Posted tagged ‘Global Harvest’

Noccalula Falls

July 26, 2018

Saturday, July 21, Martha and I drove from Winona, Mississippi to Piedmont, Alabama. We left at 11:25 a.m. and arrived at the home of brother Bob and sister Peggy Rogers at 5 p.m. They treated us to supper at a local Italian restaurant across the Georgia line and in another time zone. The tasty food was only surpassed by the company of dear brethren.

On the Lord’s Day morning, Martha and I assembled with the Highway Nine Church of Christ, whereupon I spoke for Bible class, a.m. worship and worship once more at 12:30 p.m. Between the worship periods, we were treated to an amply delicious cuisine, complemented by cherished brothers and sisters in Christ. Incidentally, one of our waitresses in the family run eatery was only 9-years-old. She did a very good job and was so cute. Her brother, mom and dad comprise the balance of the team.

Sunday afternoon, we caught up with our hostess, sister Peggy, at the local nursing and rehabilitation center where brethren from the Piedmont Church of Christ were conducting a devotional. A little over three hours later, we assembled with that congregation, and I was again afforded the privilege of speaking to this church, too. Following worship, youth loaded about a dozen boxes of used songbooks into the van; they will eventually make their way overseas to English-speaking Christians.

Passing through Gadsden, Alabama, we stopped briefly at Noccalula Falls; we enjoyed the natural beauty of the site nestled in the cityscape, and we noted the lore surrounding the spot. Then, through the dark of night, we aimed the car back toward Winona, and we pulled into the driveway at 1:00 a.m. In less than an hour, we had the van unloaded and readied ourselves for bed—thoroughly exhausted.

Monday and Tuesday, young people—10-months-old through middle teens—congregated at the World Evangelism Building. They came from the Double Springs Church of Christ in Alabama. For those two days, boys and girls prepared several mailings (i.e., the Bates’ newsletters, The Voice of Truth International), unloaded a truck and warehoused Volume 96 of The Voice of Truth International, packed boxes of books to be sent to student preachers (free of charge), shredded papers and cleaned. They also loaded literature into Jerry’s utility trailer; Wednesday he and Paula left for Texas where they will offload the literature for eventual shipment to African nations.

Wednesday, Martha and I personally delivered two cases of The Voice of Truth International #96 to the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, Mississippi. We were passing through before services on our way to the Indianola Church of Christ in Indianola, Mississippi. Before we got to Indianola, we paused for awhile in Moorhead, Mississippi at the home of brother Gene and sister Madolyn Gibson. Gene has been and is valiantly fighting illness as they have tirelessly for many years operated a Christian Student Center across from Mississippi Delta Community College.

Brother Gene Hill taught the adult class at the Indianola Church of Christ. It was good to assemble with these familiar brethren. We were cordially greeted, and we left some The Voice of Truth International and Global Harvest magazines as well as a few of the Rushmore Newsletter. We arrived back home at 10 p.m.

Between incidents mentioned above, we devoted ourselves to sundry office duties. Martha has been contacting schools of preaching and Bible colleges associated with the churches of Christ to prepare for sending books to men in training to be preachers. I have been working on the August edition of Gospel Gazette Online and volume 98 of The Voice of Truth International. Today, we also prepared “Thank You” cards for our most recent donors over the past week. There is always much to do—often behind the scenes to further the cause of Christ. We are pleased to be of some service to our Lord, and thankful that congregations and Christian families make it possible for us to so do.

Behind the Scenes

July 17, 2018

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Sunday, July 15, 2018, Martha and I assembled for the a.m. Bible class and worship with the West President Church of Christ in Greenwood, Mississippi. I talked about missions during class time and preached during worship about “Biblical Interpretation.” Sunday evening, we dropped in on the Coffeeville Church of Christ in the Mississippi town by the same name. The congregation’s new preacher, Ben McRee, was preaching. Brother Don Roberson, Coffeeville’s former preacher, led singing.

Monday and Tuesday, young people the Leoma, Tennessee Church of Christ came to work at the World Evangelism Building in Winona, Mississippi. For two days, teen boys and girls as well as their chaperones attended to a lot of chores. Several mailings were prepared whereby copies of Global Harvest magazine and sister Betty Choate’s newsletter were dispersed throughout the country. They also loaded a utility trailer with nearly $28,000 worth of literature—a little over 2,400 pounds. Eventually, this shipment will make its way to about a hundred churches of Christ throughout the South American country of Guyana.

For lunch Tuesday, brethren Joshua and Kabita Gootam from Kakinada, India—plus their son, daughter-in-law and grandbaby girl—joined the whole crew. Boys and girls got to hear firsthand from brother Joshua about the introduction of the Gospel into India in the 1960’s through the present. Finally, everyone departed, and the Winona bunch retired to their homes.

There are a lot of components to the foreign mission work of World Evangelism team members behind the scenes and of which Christians are largely unaware. We travel nearly every weekend to congregations throughout the USA—trying to speak for two churches each Lord’s Day that are within driving distance of each other. We keep literature going (e.g., The Voice of Truth International and Global Harvest magazines, tracts, books). We are responsible for international radio and television Gospel broadcasts, massive distribution of literature, the Internet magazine Gospel Gazette Online, worldwide teaching (e.g., Bible schools, churches, streets, homes). Each of us, amenable to our respective overseeing congregations with their elderships, voluntarily cooperate to provide a comprehensive approach to evangelizing the world. There is a whole lot of what goes on behind the scenes to make it possible to fulfill today the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Great Commission. We couldn’t do any of it without the prayers, physical help from time to time and financial participation of fellow Christians and the churches with which they worship. Thank you!

Here Cometh the Truck!

April 11, 2018

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It’s very difficult to schedule volunteers to help us unload incoming trucks of literature. We thought the tractor-trailer was coming Monday. Not so! We were informed that the truck would finally arrive on Wednesday. Surprise! On Tuesday, we were informed that it was an hour away—two hours earlier than we were informed earlier that morning.

The trailer has a liftgate so that the five pallets could be dropped on the concrete lot, and so we could take boxes of The Voice of Truth International #95 and Global Harvest into the warehouse at our leisure (since it wasn’t raining). Surprise! The liftgate needed some manual assistance by two men to get it to work at all. Then, we discovered that the pallets from India were non-standard so that the pallet jack could not bring them to the rear of the trailer. Therefore, the liftgate was irrelevant, and the driver was trapped on site until each individual box could be offloaded.

Fortunately, a ragtag workforce arrived. Members from two congregations came to help us. Among the team were senior citizens (namely, Betty Choate as well as Martha and me), the local preacher, mothers and grandmothers plus three youth. Everyone worked valiantly, and the youngsters did the work of grown men. Joined later by another grandpa, the youth and I completed an inventory of many thousands of tracts, so that where needed more tracts can be printed.

We are heartily thankful for help and encouragement regularly received in so many forms. We “old folk” in Winona are few and appreciative of every assistance as we and those who participate with us labor for the cause of Christ.

Collierville Workday

April 7, 2018

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Today, Saturday, April 7, 2018, we were blessed with volunteers from the Collierville, Tennessee Church of Christ coming our way. Those who didn’t take the “shortcut” arrived around 9 a.m. at the World Evangelism Building in Winona, Mississippi. The others arrived about an hour later.

We packaged, inventoried and loaded into a cargo trailer, thousands of dollars and many hundreds of pounds of literature. In about two weeks, Martha and I will haul it to a shipping agent in Nashville, Tennessee for shipment to Guyana, South America. The wholesale value of the books and tracts amounted to over $17,000. Once in Guyana, brother Nigel Milo and the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ in Linden will see that the literature makes its way to nearly 100 congregations of the Lord’s church scatted throughout the nation.

Our dear brethren worked the warehouse, including restocking shelves, inventories and compacting boxes to make room for a tractor-trailer of The Voice of Truth International and Global Harvest coming next week. Even the little ones helped with shredding paper and moving broken-down boxes. It was an all hands on deck, from which activities we forced ourselves to pause long enough for pizza and salad for lunch. We had brownies for dessert.

We are fortunate to have the encouragement such as this and physical help. That and the financial participation with us in our efforts for the cause of Christ make what we do stateside and abroad possible. Thank you.

Air Brakes and Diesel Engine

December 9, 2016


96-dpi-4x6-freight-1Thursday, December 8, we were listening for air brakes and a diesel engine—circumstantial evidence that the tractor-trailer bearing 8 pallets of literature had arrived at the World Evangelism Building in Winona, MS. Onsite were Jerry and Paula Bates, Betty Choate, Martha Noland—visiting me from Florida—and members of three area congregations of the churches of Christ; of course, I was present, too.

96-dpi-4x6-freight-3Naturally, we had home cooking while awaiting the freightliner. Paula made chili and “mystery soup,” while Martha whipped up some very tasty and hearty potato soup. Betty added cornbread to the mix.

96-dpi-4x6-freight-4Two of the youngest helpers—elementary school age—did their share in unloading and carting literature into the warehouse. I entrusted them with a box knife to free the pallets of literature from plastic wrap and strapping; they excelled, and there was no bloodletting! Previously while waiting for the truck to arrive, the young men and pored over the photos of my recent mission trip to Myanmar and India. Besides that, I enjoyed interacting and discussing with them things that matter to them. These are fine, promising young men—certain to be assets to the body of Christ in the present and in the future.

96-dpi-4x6-freight-2The shipment consisted of Volume 90 of The Voice of Truth International, Global Harvest, tracts and books. Now, our attention turns to distribution, especially of The Voice of Truth International and Global Harvest to subscribers. In addition to individual subscriptions, many congregations order bulk subscriptions for use in their churches as well as in their communities.

Since I Returned

December 8, 2016
Martha Noland & Bonnie Rushmore

Martha Noland & Bonnie Rushmore

Monday, November 21, I returned to the USA. While only one calendar day from New Delhi, India to Memphis, TN, nevertheless, travel time between three flights and layovers totaled around 30 hours; altogether, I was up for about 48 hours.

Besides the dreaded travel and probable jetlag, I had developed bronchitis; I introduced my international version to the domestic edition plaguing family, friends and brethren upon my arrival in the United States. Being sick compounded the discomfort of long hours and lengthy flights. As it turned out, I was in the beginning stages of illness as I returned to the USA, and I was sufficiently sick for two weeks as to impede catching up on work back at the office. I even missed one all-day preaching appointment as well as worship, too, as I stayed inside for a few days.

My daughter Rebecca, off from teaching school, not only retrieved me from the Memphis airport, but she returned me to my Winona home. There, we enjoyed one another’s company over an otherwise less than noteworthy Thanksgiving holiday. She and I were able to prepare the next edition of the Rushmore Newsletter, and I sent it electronically to a printing company for production.

Toward the end of my illness, I received a visitor; Rebecca and I picked up sister Martha Noland at the Memphis airport and brought her to Winona. She was Bonnie’s best girlfriend, and of course, a Christian friend of mine as well. She just had to “get out of Dodge,” as the proverbial expression goes. December is an especially bad month for her as the one-year anniversary of the passing of her husband Bob occurs on the 16th, and their anniversary is the 29th. The national holiday of Christmas falls on the 25th, too, which was my wife Bonnie’s birthday also. Some other Christian widow ladies and I have been helping each other limp through our emotional minefields, and Martha needed some extra crutches in December. We have developed a special long-distance friendship as sounding boards and sources of encouragement during difficult times of reoccurring grief over the loss of our spouses.

By day, Martha helps out at the office, and by night she resides in the warehouse/office apartment down the road from my residence. This past weekend, she traveled with me to my speaking appointment in Ooltewah, TN, and as it turned out, while I slept in Chattanooga, TN, she slept nightly in Ringgold, GA. We each lodged with a different elder and his wife of the local Church of Christ.

Martha and I visited Bonnie’s gravesite twice at the meetinghouse of the Old Union Church of Christ in rural, tree covered and Kudzu slung Carroll County, MS. On one of those occasions, we changed out the flowers on Bonnie’s grave with fresh, new plastic flowers to reflect the winter season. We both shed tears respecting our sorrow over losing our best friend on earth.

To my dismay, my wrecked automobile was not yet repaired upon my return, though the body shop had it for nearly two months. After getting my car back, I still had to return it – two counties beyond the county in which I live – to have some adjustments made; there remains two unrectified issues with the Town and Country van. Since my medical bills related to my accident – the hit and run – ran around $10,000 dollars, besides an equal amount to fix my car, I amended my auto insurance coverage upward.

Try as I might, I am far from catching up on work back at the office. I did manage, however, to ready the December issue of Gospel Gazette Online for publication. As soon as my daughter completes the proofing – later this week, I will publish and advertise it to subscribers and readers of my blog and Facebook postings. Tomorrow, a tractor-trailer is scheduled to deliver several pallets of literature to the World Evangelism Building in Winona, MS. Incoming are copies of volume 90 of The Voice of Truth International, the next issue of Global Harvest and tracts; these items were printed in India this time. Brethren from three area congregations have been enlisted to help unload and place in the warehouse these tens of thousands of literature. We are thankful for all of the help and the encouragement. Our prayer is that everything that we do will lead to glorifying God and edifying our fellow man.

Walking Wounded – but Forward Walking!

May 13, 2015
New Delhi, India 2008

New Delhi, India 2008

A week and a half slipped by since our last blog entry. Nope, those camp beds were not contributory to my aching back. They may not have relieved my back pains any, but neither did returning to my home-friendly bed back in Winona, MS. Monday, May 4th, I did my best interpretation of a 30-year-old (I’m slightly more than twice that now) and waded into our overgrown yard with wheelbarrow (for tree debris), rake (leaves in ditch), snow-shovel dustpan (for the leaves), lawn tractor, walk-behind mower and string trimmer. Prior to approaching that jungle, I finished my domestic duties inside the house (e.g., vacuuming the entire house and doing the laundry, cooking, washing dishes, etc.). I was just a bundle of energy seizing sunshine and opportunity to do what especially outside rain and such like hindered me to do for far too long. With a degree of satisfaction, I suppose, I showered and then laid myself down on the bed for a little rest.

As it turns out, I definitely am not 30-years-old any longer. My back pain increased after I stopped moving for a while to a degree that far exceeded my recently surgery pain. Literally, I could not get up out of the bed and may have still been there now had I not called out to Bonnie to come to my side with pain pills and water. After 45 minutes, with severe pain, I was able to get out of the bed, but the pain that had dogged me for weeks now had reached a zenith. Consequently, on Tuesday I sought a doctor, who prescribed two prescriptions that were intended to make me shipshape once more over several days to a week or so. The medicines did not cure me, and they have side effects.

Wednesday was a very important day. Bonnie resumed her rigorous chemotherapy in Jackson, MS, and it has some nasty side effects of its own. After five hours of chemotherapy (two chemo drugs and two companion drugs), a pump was attached to Bonnie from which a third chemo drug would enter intravenously over the next 46 hours. We returned home.

Thursday, I published the May issue of Gospel Gazette Online to the Internet. Also that day, a sister in Christ who is a nurse came by the house to administer an injection into Bonnie; the shot is associated with her chemo regimen. The next day (Friday), Bonnie and I returned to Jackson, MS to have the pump removed.

Saturday and Sunday were relatively good days for Bonnie, compared to the nausea, pains and fatigue characteristic of most days. Of course, Sunday was Mother’s Day, and our two sons called from afar to talk with their mother on the phone. Our daughter blessed us with her presence Friday through Sunday afternoon.

Monday, with lesser back pain owing to the medications I had been taking daily, I determined to weed the flowerbed adjacent to the driveway, after which I intended to wash the car (severely splattered with big and plenteous bugs, as well as blanketed with dirt road dust). Despite agreeable temperatures – not too hot and not too cool – I repeatedly began to blackout (reminiscent of my blackout and hurtful fall last summer). Hence, I retreated to the house and decided to discontinue the prescription because one of its side effects was dizziness.

Tuesday, again I tried to weed the flowerbed and had to resort to the living room recliner to avoid falling and hurting myself. Not to be out done (not really), that evening Bonnie developed a severe nose bleed that we could not stop. Phoning the after-hours oncology personnel on call, we were directed to proceed to the local emergency room, which we did. Once there and before Bonnie could be treated, the nose bleed finally stopped on its own. As directed by the oncology office, we had the hospital draw Bonnie’s blood and do an analysis. Once more, Bonnie’s blood counts had fallen dramatically.

Wednesday, determined to weed the little flowerbed yet, I succeeded. However, shortly thereafter, I nearly blacked out and had to retreat yet again. In the meantime, Bonnie was involved in an exchange of phone calls with the oncology office in Jackson. Finally, it was determined that Bonnie had to go to Jackson, MS to receive an injection because the drug she needed was not in stock in Montgomery County, MS. We made the hour and half journey each way. Arrangements were made to have the drug available in Winona, MS for injections over the next four days, so we do not have to drive to Jackson daily or stay in Jackson.

I felt good enough after lunch to drive us to Jackson and back. However, stopping at a store to buy a few groceries on the way back to the house, I had another lightheaded episode that could have resulted in me fainting. Therefore, tomorrow, I need to revisit a local doctor, which means that likely I will have to undergo some outpatient tests at the local hospital perhaps.

In summary, Bonnie and I somewhat qualify to be among the walking wounded, though we lean forward and continue on. Temporarily disadvantaged physically, I still typed an article for an upcoming edition of Global Harvest magazine and updated the online book store with the addition of a new title. Bonnie finds moments during which she works on future issues of The Voice of Truth International magazine.

Good brethren and coworkers coddle us with food, driving us about when I am under the weather, unload tractor-trailers when I can’t help, sit with Bonnie when I need to be away, etc. Others more distant from us lift us with well wishes and prayers.

Bonnie’s low blood counts have now brought about her isolation from groups, which adversely affects opportunity to assemble with brethren for Bible class and worship. This is a first in the years that Bonnie has been battling pancreatic cancer. Part of Bonnie’s medicine for her morale has been interaction with fellow Christians. Please continue to remember us in your prayers. Monday, a Home Health nurse in Winona will draw blood for determination if Bonnie’s blood counts have risen. Until next time, we may be walking wounded, but we are walking and working for our Lord, with your help and prayers.