As many fore-warned us, the pace of life has not slowed down since retiring from the International Mission Board more than three years ago. Our lifestyle has changed a bit since moving down home in Mississippi, but the Lord has given us many opportunities for ministry and using our years of experience and leadership to serve the kingdom. The travel has been constant and fulfilling, but we are finding our schedule beginning to diminish. There has always been a tension between what we should be plugging into locally and the widespread requests for preaching, mission conferences, training and consultation.
We expect that to continue but are finding more and more satisfaction and enjoyment from the comforts of our home, working in the yard and spending leisure time together. With Bobbye’s birthday in 2014 she will be joining me as a septuagenarian; we praise God for continuing health, energy and an unceasing vision of emerging goals. I will be teaching a missions class at Mississippi College in the spring semester which will largely restrict our travel to a few weekend engagements. We have enjoyed keeping family and friends informed regarding our transition and activities through more than 250 blogs over the last three years (they can be accessed in our “archive” menu), but with this post will move into a hiatus except for an occasional updates.
I’m posting one of my favorite retirement photos which reflects our joy of quality time together as well as one of our past-times–cruising around town in “Elvis”, our 1956 Chevrolet sedan. I hope you will continue to check our website as we will maintain our travel and speaking schedule in the column on the left. This includes an annual retreat with mission CEOs in Colorado Springs, serving on boards at Columbia International University and William Carey University and directing the Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies at CIU.
2013 year was an especially busy and meaningful year including a three-week trip back to Indonesia, a mission trip to Moldova and vacation-time in Austria, Switzerland and Bavaria. We spent a couple of weeks in New England, vacationed in the Blue Ridge Mountains and assisting our son, Russell, and his family move from Nashville to Waco, Texas. We are also honored to receive the Missio Nexus (former Evangelical Fellowship of Mission Agences) Lifetime Achievement Award and an honorary doctorate from Columbia International.
Russell, and his wife Angela, are pictured with their three growing children: Joseph, who is 14, Anna Grace, 11, and Zachary who is 18, working, driving his own car and beginning college this spring.
The highlight of 2014 will be our daughter’s family coming home for stateside assignment after their fourth three-year term of service in Central Asia. They plan to spend the summer with us in Mississippi before settling in Orlando for the school year. Time with the grandchildren will obviously stimulate the renewal of our blog posts! Pictured with Chip and Lori, they are Sam, who is turning 13 this month, Gloria, 7, and Mia, 8.
Check in with us to track our schedule and find an occasional post. You can follow me on twitter @rankinonmission as I will be tweeting activities and opinions on issues more frequently in the future.