Family Update

Posted on August 10, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

Family time together is precious because it is altogether too infrequent. We realized this once we were married, began to have children and the demands of job responsibilities diminished opportunities to gather for family reunions. Our siblings and their families were dispersed to various states, and eventually overseas. By the time we all got together, kids had grown, interests and experiences diversified, but we readily reconnected as family.

It is hard for me to imagine multi-generational families all living in the same community or general area, gathering for birthdays and other significant events, having Sunday dinner together. I’m sure time together is no less special, but for us it is an extra-ordinary event. There was a time when we lived in Richmond, Russell and his family lived in Thailand and Lori and her family in Central Asia. We are dispersed once again but recent family time brought us together, and that included opportunities for family photos which we will be sharing in a later post.

It has been a year since Bobbye and I retired to Mississippi. Travel, speaking, decorating the house and landscaping the yard has kept us busy, but at a more relaxed pace than we have known the last 40 years. Lori and Chip being on stateside assignment has made time with family a priority before their recent return overseas.

They are beginning their fourth terms of service in a medical ministry in a sensitive, recondite location. They were blessed this last year to be provided a home by First Baptist Church Winter Park in the Orlando area where Chip’s parents live. The kids went to a home school cooperative at the church (two days at home, three days at school) that provided for needed socialization as well as educational progress. As they return Gloria will be in the first grade and Mia in the second grade at a new school in their city while Sam will continue home schooling in the fourth grade.

We are grateful for the full year they had in the U.S.  God was good to provide upgrading of medical skills, spiritual nurture, opportunities to build an advocacy network for their people group, and renew the vision and calling for their ministry.

After serving in East Asia for six years, Russell and Angela returned to the States in 2004. They live in Thompson Station, Tennessee, south of Nashville where Russell works at LifeWay Christian Resources as editor-in-chief of Corporate Communication.

They are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary this month and are very active in the innovative Journey Church in Franklin, serving as home group leaders and working in discipleship and missions.

Zachary, who is 16, and Joseph, 12, will be returning to public school this year after working through some educational needs in home schooling. Zachary will be in the tenth grade and hopes to play football, and Joseph will be in the seventh grade. Anna Grace is a rising fourth grader and loves participating in softball and basketball.

It was a special joy to take Zachary on a mission trip to Peru several years ago. He has since been to Mexico and Haiti and is a spiritual leader among his youth group. Joseph is excited to be going on his first mission trip this month with his mother to Israel.

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