her well – not only for her birthday but for her Saturday departure for Guyana, South America; she will be there a week with three others from the Collierville Church of Christ to conduct two VBS programs per day and teach adult classes nightly.

The City of Collierville hosted a fireworks display Wednesday night, and several church members and we gathered in the grass adjacent to the church parking lot to watch. It was perhaps the nicest fireworks display we have ever witnessed firsthand. The weather was pleasant, misquotes were absent and the fireworks were pleasing.

We are always unsure what to buy for or give to Rebecca. She is low maintenance (doesn’t want much), but particular (choosy), too. She had shown some interest in Bonnie’s Nook book reader, and so we got her one for her birthday – as well as to permit her to read more easily on her long airplane trip to South America. In addition, the model we got her was the best available at nearly half price and that would accept computer files from which Rebecca can teach some of her classes in Guyana.

When we are out of Winona, and especially when we are at our daughter’s home, we are probably more relaxed than we are anywhere else. We feel less worked because we are far from the house in Winona (that always cries for some attention) and the office with its printers, etc. Besides, not having just arrived from an appointment and not on the way to an appointment creates its own atmosphere of relaxation. We slept. We ate. We read or played computer games. We didn’t do anything – except take a day off.

We returned home Thursday evening, via a stop at our favorite restaurant in Horn Lake, MS. The Texas Road House burnt the first glorified chopped steak brought to our table, whereupon I sent it back. There is a difference between well done and charred a quarter of an inch deep all around! Bonnie and I ate lots of peanuts waiting for the return of the beef. The rolls were delayed until late – and deformed at that – some the size of hushpuppies! Bonnie and I shared one order of the so-called “Road Kill” (one salad between us, one baked potato shared and one chopped steak with melted cheese and sautéed onions); we share a lot because neither of us and especially Bonnie can eat much at a time.

Friday was consumed in chemotherapy – the nearly two hour drive down, nearly two hours driving back and hours more for the appointment. This was the second time that we had to go to the hospital infusion clinic (one floor above Jackson Oncology) for chemo. Nearly an hour after her appointment passed before blood was drawn for analysis; then, we had to wait for the hospital laboratory to process it to determine she was able to have chemotherapy. Then, the pharmacy has to mix the chemo drugs accordingly, and when a cubicle is available, only then can Bonnie begin the hour long infusion. The waiting room is small and crowded, and chemo patients must compete with all the other patients throughout the hospital for laboratory time, whereas Jackson Oncology has its own lab, a bigger waiting room and more cubicles. On the other hand, the hospital does not charge us a $50 insurance copay like the cancer clinic does. We are spending nearly $10,000 a month between chemotherapy, doctor visits for either of us and medical insurance with a $5,000 deductible apiece. Fortunately for us, the insurance picks up most of those charges.

Saturday, I finished painting exterior areas of the house in Winona where we reside. It has only taken me about a year to complete what I started last summer. The underside of the back porch roof and trim needed to be painted; the porch roof had rotted and had to be replaced before I could attend to the ceiling. Also, I found an overhang on the front of the house that needed some paint. There is a satisfaction with a job completed.

Sunday, we attended worship and a Gospel meeting at the Old Union Church of Christ in Carroll County, MS. Brother Don Roberson from the Coffeeville, MS Church of Christ preached. Following Bible class and morning worship, we all packed tables to share a potluck meal together. After lunch, we resumed the meeting with an early service. Upon returning to Winona, Bonnie took a nap. She has been going at three-quarter to full throttle speed despite cancer treatment, but she may be beginning to slow a little.

This week I need to mow the grass, especially since we are leaving for a week starting on Saturday in observance of our 40th wedding anniversary. We need to do some extra as well as routine cleaning since we will have guests staying with for the Annual World Evangelism Team Meeting this week. We will be trying to attend the Gospel meeting at the Old Union Church of Christ through Wednesday night, and we have the team meeting on Thursday. Friday, Bonnie has chemotherapy again, but we will not return to Winona afterward. Saturday morning, we fly out of Jackson, MS to Denver, change planes and fly to Durango, CO. We plan to ride the Silverton train and drive the San Juan Skyway. We may need a rest after the next two weeks, but alas that is not likely to occur.

First Sunday in May

May 5, 2013

10th Ave. Church of ChristSunday, May 2, Bonnie stayed home to rest with our daughter Rebecca to accompany her. I, though, traveled about 80 miles east of Winona to Columbus, MS and spent the entire day with the 10th Ave. Church of Christ. This vibrant congregation of about 125 has within it all age groups represented. It was my good pleasure to speak at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.; I presented my PowerPoint on 2012-2013 mission trips, “Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship?”, “Male Leadership in the Church” and “Why Do the Churches of Christ Rely on Freewill Offerings to Fund Themselves?”

It is always a great pleasure of mine to commune with these saints. Nowhere else on the planet to which I go do I receive as many “Amens,” handshakes and hugs in one place as here. We are family – the family of God!

Between morning and afternoon times, brother Robert and sister Emma Johnson, preacher and preacher’s wife, hosted me at Ryan’s for lunch. With us was a fine couple from the Baptist Church that had been visiting for Sunday morning worship. After lunch, I rested in the home of brother and sister Johnson before returning for an evening men’s class and worship.

The congregation prayed and prayed again for Bonnie. Several members asked me to convey their well wishes to my dear, sweet wife.

Three days earlier on Thursday, I had a doctor’s appointment in Grenada, MS. I left with a new prescription, which after only two days of use has already proved to be more effective than a previous medicine. In the weeks ahead, I will be scheduled for some tests in Oxford, MS, but it’s too early to borrow trouble or concern over what might be.

Looking ahead this week, Monday we need to make final preparation of Bonnie’s part in making ready for the Maywood May Missionary Retreat in Hamilton, AL; Bonnie will have a sitting down role in this year’s details toward that program. She must also print the “Thank You” cards on Monday for financial support received last week. I am still working on the May issue of Gospel Gazette Online, and I participate in the “Thank You” cards by printing the envelopes, stuffing, sealing and stamping them.

Tuesday, Bonnie has two appointments in Jackson, MS with an oncologist in the morning and the surgeon in the afternoon. Perhaps the last two tubes protruding from her side will be removed, as well as the last staples plucked out, too. She will learn about her schedule for chemotherapy. Tuesday’s travels nearly two hours each way and the hours spent there will completely exhaust her, I’m sure.

Wednesday and Thursday, we will be at the missionary retreat in Hamilton, AL; we will return home Thursday evening so we can greet our son Raymond who is coming Friday morning. He is flying from Columbus, OH to Memphis, TN, whereupon Rebecca will retrieve him and bring him down to Winona. It has been a couple of years since we have seen him, and he has a narrow window of opportunity to visit. He must return to the airport Sunday afternoon.

Doubtless, this will be a tiring week for Bonnie and probably for me, too. Life goes on until, simply put, it does not, and we intend to use ourselves up in the service of the Lord. Whenever someone tells me I look tired, I remark that I plan on resting in heaven. “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4 NKJV). “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

Lonely Ride

April 28, 2013
Louis Preaching in India

Louis Preaching in India

Sunday, April 28, I resumed my weekend speaking appointments. Because Bonnie had felt so poorly on Saturday, and because I was going to be out from early in the morning until late at night, Bonnie opted not to travel with me to my appointments. Sunday morning I was to fill-in for brother Gary Hampton who was absent from the pulpit at the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ in Jackson, MS. This necessitated me leaving Winona, MS at 7:30 a.m. to arrive in time for the church’s Bible class at 9:30 a.m. During the worship, I preached Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship? Sermons are streamed live to the Internet as well as archived. You may view my sermon yesterday or find other lessons at: Bonnie and Rebecca were present in a sense as they viewed the services from the ease of our living room.Before and after Bible class and worship, many Siwell members sent well wishes through me back to Bonnie. In my absence from Bonnie’s side, members of the Old Union Church of Christ visited her in the afternoon with a basket of goodies. We are so blessed for the encouragement of so many Christian brethren stateside and abroad.

Following worship, brother W.E. Walker, who is the deacon over missions at Siwell, took me to lunch at a Chinese restaurant in Clinton, MS. Afterward, we retired for a while to his home. It was then that I showed him a PowerPoint presentation of my recent, 3-week mission trip to Guyana, South America.

Around 2:30 p.m., I left brother Walker and proceeded to Best Buy in Jackson to pick up an external hard drive for sister Betty Choate’s office in her home. Actually, I am going to copy several gigabytes from her old computer at the office building to preserve the files and make them available more easily for use in her office in the home. Having done that, next I pointed the van toward my evening appointment with the Union, MS Church of Christ (not to be confused with the Old Union Church of Christ in Carroll County, MS), about an hour and a half away.

I was greeted so warmly by virtually every member in attendance that night. Of course, again well wishes were sent to Bonnie through me. The occasion for my presence was to update the congregation about my February mission trip to Guyana. I showed the PowerPoint presentation I had made specifically regarding that trip.

After services, I headed toward home, stopping briefly in Philadelphia, MS to grab a sandwich for supper. I pulled into the driveway back in Winona at 10:00 p.m. I was tired, and I know my driving was getting a little sloppy; I’m glad the trip was neither any longer nor any later. It was a lonely ride without Bonnie, a loneliness traveling about with which I have been mostly unacquainted for decades. It is always a good thing to have my best friend, dear wife and coworker accompany me daily and in all things. I had made a humongous, awkward “figure 8” in my travels, but I was back home. Hopefully, I glorified God and edified those before whom I stood on that day.

Easter Sunday

March 31, 2013

Old Union Church of ChristEaster Sunday (March 31st), our morning appointment was with the Old Union Church of Christ, deep in the woods of Carroll County, Mississippi and traversed by muddy, gravel roads. Rebecca accompanied us.

For Bible class, I presented a new PowerPoint on the recent three-week mission trip I made to Guyana, South America. During worship, I preached, “Why Do the Churches of Christ Observe the Lord’s Supper Weekly?” It was part of a series (not presented on this occasion) that emphasizes biblical authority and that the church of the Bible belongs to Jesus Christ, which requires it to turn exclusively to the New Testament of Jesus Christ to discern what is authorized in religion.

Following worship, the congregation had a fellowship meal, in which Bonnie, Rebecca and I were happy recipients. There was also an Easter egg hunt for the children, in which I opted not to participate.

Sunday evening, I made the same PowerPoint presentation about the Guyana trip to the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, MS. Guess what? Several of the members stayed at the building after worship to enjoy pizza together before parting to their various homes.

We have been staying close to home, waiting for news when Bonnie’s surgery will occur. These two appointments afforded us the opportunity to do so.