Posted tagged ‘2013 Mission Trips’

Winding Down the Days

January 23, 2014
Mississippi School of Biblical Studies

Louis teaching at Mississippi
School of Biblical Studies

Bonnie and I are winding down the days before our next trip out of the country; we depart the USA on February 1 for Guyana, South America—where we will be for the entire month of February. We have a rigorous schedule that will place our seminars within reach of every Christian in the country.

Saturday, January 18, we made our way to a new venue for us—the Oil Trough, AR Church of Christ. A few weeks ago, Bonnie and I passed through the small community of Oil Trough on the way back from a Sunday appointment, but we had never visited brethren there. It was our good pleasure to be welcomed into the home of brother Garland and sister Shirley Ann Hankins. Shortly thereafter, we were joined by brother Terry and sister Shirley Ann Brady, in whose home Bonnie and I would lodge Saturday night. It is always so good to make personal friends of Christian brethren hitherto before we had not met, and such was the case especially regarding these two couples.

Sunday for Bible class, I made my PowerPoint presentation about 2013 Mission Trips. During worship, I preached “Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship?” Saturday night and Sunday, Bonnie and I were fed better than we deserve! Further, we thoroughly enjoyed the fellowship, encouragement and financial participation with which the congregation lifted us up.

Monday being a holiday, Bonnie and I worked from the house in the comfort of our dual reclining, overstuffed loveseat. That’s the kind of office furniture I really like! Dual laptop computers a blazing away resting upon identical lapboards, we prodded ahead on a number of things. Monday and Tuesday, Bonnie and I collaborated, with the help of Jerry Bates’ assembling a file to upload, to publicize over a hundred tracts added to the online book store.

Wednesday was a busy day! We drove from Winona to Jackson, MS in the morning for two doctors’ appointments for Bonnie; she passed in flying colors checkups at both the Women’s Hospital and Jackson Oncology Associates. She has the green light to leave in just over a week for the tropical excursion to the jungles and remote areas of Guyana—though the oncologist cringed when we explained our itinerary. That evening, I continued teaching the Book of Job to the adult auditorium class of the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ in Jackson. We stayed over again in the home, enjoying the kind hospitality of one of the elders and his wife, the Leggetts.

Thursday morning, Bonnie and I made our way to the meetinghouse for the church and commandeered an office for the day. Bonnie worked on lessons for the classes she will teach in Guyana, and I worked on the online book store, my lesson for the Mississippi School of Biblical Studies that night and on a lesson for one of my classes in Guyana. From 6:25 p.m. to 7:25 p.m., I taught, “The Mechanics of Preaching: Organization & Word Choices.” We managed to arrive back in Winona, MS by 9:15 p.m. (Bonnie did get excited on I-55 in the construction zone at Madison, MS when a tractor trailer ran us off the road; I have a hard time finding the horn on my car, but apparently once I did find it the driver heard it and returned to the passing lane where he was so that we could resume our travel likewise in the slow lane.)

Saturday, our daughter and a group of Christians from the Collierville, TN Church of Christ will conduct a workday at the World Evangelism Building; they come annually and help us with cleaning, trimming the shrubbery, maintenance, packaging books for overseas shipment, preparation of mailings, etc. That congregation sends families, so the youngest attendees will be about 4-years-old and the oldest will be—we don’t talk about that! Besides everything that gets done that we cannot accomplish easily by ourselves (Betty Choate, the Bates and us) while attending to other matters, helping brethren are a great encouragement to us. They also get to see some of the behind the scenes aspects of what goes into mission work. It’s a win-win situation for them and us, too.

Yes, we’re winding down the days! One day and one week to go before we depart the USA for Guyana, South America for an entire month. We solicit your prayers.

Night Is Coming When No Man Can Work

January 15, 2014

Saturday morning January 12, Bonnie and I headed for a five-hour drive to Center Ridge, Arkansas. Stops along the way and “road work” added another hour to the trip. We arrived at the home of Garry and Melissa Polk; he is one of the elders for the Center Ridge Church of Christ. Meatloaf and all the trimmings awaited us, and sister Polk didn’t even know that meatloaf is just about my favorite plate, though she had not found me shy at the supper table on any previous occasion either when other entrees graced us.

We spent an evening talking about our travels to various countries in Asia and South America. Finally, we all retired for the evening, past their bedtime. However, they were up early and out the door to their daughter and son-in-law’s home to collect four grandchildren so their daughter and son-in-law could proceed to the hospital to usher into the world child number five. Our hosts and the handsome brood arrived part way through Bible class, and it was a pleasure to experience lunch together at the local eatery. That little restaurant, called “The Bucket List,” itself was a little tin garage on the outside and the source of tasty food on the inside—superior to many a chain restaurant we and others may visit on a road trip.

For Bible class, I made my PowerPoint presentation about 2013 foreign mission trips. During worship, I presented another PowerPoint by special request on Beverage Alcohol; I provided free copies of my book by the same name. Having no evening appointment, we drove toward home, arriving back in Winona, MS about 6:30 p.m.

Monday through Wednesday, a group of visitors descended on the World Evangelism Building to work on a new Bible class curriculum that is in the works. The Bates, Betty Choate, and Bonnie and I lodged them in our homes. The meals we enjoyed together, courtesy of Betty Choate, Paula Bates and Bonnie Rushmore, were grand, tasty and fattening!

Through this, the Bates and the Rushmores attended other matters besides the Bible school curriculum. The four of us processed the Bates’ newsletter for mailing and finalized the next issue of The Voice of Truth International to send to the printing company. I worked on my lesson (“How God Communicates with Mankind, Today”) for Thursday evening at the Mississippi School of Biblical Studies (at the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ in Jackson, MS). In addition, I have been preparing for my Wednesday evening class on the Book of Job, also at the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ. Bonnie and I will stay over in the home of one of the elders and his wife of the Siwell Rd. congregation. Bonnie has been working on her lessons for our upcoming trip (February 1—March 1) to Guyana, South America, and I need to steal some time to do likewise. Our days are full from 7 a.m. when the alarm sounds until about midnight daily.

We go home from the office, but essentially we just exchange the desk chair for a reclining loveseat with lapboards sporting our computers. Jesus said, “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). We, too, have work to do before the nighttime of death engulfs us.

Barreling Up and Down the Natchez Trace

December 29, 2013

Train Museum

The alarm on my Blackberry phone sounded at 6 a.m., and we were out the door, in the car and headed for Sunday worship in Glen, MS by 6:35. Bonnie, our daughter Rebecca and I were on our way to the
Strickland Church of Christ, two and a half hours away. It was our pleasure to be with these brethren on December 29 for Bible class, morning worship, fellowship meal and afternoon worship. I was privileged to speak three times: PowerPoint presentation on “2013 Mission Trips,” “Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship?” and “The Purpose of Preaching.”

96 dpi 3x5 Corinth Rail2

The saints at Strickland were a great encouragement to Bonnie and me. Throughout the year, the ladies have been sending cards of encouragement to Bonnie as she was recovering from cancer treatments. The Strickland Church of Christ is the sponsoring congregation for our coworkers Jerry and Paula Bates.

96 dpi 3x5 Corinth Rail3

Before leaving the nearby Corinth, MS area, we made a brief stop at the old railroad station, now a museum. We visited one of the famous rail “crossroads” in America, at least two of which are in Mississippi (i.e., a second is found in Moorehead, MS). The museum was open, but Louis “Scrooge” Rushmore valued the admission fee more than looking at one more gallery.

On the way back to Winona, we paused in Tupelo, MS for buying sewing needles and miscellaneous, fed the car (i.e., with gas, of course) and supper at Olive Garden. Then, we barreled down the Natchez Trace Parkway at the top legal speed of 50 MPH! (Bonnie and I have spent many hours over recent years traversing the Natchez Trace through Mississippi and Alabama.) We left that morning in the dark, and we pulled back into the driveway after dark. In for the night, awaiting the daylight, tomorrow we will apply ourselves to the duties of the day, endeavoring to serve the Lord.

Sunday in Mississippi

December 22, 2013

Sunday morning, December 22, Bonnie and I, with our daughter Rebecca along for the ride, left the house in Winona, MS at 7 a.m. We were bound for the Clinton, MS Church of Christ, where we would worship with the saints there. During 9 a.m. Bible class, I presented my PowerPoint “2013 Mission Trips.” There was good interaction with the class as well following worship. Later, I preached “Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship?” It, too, was well received. I had one of my tracts on that very subject available in the foyer.

Afterward, the preacher John Allan and his wife Erin and their 3-year-old boy Seth treated the three of us to lunch at McAlister’s. Seth is so smart and the most well-manner little one I have ever observed. I enjoyed him as much as we enjoyed the Christian fellowship with his mother and father.

Next, we three ventured into the foray of holiday shoppers at the new outlets mall in Pearl, MS. Rebecca was on a quest to find a pair of shoes. Bonnie and I had visited the shopping center for the first time about a week earlier and noticed several shoe stores. Our daughter views shopping as a miserable experience and from her teenage years she wearied all who accompanied her on her shopping adventures. This time, though, was different! We went into one store, she found shoes that fit and that she liked, and she bought two pair of shoes! Neither the abundance of shoppers or disappointment over the shopping experience dampened the outing.

After refueling the car for our trip home later that night, Bonnie spied a Dollar Tree store. We visited it, and she bought some empty tins in which she planned to package some homemade cookies to give a way. In addition to the mob of dollar shoppers, complications at checkout with inept employees prolonged our visit. It would be amusing if it were not pathetic that counter employees sometimes these days can’t count to “8” or refrain from asking for payment when instead they are supposed to be giving back the change for what was already handed them for payment. However, it does remind me of those occasions when I walk into a room and simply cannot remember why.

Sunday evening, it was our good pleasure to worship with the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ on the south side of Jackson, MS. I again made my PowerPoint presentation about my “2013 Mission Trips.” This congregation is our sponsoring church. The elders and preacher, especially as well as many members, are supportive and encouraging.

After worship, W.E. and Judy Walker, plus two of their granddaughters, treated us to supper at Burger King. We delayed our inevitable return to Winona for some time while once more we enjoyed good fellowship with the Walkers and two other couples from church with whom we dined. Our next stop was Wal-Mart in Madison, MS along our homeward route up I-55. We often buy groceries or other commodities on our way back to Winona. Bonnie also picked up some more containers for homemade, kitchen-made holiday gifts (e.g., cookies, candy and caramel popcorn).

Bonnie and Rebecca had the options of sleeping or reading from their electronic Nook readers as I drove in the early morning or on the return trip through the darkness to home. On the other hand, I am the designated driver. Last night, I was growing very tired and my driving skills were depreciating before we finally pulled into the driveway. I was exhausted by the time we arrived home around 10:30 p.m. We three stayed up a little longer after putting groceries away. Though the alarm sounded and was silenced at 6:30 a.m., I was too tired to rise and shine just yet. I’m not stopped, but I am slowing down just a little. The real rest on which I am counting is out of this world.

The Past Few Days

December 19, 2013

Sunday morning, December 15, we worshipped with the Old Union Church of Christ in the morning. We drove a big circle (or maybe a triangle), shopping for some clothes in Greenwood, MS (after we lunched) before driving to Grenada, MS (only to find the store closed). We completed the circuit by driving back to Winona, MS.

Sunday evening, I spoke for the Huntsville Church of Christ outside of French Camp, MS. I made a PowerPoint presentation about my 2013 Mission Trips to Myanmar and Guyana. As always, we were received like family. After all, we are the family of God—brothers and sisters in Christ.

Monday through Wednesday morning we attended sundry routine duties at the office. We had a Winona World Evangelism Team meeting to work out how to proceed with production and distribution of The Voice of Truth International worldwide. Shipping has become a daunting task with astronomical increases in shipping.

In the middle of Wednesday afternoon, Bonnie and I made our way down to Jackson, MS so I could teach the auditorium, adult Bible class for the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ; I’m teaching the Book of Job. On the way, we ate supper and after which found ourselves trapped in a colossal traffic jam several miles long approaching the malfunction junction of I-55 and I-20. We arrived back home after Bible class at about 11 p.m.

Thursday, we worked at the World Evangelism Building in both the office and warehouse. It was kind of a frustrating day, and we closed with frustration—trying to get the printing equipment to work satisfactorily. I was able to print some order forms, but I gave up trying to print envelopes. I was hoping that the miles driven hauling hundreds of pounds of equipment to a repair site and paying money would have resolved the problems the equipment was experiencing. Unfortunately, both presses are not operating correctly to some degree; one is not operational at all. Ironically, the problem I am having with that machine was characteristic of its twin when I took them in for repair, but not this one. Now the twin works, but the other one has taken on the other’s symptom—almost like it is a contagious disease that they are sharing! Repairman assured me both machines were working; sadly, that is not the case.

This evening, I updated the links for Gospel Gazette Online. A couple of days prior, I finally caught up in posting months of lauds respecting GGO and our overall labors for the Lord. There is always something that I should have done and didn’t get around to doing it yet; the list is gargantuan. There will always be another day—unless there isn’t, and then it won’t matter anyway.

Foray into Arkansas and Back

December 1, 2013

Table Hanging from CeilingSaturday, November 31, Bonnie and I drove from Winona, MS to Batesville, AR. We spent the night in a local motel in preparation for worshipping on the Lord’s Day (on December 1) with the Southside, AR Church of Christ—as the name indicates, just south of Batesville. We opted for supper at Arby’s and dessert at Dairy Queen—about a block apart from each other.

Sunday, I made a PowerPoint presentation of my 2013 foreign mission trips during the Bible class time. We visited vicariously through my trips Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) in Asia and Guyana, South America.

Normally, Bonnie and I spend up to two months in Asia in any of four countries and up to one month in Guyana; this year, however, without Bonnie at my side due to her illness, I stayed three weeks in Guyana and three weeks in Myanmar this year. Happily, Bonnie has recovered and will be traveling with me to Guyana for the entire month of February.

During worship, I preached, “Why Do the Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music in Worship?” About 80 were present. Bonnie and I are always graciously received by our brothers and sisters in Christ at the Southside, AR congregation. We feel at home or comfortable there.

After worship, we dined with brother Bob and sister Shirley Harris, preacher and his wife for the church. We ate at a quaint, rustic restaurant across the street from the meetinghouse. The food was good, which is always a plus at an eatery, and the companionship was grand. An interesting oddity was that among the other items tacked on the walls and ceiling was a complete table, chairs, dishes, cups, etc. hanging upside down from the ceiling. Sister Harris said she never sits at the table under the hanging table because she doesn’t trust it not to fall while she is eating.

While we were at the restaurant, two other preachers from neighboring communities greeted me. One brother was from Oil Trough, AR; he highly praised Gospel Gazette Online and my most recent editorial in The Voice of Truth International magazine. Encouraging words are always appreciated and help us keep the momentum going to accomplish those things.

After lunch, Bonnie and I headed for Rebecca’s home in Collierville, TN. We will stay over two nights before returning to Winona, MS. Tomorrow, Bonnie and I will put on our annual demonstration, with a PowerPoint presentation, about foreign culture at the school where Rebecca teaches. Tuesday, Bonnie and I pick up sister Marilyn LaStrape at the Memphis, TN airport before returning to Winona. More about those two events later. Wednesday, I begin a 6-month class on Wednesday evenings at the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ in Jackson, MS. More about that later, too. We keep ourselves busy in the service of our Lord, with the help and financial underwriting of our Christian brethren and churches of Christ. Thank you!