Posted tagged ‘Global Harvest’

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.

First Week at Hope House

November 8, 2014

Hope House of HospitalityMonday, November 3, Bonnie and I began our first week of residency at Hope House of Hospitality in Jackson, Mississippi. We drove down from Winona, MS an hour and a half for Bonnie’s radiation treatment, after which we checked into Hope House. Monday was a bad day for Bonnie.

Tuesday and Wednesday were better days for Bonnie. She felt well enough to go out Tuesday evening to hear brother Tom Holland in a Gospel meeting at the Clinton, MS Church of Christ. After radiation on Wednesday, the two of us walked once around a local mall on both floors before returning to Hope House. Wednesday evening, she and I attended midweek Bible class at the Siwell Road Church of Christ on the south side of Jackson. Bonnie received radiation both of those days, too.

Wednesday, I was able to publish to the Internet the November edition of Gospel Gazette Online. I continued to make it ready for publication even after we checked into Hope House. Access to WI-FI at Hope House made it possible for me to publish GGO to the Internet.

Hope House of Hospitality is a non-profit organization that provides a residential service to seriously ill outpatients who live beyond 30 miles from the hospitals here; Bonnie and I reside 90 miles away in Winona, and daily travel for radiation would be a wearisome proposition for Bonnie and me as well as very costly.

The facility is a little worn from much needed use and offers basic lodging and meals. Hope House serves outpatients from the local hospitals and is solely supported by donations. Guests are able to stay here without charge to them. Bonnie and I will probably be here through December 9, though we return to Winona each Friday after radiation before going back to Jackson before the next Monday’s radiation. Hope House is a blessing to Bonnie and me.

Thursday was a bad day for Bonnie, even before we got to her radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Radiation was later in the day than usual to pair with the chemotherapy to follow. However, it turned out that Bonnie’s blood platelets dropped to half of what they were the previous week, and thus, she did not receive chemotherapy this week. Leaving the cancer center, we stopped at a pharmacy to buy more medicine to address some of her other maladies, before returning to Hope House.

Bonnie having had a rough day, we opted not to attend the class of Mississippi School of Biblical Studies, hosted by the Siwell Road Church of Christ. We stayed in. We worked some on our next Rushmore Newsletter.

Before Bonnie’s Friday radiation, I attended to a few business matters. I sent an email respecting the upcoming publication of volume 82 of The Voice of Truth International to confirm that the printing company had received and was processing the files I had provided to them electronically. In addition, I made four DVD-R copies of the files for that issue of VOTI, for the office and for use in three overseas nations to print VOTI as well. After manipulating the digital files into a single PDF, I uploaded volume 82 to the Internet – before it is available in print form! You can find it by selecting the Digital Library on the bottom of the masthead of Gospel Gazette Online (Website: www.gospelgazette.com). Dozens of Bible related books and all editions of VOTI are available there at no charge as well.

Bonnie’s radiation treatment was brief and uneventful, after which, we returned home to Winona. We stopped for sandwiches and to buy a few items on our way homeward.

Saturday, we finished out the week by preparing a mailing to nearly 200 addresses so that they can receive the newest issue of Global Harvest magazine, which arrived at the World Evangelism Building in our absence this week. Of course, only being home from Bonnie’s treatment Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday, we need to wash clothes and pack for our return to Jackson, MS and Bonnie’s medical treatment.

Aside from the above, I am and will be working on new book about first principles. We are working on our next Rushmore Newsletter, too. Noting some needs at Hope House of Hospitality, which has graciously provided us lodging and meals for the duration of Bonnie’s radiation treatments, I am doing some consumer research and contacting a couple of congregations of the Lord’s church about paying for some needed items for the facility’s patients. Time is a wasting, and I don’t want to waste any of it before the Lord returns or I go to meet the Lord (Colossians 4:5).

Guyana by Way of Russellville

July 3, 2014
North Highlands Meetinghouse

North Highlands Meetinghouse

Just before noon on Wednesday, July 2, I was able to complete proofing of all the pages available to me (62 8½ x 11 pages) for the next edition of Global Harvest magazine. Bonnie, Rebecca and I grabbed a quick lunch at the house of grilled cheese with bacon bits sandwiches before running some errands in Winona prior to departing for an evening appointment. We made passes through the drive-throughs of two local banks before attempting to plate our car. That last errand was a merry-go-round of confusion, exasperation and profound disappointment but successful – I guess – in the end. It took two separate attempts within an hour to acquire the plates, since we had to return to the house to recover the old license plate from the previous vehicle to turn in as well. Sadly, Mississippians are at the mercy of exorbitant personal property taxes on vehicles, which certainly must work against the state economy in the long run; it is no wonder that clunkers and junkers are not uncommon on the highways and byways of the Magnolia state. To add insult to injury, the government has the gall to designate in the breakdown of charges, “late fees” and “penalties” for plating a new car in Mississippi. There appear to be a number of penalties exacted by the various levels of government in Mississippi upon its citizens for the privilege of residing therein. Grrr!

Finally on the road, we aimed the Gospel chariot for Russellville, Alabama. We had an appointment for a fellowship meal and a meeting with the elders of the North Highlands Church of Christ, after which, of course, we would stay for the midweek class. This congregation is heavily involved in an outstanding mission work in Guyana, South America. For a number of years, it has supported brother Nigel and sister Jasmine Milo in their labors with the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ in Linden, Guyana. I know of no finer or of any more effective Gospel preacher for local work anywhere in the world – including in the USA. Nigel Milo is also one of the two televangelists for the churches of Christ in Guyana.

Brother Milo has built up a congregation numbering in the hundreds Sunday mornings. He has trained the brethren with whom he worships to canvass every home in Linden once each year, with or without his participation. The Amelia’s Ward congregation practices all of the New Testament teaching, including church discipline when needed – which results in restorations as well as removal of spiritual contamination from the balance of the church even when restorations are not forthcoming.

Several Christians at Amelia’s Ward save their scarce money every year for two in-country campaigns whereby they travel to other congregations and help them canvass their communities, provide seminars to edify brethren and conduct Gospel meetings (or “crusades” as they call them).

Each July, the North Highlands Church of Christ leads several campaigners from the USA to Linden to work with the congregations in or outside that second largest city in the country (i.e., Burnham Drive Church of Christ, Blueberry Hill Church of Christ, Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ and the Dora Church of Christ). Groups of Christians from various churches in the USA rotate in and out over the four weeks of the month. Our daughter Rebecca has been in the group from the Collierville Church of Christ for the past several years; she will be there beginning July 26.

Paramakatoi Plane

Paramakatoi Plane

Annually for the entire month of February, Bonnie and I travel throughout the country of Guyana, primarily to edify brethren. Thereby, we increase the Bible knowledge of Christians, encourage them and equip them to shoulder some of the responsibility of evangelizing their own nation. Our efforts contribute to the stability of the Lord’s church in Guyana, to which converts resulting from other efforts by American Christians can be added.

Ladies' Day

Ladies’ Day

In 2014, 85 of the 99 known congregations participated with Bonnie and me as we went to all 10 regions for our seminars and Gospel meetings. In addition, Bonnie spoke at a Ladies’ Inspiration Day with 300 Christian women present. I taped a TV program and spoke twice to teenagers at a high school boarding house. We completed the distribution of boxes of religious books to every Gospel preacher throughout the nation. After our return to the USA, we shipped 1,820 copies of The Voice of Truth International and 300 sermon outline books (i.e., three titles), which have been distributed. Preparations are underway to publish a website to promote brother Nigel’s TV program, elicit responses and provide literature to those who respond.

Bonnie, Rebecca and I met with the elders of the North Highlands Church of Christ to compare notes regarding our respective efforts in Guyana, especially since we rely on Nigel Milo to direct our program. It was a pleasant and encouraging exchange. We also passed to the elders a box of books and tracts to supply to responders to the TV program, a phone and funds for the dedicated phone associated with the TV program. The groups from North Highlands will carry these things to Guyana shortly as they soon depart to teach VBS at the Amelia’s Ward Church of Christ.

A little over three hours to and a little over three hours back from Russellville, AL meant that we arrived at our Winona home about midnight. Exhausted, we speedily retired for much needed rest. The real rest awaits every faithful Christian – an eternal rest (Hebrews 4:9-11).