Posted tagged ‘Rushmore Newsletter’

Back in Mississippi

June 1, 2018

Martha and I arrived back in Winona, Mississippi around 10:30 p.m. CST on Thursday, May 31. Over the next two hours, we unloaded the van and the utility trailer, showered and retired for the night.

Earlier in the day, we paused in Meridian, Mississippi to spend time with our dear friends, Therman and Sadie Hodge. It happened again! I invited them to accompany us to supper out—and they treated us. I told Therman that the next time I wanted to eat out, I’d invite him again!

We departed Ocala, Florida on Wednesday morning for Martha’s medical appointment an hour away outside of Gainesville. On the way, we received a phone call that her doctor was called away for an emergency surgery. Fortunately, we were able to reschedule the appointment for a little later in the morning. Consequently, Martha arranged a chiropractic session with another doctor just a few blocks away. So, she managed to work in two appointments—literally on our way out of town and out of the State of Florida.

Wednesday evening, we lodged in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. Two congregations in that area support our mission efforts. A sister with the College Avenue Church of Christ passed away on Friday from the same illness that claimed the lives of my Bonnie and Martha’s Bob. We felt a special connection with Pam Bradford and her husband John Bradford. Therefore, we took opportunity to attend the memorial service for sister Bradford on Wednesday night. The next day—a long day—we continued onward toward Winona.

 

During our stay in Ocala, we witnessed a granddaughter graduate from high school and another granddaughter be promoted from 5th grade. Martha underwent a battery of medical tests, and all seems to be well for our ages. I was able to nearly complete two Gospel magazines, Gospel Gazette Online and The Voice of Truth International, as well as our next Rushmore Newsletter. We maintained our office duties, and we visited some congregations of the churches of Christ in the surrounding area.

Over the next few months, we will continue visiting congregations out from Winona in Mississippi and surrounding states. Our annual Team Meeting will transpire in July, and at least by the first week of October, Lord willing, we will return for many weeks to two or more Asian nations. We covet your prayers.

March 2018 Rushmore Newsletter

March 29, 2018

While Martha and I were yet in Guyana, South America, we prepared our most recent newsletter. I sent it digitally to a printing company in Minnesota. We arrived back in the USA on March 6, though we did not arrive back in Winona, Mississippi—our stateside base of operations—until Saturday, March 24. Our newsletter was waiting for us on a bench in the carport.

All day Monday and into the evening, Martha and I processed the newsletter for non-profit, bulk mailing. Sister Sherry Morgan helped us for several hours. Tuesday morning, we took it to the local post office, before leaving town for dental appointments in Jackson, Mississippi—two hours away.

(As it turned out, we were late for our appointments. As we change back and forth between time zones, our digital calendars get confused, and we were two hours off regarding our appointment time. Whoops! Fortunately, the dental office accommodated us nonetheless. On our way homeward, we bought an overwhelming amount of groceries and household supplies, since we had been absent from Winona since December 21.)

The front-page article of our March newsletter features an outstanding, self-taught Guyanese Gospel preacher. Despite being acquainted with brother Thomas George for several years, I really got to know and appreciate him much more this year since he was my co-speaker for our workshops and seminars throughout his nation. I count him as a dear friend and coworker in the Christian ministry. Read the article to see how he will be mentoring 16 Amerindian congregations that are certainly off the grid, so to speak.

The second page highlights the project to acquire a robust ATV for use by another Amerindian preacher to travel to distant congregations in the mountainous jungle where there are few or no roads. Currently, hours to days of walking one-way is necessary to carry the Gospel to Christians and non-Christians in that remote part of Guyana, South America.

Always a pleasing read, Martha’s article summarizes our stateside and overseas mission travels. We are grateful for brethren who make our efforts for the cause of Christ possible. May God richly bless each one.

The Rushmore Newsletters can be accessed at the following URL:

http://www.gospelgazette.com/Newsletter/index.html

Three Days for Us, the Second Time

March 22, 2018

Wagon, ho! Right after Martha’s medical appointment on Tuesday, March 20, we headed out of Ocala, Florida toward Winona, Mississippi. With our little trailer in tow, we began our trek back to home base for the first time since our recent 35-day jaunt to and around Guyana, South America.

Along the way, though, we opted to take parts of three days for ourselves; we did that once last year, and we thought a repeat performance was due. So, we paused for three nights in Panama City Beach in a hotel on the seashore. Cold, nevertheless, Martha got her fix of seeing sand and the water of the Gulf of Mexico. We snapped a few pictures, chiefly of the ocean at sunset.

In the morning, we hitch the trailer once more to our van and leave for Mississippi. The plan is to stay overnight in the Jackson area so that Martha can attend the annual ladies’ day of the Siwell Road Church of Christ on Saturday. Then, that evening, we will make the last two hour’s journey to return to Winona.

I’m still battling chest congestion and heavy coughing, but Martha seems to have recovered from her brief similar illness. I always have significant difficulty recovering from any chest congestion and cough; I sometimes have coughing bouts without being ill.

We are looking forward to resuming life in Winona, Mississippi. Presently, I’m working on the April issue of Gospel Gazette Online. Last touches to preparation for the upcoming India Missions Conference are ongoing. As soon as we arrive back in Winona, we need to process and mail our newsletter. Weeks ahead will also see us haul literature to Nashville, Tennessee for shipment to Guyana, South America, and we will make appointments for me to speak at various stateside congregations.

Many Christians and congregations make it possible for us to do what we do, especially in foreign missions. Thank you.

As the Calendar Page Turns

January 1, 2018

Upon our return from a mission trip in three Asian countries, preceded by a mission trip of two weeks in South America, Martha and I found ourselves wearily entering into the Thanksgiving holiday. We flew into Florida and promptly drove to Mississippi, where we were joined by my daughter Rebecca. Later after a few days at the office, Martha and I returned to Florida, where we enjoyed Christmas holidays with my three children as well as one of Martha’s sons, his wife and their three children.

December 31, we assembled for worship with two congregations not far from our Ocala, Florida home. In the morning, we once more visited the Wildwood Church of Christ, whereupon its two elders ably handled the Bible class and the preaching (1 Timothy 3:2) in the absence of their pulpit preacher. That evening, we met with the Bellview Church of Christ, my first occasion to gathering with these brethren. In both places, I left copies of The Voice of Truth International and the Rushmore Newsletter.

Upon Martha and me returning to Ocala, Rebecca apprised me of the final proofing corrections for Gospel Gazette Online, and I published it to the Internet. New Year’s Day, I notified the nearly 2,000 subscribers to the Internet journal of its availability. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, with the collaboration of coworkers in Winona, Mississippi, I was able to complete layout of Volume 95 of The Voice of Truth International. My mobile office works in Florida, too, besides working in Winona, Mississippi or abroad in South America or Asia. Internet and phone services are additional requirements from time to time, but my laptop computer do it to it wherever and whenever.

Another significant event, though resembling a typical, lackluster Saturday, today—January 1st—New Year’s Day—is the first wedding anniversary for Martha and me. How the year came and went we hardly know. I whisked Martha off to the jungles of South America within days of our wedding. In the states, we lived out of our suitcases often and once for a month as we traveled to my speaking appointments across the eastern USA. In September we spent two more weeks traversing Guyana, South America before embarking on a two-month trip to Myanmar, Singapore and India. We hardly knew what to do with ourselves with the sudden slowdown of the end of year American holidays and the turning of the calendar page to 2018.

Yesterday, I bought airfare for travel once more to Guyana. We are scheduled to be in that country from January 30 through March 6. Martha and I will participate in workshops and seminars in all 10 regions of the jungle nation. We will conduct programs for Christians and place our effort within reach of every church of our Lord. In addition, we will put on a seminar simultaneously for church leaders and workers, which will be more extensive than material for others. The workshops follow the theme, “Back to the Bible,” and the seminars will address in depth, “How We Got the Bible.

We are indebted to Christians and churches that encourage and financially participate with us in our ministry—stateside and overseas. May God bless us and every child of God as we circumspectly make our way through life on earth in eager anticipation of being invited into the house of our God forever.

Rushmore Newsletter

December 12, 2017

Sunday morning, November 10, Martha and I worshipped with the Old Union Church of Christ in the woods outside of Carrollton, Mississippi. I was privileged to teach about “The Inspiration of the Bible” for Bible class and preach “Imitating the Urgency of Jesus Christ” during worship. Several remained afterward for a fellowship meal. That evening, we assembled with the Huntsville Church of Christ outside of French Camp, Mississippi. The week before, we worshipped with the Siwell Road Church of Christ on the southside of Jackson, Mississippi. The elders oversee our ministry and missionary efforts.

Finally, Monday, November 11, the last parts of our latest issue of the Rushmore Newsletter arrived in Winona. Betty Choate, Jerry and Paula Bates, and Martha and I processed it for mailing. We worked into the evening hours.

Tuesday, Martha and I loaded the van once more. We pointed the car toward Florida. Wednesday Martha has a medical checkup. My children as well as one of her sons and his family and we will enjoy the December holidays together. The last week of January, Martha and I tentatively will depart the USA again for Guyana, South America. Details are still being formulated, but we anticipate being gone six to eight weeks.

We brought plenty of work along with us, and there are many things to which we need to attend prior to leaving the country. My mobile office functions wherever I go. All I need is electricity and sometimes an Internet connection.

We remain tired, aging and aching, but moving forward for our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for your moral support and otherwise that keeps us going.

Florida Steppingstone

August 31, 2017

Saturday, August 26 commenced with Martha and me outbound from Winona, Mississippi to DeFuniak Springs, Florida. After the costly complications earlier this year traveling back from Guyana, South America, this go-around, we’re taking one airplane out of the equation by departing from Florida to Guyana. Suriname Airways does not enjoy codeshare with airlines in the United States, and neither does it compensate its customers when an 8-hour late flight results in missing one’s connecting flight back in the States.

Along our way to Florida, we made appointments with two congregations in DeFuniak Springs: the Liberty Church of Christ and the College Avenue Church of Christ. I speak annually for the Liberty congregation, and it supports us in our mission endeavors. This was the first time that I have spoken for the College Avenue church, but I have known some of their preachers and interacted with them over the years. One brother there apprised me that he had been using my written materials for years.

Brethren in both congregations were gracious to us, and as usual, Christians that I had not previously met are simply friends that I didn’t know yet. Interestingly, I could not find consensus on the proper pronunciation of the “DeFuniak.” I want to say, “De-Fun-e-ak,” with a short vowel sound for the “u,” but some residents call it “De-Fune-e-ak,” with a long vowel sound for the “u.” Still others pronounce it, “De-Fin-e-ak,” with the sound of a short vowel sound for an “i.” I’m just going to resin myself to committing it to writing without saying it aloud!

DeFuniak Springs was built surrounding a small, circular lake. Many beautiful, old homes grace the outer ring-road encircling the water spot. Apparently, the lake water level was higher than normal. The warm, sunny day was mitigated by a light breeze amidst and beneath ancient, elegant shade trees.

To our consternation, Martha’s medical insurance wasn’t accepted while we were in Mississippi, and my insurance was rejected the other day in Florida. Oh, well! Anyway, now back in Florida, Martha is undergoing a battery of doctor appointments and tests.

Short of any alarming results over the next two days, we leave Saturday, September 2 for Guyana, South America once more this year. We have venues scheduled in 8 of the 10 regions throughout the country. I will be teaching “Bible Geography & Sacred History” to an estimated 165 church leaders representing about 90 congregations. Martha will teach as well as afforded an opportunity to do so. We return to the USA on September 16, Lord willing.

Then on September 28, Martha and I board the first of a series of jet planes that will whisk us away over a span of nearly 30 hours to Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). We have two venues in that nation over the following three weeks. From there, we fly to Singapore for a 2-day program of teaching. Afterward, we fly to and around in India to be with brethren and to teach until we return to the United States just before Thanksgiving on November 21.

In the meantime, I am working on Gospel Gazette Online and The Voice of Truth International magazines as well as on other matters that demand attention. As soon as we arrive back in Florida, we will drive back to Mississippi to be with Rebecca for part of her holiday from teaching school. While there, we will process our next Rushmore Newsletter, before returning to Florida for the Christmas holiday. In late January, we head back to Guyana for about 6 weeks. Besides all of this, we will be visiting churches in many states, maybe coming to a congregation near you.

Busy, Busy, Busy!

August 7, 2017

Thursday evening, August 3, Martha and I hooked up the cargo trailer and returned to the World Evangelism Building just an eighth of a mile from our residence. We loaded just under 1,500 pounds of literature. We selected two different editions of The Voice of Truth International plus some reclaimed songbooks and a communion set.

Friday morning, after visiting the office briefly, Martha and I left Winona, Mississippi and headed for Nashville, Tennessee and an agent of Caribbean Shipping Service. Instead of taking I-55 northward to Memphis, Tennessee to connect with I-40, we took an alternative route—a little slower and more leisurely with less traffic. After unloading the trailer around 4:30 p.m., we headed to our wayside rest at Rebecca’s home in Collierville, Tennessee. Saturday, we made our way back to Winona.

Sunday, Martha and I drove the short distance from Winona to the outskirts of French Camp, Mississippi and the Huntsville Church of Christ. About half of the congregation, including its preacher, was away at family camp. Hence, I was afforded the opportunity to speak for the Bible class period (“World Evangelism Media & Missions”), morning worship (“Imitating the Urgency of Jesus Christ”) and evening worship (“Imitating the Focus of Jesus Christ”).

Monday morning, Martha and I, along with the help of Paula Bates and Betty Choate, began processing the July edition of the Rushmore Newsletter. Tuesday, we will finish up and mail it. Squeezed in amidst preparing the newsletter were a few other necessary activities, including purchasing $1,500 of airline tickets. Martha and I will fly to Guyana, South America on September 2 for two weeks of teaching church leaders.

Monday evening, Betty Choate, Martha and I attended the Gospel meeting hosted by the Old Union Church of Christ. Brother Paul Franks spoke to a full house of brethren from several area congregations. We hope to return Tuesday and Wednesday evenings for the Gospel meeting.

We still need to finalize our itinerary for our fall mission trip to Myanmar or Burma, India and Singapore. We may possibly also visit Sri Lanka. Of course, we need to make sure that we are ready for teaching various lessons in South America and Asia. There is never enough time!