Posted tagged ‘children’

Mississippi School of Biblical Studies Debut

January 18, 2013

Gary HamptonThursday evening, January 17, 2013, the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ in Jackson, MS hosted the first session of the Mississippi School of Biblical Studies. It is patterned after the long successful Nashville Bible School, and Gary Hampton is its Director.

Louis Rushmore It was my pleasure to kick off this new endeavor with a class for an hour and twenty minutes on “Bible Geography.” Gary Hampton taught the second class of the evening about “Hermeneutics” or biblical interpretation. Over 40 attended. This series of classes will go on for eight weeks.

Louis RushmoreAt the start of the “Bible Geography” class, I introduced four young students – ranging from 3-years-old to 10-years-old – to three Bible maps. I have been doing this with children for years, and it does not take long for even young children to accomplish the goal of learning places on the Bible maps as well as events and characters associated with them. This type of a demonstration shows adults that there is some hope that they, too, can acquire this knowledge. After introducing the course and briefly acquainting the class with the textbook, I narrated a PowerPoint presentation about “Bible Archaeology.”

For more information about the Siwell Road Church of Christ, go to its webpage at http://www.siwellroad.com/. You can even go to resources on the toolbar of the page to find the archived videos of last night’s classes.

We’ll Sleep When We’re Dead!

August 22, 2012

Displays at Polishing the PulpitSome days, our workdays are traveling all day to an appointment on Wednesday evening. We did just that on August 15. Just before lunch time, we started driving from Winona, MS to Portland, TN – about six hours of driving plus necessary stops. However, before making this leg of our journey, we had to load the car for a two and a half week tour – including loading the van for 16 feet of displays at the Polishing the Pulpit (PTP) program in Sevierville, TN. In addition, following that lectureship, we are traveling to Pennsylvania and Ohio, before going to Jacksonville, FL in a roundabout way back to Winona. Thus, we had a lot of packing to do.

Buckets of Bible TimeWednesday, we were with the Fountain Head Church of Christ outside of Portland. That night, we lodged once more in the “Corn Crib,” a cottage that has been remodeled from an actual corn crib, on a farm near the Kentucky state line.

Bible MapsThursday morning, we drove toward Sevierville, around four hours away. Friday afternoon, we set up our mission work display and the literature display of hundreds of books. Saturday, we drove to Ooltewah, TN – a little over two hours southwest toward Chattanooga, TN. It was our good pleasure once more to lodge with Winston and Kathy Stringfield. Sunday morning August 19, I presented to the Ooltewah Church of Christ the PowerPoint Into All the World in 2011 for the Bible class (as I had done Wednesday at Fountain Head). During the worship period, I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. Sunday afternoon, Bonnie and I returned to PTP for the evening lessons.

Bonnie as Queen EstherMonday through Wednesday, between the two of us, Bonnie and I taught three children’s classes daily. Thursday, we taught two children’s classes. Not able to attend day sessions, each night Bonnie and I attended the night programs. We had much good interaction with brethren interested in our efforts for the cause of Christ. Bonnie and I renewed acquaintances and friendships, sometimes with brethren we had not seen for several years.

In some of the in between moments throughout the week, I was able to finalize some upcoming appointments stateside. After speaking at two congregations Sunday, August 26 in Ohio, the following Sunday, we will be with a church in Florida. In addition, we were able to work out some of the details for our soon trip to Asia for about two months.

I must be tired. Often by end of day and by the time Bonnie and I get in bed for the night, we are exhausted. In addition, even in the early morning often brethren tell me, “You look tired!” Well, if we fail to get all the rest one might think we need in this life, we are planning to rest eternally from this world’s labors once we lay down our bodies in the earthly clay. We’ll sleep when we’re dead!

Lectureship Attendees Sleep on the Floor

November 5, 2011

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November 2-4 (Wednesday through Friday), we were immersed all day each day in the Bible Lectureship at Kakinada, India. Lectures began at 10 a.m. to about 1 p.m., and they continued from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.; then they concluded Wednesday and Thursday after sessions from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. I taught twice daily (once to preachers daily) except on Friday, I spoke once (since the activities concluded about 3:30 p.m.), and Bonnie taught a ladies’ class each afternoon; ladies filled a room, a hallway way wall to wall and crouched in a stairwell – hundreds of them thirsting for the Word of God. An average of a little over 400 attended daily with frequent surges of attendance ranging from 600 to 700. There were a total of 15 baptisms.

The church provided breakfast, lunch and supper, cooking 150 kilos of rice daily (330 pounds or about half a pound per person) plus trimmings. A sufficient supply of water was an issue, draining about daylight what water was attainable at the compound from the rooftop, gravity feed storage tank; this required the import of 5 or 6 55 gallon drums of water daily.

High government officials visited the lectureship and expressed their approval. One official was accompanied by his bodyguard sporting an automatic pistol and an entourage of photographers and videographers. A special group of visitors arrived Friday for a few moments, a congregation of the Church of Christ from a leper colony. They sang a song to those present. Their disfigurations attributable to their horrible disease were evident. All ages were present, including small children. Brethren from the state of Orissa came, too, and sang a song as well. Almost everyone present spoke Telegu, excepting Roger Wright, Bonnie and me plus Vinay David from New Delhi.

I’m glad we didn’t have far to travel each day to retire for the night. We were thoroughly exhausted by the end of the day, and it was a chore for me to climb the stairs to the third floor where we lodged. We had the benefit of an air conditioner and a ceiling fan if we wanted it, plus an attached bathroom. Attendees of the lectureship slept on the floor in the auditorium, other rooms on our level on the floor (men’s rooms and ladies’ rooms) and outside our bedroom door in the hallway. Some may have slept in the open on the roof or in the compound at the base of the walls. People traveled hundreds of miles to be here – whole families – nearly all of them members of the church and many preachers.

This particular church does a good work, which includes TV and radio evangelism, grading about 3,000 Bible correspondence courses daily, widely distributes Gospel literature, Bibles and electronic media. The congregation has matured to the point that it has elders and many active members who make every aspect of what the church does a part of their Christian service. Joshua Gootam is the capable preacher here – really bigger than life – a current day hero of the faith. His son Ricky is extremely talented and experienced, too, in preaching, teaching, evangelism (locally and distantly in India), highly educated and directs the onsite children’s home of 80 boys and girls; again several members of the local church devote themselves to this latter endeavor, too.

As much as the church here does, and as many as their supporters may be, as one might imagine, there is never enough funds to accomplish everything as well as it could be done. Some of the children have no shoes (flip-flops or sandals), and they go to school barefoot because of that. There are not enough mats for every child to sleep on as they slumber on the floor nightly. The church spends around $25,000 annually on Bibles to give away, and massive amounts of money on distributing literature and Bible correspondence courses in India. The church is a good steward of the Lord’s money, doing what it can regarding evangelism, edification and benevolence. It is a pleasure to be a small part of one of the church’s good works.

One funny observation, though, before I conclude this blog entry. There is a little, portable washing machine in our bathroom. Now remember, there is a shortage of water – sometimes no water at all in the pipes fed from the storage tank on the roof. With the aid of cuticle tool in a grooming kit I affixed the quick release (twice in two days) for the washer’s intake hose to a tap intended to fill a bucket. Picture this. The electric cord is stretched to the max in one direction, barely reaching a wall receptacle. Then, in the opposite direction, also stretched to its max, was the water intake hose. The wastewater hose (as the directions instruct) lies on the floor to expel water on to the floor, which will eventually make its way to a floor drain (but the floor will remain wet everywhere for a day). Now imagine this. The washer, resembling a crucifixion victim with outstretched arms has to be positioned directly in front of the bathroom door, which opens into the bathroom. To operate the machine and to put clothes into the machine, one must open the bathroom door 30 degrees and high step over the electric cord, shut the door, re-step over the electric cord, reach over the opened lid of the washer to deposit clothes, shut the lid and reach to the front of the machine to work the controls. To enter the bathroom further requires high stepping over the intake hose; to leave the bathroom, one must at least high step over the electric cord twice, swing the bathroom door closed and then open again. It would almost be simpler to stick with washing the clothes in the bucket – or beating the wet clothes on the ground before hanging them up to dry. Oh, did I mention that there is no place to hang the wet clothes?

Riding the Ridges and More

June 6, 2011

Sunday morning, June 5th, Bonnie and I, with Rebecca in tow, literally rode the ridges from Bethlehem, WV to Cameron, WV. Speed limits on US 250 of 55 mph have always amused me; it is impractical between the curve warnings signs to get up to 55 mph. I used to tease Bonnie by asking occasionally, “Where do you suppose that road over there” or “down there goes?” Early on, Bonnie would say, “I don’t know,” and I would say, “That’s the road we’re on!” It didn’t take long for my sweet wife to just ignore my dumb questions. As one old song lyrics belted out, “switchback city” and curves looking like “a can of malaria germs.” On the way out to Cameron, Rebecca sat in the front to stay her stomach, but she braved a middle seat upon our departure later.

It is always a distinct pleasure to commune with dear brethren in Cameron who are more to us than part of our spiritual family. Brother Paul Marty with clarity of a preacher’s voice to be desired taught the Bible class and expertly with enthusiasm led the singing for worship. During worship, I made my PowerPoint Motivated by the Cross about our 2010 mission trips to India and Myanmar (Burma). Following worship, we all enjoyed a potluck, fellowship meal together.

We almost forgot, but we snapped a few pictures before everyone got away. My little buddy Brayden isn’t so little anymore; he is maturing and a handsome young man. Jennifer and Sarah, sisters for sure, but one of them blinked (or is sleeping) for the picture, of course. Edith may be the matriarch now, lovelier as the days come and go; everyone seemed to not have changed at all unless it was in a complimentary way.

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For evening worship, we three Rushmore pilgrims traversed the comparatively few miles from Cameron to Marietta, OH and communed with the Harmar Hill Church of Christ; J.D. Conley preaches for this congregation. After worship, the Nulph family and we went to Pizza Hut for supper. Julene and Rodney are dearest of friends to us, and Rodney is one of the Editors of Gospel Gazette Online. We really joy in their three children; they were thrilled with the bamboo hats that we brought them from Burma. I forgot to use redeye reduction when I snapped their picture, so I had to touch up the photo, darkening their otherwise bright and vibrant eyes.

Monday was a travel day all the way back to Collierville, TN. With a little relief driving from Bonnie and Rebecca to give me a break, we weren’t too worse for the wear for making the 12-hour jaunt across Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Momma Reed

June 4, 2011
Bonnie Rushmore, Mary Reed & Rebecca Rushmore

Bonnie Rushmore, Mary Reed & Rebecca Rushmore (three generations)

Thursday morning, we had bacon and homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast at the Weaver home. After a little more quality time together and parting hugs, Bonnie, Rebecca and I mounted the silver shuttle and pointed it toward Pennsylvania. Three hours later, we had made the journey from Vermilion, OH to Cambridge Springs, PA where Bonnie’s mother Mary Reed resides in a nursing home. Not long after our arrival, we along with Mary were on the road again, this time heading for the home of Bonnie’s niece (Robin). Bonnie’s brother Jim and sister-in-law Kay had already arrived. (A detour of about 15 miles had taken us out of the way, though.) Robin’s daughters Adela (2) and Hazel (6) were there, too. Hamburgers, hotdogs and the trimmings occupied our attention, before which, during which and after which we enjoyed our mini family reunion.

Later, we took Mary back to the home, and then we three lodged with Kay and Jim for the night. Friday morning, we three along with Kay and Jim continued our communing over a Cracker Barrel breakfast in Meadville, PA. After we parted from Kay and Jim, we revisited Mary Reed for a while before continuing our journey. Bonnie showed pictures from a computer to her mother – old family pictures and pictures associated with our overseas mission work – which seemed to grab the attention and focus of Bonnie’s mother.

Once we were back on the road, we shopped our way at a couple of locations down I-79; Rebecca was looking for some clothes. Vanity Fair at the Outlet Mall alongside the Grove City, PA exit proved to be the right place for Rebecca to find exactly what she wanted and what fit her, besides being heavily discounted. This Outlet Mall is superior to nearly every outlet mall I have ever seen, and it is a destination all its own – well worth a visit.

Two hours after leaving Grove City, we arrived in Wheeling, WV at the home of Judy and Emanuel Daugherty. They are dearest of friends and co-workers in the kingdom of our Lord. Emanuel, former Director of West Virginia School of Preaching in Moundsville, WV, is still on the faculty there. He is also the preacher for the Salem Church of Christ in Glen Easton, WV. What do good friends do when they get together? Eat, of course! That we did at Cheddars in the Cabela’s shopping mall outside of Wheeling. It also was our good pleasure to visit other dear friends or to call them on the phone. Good friends and brethren make an invaluable contribution to Bonnie and me through moral encouragement, sometimes financial support as well as lodging and feeding us as we travel for the purpose of speaking to various congregations. Tomorrow (Sunday), I will speak for the Cameron, WV Church of Christ, where Bonnie and I labored for about seven years previous to accepting the current missions and publishing ministry to which we have devoted ourselves.

On the (Great) Lake

June 1, 2011

Bonnie & Louis Sharing a Chocolate MaltMonday night and Tuesday, Bonnie, Rebecca and I lodged with Martha and Bob Noland, dear friends and brethren in Christ, in Hanoverton, OH. Wednesday morning, we reloaded the van and headed northwest to Vermilion, OH and the home of Dawn and Mark Weaver, also dear friends and brethren, who have sweet children who are among the dearest and most loving I know anywhere. The littlest one, John, was keeping a look out for us with binoculars – so he was the first to know of our arrival. Not even out of the car yet and pouring out of the house were the Weaver children to give us hugs and warm greetings. Not long after that, we headed to a local, quaint eatery of which the Weaver Family is fond. Alas, good food and good friends (especially Christian friends) are hard to beat! Bonnie and I even shared a chocolate malt!

That evening immediately prior to Wednesday night Bible class, Bonnie and I met with the eldership – which has been overseeing our mission work for nearly four years. I updated them on our travels stateside and abroad as well as apprised them of our pending trips overseas in 2011. It was at that time I also conveyed to them that we had found another sponsoring congregation to take our oversight in the future. This has always been the plan as the Vermilion Church of Christ agreed from the beginning to assume our temporary sponsorship; I just stretched that temporary to nearly four years. Some details need to be finalized, but over the next 30 days the transition of sponsorship will occur. Once those details have been worked out (e.g., a new checking account and debit cards, mailing address, etc.), I will apprize each of our supporters of the same.

During the Bible class hour, I presented Motivated by the Cross. I let the congregation know of the changes in sponsorship that were pending, but I assured these dear friends and brethren that our relationship with each other and our visits to Vermilion would not be affected. After class, we retired to the Weaver home for time well spent together before heading off to bed for the night.

5th & 6th Graders Encourage the Rushmores

February 15, 2011

The 5th and 6th Grade Class of the Walnut Grove Church of Christ in Benton, KY once more is a great encourager of Bonnie and me. Last year on the day before our departure for one of our overseas mission trips, we received notes of encouragement from these youngsters. More recently, we received a card with their signatures. It seems that they remembered our visit to the congregation and brought it up to their teacher, Kim Hunt. Moral support such as we derive from Chet, Garrett, Kirsten, Taylor and Tylar is as important as the financial participation we receive from time to time from Christians and churches of Christ. We would be deficient in preparation for overseas mission work without either.

In appreciation for the tender hearts who continue to be a source of encouragement and uplift to Bonnie and me, we sent the class a box of books so that each of them can begin his or her library of Bible study books. I autographed for each of the class members a copy of my book, Bible Geography.