May-July 2011 newsletter

Dear Supporters,

                I know that you are all thinking how hot it is right now.  Well, we agree with you.  It has been a long hot summer.  It has also been a very busy summer so far.  In these three months we have visited 35 congregations.  We strive to make time count when we are here because we are gone so much.  The next few weeks promise to be equally busy, as we make final preparations for our next overseas trip.  However, we will hold that discussion until later.

                We often function as an important medium connecting two people who are separated by vast distances.  Let us give you a few examples.  There was one World Bible School teacher in Ohio who was communicating with a young lady in north India who was studying WBS literature in secret.  She wanted to talk with a Christian, but did not know one.  The teacher in Ohio did not know one in India, but he contacted us in Winona, and we subsequently gave him some contact information for Vinay David in Delhi, which he could then send to her.  Since she was taking these courses in secret, she would have to contact Vinay when she had the opportunity.

        Connie Barden, who worships with the Colony church near Higden, AR, also teaches several World Bible school students primarily in India.  She recently wanted some contacts of Christians in India for one of her students.  She often uses the Voice of Truth to send to her students who want more study materials in addition to the basic lessons from WBS.  This fall we will take a Bible with us to give to one of her students who is now a Christian and a student at the Viasakha Valley Bible Institute, a Bear Valley extension school in India.

                A similar situation occurred in the spring of this year.  Bob Ellison had been communicating with a man in India, and Bob wanted an Indian man to personally study with him.  Bob called Bob Turner with Bear Valley in Denver, who in turn asked me to contact someone in India.  I contacted P. R. Swamy in Bangalore, who promptly went and studied with this man’s family.  A short time later, I was informed that this man was baptized by Bro. Swamy.

                When we were in Myanmar this spring, Paula talked with a young lady in her class who worked in Singapore.  She did not know where the church was located in the city where she worked.  By internet we contacted Gordon Hogan who had lived in Singapore for many years.  He gave us the address of the church and some contact information of some Christians there.  We don’t know what she did with that information, but we did all we could.  With the connections that all of us have in Winona, we can plug into many mission points around the world as the need arises.

Literature Distribution

                As all of you know, the distributing of printed material is one of the main aspects of our work.  When we were at the Freed-Hardeman lectures we talked with the representative of the 21st Century bookstore.  She commented that they would like to send their out-of-date literature overseas, but did not know where to send it.  We kept that information in mind, and in June, Healing Hands in Nashville was sending a container to Tanzania.  The first week in June, we carried about 1,800 pounds of our literature to Nashville to be put on the container.  We also called 21st Century, who then donated all of their spring literature to us.  We sorted and boxed all of their material in a more usable format for those who received it.  This required about five hours of hot warehouse work.  It was even hotter than we get in India, but we were willing to do it.  Half of the literature was shipped to Tanzania, and then we brought the other half back to Winona.  We did this because in September there is a container going to the Philippines, on which we plan to ship the remainder of the literature.

                We have also picked up much old literature and magazines from churches as well about 300 song books from mainly two churches, the North Liberty congregation in Canton, MS, just a little north of Jackson, and a small church in Trimble, TN that closed their doors.  This time the song books and literature will eventually wind up in the Philippines.

                Our co-workers, Louis and Bonnie Rushmore, recently made a short trip to Guyana.  Immediately after they returned, about 25 youths from the West President Street congregation in Greenwood, MS and the Siwell Road congregation in Jackson, MS came for a day to work.  Those youths did a lot of work for us.  They counted many tracts into bundles to make it easier for us to ship.  They packed about 110 boxes of books to be sent to preachers in Guyana and the Philippines, taped about 250 boxes of Voice of Truth to be sent overseas in our next mailing, and did a thorough cleaning of the building.  We encourage groups to come and join us as the old saying goes “many hands make fast work,” and it especially helps the young people to understand the scope of our mission at World Evangelism.

                Literature is very precious to those in foreign countries.  One story will easily illustrate this point.  Ruth Orr from Lewisburg, TN has literally taught thousands of people through World Bible School, primarily in Nigeria and Malawi.  In the spring of this year, she made a mission trip to Malawi.  While there she talked with one of the men she had earlier converted.  We sent this man, who is now preaching, a small box of books.  He told her that when he received those books, he literally cried.  He said that those books were worth more than a million dollars.  In most of the countries of the world, literature is not available at all, regardless of the price.  In such situations, religious books and literature are precious.  We try to at least partially fill that need.

                We are expanding our outreach through the Voice of Truth.  Earnest Gill in Chandigarh is translating it into the Hindi language.  He will be printing 5,000 copies and distributing them all over north India.  That issue should be almost ready by now.  One man in Nepal is also translating it in the Nepali language.  He is encountering some problems getting other people to assist him, so that is taking longer than we thought.  Sometime next year we will be making another trip to Nepal to see how things are going.

                When we come back from India, we always try to bring some Braille editions of the Voice of Truth with us.  One of our co-workers in India, Philemon Rajah, translates the Voice of Truth into Braille.  We have run across three different people who want the Braille issue, whom we are glad to help.  One of those contacts is a young girl in Memphis, about 17 years old.  Her and her mother have sent us sweet thank-you notes telling us how much this means to them.  In our last visit there, we met one of her blind friends, who had started coming as a result of her efforts.  We gave her a Braille edition as well.  This young lady should be a great encouragement to all of us.  She is blind as well as crippled in a wheel chair.  Yet, as limited as she is, she has reached a friend who is now also attending church.  Hopefully, the Braille edition will encourage both her and her friend.

                We have been busy in the office all summer.  About mid-June, 16 volunteers from Betty’s sponsoring church, Liberty, came down to help us.  They helped package 1500 copies of the Global Harvest magazine to be sent to various congregations.  This is a mission magazine with articles from a variety of mission works both in the U. S. and many foreign countries.  They also helped package about 200 copies of the most recent issue of the Spanish Voice of Truth to be sent to churches that we knew were involved in Spanish ministries.  We feel that the Spanish Voice of Truth could be an important aid to the work of many Spanish mission efforts in the U. S.  If you know of any church involved in a Spanish work, let us know, and we will be sure they are aware of this literature.  We also have 5 basic study books that have been translated into Spanish.

                The first week of August we had our annual meeting in Winona at the World Evangelism building with all of our co-workers.  This is a time to swap ideas, report about what is working and to learn how we can help each other.  It is also a great time for just visiting (and also eating!).  This is a great spiritual feast and it is always a reviving time.

 Future Plans

                We have our next trip finally arranged.  This trip was a difficult one to organize, as it seemed that things just kept changing.  On September 1st, we fly to Denver for a couple of days retreat with all the Bear Valley extension school staff and the elders that oversea that work.  Immediately after that, we leave for India for about six weeks.  This trip is focused almost entirely on Bible schools.  We start with a preacher’s seminar in Kangayam, and then teach for two weeks in Visak.  I will be teaching the teachers on this trip, which is the first time I have done that.  Then we go to the Madurai area with Arjunan for a three day preacher’s retreat, and then finish the week teaching in the JC School of Evangelism.  This will also include a graduation, as this group will be finishing their studies.  We finish the trip by going to Chandigarh with Bob Turner of Bear Valley.  Together, we will be visiting the school in that city.  In Delhi, we will also be meeting a man from the state of Manipur, a state in the extreme Northeast corner of India bordering Myanmar.  Sunny David, a faithful co-worker of the Choates for many years, highly recommends this man, so we will be talking to him and seeing how we might be able to work together to help the church in that portion of India.

                We will be very busy in the next few weeks until we leave.  It looks like our co-workers, Louis and Bonnie Rushmore, will be out of the office most of this month.  Bonnie’s mother passed away August 8th.  They were there for several days, then they plan to be at Polishing the Pulpit in mid-August.  Of course, we have to finish our lessons, which always takes a great deal of preparation.  We also have many books to pack and ship before we leave.  Volume 69 of the Voice of Truth is due to arrive shortly.  They have to be unloaded, labeled, taped and mailed.  We are shipping some older issues of the Voice of Truth to our foreign mailing list this time.  This is over 500 boxes, which we have to finish getting ready.  In addition, we have to pack several individual boxes to those who have requested literature.  And we must never forget the daily e-mails, conversations, office work and the many other unexpected events that happen each day here at the office.

                Whether we are in this country or overseas, we are a direct link between you, the sponsors and the brethren overseas.  We correspond weekly with them.  When we visit, we are with many of the same evangelists, and our efforts and your support enable them in their works by providing monies for Bibles, TV programs, literature and Bible schools.  We want to be your eyes, ears and mouths, using whatever opportunities that God sends our way.  Thank you for helping us in this great work.  Keep us in your prayers.

            Jerry & Paula

 

 

Posted on August 11, 2011 .