Surviving a Busy Week

Posted on February 20, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

Last week began with a trip to St. Louis where we had the privilege of participating in a Global Impact Celebration at First Baptist Church Arnold, speaking in four services on Sunday. These events are truly a blessing as we have opportunities to continue to challenge and mobilize churches as we have been doing for years in our former life. FBC Arnold truly gets it! They are involved around the world, including multiple strategic partnerships in India, Senegal and Mexico and give a high priority to giving generously to missions all year.

One of the greatest joys of involvement in mission events is staying connected with our missionaries from around the world. There were a number of personnel serving in South and Southeast Asia, our home for 23 years; Bobbye especially enjoyed her reunion with Chele, a close friend over the years now serving in Bangladesh.

Teaching at Mississippi College and the usual church activities keep us busy enough, but several added events took busyness to a new level. Our church hosted a Life Action Revival last week that is always used of God to challenge members to a deeper spiritual walk. Then the death of friend and former missionary colleague in Indonesia, Dr. Win Applewhite, allowed us to join others in honoring his legacy and celebrating his life. We are finding, at our age, visiting the hospital and attending funerals are becoming more common.

Dr. Applewhite and his wife, Laverne went to Indonesia in 1954 and was the surgeon at the Baptist Hospital in Kediri, later opening a new hospital on the island of Sumatra. Located initially in East Java where we were assigned, they were friends and mentors to us following our arrival in 1971. They retired to Clinton years ago and have been actively involved in church and community ministry for years. As with many funerals in the South, the occasion is somewhat of a family reunion. Win was 93, and several former colleagues from our Indonesian Mission family were able to be present (pictured). That entailed us hosting several overnight guests.

Meanwhile, the same day as the funeral I was scheduled to speak in chapel at the Reformed Theological Seminary. Located in West Jackson just beyond the Clinton city limits, the seminary has grown and expanded to branches in Charlotte, Orlando and other locations around the country. It has been a blessing to get to know Dr. Guy Richardson, president, and Dr. Elias Mederias, professor of missions. The seminary is strong on evangelism and missions and counts a significant number of internationals among its students.

The following day I had the privilege of leading a Leadership Development Seminar at Pinelake Church. Pinelake has a weekly attendance of 8,000 at the three services on its central campus in Brandon and satellites in Clinton, Madison and Starkville. They are a Great Commission church in which many of their staff have served overseas with the IMB. They envision sending a hundred members as missionaries in addition to the hundreds that participate in short-term projects and partnerships each year. Many among their cadre of interns are anticipating missionary service. It was gratifying to spend five exhausting hours teaching 80 staff, volunteers and church planters on spiritual warfare and applying it to church leadership.

Following a weekend of respite from these activities we are on our way to Atlanta where we continue to convene and coordinate an annual retreat for the CEOs of the largest evangelical missionary-sending agencies in North America. More about that next week.

One Comment on “Surviving a Busy Week”

  1. Andreas Andoko


    I am Andreas Andoko; director of the Imanuel Hospital in Bandar Lampung, Lampung Indonesia.

    I am deeply grieved to hear that Dr. Applewhite died. I myself heard the news indirectly. Dr. Gene Ruble told about it.

    Can I have an email address of Applewhite’s family? We would like to express condolences?

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