Posted tagged ‘fellowship meal’

Banshee Hotel

June 28, 2018

Arriving back in Winona, Mississippi from weeks in Florida, we commenced June by processing and mailing our newsletter. June 10, Martha and I worshipped with the Oil Trough Church of Christ in Arkansas; it was my privilege to speak twice on Sunday morning. We also recovered boxes of used songbooks, which we will ship to Guyana, South America for our brethren throughout that nation.

The following Lord’s Day, we assembled with the Quitman Church of Christ in Mississippi. Once again, I spoke for Bible class and preached during worship. The next day, Martha and I, along with my daughter Rebecca, headed for West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Of course, we traveled through Tennessee and Kentucky on the way.

Martha’s sister-in-law, through her late husband Bob, slipped into a coma before we could get to her home in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Only a few days before, Martha was able to talk with her sister-in-law Shari on the telephone. We visited the family for parts of two days, after which sister Shari passed away.

Wednesday, June 20, we met with the Harmar Hill Church of Christ in Marietta, Ohio, whereupon I was delighted to teach Wednesday evening Bible class. Martha’s sister and brother-in-law labor with that congregation, and we lodged with them.

Thursday, we were also afforded an opportunity visit one of Martha’s brothers in New Cumberland, West Virginia. Currently, he is battling cancer that has invaded his body. The same day, we visited the grave of Martha’s late husband, Bob Noland, in Calcutta, Ohio. We set flowers and changed the batteries in the ‘eternal flame’ lamp. We also met up with another sister in Christ and longtime friend of us both, Vera Groves.

Friday, Martha, Rebecca and I drove north to visit my father in Hadley, Pennsylvania. We also visited two of my brothers and their wives respectively in Greenville and Jamestown, Pennsylvania.

Saturday, June 23, we three spent the day with my son Raymond and his wife in Ohio. We rendezvoused with them in Berlin, Ohio—a major destination in the largest Amish settlement in the USA. We went together to a few sites in the area before dining at the Dutch Valley Restaurant in Sugar Creek, Ohio. Each trip to the region, I am elated if we can visit Amish country, especially if I can eat at Dutch Valley—an eatery that is a destination itself. Repeatedly and astonishingly, we kept bumping into brother Garry and sister Melissa Polk at the hotel in which we spent a night and at various tourist stops. He serves as an elder of one of the congregations in Arkansas which participates with us in our mission work, and I have roomed with them several times when I visited the church there.

It was at Dutch Valley that we met up with Martha’s son Bryan and his wife. The seven of us investigated more of the area before Raymond and Bryan returned to their homes.

The Lord’s Day on June 24, we gathered for Bible class and worship with the Church of Christ in Hanoverton, Ohio. Martha and Bob Noland labored with this country church for several years, and through my friendship with the Nolands, I have been speaking there from time to time since 2008. This little congregation participates with us in our mission work, and they in the past as well as on this occasion gave us used songbooks for distribution to English-speaking brethren abroad. The Hanoverton congregation had a fellowship meal especially for us. I spoke three times; the second worship began at 4:00 p.m. in this farming community. Sunday night, we rendezvoused with another of Martha’s sons at a fast-food joint in Mansfield, Ohio. We also used the stop for our supper break.

Monday, we started for home. Our return route to Mississippi took us through Cincinnati, Ohio. Immediately across the Ohio River lies Newport, Kentucky. There we paused for a few hours to go through that city’s Aquarium. Then, we continued homeward.

Tuesday afternoon, we stopped in Collierville, Tennessee to visit with the Gootam family. Ronnie Gootam recently completed theological training at a nearby school of preaching, and not long ago, Ronnie and his wife marked the birth of their first child. Though mother and father are citizens of India, through birth in the USA, their baby is an America citizen—making for some interesting circumstances in preparation for and upon the family’s return India. Visiting with them are Ronnie’s parents, Joshua and Kabita Gootam from Kakinada, India. All of the Gootams, including Ronnie’s brothers Ricky and Robin back in India, are outstanding and hardworking fellow-laborers in the kingdom of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday evening, we three weary travelers arrived back at my parsonage in Winona, Mississippi. We had made a whirlwind trip to West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and back to our Mississippi home.

Wednesday, brother Therman and sister Sadie Hodge dropped by for a brief visit on the way back to their home in Meridian, Mississippi. Also on Wednesday, coworkers and I finalized Volume 97 of The Voice of Truth International magazine and made the files available for the printing company in India. Volume 95 is the most recent edition to be circulated, and Volume 96 is in transit from India to Winona.

Thursday, Rebecca and I devoted the day to lawncare, while Martha busied herself indoors with preparing a very nice supper and other household duties. We’re bushed—tuckered out!

Throughout our travel, we lodged mostly in hotels—some satisfactory and at least one that we want to cross off doubly from our mental list of lodging places. We don’t ever want to stay there again! We slept in Mineral Wells, West Virginia; Calcutta, Ohio; Alliance, Ohio; Dover, Ohio; Grove City, Ohio; and twice in Cave City, Kentucky. Not its real name, we dubbed the lodging in Cave City as the Banshee Hotel because the elevator there screeches each time and on every floor when its door opens or closes. Not a bad stay, the Banshee Hotel provides a little extra via that amusing oddity. Incidentally, a former hotel once stood on the footprint of the current inn before it burnt in the night!

New Chemo Regimen Begins

April 19, 2015

96 dpi 8x10 in bloom1

96 dpi 8x10 in bloom2

96 dpi 8x10 in bloom3Bonnie asked for a picture to be taken of our blooming azalea bushes in front of our home, which I was glad to do. I also included the hanging, flowering baskets and the birdfeeders. All of the birds, though, were camera shy. The Rushmore bird café offers sunflower seeds and humming bird nectar. Aside from the hummingbirds, a gallery of birds visit our avian diner, including beautiful, brilliant red cardinals, some gold finches, other finches, wrens and an unidentified bird – plus an ingenuous woodpecker. Too large for even the larger of the two birdfeeders, it hangs upside down and cranes its neck up to feed on the sunflower seeds.

Wednesday, April 15 is doubtless an infamous day to many Americans – the deadline for filing annual federal income taxes. For Bonnie, though, it was also the day on which her new regimen of chemotherapy began. We left Winona, MS for Jackson, MS around 9 a.m. to make the hour and a half journey to Jackson Oncology at Baptist Health Systems (hospital). The infusion of chemo drugs and other medicines took about five hours. Upon completion of that, an additional chemo drug was introduced in conjunction with an accompanying pump in a satchel for Bonnie to wear or hang on the bedpost at night for the next three days at home. Happily, none of the side effects about which we were warned occurred during the session on Wednesday. Weary and tired, Bonnie and I returned to Winona.

Thursday we worked at the office for a few hours, and I packed the van for a display at the mission Sunday to be hosted by the Siwell Road Church of Christ on the south side of Jackson, MS. About 10 p.m. Bonnie began to have severe back pain. All night long and through Friday afternoon and early evening, Bonnie had nausea, vomiting and excruciating pain. Neither of us slept well through all of that, and we were both exhausted during the day Friday.

After lunch, we drove to Jackson in torrential rains for Bonnie’s appointment to have the chemo pump removed. To address the nausea, a new, additional medication was prescribed, and Bonnie was advised to take the pain medicine more regularly and to take two pills at a time.

Friday and Saturday nights we lodged with one of the elders and his wife of our sponsoring congregation – the Siwell congregation. Saturday, I put up two banquet tables of display material for World Evangelism. That evening back at the home of our host and hostess, brother and sister Leggett, I was able to prepare computer files to be sent off to the printing company for the next issue of The Voice of Truth International.

Sunday, Bonnie and I worshipped with the Siwell church. A fellowship meal was sandwiched between morning worship and a 1 p.m. assembly. Four missionaries, including myself, had opportunity to update all present regarding our labors for the Lord. Afterward, Bonnie and I returned home to Winona. At the house and having Internet available once more, I sent the files for volume 84 of The Voice of Truth International to the printing company in South Carolina.

Later in the evening, Bonnie again began experiencing serious pain and nausea. Whenever she can sleep through it all, she seems to have some release from the intensity and discomfort of both. Bonnie is very tired, but she is a fighter, and as long as she can, she heartily applies herself to the work of Jesus Christ.

As I close, we are under a tornado watch. Presently, we have a nasty thunderstorm going through again. The lights are flickering. Pain, suffering, storms and such like are temporary speed bumps on the road to eternity. In the meantime, with help and encouragement of many brethren and friends, we press on.

Weekly our dining room fills with get well cards. Daily we received phone calls, visits, emails, texts and Facebook correspondence. The other evening, we received a phone call from a dear brother in India. Wednesday, we came to find out, a congregation in Guyana, South America was fasting and praying for Bonnie while she was undergoing five hours of treatment. In America, we have added an “e” to “fasting” and enjoy “feasting.” Elsewhere in the world, brethren still fast and pray. In Bonnie’s words, we are “humbled” by such encouragement by brethren toward us. Our church family worldwide buoys our spirits at a very difficult time in our lives. Thank you one and all.

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.

India Missions Conference

April 25, 2014

Heritage Christian University and the World Evangelism team cohosted the 2014 India Missions Conference. The get-together of India missionaries took place on the HCU campus in Florence, Alabama Tuesday through Thursday, April 22—24. Again this year, brother Wayne Kilpatrick led a Restoration History tour on Friday for some of the conference attendees who lingered for that purpose.

The overall program consisted of discourses, field reports, panel discussions, Christian fellowship, and of course, eating together—lunch and supper. Approximately 71 participants enjoyed the fare. Interaction was frank, cordial, instructive and encouraging, irrespective of differing methodologies and areas of emphasis. Wednesday and Thursday, sessions began at 8 a.m. and concluded at 8 p.m. Tuesday night, we only had the night sessions after supper together.

World Evangelism distributed free samples of our full-color, shirt-pocket tracts, outreach books, the Global Harvest and The Voice of Truth International magazines. We also distributed a dozen cases of 35 to congregations and HCU.

Bonnie and I arrived back in Winona, MS about 4 p.m. on Friday. Before parting from Florence, AL, though, Bonnie and I (with sister Betty Choate who was hitching a ride with us back home) tracked down and visited brother Edmond and sister Maurine Cagle; Edmond is in a nursing/rehab center. Together, they have made a significant impact on congregations of the Lord’s church in Linden, Guyana, South America—where Bonnie and I now also work with their protégé brother Nigel Milo.

Following are some pictures of several of the speakers and others who attended the 2014 India Missions Conference. Next year, the Pulaski Street Church of Christ in Lawrenceburg, TN will cohost the 2015 India Missions Conference with Heritage Christian University once more at the HCU campus in Florence, AL. The Central Church of Christ in Vincennes, IN will host the 2016 India Missions Conference in its meetinghouse in Indiana.

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No Fly Zone!

December 9, 2013

Louis & Bonnie Rushmore, Marilyn LaStrapeBonnie and I were blessed on Tuesday, December 3rd when we pulled up to the curb for arriving airline passengers in Memphis, TN. Sister Marilyn LaStrape has been writing monthly for Gospel Gazette Online for 10 years, but we had never met her in person before. She came for a short visit that turned out to be a few more days than she had planned. The car ride back to Winona, MS was longer for her than the ride from Dallas, TX to Memphis on a jet airplane! She resides in Hewitt, TX—joined hard to Waco, TX.

Coming to visit the Rushmores in Winona, MS is a mixed bag of good eating, fellowship and hospitality with the five World Evangelism team members in Winona, and a little work, too. While she was with us, we put sister LaStrape to work preparing two small mailings (i.e., packaging, sealing and rubber stamping), counting out tract bundles for future order fulfillments, as well as trying her hand at proofing and layout of both Gospel Gazette Online and The Voice of Truth International.

Eating seems to be a significant binder for Christian fellowship and work. While either traveling or working together, we ate at Cracker Barrel, a local Chinese restaurant (i.e., bigger and better in Texas, of course!), a local Mexican restaurant (i.e., bigger and better in Texas, of course!), Olive Garden, the home of Paula and Jerry Bates and our home. We got out the ‘good China and tableware!

Wednesday evening was my first class to teach of several months of teaching at the Siwell Rd. Church of Christ in Jackson (i.e., on the Book of Job, followed by the Song of Solomon). We three made the journey, two hours south of Winona and back after class. On Sunday, we were happy to introduce sister Marilyn to brethren and friends of two other congregations not far from where we live (i.e., the Old Union Church of Christ in Carroll County and the Elliott Church of Christ in Grenada County). She was supposed to return to Texas Friday morning, but inclement weather stretching from Dallas, TX through Memphis, TN to the Upper Ohio Valley created a no fly zone. Day after day, we tried to reschedule flights for her, but American Airlines had nothing in the air between Memphis and Dallas until we put her on the plane on Monday morning.

Sister Marilyn LaStrape is a special lady, and we were blessed to have some time with her in our home. We sent her back to Texas with a modest collection of books from our warehouse for her and her grown children. Sister LaStrape has been an elder’s wife for 21 years (i.e., in California and Texas). She regularly teaches ladies’ class, writes for three Christian magazines, travels to teach in ladies’ retreats (e.g., inspiration days, lectureships, etc.) and her volunteer work (i.e., twice weekly) has her teaching desperate young mothers about parenting. Sister Marilyn is a faithful Christian and hardworking servant of the Lord.

Her adult sons are faithful and fruitful workers for Jesus Christ, too. She is blessed with loving daughter-in-laws (daughters-in-love she refers to them) and precious grandchildren. Though recently widowed and grieving, sister LaStrape continues to be the inspiration for her family and Christian family and applies herself tirelessly in the service of our Lord. Yes, Bonnie and I were blessed by her visit.

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.

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.