Posted tagged ‘Voice of Truth International’

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!

July 7, 2018

New Reading Material!

Three new PDF files are ready for your reading pleasure and enjoyment. The price is right, too—no charge! The following items have been added to the newsletter archive and to the 100+ titles in the Digital Library at Gospel Gazette Online (www.GospelGazette.com).

Printed editions of the first three above are available upon request. The printed Rushmore Newsletter is free to all who want it; just contact me at Email: rushmore@gospelgazette.com. The Voice of Truth International and Job’s Journey to Know God are sold for nominal fees to offset publishing costs. They and about 350 other titles can be inspected online at www.WorldEvangelismMedia.com.

Aside from the above, Friday, July 6, Martha and I had eye examinations. Our eyesight has remained constant over the past year, for which we are happy, of course. Martha involuntarily posed for the snapshot!

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!

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.

Sunday—Monday

April 16, 2018

Sunday morning, April 15, Martha and I drove from Winona, Mississippi to Greenwood, Mississippi. It was my privilege to assemble once more with the brethren of the West President Church of Christ, and it was my honor to present a message from God’s Word during worship. I preached about “Bible Authority”—a fundamental message to Christian faith and practice. Nothing else I do is more enjoyable for me than to teach, preach or write biblical lessons. I set out to glorify God and to edify all present, including myself.

After lunch on the grounds following worship, Martha and I pointed the car toward the southside of Jackson, Mississippi. That afternoon, we met with the elders and deacons of the Siwell Road Church of Christ; the elders oversee Martha and me as we endeavor to serve our Lord Jesus Christ. That evening, we worshipped with our dear brethren at that congregation.

We were treated to supper at an eatery in Clinton, Mississippi after the assembly dismissed. Hence, we lodged in Clinton as well because I needed urgent dental attention, speedily scheduled for early Monday morning in Byram, Mississippi. As it turned out, I needed a root canal plus medicine for an infection and for pain.

Somewhat drugged, I passed the responsibility for driving to Martha. First, she drove two hours to Winona so we could hookup with our coworkers who returned from several weeks abroad in Asia; also, we repacked our suitcase, added more items to the minivan and headed for Florence, Alabama—Martha again at the wheel. It was her job to drive most of Monday, and apparently it was my job to whine and complain!

Finally, we arrived in Florence at Heritage Christian University—the site for the next three days of the annual Indian Missions Conference. After setting up a table of books and such, we made our way to the Quality Inn. Coincidentally, about the same time, brother Ricky Gootam and his son Justin drove into the same parking lot. We will be attending the program together and speaking on the program.

It has been a long day, and the days ahead will be filled from morning to evening. The weeks ahead call for us haul literature to Nashville, Tennessee for shipment to Guyana, South America; attend a missionary retreat in Hamilton, Alabama; and take Martha to Ocala, Florida for the graduation from high school by one of her granddaughters. Of course, it’s time to work on both publications—Gospel Gazette Online and The Voice of Truth International. Life is full and well appropriated. God be praised; we hope to serve our Lord faithfully on earth and happily anticipate an eternal home in God’s house.

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.