Catching Up at Home

Posted on September 5, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

We are grateful for the many friends and family members who are following our web site and responding with interest and encouragement. We had almost 600 unique visitors last month who are logging on multiple times to stay up with our activities and various posts. You will note a recent change in the home page format as the lead article changes three times each week. Accounts of current activities and experiences are included in “Down Home in Mississippi” on Mondays. My blog post, “Rankin Connecting” is on Wednesday and “Devotional Reflections” are posted on Friday. As these rotate, they can be accessed in the righthand column; recent posts are highlighted at the bottom of the home page and can also be accessed by category in the “archive” menu. We appreciate your response and comments, postings on our Facebook wall and following on Twitter at “rankinonmission.”

Being back in Mississippi enables us to host friends and participate in special family events, something we have been deprived of doing over the years. Last week we had the joy of celebrating the birthday of Bobbye’s sister, Bettye (she didn’t divulge her age, but for those who know, it is the same as mine). Since a very young age Bobbye was continually reminded that her sibling was two years, one month and 15 days older. We welcomed the birth of a new baby in the family on Thursday of last week. I’m not sure how to identify the relationship with a niece’s daughter’s baby–maybe a great nephew.

We are excited about hearing reports from Angela and 12-year-old Joseph who just returned from a mission trip to Israel. Attending two funerals in the last week were sad occasions, but they made us grateful that we can be available to gather with friends to celebrate the lives and influence of those who have meant so much to us over the years. One of these was Billy Ray Smith, my high school football coach, who continued to be an inspiration and encouragement over the years.

Recently Bobbye Ann returned to Brookhaven to spend the day with two childhood friends, Martha Jane and Barbara Joan (don’t you love those double Southern names). Martha now lives in Laurel and Barbara in Vicksburg; the three of them were best friends during their childhood in the Fair Oak Springs community where Bobbye’s father was principal of the school in this Lincoln County community.

Earlier in the month we enjoyed hosting Ashley Allen and Melissa Lilley from North Carolina. Both young ladies work with the North Carolina Baptist Convention and were a part of the mission team Bobbye accompanied to Moldova last March. These Tarheels were introduced to catfish and real barbecue–not the vinegary kind they eat in NC–and seemed to enjoy their weekend exposure to Southern hospitality and culture.

You will note that our travel and ministry engagements are picking up with the advent of fall. We are especially looking forward to our Texas trip this week as we have opportunity to speak at Great Hills Baptist Church in Austin, visit friends at our former pastorate in Sadler and attend the massive World Mandate mission conference sponsored by Antioch Ministries in Waco.

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