Friends, Family & Travel

Posted on October 22, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

Last week was highlighted by a delightful visit from Steve and Marie Goode, long-time friends from our days in Bangkok years ago. They still live in Thailand where they serve as director of Global Mercy Ministries with Youth With A Mission. Bobbye and Marie were in a close-knit women’s prayer group from 1984-88 and the relationship has continued in a network of long-distance intercession and support.

We had just left Indonesia and I had assumed the challenging role of directing Southern Baptist missionaries throughout South and Southeast Asia. Often when the frustrations would reach a peak I would drop in to share my burdens with Steve who was directing Cambodian relief efforts for YWAM. He had the task of assimilating hundreds of immature, multi-national short-term workers with diverse backgrounds from all over the world into compatible teams. After my visits with Steve I would leave feeling my problems weren’t so complex after all.

Their need to attend a management meeting and connect with funding partners brought the Goode’s to the States and an opportunity for us to enjoy a brief reunion. Though it has been several years since we have been together, the conversation picks up as if we had been together constantly. We enjoyed treating them to Southern cuisine, a tour of the old town Clinton with vegetable vendors on the brick streets and a morning walk through the nearby nature center. Bobbye and Marie could have spent hours in intimate sharing and praying on our front porch swing as only girl friends could.

A weekend mission conference at St. Andrews Baptist Church in Panama City, Florida took us on the first leg of a road trip and a beautiful drive along the Northwest Florida coastline. Enroute we stopped for an overnight visit with my sister Jean who lives in Daphne on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. Leaving Panama City, we had the luxury of a leisurely three-day drive to our next engagement in Richmond, VA to participate in orientation for a new contingent of missionaries. This allowed us to stop over in Auburn, Alabama for a visit with my Aunt Virginia and Uncle Hobart. Virginia is my mother’s youngest sibling and is actually closer to my age than hers.

We were encouraged by the extensive missions involvement of St. Andrews Baptist Church. Led by Pastor Michael Claunch, Minister of Missions Lynn Briley, and Missions Committee Chairman John Drummond, they are truly an Acts 1:8 church with extensive outreach and ministry locally and through partnerships in multiple countries around the world. They were gracious to provide us weekend accommodations in a Panama Beach condominium. The beautiful early fall weather, relaxing scenery and an array of exciting Saturday football games on top of stimulating mission events was an ideal weekend retreat.

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